Guest Blog by Kirsty Raper, Rebuildagram | Apr 2023
Since Instagram rolled out its short form video format in 2020, Reels have become one of the most powerful ways to put you in front of new eyes on the platform. The days of simply posting the odd photo on Instagram and growing your account that way are long gone. In 2023 if you’re not making video content for your account you are missing a massive opportunity to grow your brand and community.
Reels have been absolutely game-changing for my business and the over 1000 accounts I’ve helped with reels. In the 3 years since reels launched I have learnt what you need to create a successful reel, so here are my 5 top tips for smashing reels in 2023.
1. Cut to the chase
The first tip is a really simple one but easy to get wrong – GRAB your audience’s attention quickly! Browsers on Instagram don’t have time to hang around and will quickly scroll past your reel if you don’t grab their attention in the first 2 seconds. Try using some text to tease what you’re covering in your reel – or use a transition to keep them watching.
2. Create something useful or inspiring – but most importantly spark an emotion
Your reels will get shown to a wider audience if they are valuable. And that value can come in one of two ways. Either share something super useful (a piece of advice for example) or something that inspires your audience (tell a story or an experience). Don’t feel you have to embrace lip-synching or dancing reels if that doesn’t suit your charity – try telling the story of the charity or of your user-base instead – and remember sparking an emotion in your audience is absolutely key.
3. Use the right equipment
You don’t need to spend lots of money on high tech filming kit and recording equipment to make reels. All you need is your phone! But if you are keen to make the most of the reels platform, then do invest in the best phone you can afford. Harness as much natural light as you can by filming in front of a window and remember to switch off harsh overhead lighting. A ring light can be useful if you’re struggling for natural light and this tripod with a ring light attached is one I like a lot. Always upload your reels when you have a strong wifi connection and switch off any other apps that might reduce the upload quality.
4. Make sure you harness the power of trending audios
Instagram is keen to promote trends on the reels platform and that means if you want more people to see your reels you need to harness their power. Look for the small arrow on the audio tracks on reels next time you’re scrolling as this means that music track is trending. Using it as the backdrop to your reel will help you increase your views so start looking for them and saving them!
5. Be original
Reels in 2022 were all about trends but in 2023 we are seeing much more success with original reels where you get to express who and what your account is all about. Try using voiceovers or speak directly to the camera in your reel – sharing something that is super valuable or smashes a commonly held myth in your space. Alternatively share the journey of your charity or your users as a video blog.