Due of Instagram’s ever-shifting algorithm, many content makers have given up hope of seeing their accounts expand and have declared the network dead. However, we are here to disprove that hypothesis.
If your Instagram engagement has been dropping, you are not alone. Because of what we’ve both been through, it could seem impossible to succeed on the platform. But if you change your approach and content strategy, you could be able to break out of your Instagram rut and see a dramatic increase in your audience insights in no time.
Sarah, I’m very happy for your success in the Instagram world as of late. How incredibly proud you must be. Please share the story of the first Reel you ever had go viral. How fast did it happen, like in an instant, or slowly?
The first thing I want to say is how much I appreciate it. And certainly, I have witnessed extraordinary development over the past month. When my first Reel hit a million views, I knew I had something special. I made myself a lunch of quick noodles and shredded tofu for work.
The simplicity and speed with which lunch could be prepared won over many viewers, as did the novel idea of shredding tofu with a cheese grater. I feel the content’s success was due to the combination of these two factors.
Do you think your Reels’ viral success has contributed to the sudden surge in your account popularity?
Absolutely. A few hundred of my followers came from accounts with tens of thousands of followers resharing my material or giving me a shout-out. That, though, pales in comparison to the development I’ve witnessed over the past month and a half.
As I’d indicated before, after I switched up my Reel style, roughly one out of every three of them would go viral. Two of my Reels got to around 20 million views each in this one month, and another four or five got to a million or more. During that period, I was able to attract anything from 3,000 and 6,000 new fans per day.
How long have you been making videos for Reels? Did you start using it as soon as it became available in Australia, or did you wait a while?
A few months after the feature’s release, I decided to hop on the Reels bandwagon. I was apprehensive at first. It seemed like a lot more work to make films instead of still photographs, and I had no idea what I was doing as far as giving the video a good flow.
If only I’d known that as soon as Instagram released a new feature, you had to implement it immediately! As a rule, they will promote and prioritise posts that make advantage of their newest features.
Is there a difference between how you used to create content for Reels and how you do so now? And if so, why?
There have been two main shifts in my approach to creativity. My focus has shifted to the reader and how they might benefit from my work.
I used to post for the purpose of posting, but not anymore. A simple recipe that people will want to save and share is something I include in 95% of my Reels. The remaining 5% is for sharing with your audience content that you like making but have no plans to analyse for insights or worry about in terms of interaction.
Having gone through the process of trial and error, do you have any advice on how to make a Reel that goes viral?
The number one rule is to maximise value while minimising effort. Your Reel should not exceed 15 seconds at most. If the Reel is shorter, the spectator is more likely to watch the entire thing. This signals to the Reels algorithm that the content is popular and should be distributed to more users.
You may have noticed that the majority of viral videos (99%) use a popular tune. While it’s tempting to select a song that’s special to you, not using a popular song can be a missed opportunity to increase Reels views.
Make use of five to ten niche-specific hashtags. Hashtags are a popular way for Instagram users to find content they’re interested in viewing, so using them is a great way to get your posts seen. In addition, the algorithm will be better able to push your video to individuals who are already interested in material like yours because of the context you’ve provided.
It’s wonderful to introduce someone to something new, whether it’s a recipe, a piece of information, or a concept. However, it’s just as crucial to follow the latest fashions. Most of the trending videos in my Reels feed are of people performing or singing along to popular songs or challenges. So, I make it a point to follow the most current fashions, and you should, too.
Fifth, you need to ensure that your video is simple for your audience to follow along with and enjoy. Making it visually appealing is a great place to start. Make sure you have a clean, well-lit background when filming your Reels (natural light is preferable, but not required). Distracting clutter will cause readers to skip over your material altogether.
Is there anything else you could tell me?
As Instagram increasingly prioritises moving content over still images, now is a great moment to begin a regular schedule of publishing Reels. At the very least, I think you should update your Reels thrice a week. If you want your Reels to become viral, remember that the more you upload, the better.
I know. That seems like quite a bit! I used to feel the same way about producing video material. The learning curve may seem steep at first, but the rewards are worth it. In fact, I’m producing more with less effort these days.