In 2022, you should have been able to notice the ever-growing trend of short-form video content. With the addition of TikTok in our world, video content is only becoming more popular. I would consider a non-negotiable for brands and creators to be posting as frequently as possible.
But let’s be real for a second, although I recommend creating an account on TikTok sooner than later.. If you’re a growing brand or creator, the task of building out an additional network like TikTok can be overwhelming or entirely out of reach at the moment. With that being said, you still need to begin developing your video strategy or scaling it up on your current network– Instagram!
Since 2010, Instagram has been one of the primary social media platforms for consumers, creators, and brands. Since its launch, Instagram has seen many iterations to the algorithm, new chat features, and the removal of total likes. Still, Instagram reels (August 5, 2020) may be their biggest addition yet.
Together, we’ll take a look at In-Feed Posts, Instagram Reels, and Stories so you know the best method for maximizing your video views in 2022!
What are In-Feed Posts
Instagram In-feed posts are photos videos you post on your main feed (when you open the app and scroll). It could be a singular piece of content or multiple images/videos (swipe left to right) into what Instagram calls a “Carousel.”
In-feed posts’ success depends solely on Instagram’s algorithm, which has gone through several iterations since the beginning of 2019.
How does the algorithm work?
Instagram decides who to show your in-feed posts to based on the users:
These three key points will determine your in-feed posts reach (as it relates to your Instagram account). In most instances, Instagram decides if the user is likely to be interested in your content based on the user's previous interactions of similar scope, duration spent scrolling, and mutual followers of accounts.
Unfortunately, this means even current followers of your network might never even see your posted content because an algorithm may filter them out based on said criteria.
How are In-Feed Posts beneficial?
- According to Facebook Business for Instagram, more than 500 million people actively use Instagram, which couldn’t be better for your brand!
- 84 percent of people prefer viewing photos rather than videos.
- In-feed videos and photos get the most comments.
- The more you post, the more your account grows.
- Instagram’s potential advertising reach is 928 million users.
What are Instagram Reels
On August 5th of 2020, Instagram announced Reels, which Instagram describes as a “new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos on Instagram.” In retrospect, Reels is the direct competitor to TikTok, offering many of the same features such as sounds, filters, captions, and video responses also known as “remixing” on the Instagram platform. Reels have recently increased the duration of Reel uploads, changing from 30 seconds to 60 in 2022.
Another massive update to Reels is the ability to “Let Facebook recommend your reels to grow your audience”. This opens the possibility of your Reels to be seen to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of users worldwide. One thing to keep in mind is that Facebook users cannot comment on the video if they view it on Facebook. The user would need to click on the video, transfer to Instagram, and then would have the ability to like, comment, or interact with the video (or your account for that matter). While it’s nice they are linked, it is not very likely users on Facebook will switch apps purely to engage with your account.
I’ve written an entire blog post about How To Share your Reels to Facebook which you can read by clicking here.
A serious pitfall I have found with Reels and the ability for Facebook to showcase your video is that when you share your Reel on Instagram and even share it to your feed in addition (so the thumbnail shows on your feed wall), the Instagram reel will not be displayed on your Facebook feed. Additionally, suppose you do allow your Reel to be displayed on Facebook. In that case, you can see video view statistics but cannot locate where the reel is posted or showcased on the platform. I have personally spoken with a Facebook rep to have this addressed, as I believe it would be beneficial for Reels to be displayed on my Facebook feed without posting the videos twice.
How are Reels beneficial?
- 87% of Gen Z TikTok users who have used Instagram Reels agree with the statement, “Instagram Reels is the same as TikTok.”
- 61% of Gen Z TikTok users said they plan to spend more time on Instagram in TikTok’s place.
- Videos get over 2x more engagement than Instagram photos.
- Reels can be featured on the Explore Page, which can help with your presence and visibility—50% of Instagram users use the explore page every month.
- According to Cisco, the video will account for 80% of global internet traffic and 85% in the US.
- 64% of consumers purchase after watching branded social videos.
Reels are Receiving Bonuses
In addition to their in-app video editing features ability to easily add captions or use fun, trending sounds, Reels also can be seen by more people than just your current followers. Over 80% of the content posted on Instagram to this day are in-feed posts, which translates to a massive lack of quick bite video content. As a result, Instagram has been and will continue to favor Reels for the future until they can reach a healthy amount of daily uploads (at this moment, they are extremely far from TikTok!). If you’re a creator or brand, posting to Reels can have some immediate benefits, such as the ability to land on the Explore Page relatively easily. This will give you greater user reach to your content, and the format can also increase your followers and engagement rates.
