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A little birdy told me that you may be struggling to increase your Reels views… that’s fine!
In this post, I’m going to give you 5 tips on how you can increase your Reels views or the number of plays your videos receive.
To talk about increasing Reels views, we first need to master the basics.
What is a “View”?
What is considered to be a “view”? Or for the sake of simplicity, I’m going to refer to it as a “play” based on Instagram’s definition.
A “play” is the number of times your video starts to play after an impression is already counted.
This is defined as video sessions with 1ms or more of playback and excludes replays. Yes, it excludes replays. So any repeated views are not counted as additional “plays”.
Now that those are defined, let’s talk about how to get more views and plays and really start growing on Instagram Reels. And speaking of basics…
Instagram Reels Tip #1: Don’t Overlook the Basics
It seems that people are always looking for the latest tips, tricks and hacks, but they skip the fundamentals.
If you don’t have the basics down, your videos won’t perform well.
So, what are these “basics”? The quality and the lighting of your videos!
I’m not saying you need to have fancy equipment or the latest iPhone. Simply wiping off and cleaning whatever camera you use before you record can go a long way.
Also, use your phone’s main camera. That means minimizing how often you record with the “selfie” camera since that camera is lower quality than the main camera.
(Also, if you ever plan on using an attachable camera lens to record videos and increase your quality a bit, your main camera is where it’s at.)
Now, I’m not saying “never use the selfie camera!”
I personally use it a lot. But if you are, make sure the lower quality doesn’t take away from your video.
How? Clean the camera and make sure your lighting is set!
I love natural lighting.
When recording Reels, I usually go to a window in my house or on my porch. There are tons of places you can find natural lighting.
I don’t always use my YouTube lighting setup. I really just look for the best natural light in my house.
See? Pretty basic stuff.
Instagram Reels Tip #2: Know Your Hook
You want to grab attention within the first second of your video. If you’re not grabbing attention in the first second, you’ve already lost a view or a new potential follower.
When you’re scrolling through Reels or TikToks, what makes you stop scrolling to watch an entire video?
Typically, it’s somebody’s hook. A hook is how somebody captures your attention and gets you to watch their entire video.
Hook Strategies For Reels and TikToks
There are many different strategies you can use for your hook. What are some examples?
- Movement. If you move towards the camera rapidly, that’s a way to “Reel” people in (see what I did there?). Or if you jump into the shot, that’s another way to get attention with movement.
- Words that you say.
- Text that pops up before the rest of your content.
- Colors in your video or that you’re wearing can grab people’s attention.
Really ask yourself, “How am I capturing attention within the first second of my video?”
My favorite way to use hooks is with words and talking directly to my target audience. And not just with the words I say, but with the text that pop up on the screen.
I make sure there are always words telling the viewer exactly what they’re going to get by the end of the video.
For example, I’ll say and have text that says, “This is how you can gain 10k followers in 30 days!”
That tells them the result they’ll have by the end of the video.
If you don’t know where to start or need more hook ideas, check out my free downloadable on 50 Reels Hooks.
Instagram Reels Tip #3: Keep the Attention
While hooks are important, if someone doesn’t watch past your hook, it doesn’t matter.
If you want more plays, you’ll want Instagram to push your content to more people (because repeat views don’t count!).
How to Keep Attention on Instagram Reels
To keep the attention, you want your videos to be fast-paced.
One way to do this is by using Instagram templates. There are plenty of templates to choose from. All you have to do is plug in your clips and it auto-edits the video for you.
It sets how the videos will pop up with the pre-selected song. That’s a great way to use what’s already proven to work within Instagram’s platform.
If you’re talking to the camera in your video, make sure to cut out what I call “the Breath of Death.”
I know it sounds silly, but a common mistake I see people make is they start their videos with a big inhale, and then they begin talking.
Cut out the breaths or big pauses of every single clip. That will help keep your videos fast-paced and keep the attention of your viewers.
Why Maintaining Attention is Important on Reels
Keeping attention on Reels is important because Instagram measures the “Retention Rate” of your videos.
While plays are important, Instagram keeps track of how long someone stays on your video.
If your video is 10 seconds long, what percentage of people actually complete that video? Where are people dropping off?
If Instagram is seeing that your video is getting a 100% completion rate (just as an example, that’s not really attainable), they’re going to see that people enjoy your video and push it out to more people.
Having people watch longer tells Instagram that you have a good video. Which is what we all want! And that leads me to my next tip.
Instagram Reels Tip #4: Length of Your Video
In Instagram’s article “Shedding More Light on How Instagram Works” they say:
“The most important predictions we make are how likely you are to watch a reel all the way through.”
They straight-up say it.
So how do you get people to watch your Reels all the way through?
You’ve probably heard tips from people saying, “Make sure your Reels are 7 seconds long and make the text longer than the video so it has more loops!”
Firstly, on the topic of long text, that’s one of the many mistakes people make on Reels. Check out my post on that for more info on text length. For now, let’s continue on the topic of video length.
There are a lot of people saying 7 seconds is the sweet spot or 15 seconds. Even Adam Mosseri has said if your Reels are shorter, they’ll likely perform better.
I’m not going to add to confusing numbers, because there is no magic number. But in general, if you want more people to finish your video, making it 15 seconds as opposed to 45 seconds will likely result in a higher retention rate.
That doesn’t mean 15 or 7 is the sweet spot. Test to find what works for you! Maybe you can’t possibly fit what you need to cover in 7 seconds.
Their 7 seconds can be your 10 seconds… or 20 seconds… Find what works for you, your business and your niche.
Instagram Reels Tip #5: Don’t Waste Precious Seconds
This one wraps everything up with the perfect little bow.
This ties in “the Breath of Death,” the quality of your video, making your videos shorter, etc.
After you finish filming, go through the whole thing and ask yourself, “How short can I make this?”
Can you trim a bit off the beginning? Off the end? How fast-paced can you have your video move to where it’s still easy to understand?
If you feel it’s too fast-paced, add captions! It’ll help people follow along.
Keep people engaged! That will help people watch all the way through.
BONUS TIP: Know Who Your Video is For
Your video will perform really well when you know exactly who you’re trying to talk to.
Yes, picking your niche is important. Sticking in your industry is important. But when you know exactly who you’re talking to, it’s so much easier to capture that person’s attention. Think of who you’re targeting and put yourself in their shoes.
Ask these questions:
- “How can I capture their attention today?”
- “How can I provide value to them today?”
- What’s something they’re struggling with?”
Think of who you’re trying to reach with each video and how you can talk to them, provide value to them and genuinely capture their attention.
When you understand that, that’s when your videos will really pop off.
Follow your joy!