We are all aware of the backlash Instagram have got with their push to TikTok-ify their platform,

so much so that they reverted their updates. But is this really the case?

Instagram woke up and chose violence.

Figures show that Reels makeup 22.1% of content distributed on the platform, but showcase the highest reach and likes figures. Even after the entire Kim and Kylie movement and Instagram promising the revert back to the old algorithm, but instead woke up and chose violence. From the metrics released, it appears as Instagram are still gradually pushing their Reels agenda covertly, but content distribution from users is currently not matching the update which is why it’s prime time for brands to take advantage


Here are 5 tips to amplify your efforts when it comes to producing Instagram Reels.


  1. The little details

When Instagram releases features within Reels, it’s to improve your content natively but also hold some form of algorithm rank. Although minor, effect filters are something you could experiment with. Instagram loves to compress beautiful videos, and one of the most popular effects is ✧ 4K quality ✧, which picks up quality after the compression. There are thousands of effect filters to try, so it might be worth having a gander.


Additionally, use between 5-15 hashtags, split across these 3 categories:

  • Broad topics with a high quantity of content
  • More refined topics with a smaller ‘pool’ of content 
  • Niche hashtags that are focused and specific, probably with a smaller ‘pool’ of content


Remember captions hold SEO value too and could contain searchable keywords, but within fast flowing platforms like TikTok and Reels, the caption is normally bypassed by the audience. You have 40 characters (including spaces) to make the audience click to read more.


  1. ‘Add Yours’ Reel stickers

Those of you who have used Instagram Stories are familiar with this new feature which is now available on Reels. 

Instagram woke up and chose violence.

Now it’s no surprise that when a platform releases a ‘new’ feature, it automatically gains traction when used due to algorithmic updates. You can access polls, images, quizzes, sliders, GIFs etc… on Reels, meaning that this will add new levels of interaction for creators/brands.

  1. Add topics

Instagram is testing a new ‘Add Topics’ option within the Reels uploading process with the aim to help you reach other users who share your interests.

Instagram woke up and chose violence.

(source: Matt Navarra)


This is a great feature to showcase your content to a more engaged, interested audience, which in return could potentially help to boost your Reels performance. A great method to help you connect with more people who are interested in your content or brand.


  1. Trending audio

When you are browsing Reels, you will often see ‘↗️’ instead of ‘🎵’ next to the audio on the very bottom left. This means that audio is currently trending on Reels. If you tap on the audio title, it will give you the option to save the audio, then select it within the audio section on Reels, like the image below.

Instagram woke up and chose violence.

Attempt to source trending audios with 2-6k Reels created, meaning if the audio does go viral or pick up traction, your content will get served to more people. That does not mean you only have to use trending audio, if you spot a sound that would fit your content perfectly, use it.


         1. Adapt to analytics and keep a consistent posting schedule

The most overlooked part of successful strategy on social media is consistency and adapting to your audiences’ needs. 


Whether you post once a week or five times a day, maintain that schedule to the best of your ability. Consistency gives the audience a reason to follow you rather than just buying, and forgetting about you. It also helps bring your brand to their top of mind by repeatedly seeing your brand on their feed over a long period of time. 


Keep your strategy agile, look at insights and analytics to see what content themes are working, what content pillars are most effective and what your audience is engaging with. Constantly adapt your strategy to ensure it is resonating with your audience.


Why Reels? Why Now?

Majority of the time, Instagram is the first platform people use to research a brand on socials due to the visual nature and layout. According to GWI’s 2022 Social Trends report, 64% of people discover new brands/products through social media research. And with each digitally native generation getting more integrated with socials, 16-24 year olds are already conducting more product research on social media than on search engines.


Now that Instagram are pushing for discovery and prioritising short form video content, hopping on the Reels movement now will pay off for brands in the long run and could be compared to joining the TikTok bandwagon in 2016. 


You might be thinking why focus on Reels when I can make TikToks. Well TikTok’s algorithm is always praised for serving you content that you want to see, but is extremely fickle from the creators perspective. As most people use the ‘For You’ algorithm instead of ‘Following’, content is not always distributed accordingly, meaning that not all your content will get a fair shake. It’s just the nature of the beast. Our other blog touches on the fact that on TikTok, you are forgotten as quickly as you went viral.