Wondering how to boost those view counts on your Instagram reels? With how much the algorithm has changed, Instagram reel views are down for a lot of us. I mean, compared to when reels first came out, there’s so much more competition because almost everyone is making reels now. And people are getting better at making them.
Plus, as consumers, we’re more selective than ever about what we engage with online since our attention spans are even shorter.
Even with all this change, one thing that hasn’t changed is the principles for keeping a viewer’s attention on short-form video. So if you’ve been struggling with low Instagram reel views and you’re not sure what you’re doing wrong, I’ve got 5 simple ways to get you over that hump.
Now, of course, these principles won’t magically make your reels go viral. But they are essential to getting more views because they’re based on social media user psychology. I apply them all the time! And you’ll soon realize most creators with high view counts apply them, too.
Before I dive in, I want to mention I’ve put together a free Instagram reels guide packed with extra tips, examples, and t advice on how to boost your views if you need more guidance.
Alright, let’s get into the first principle.
01 – Create more shareable content
“Shareable content” is when you post something your followers naturally want to repost or send to their friends. If a follower shares your post on their stories or shares it with someone else, that means more people are viewing it. More people may even choose to follow you because of it.
This is a natural way of growing on social media, buuuut it doesn’t just happen randomly. Sure, from time to time, a personal friend may share your post to show their support. But for most social media users, and most of your followers who don’t know you personally, they’ll need a pretty good reason to share your content.
Shareable content fits into six different categories:
- And Timely
Useful Content: Think about content that’s genuinely helpful to your audience. Things like tutorials or recommendations around what you’re selling. These are the kinds of things they’d want to share with their friends because it could help them out too. For example gift guides, gift ideas, or tips directly from your niche.
Relatable Content: Relatable content makes you want to nod along because, well, you can relate! This could be things like quotes or funny memes that totally capture the ups and downs your ideal audience goes through. If your ideal audience is toddler moms, for example, you can post quotes that make them go, “Yep, that’s exactly how it is!”
Funny Content: Time to bring on the laughs! Funny content is all about putting a hilarious spin on what’s trending or what your people can totally relate to. Imagine doing a video showing the hilarious messes pets get into – that would be perfect if you sell pet products. People will watch it, laugh, and then tag their fellow pet-loving friends for a good chuckle.
Thought-Provoking Content: This is the type of content that gets people to think deeper. You want to put ideas out there that make your audience stop and ponder. For instance, if you’re in the wedding industry, you could drop a post like “How Modern Couples Can Redefine Old-School Wedding Traditions” or “How To Add Personal Touches To Wedding Attire.” Do it right and you’ll spark conversations with your audience.
Inspiring Content: Inspiring content sounds like exactly what it means. It’s meant to inspire! A great example of this is sharing where you were when you started your business to where you are now. Let them in on your story – the challenges, the wins, everything. It’s a way to motivate your audience and let them know that they’re not alone.
Timely Content: This means jumping in with your opinion when there’s a buzz around something. Like for example, Taylor Swift’s latest tour, the new Threads app, or even the timeliness of the holiday season. Simply share thoughts, experiences, or tips related to what’s catching everyone’s attention.
When your audience sees a post they feel connected to in some way, they’re gonna hit that share button. It’s like how you send those funny memes to your friends or share relatable quotes with your partner. People love sharing what hits home. Tapping into that feeling can spread your content like wildfire. Just think about what your ideal audience goes through, make posts that resonate with them, and they’ll be more likely to share with others too.
02 – Include text inside your reel
I’ve noticed a common trend recently: a lot of business owners share videos of their products or behind-the-scenes content without adding captions or text on the screen. The thing is, without text, it’s even more challenging to grab and hold a viewer’s attention.
So here are a few tips to keep in mind for when to put text inside your reel:
If you’re in a video talking about your product or explaining something using a voiceover, always include text. Why? Because a lot of people watch videos without turning on the sound. If they only see you speaking without any context, they’ll likely keep scrolling. And that means you’re missing out on potential views.
The same goes for sharing behind-the-scenes footage or showcasing your products. You can easily make your video more engaging by throwing in some text bubbles. It adds context and helps viewers understand what your video is all about.
For example, I recently chatted with a Social Media Planning Masterclass student who sells honeymoon gifts. Instead of just posting reels of products in a pretty and aesthetic way, I recommend including a text bubble that reads “Honeymoon Gift Ideas”, “Practical Honeymoon Gifts for Your Best Friend”, or “POV — You’re Packing Your Honeymoon Bag”, depending on what the piece of content is about.
Then at the end of the video, you can use another text bubble that says “share this with someone going on their honeymoon this year.”
It’s not just about showcasing the product; it’s about using the text in your reels to suggest ideas, show who the product is perfect for, and even include a call to action for sharing. So, when creating reels, remember to include text in your video to make them more engaging and accessible for people watching with their sound off.
