Instagram has always been at the forefront of social media innovation. From its iconic photo-sharing capabilities to Stories and IGTV, it’s a platform that continually evolves. Enter Instagram Reels, the latest feature that’s taking the digital world by storm. In this post, we’ll delve into the rise of Reels and why organic engagement on this platform is more crucial than ever.
Rise of Instagram Reels
When TikTok’s short-video format began gaining traction, Instagram was quick to respond with its own version: Reels. Launched in August 2020, Reels allowed users to create 15-second videos set to music, and it was an instant hit. Here’s a snapshot of its meteoric rise:
Timeline of Reels’ Growth:
- August 2020: Launched in over 50 countries.
- December 2020: Featured on the main navigation bar, signaling its importance.
- June 2021: Became a primary content discovery platform on Instagram.
Number of Active Users
While other Instagram features like Stories focused on daily life snippets, Reels emphasized creativity, dance challenges, and more polished content. It wasn’t just a TikTok clone; it was Instagram’s fresh take on short-form video content.
Why Organic Engagement Matters?
In the world of social media, there are two types of engagement: organic and paid. While both have their merits, there’s something uniquely valuable about organic engagement.
- Organic Engagement: This refers to the natural interactions your content receives without any paid promotions. It’s a genuine reflection of your content’s appeal and resonance with your audience.
- Paid Engagement: This is the interaction garnered through sponsored posts or advertisements. It’s effective for quick boosts but might not always reflect genuine interest.
Here’s why organic engagement, especially on Reels, is golden:
- Trust and Authenticity: Users are savvy. They can often distinguish between content that’s organically popular and content that’s promoted. Organic engagement builds trust and showcases authenticity.
- Sustainable Growth: While paid promotions can spike your engagement metrics temporarily, organic engagement indicates a steady interest in your content, leading to sustainable growth.
- Cost-Effective: Naturally, not having to pay for promotions means you’re saving on your marketing budget, allowing you to allocate resources elsewhere.
9 Organic Ways to Boost Engagement with Reels
Instagram Reels has opened up a plethora of opportunities for brands and creators to engage with their audience in a fun and interactive way. But with the increasing competition, how can one stand out and boost engagement organically? Here are nine proven methods:
A. Create Authentic Content
In a digital age filled with filters and curated feeds, authenticity stands out. Users are more likely to engage with content that feels genuine and relatable.
- Share raw, unfiltered moments from your day.
- Discuss real challenges and how you overcome them.
- Showcase testimonials or user experiences without heavy editing.
B. Collaborate with Influencers for Brands
Collaborations can introduce your content to a new set of eyes, expanding your reach.
- Partner with influencers whose values align with yours.
- Co-create content that provides value to both audiences.
- Organize joint giveaways or contests to boost engagement.
C. Use Trending Music and Sounds
Music can set the mood for your Reel and using trending tracks can increase its discoverability.
- Regularly check the ‘Trending’ section in the Instagram music library.
- Remix popular sounds to fit your brand’s message.
- Encourage users to use your original sounds in their Reels.
D. Engage with Your Audience
Social media is a two-way street. Engaging with your audience can foster loyalty and boost interactions.
- Promptly reply to comments on your Reels.
- Host Q&A sessions or AMAs (Ask Me Anything).
- Feature user-generated content on your profile.
E. Optimize Video Quality
While content is king, quality is equally crucial. Crisp visuals and clear audio can enhance user experience.
- Use external microphones for better audio clarity.
- Shoot during the golden hour for natural lighting.
- Use stabilization tools or tripods to avoid shaky footage.
F. Use Hashtags Strategically
Hashtags can act as gateways for users to discover your content.
- Research and use a mix of broad and niche-specific hashtags.
- Create a unique branded hashtag for your campaigns.
- Engage with other content under the hashtags you use.
G. Post at Optimal Times
Posting when your audience is most active can increase the visibility of your Reels.
- Analyze Instagram Insights to determine peak activity hours.
- Test different posting times to find the sweet spot.
- Consider scheduling tools to maintain consistency.
H. Share Behind-the-Scenes Content
Behind-the-scenes content offers a transparent look into your brand, making it more relatable.
- Document the process of creating a product or service.
- Introduce your team and their roles.
- Share fun office moments or team outings.
I. Host Challenges or Contests
Challenges and contests can drive massive engagement as users actively participate and share.
- Design a challenge that’s fun and aligns with your brand.
- Promote it with a unique hashtag.
- Offer attractive prizes to encourage participation.
Monitoring and Analyzing Performance
Continuously monitoring and analyzing your Instagram Reels performance is crucial for understanding what content resonates with your audience and drives engagement. Track key metrics like views, likes, comments, saves, shares, and any conversions generated from your Reels. Use Instagram’s built-in analytics to gain insights about your viewers and when they are most active. You can also use third-party analytics tools like Iconosquare for more robust reporting. Regularly evaluate which types of Reels, captions, sounds, filters, etc. perform best. Use these learnings to refine your ongoing Reels strategy.
Instagram Reels present an exciting opportunity for brands looking to increase their organic visibility and engagement. By consistently publishing creative, valuable Reels content tailored to your audience and using strategic optimization tips, you can establish authentic connections and relationships with viewers. Experiment to find what works for your brand. The algorithm rewards those who keep their followers delighted, informed, entertained and engaged. With the right organic Reels strategy, you can build a vibrant, active community that will support your brand for the long-term.
Know the frequency of posting
You should always ensure that you regularly post the content for your brand on Instagram. Thus, you would have to make a whole schedule related to when and how often you should post. You can start by test posting at various regular intervals. You can then check the results and decide the tenure when you are attaining the maximum response.
Check out the content themes
There are various content themes present online, and you can use the same for grabbing your audience’s attention. Different content themes can grab your audience’s attention and keep your reels interesting.
Curate the notable engagement guidelines
Before commencing your content marketing strategy for Instagram; you should curate a whole list of engagement guidelines. They should contain the different tactics that your brand shall use to interact with the people on Instagram. It can be done via likes and comments that you’ll be doing on other people’s accounts. All you need to do is engage your brand with other people and not cut corners.
Know your styling guidelines
While designing your posts for Instagram marketing, you would have to pre-define a particular style you’ll follow in all your posts. The styling guidelines have to be formulated, keeping a lot of factors in your mind.
Try to be innovative
The more creative your reels are, the better your reels’ reach and impressions are on the same. Some of these themes are contests, stories, and other relatable content. You can also add a CTA at the end of your reels.
Instagram can be a bit tricky when it comes to gaining exposure. With a sound marketing strategy and the right approach, you can get excellent results and increase Instagram engagement. With a healthy follower-to-engagement ratio, you can expect your Instagram profile to get an edge over your competitors on Instagram.