5 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Reels

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Do you invest time and effort when creating reels and they are not working? Whether you are starting with your reels or experienced, there are common mistakes you may be making that prevent your reels from going viral.

Here are the main five things to avoid when creating your Instagram reels.

1. A Weak Hook 

Our attention span for Reels and social media videos goes shorter every year. Researchers found that the average human attention span is under 9 seconds only.  So if you don’t get your audience’s attention with your hook quickly, you risk losing them.

Invest your time and effort to create a catchy headline. Write at least ten, then choose the one that makes your audience want to watch more. The headline should give your users information about the content of your Reel and why they should watch it.

2. No Signature Look 

Your Instagram brand must be consistent, which also applies to your Reels. Create an aesthetic with your brand colors in your photos and your Reels. The idea is to create that signature look users can recognize when they see your Reels in their feed.

3. Text issues

Many times we see Reels with too much text over the screen, flashing rapidly one sentence after the other. And no, I’m not talking about captions. Don’t clutter your Reels with too much text, just the main points and direct the user to the caption or a link in your bio.

Where you put the text on the page is another problem. Many times we see Reels with text too close to the top or to the bottom of the screen which makes it hard to read.

Here is an example of good placement:

Text issues

And here is an example of text that is too low in the screen:

here is an example of text that is too low in the screen

4. Deleting Your Reels Too Soon 

This is a common mistake for beginners. You post a Reel and wait. If a couple hours later you maybe have 30 views, don’t delete it!. Reels can take time to take off, because they will keep showing up, and go viral even a couple of weeks after you post them. So wait and don’t delete them.

5. No clear CTA

You need to add a CTA in the Reel itself even if you added one in the caption. The reason: many people don’t read the caption. Even if your Reel has a “read more in the caption” CTA, you should state clearly the goal for your Reel, for example: “Buy your new pants now, link in bio”.

More Reasons Why Your Reels Are Not Performing Well

Hoping on a trend too late

Maybe you got inspired by the lyrics of the latest song going viral and decided to hop on the trend. However, you want to be sure you are using trending audio before they reach 2000 views. Hoping on the trend early will maximize the chances of your Reel showing up on your audience’s feed. If you wait too long, your video will get lost among thousands of others.

Your videos are too long.

The time limit for Reels is 90 seconds, but this doesn’t mean you should use the full 90 seconds. Check which length allows you to keep people’s attention until the end. Beginners should start with short videos, under 10-15 seconds, until you are sure your style and content are capturing your audience's attention until the end. Then you can experiment with longer formats.

Your content is not original.

There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from success. But your followers will notice if you are just copying some other content style, and your reels won’t be very popular.  For example,  a year ago, @erikakullberg, started publishing Reels with financial recommendations in a very distinct format.

Your content is not original

Today, at least ten others are copying the same dialogue-type format. Users can get tired of seeing the same format and style or the same trending audio. Instead, make original reels where you create your format and style. You’ll see results as Instagram is prioritizing original content.

The videos are low quality. 

The algorithm in Instagram can assess the quality of your video. If your video is low quality, the algorithm won’t include your video on users' feeds. Check that your Reels are shot with good light, high-quality images, and sound.


Why is no one watching my reels?

The hook is the most important part of your reel. Considering the average attention span is only a few seconds, you need to get their attention fast if you want them to continue watching.

How do you see reels that are posted in your near surroundings? 

If you want to find reels from around you, let’s say you are looking for people’s experiences with a local chat app, there are two methods:

  1. If you have already found a local reel you like and want to find more, tap the audio name or hashtag at the bottom to see other reels with the same audio or hashtag.
  2. You can also search for specific hashtags of your desired location in the search bar at the top.

Can you see the location on reels?

You can only tag the location in your Reel video after it is posted on Instagram.

  1. Post your Reel,
  2. Press on the “..” above the post
  3. Press “Edit”
  4. Tag the location

How many reels should I post in a day to get viral? 

The right number can be different for everyone. On the one hand, you don’t want to be overlooked by your audience. On the other hand, you don’t want to overwhelm your followers with too many reels a day. A ratio of 1 or 2 posts daily can be enough.

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