03 – Use a hook at the beginning of your video
A hook is something you say or do at the beginning of your video that sparks someone’s curiosity. Here’s an easy way to do this: just pop in a sentence or phrase that’s intriguing right as your video starts to give a sneak peek of what your video is about.
Let’s say you sell scrunchies, and you want to show them in action. Or you’re a hairdresser who wants to show off different hairstyles you’ve given your clients. You can start with a video clip of brushing your hair and a text bubble that says, “Looking for quick and cute summer hairstyle ideas? Check this out.” Then, you’d dive into showcasing those beautiful hairdos or scrunchies.
The good news is, you can use this approach for almost any niche — product or service-based. You need to grab someone’s interest within the first few seconds of your videos so they can quickly decide if it’s relevant to them or not. If it is relevant, they’ll want to watch more without feeling like you’re pushing a product or service on them.
Next time you’re watching videos, pay attention to how the video starts. You’ll notice a lot of them start with a hook that grabs your interest from the get-go.
By the way, if you need more ideas, I’ve got more hook examples in this Instagram reels guide that will keep your viewers, well, hooked!
04 – Make your reels from several shorter clips and cut out all dead air to keep your viewer’s attention
Okay, so what does this mean exactly? Instead of sharing a full 60-second video of you chatting away or unboxing a product, try to switch things up.
You want to use different clip in your video every 2-3 seconds to keep your viewers attention. Ever notice how reels with tons of views do exactly the same thing? Commercials and movies do that too. That’s because movement in a video keeps viewers engaged.
So, let’s say you’re about to record a video. Don’t sit in the same spot and talk for a whole minute. Break things up! Maybe chat for a sentence or two, turn your chair the other way, then record yourself saying another sentence. Do this as many times as you need to. Once you’ve gathered all your clips, put them together for a captivating final product.
If you’re recording an unboxing video, you can take a similar approach: First, cut the box in one clip. Switch the angle and open it with your finger in the next clip. Then another clip can show the thank-you card, and so on. You’re basically taking the entire process of opening the box and splitting it into several 2-3 second clips — instead of putting your phone on a tripod and recording one clip from start to finish.
Ultimately, the point is to break up your reels into several 2-3 second clips so your viewers are locked in and totally engaged.
05 – Use early trending sounds
A sound goes “trending” on Instagram when many people are using it at the same time. Once it’s trending, Instagram features more videos with that sound to a wider audience. These are the same audios you eventually start hearing on your feed over and over again.
Using a trending sound increases the chance of your video appearing on the dedicated reels feed. Getting featured there means more views and potential to get discovered by new audiences, even those not following you. Pretty cool, right?
Here’s the thing: the sooner you jump on a trending sound, the better. That’s because it gives your reel a better shot to get pushed out and discovered.
Now, let’s talk about finding these so-called trending sounds. If you’re scrolling through Instagram reels, keep an eye out for a little arrow on the bottom left corner. That arrow is your cue — it means the sound is trending. Tap the audio icon on the bottom right and you’ll see how many people are currently using that sound.
Unfortunately, not everyone has access to seeing that little arrow. If you’ve never seen it when scrolling before through Instagram reels, you might not have that feature. No worries! In that case, you can still spot trending audio if you notice a lot of reels using a particular sound. You’d simply have to click on that audio icon to manually check how many people are using it.
But there’s always a chance by the time you hear everyone using it, it already has too many uses. So the least time-consuming way to stay up to date with audios is to follow a few accounts who alert you about trending sounds in advance.
To use a trending sound in your own reel, save a post from someone who’s using the audio you want to use. Hit the audio icon on the bottom right and you’ll see a “save audio” option. Then, when you’re about to record a reel, hit “add audio”, visit your “saved” folder, and you’ll see all your saved audio right there, ready for you to use!
Want to get more views on your Instagram reels?
First off, don’t forget to grab your free Instagram reels guide for extra help and examples of reels — it’s a must-have! From there, remember these five principles:
Create shareable reels that your audience can’t wait to share with their friends. Think of helpful tutorials, relatable quotes, and other engaging content that makes them want to hit that share button!
Always add text to your reels to make them more interesting. Remember, not everyone will listen with sound, so you want to make sure your reels are engaging and accessible too.
Next up, start each reel with a hook. This is a little teaser that gets your audience curious enough to watch the rest. Also, break up your reels into quick 2-3 second clips from different angles. This keeps your viewers interested in watching your entire video (and keeps them from scrolling down their feeds).
Last, but not least, jump on trending sounds whenever you can. When you use a trending sound in your reel, it increases the chance of your video appearing in the dedicated reels feed. And this helps you get noticed by an even wider audience.
And there you have it — 5 simple ways to get more views on your Instagram reels. Learn more about how to boost your views on Instagram reels by tuning in to today’s podcast episode here 🎧.
Until next time,