5 Ways to Boost Engagement With Instagram Reels

Time to boost engagement with Instagram Reels.

Instagram Reels has been around now since August 2020 and true to form Instagram have continued to keep developing it and I for one absolutely love it.

For those of you who know me you’ll know this is the perfect platform for my ABBA obsession. I get to lip-synch, act, and basically have a lot of fun.

If I’m really honest it’s been my own private form of entertainment now I’ve run out of things to watch on Netflix.

I love planning them out and deciding what the theme of each one will be.

My post lady here in France has got used to seeing me running around the French countryside with my ring light, dancing on random walls and generally doing strange things in the middle of the road outside my house.

But who cares…I’m having fun and allowing my audience a real glimpse into who the real Kylie Carlson is.

Since I’ve embraced Reels my engagement on Instagram has gone up. I’ve played around with different formats and ways of producing them too.

So today I’m sharing 5 ways to boost engagement with Instagram Reels:

Tip 1 – Find your own Mojo

Not everyone is comfortable lip-synching, dancing or generally being silly on camera and that’s absolutely fine.

I’ve found my mojo on the platform and its what people expect of me. I find a song that fits in with a business theme I have and then manipulate the lyrics to make it work. Usually there’s some ABBA involved somewhere and plenty of lip synching.

However, that’s not for everyone.

So find what works for you and what works for your audience.

Instagram want you to entertain, educate or inspire on Reels. What’s it going to be?

Find your own format.

Reels is about being you and if for you that’s about telling stories of your brand then do that.

Maybe you’d prefer to simply showcase your art with behind the scenes of you doing what you do.

Whatever it is you have to find your own mojo that you’re comfortable with.

Tip 2 – Create your Reels in the Native App

Instagram are now actively penalising you for simply downloading your videos from other platforms and uploading them into Reels.

Don’t do it.

The native Reels App has been developed substantially since its launch. There’re some great features including the easy to use timer with a countdown of 3 or 10 seconds. This means cutting between different scenes is really simple.

There is also a FAB align tool that allows you to line up each shot so you can do fun things like changing outfits on the spot.

You can speed up clips, use filters and touch-up tools as well.

Instagram has seriously upped its editing and feature game on Reels so use them. You’ll get rewarded for it.

Bottom line Instagram want you to create your Reels in native app.

Tip 3 – Use Transitions and Edits

15 or 30 seconds might not seem very long but you still have to keep people’s attention. Using simple cuts keep the eye focused and your viewer engaged.

Now a cut can literally be a change of scene. I do this ALL the time because it’s so easy. I often have 2-3 cuts in a 15 second reel.

Recently I did one about my life in France. I started off sipping coffee in my swing chair in the garden. I then cut to the next shot of me sitting on my vintage blue bike with a baguette in my basket. Finally, I was on my balcony looking over the French countryside sipping a glass of rose.

All this was shot to La Vie En Rose, Louis Armstrong. I think it took me about 15 minutes to film. I decided the timing for each shot and set the time using the timer feature in the native app. Simple.

Instagram Reels 101

Tip 4 – Use Your Time Wisely

Pull your viewers in from the start. Capture their attention immediately.

This can be done in so many different ways. It might be your stance, the way you’re stood or sat. It could be you holding your hand up to the camera or some text flying onto screen that shows up straight away.

The first couple of seconds are a deal breaker. Stop them scrolling and get them to watch your Reel at least once. The beauty of Reels is often we watch them more than once which really pushes up the reach.

Tip 5 – Storyboard it Out

I’m a big believer in everything I do telling a story, however simple that story is.

For every Reel I do I storyboard it out – not literally with drawings but I do treat each clip as part of the story.

I decide how long each clip will be and the point behind the clip and how it adds to the overall message or story I want to tell.

Doing this saves time when filming because you know exactly where you’re going to be, what you’re going to be doing and how you’re going to achieve it.

This doesn’t need to be long and drawn out. Mine take no more than 15 minutes to storyboard out, often less. But it does make filming them so much quicker.

So those are the biggest tips I have to help you boost engagement with your Reels.

Afterall, nobody wants to spend time doing something that isn’t helping them to move their business forward.

If you haven’t done so yet then make sure you listen to Podcast Episode 28 – The 101 of Instagram Reels for Wedding Pros I did with Lauren of Bluebird Creative.

Lauren has some great ideas on content for Reels and you absolutely MUST check out the Reels she produces.