Creating Instagram Reels for your brand or business can be one of the best ways to get more followers and engagement on Instagram — in fact, they’re a real growth hack right now!
From useful tips to our top editing tricks, we’re sharing our favorite Instagram Reels hacks that are guaranteed to make your videos stand out from the crowd.
Discover our top creative hacks by watching this video — or continue reading the full blog post below.
Instagram Reels Hack #1: Create Creative Original Content
If you want to show up on the Instagram Reels tab, creating original content is key.
With thousands — even millions — of creators sharing to Instagram Reels daily, thinking of original ideas is one tall order.
Fortunately, you don’t have to totally reinvent the wheel when it comes to planning your Instagram Reels. The main thing is to create content that is educational or entertaining — with your own unique twist.
By adding your own little spin or perspective, you can take any existing idea and create something fresh and engaging.
For example, if you’re a photographer, this could be a series of camera setting hacks, lust-worthy locations, or your favorite portrait shots like @myparisportraits:
Instagram has confirmed it prioritizes videos that aren’t visibly recycled from third-party apps, so creating original content in the Reels editor could also help boost your visibility.
Ready to save time planning your Instagram content? Start scheduling your posts with Later — it’s free!
Instagram Reels Hack #2: Include On-screen Text and Closed Captions
We know 85% of video on Facebook is watched without sound, so adding on-screen text and subtitles to your videos is a no-brainer when it comes to reaching more users.
Plus, not only are subtitles great for people who watch without sound, but they’re invaluable for those with hearing difficulties.
To add video subtitles you can use Instagram's closed caption sticker.
Tap on the sticker icon and select "Captions."
It may take a few seconds for the audio to transcribe. Once they've pulled through, you can go through and edit the text to make sure it's all correct.
TIP: Make sure your closed captions are visible in every part of the Instagram app by positioning them in the center of your screen (more on this later).
Instagram Reels Hack #3: Avoid the TikTok Watermark
Instagram has confirmed that they deprioritize Reels that are visibly recycled from other apps — meaning they’re less likely to appear in the Instagram Explore Page and the Reels tab.
With this in mind, the best strategy is to create content directly in Instagram and TikTok – even if you use the same raw footage (from your Camera Roll) across both apps.
If all else fails, you can use a watermark removal app to remove the TikTok watermark from you video – but know that third-party apps can compromise quality.
Instagram Reels Hack #4: Drive Traffic by Encouraging Viewers to Head to Your Link in Bio
The best way to drive traffic from Reels is by including a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages people to head to your link in bio.
This could be with on-screen text placement, a verbal call-out, in your video caption, or all of the above. You can use a link in bio tool, like Later's Linkin.bio, to create a mini landing page with multiple link buttons and clickable images:
This is a great way of getting more value from your link in bio, and it only takes a few minutes to set up.
Make the most of your Instagram link in bio with Linkin.bio by Later — get started today.
Instagram Reels Hack #5: Hop on Trends Fast
Similar to TikTok, Reels come and go quite quickly.
To hop on a trend before it becomes old news, take a few minutes each morning to scroll through the Instagram Reels tab and other creators’ profiles to see what they’re sharing.
Is there anything that seems to consistently pop up — a particular song? An audio clip? A dance trend?
If so, click on the music to see how many other creators have used the audio. Scroll through the videos to get an idea of what the trend is.
Instagram Reels Hack #6: Share Your Reels to Your Feed
In case you didn’t know, sharing Reels to your Instagram feed is one of the best ways to boost their views and increase their chances of going viral.
So with this in mind, make sure you opt to share your Reels directly to your Instagram feed.
Otherwise, there’s a chance your Reel will go unseen by your community.
If you’re worried about ruining your Instagram aesthetic, you can upload an Instagram Reel cover image so it fits in nicely with the rest of your content.
Plus, you can always decide to remove the Reel from your feed at a later date. If you want to see how your Instagram Reels cover photo will look on your feed, check out this handy Later hack:
Preview your Instagram feed in advance before you post with Later for free! Sign up and create your perfect Instagram aesthetic today:
Instagram Reels Hack #7: Optimize On-screen Text Placement
Whether you’re adding closed captions or additional text, where you put the on-screen text is extremely important.
If your audience can’t easily see the text, they’re likely to scroll right past your video — which can be a major engagement blocker.
When adding text, make sure it’s within 4:5 dimensions, especially if you’re sharing it to your feed.
This way, when a user clicks on your Reel in-feed, the text will be visible.
While this doesn’t sound like a big deal, carefully curating your text placement makes it a much more enjoyable experience for your audience.
Instagram Reels Hack #8: Find Your Niche and Post Consistently
One of the best ways to gain virality on Instagram Reels is by finding your niche and posting consistently.
There are so many Instagram users with a wide range of interests and hobbies. No matter what your brand or business does, there’s a niche for you!
And even if your first few Reels don’t garner a ton of traction or engagement, keep going! Just like anything else on social media, it’s all about trial and error.
Instagram Reels Hack #9: Provide Value and Share Educational Content
If you thought Reels were only for the latest dance trends, think again. There are tons of creators going viral by sharing informative content.
Creating educational content provides a valuable service for your audience, and helps position you as an expert on a certain topic.
Jera Foster Fell does a great job at this. She has cemented herself as a social media marketing expert by consistently sharing tips, tricks, and behind-the-scenes content for her entrepreneurial community.
Instagram Reels Hack #10: Include 3-5 Hashtags
For example, using hashtags like #easyrecipes, #mealideas and #dinnerinspiration will indicate to the Instagram Reels algorithm that your content is about food — which may increase the likelihood of it being served to users who are actively engaging with similar content.
Plus, now that Instagram has rolled out keyword search in several countries, users searching for related topics will be able to discover your content:
Ready to hack the Instagram Reels algorithm? Check out our blog post where we outline everything you need to know about the latest changes.
Instagram Reels Hack #11: Use Music from the Instagram Library or Create Your Own Audio
Using music from the Instagram music library or creating your own original audio is one of Instagram’s top tips for getting your Instagram Reel seen by more users.
Finding the right music for your video can be a challenge, but luckily Instagram has a hefty Instagram music library to choose from.
You can browse music curated just for you, trending songs, categories, or use the search bar to find a specific song.
Having trouble accessing Instagram’s music library? Check out our blog post: How to Add Music in Instagram Stories.
Instagram Reels Hack #12: Share to Your Instagram Story
Last but not least, remember to share your Instagram Reels to your Instagram Stories.
If you’re looking to increase your reach, it’s a good idea to share your Reel in as many places as possible.
Plus, you can always cover part of your Instagram Reel with a GIF or image (like below) to encourage your audience to click and watch the full video.
Creating Instagram Reels is one of the best tactics to grow your following right now.
With these top 12 tips, you’ll set yourself apart from the competition, build a niche, and reach new audiences.
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