A ‘Featured’ tag accompanies some Reels on the video, which Instagram chooses. I have found that hyper-niche (based on a subject or location) content can easily become featured in my research. When it does become featured (typically takes between 2–30 days after posting), Instagram will notify you via the notifications dashboard.
What are Instagram Stories
In August of 2016, Instagram announced ‘Stories’, something I believe we are all familiar with now, seeing as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others have adopted this feature– a direct attack against Snapchat. Stories are 10-second video clips meant to be shared with your current followers throughout the day. The goal is to give glimpses into your everyday life without ‘over-sharing’ on your feed. Stories on Instagram auto-populate at the top of the app and it seems like they never end, with new content on a revolving door.
While stories tend to have a high open-rate, those numbers are primarily from your existing followers and not from new accounts. My best piece of advice to maximize your reach and open on stories is to post regularly and almost always include a call to action or some type of engaging action like their poll or question features.
My Strategy on How To 2x Your Views on Instagram
Truly, the moment you have all been waiting for, and I very much appreciate you reading this far. If you have found any value in this blog, I would ask you to share it with a friend, leave a comment below or even message my team or me directly here on ragingwebsites.com/contact.
But here’s my no secrets, raw 2022 strategy for getting your views up!
Posting & Engagement
- Post at minimum 6 days per week on Instagram Reels
- When you post ensure that you are also sharing your Reel to your Instagram feed (Pick the best Thumbnail that is clear- bonus points if there is a face in it) and that it is recommended on Facebook
- Remember your Reels are for the greater of the Instagram community- this is not a time to create a small commercial. Give to the community before you ask or take.
- Immediately after posting, maximize your engagement opportunities
- Like your own reel
- Direct message your reel to 5-10 new accounts after posting with a sincere call to action (Example: “Hey, I love your account! I have been working on creating new short-form video content and would really appreciate any feedback on this video. Any tips for my next one?”). NEW users should spend more time genuinely interacting with the Instagram community. Find similar accounts and reels and leave legitimate feedback, positive comments, and replies to individuals. If you’re not tagging a user, they may never see your comment and as a new account, you need to focus on building your account 1 follower at a time.
- Comment 1 emoji, comment again after with 10 suitable hashtags (each hashtag should have under 5 million posts)
- Share your Reel to your Instagram story along with the 10 hashtags (make them small so they aren’t overly noticeable)
- Add in additional feed posts (3-4 per week)
- Even though Instagram wants new video content, they also don’t want an account that is posting Reels 100% of the time. This looks like a TikTok account that is purely reposting old content to the algorithm. Sprinkle in additional posts and try your best to get users to comment on the post (4 words and 2 emojis is Instagrams internal system to verify that the comment is genuine)
Follow Up for Success
- Respond to DM’s and Comments
- One of the best ways to grow your views, and the overall audience is to be responsive. Never miss a legitimate direct message and try your best to respond to all positive comments promptly. When I say timely, I mean the same or next day- if not within 90 minutes.
- Get engaged in the community
- Once again, take the time to engage with the community outside of your follower network. New accounts should be investing more time into making real connections, finding similar creators, and leaving positive feedback on other accounts and content. Pro Tip: Turn on post notifications for 6 similar accounts so you can be the first to leave a positive comment on their posts (this will help others see you as well).
- Share your own content
- Another great tip to maximize views is to reshare your previous reels onto your own story, a few days later. I typically will share the same reel on my story 2-3 times over 5-10 days. This helps capture views & engagement from previous users who may not have been online the other times you shared it.
- Ask your audience
- Ask your audience what they like, what questions they have, and what they want to see more of. Video content (and social media as a whole) should be a collaborative, fun, and authentic experience- don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The creators and brands that are winning are having an enjoyable time doing it.
This wraps up my strategy for 2022, and I can guarantee that you will see positive results quickly if you follow these practices. In my own experience, it takes 2-3 weeks to start understanding what type of video content works best for your niche. However once, you’re a bit more dialed in it only takes one video to change your life.
My closing statement would be to invest in social media. Invest in creators, editors, social media managers, influencers, and software. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out. This is my first Instagram-related blog, and I intend to upload many more- as requested. My agency (is small) works one-on-one with brands to create custom plans, strategies, and even social media content. If you’re finding social media foreign and overwhelming, let’s talk, and maybe I can answer some of your questions or point you in the right direction.