You know video reigns supreme in this era of Instagram. Priority is given to video content, especially Reels, and if you want easy entry onto the explore page stage (ooh, call my lawyer I want that on a bumper sticker) there is no better way than loading up your audience with hot video content. However, if you’re already posting Reels left and right but can’t seem to understand why some perform well while some just fall completely flat, check out these Instagram Reels mistakes that can trip up even the best-planned content.
Recycling Overheard Audio or Trends
Desensitization is very real with Reels- we hear that first .03 seconds of a calculator sound or “are you okay” and our minds can already finish the end of the audio because it’s consistently circulated. Plain and simple, when a trend has already run its course through the masses it can quickly lose its wow factor [NOTE: this doesn’t mean it’s gone forever, but it does mean that you may be jumping in while it’s gone beyond the point of popularity and has entered into the “overplayed” territory].
These well-loved and sometimes predictable audios let viewers immediately know where you’re going with the trend, which may lead to them assuming they know what you’ll say. Even if this isn’t true, a lack of intrigue leads to swipes away because that excitement is gone. So if you have content planned out for months in advance and rely on lots of hyper trendy audio to pad that plan, keep on reading… Instead of just seeking out the trend and making your content fit it, create the plan and let the trends come to you. Focus on having a bank of topics that you know you’ll cover and can overlay on top of trends if you so chose.
For example, if you’re a nutritionist you may have a plan to share a Reel in the first week of July that focuses on summer nutrition tips for parents of school-aged children. Instead of picking a hot trending audio during your content planning sesh in May, you have some options. Either record a simple face-to-cam Reel that covers the topic and is set to background music, or pause the actual filming until the week before posting so you can take your key points for the Reel and incorporate a trend that’s on the rise at that time.
It’s High Production All the Time
One common mistake that many people fall victim to is simply becoming overly focused on trending sounds and less focused on sharing their actual message with video. Don’t forget to allow yourself a low production value Reel from time to time so your audience gets a dose of your face and voice on their Reels tab, this is highly engageable and can be a great literal boost to your play count.
For example, I filmed a face-to-cam Reel about Instagram Growth Tips in the car and mixed it in with my higher production value Reels to switch up how I was showing up, and it’s one of my highest-played Reels of the last quarter! No fancy transitions or trending audio, just me and my message.
Some Easy Ideas for Low-Production [or LoFi] Reels:
• Face to Cam Mini Training at Your Desk About
• Simple Day in My Life Vlog About Your Work Day
• Record a White Boarding Session & Add a Voice Over to Explain What You’re Doing
Formatting That’s Not a Fit
With Instagram’s in-Reel guidelines it’s now easier than ever to keep your text boxes legible and out of the no-go zones. However, time and time again we see users create stellar content that just doesn’t perform because elements within the video have accidentally become difficult for users to read.
Trust us, it happens to everyone at least once. We’ve fallen victim to compressed video syndrome- which happens when you format your video to use multiple elements perfectly timed and spaced out, then click “post” and have Instagram compress your video just enough to make all of those beautiful text elements squish together.
Combat these issues by paying close attention to Instagram’s guidelines for text, seen below in our Reels “Safe Zones” guide- pulled directly from Five Figure Instagram’s recently updated Video Content module. Additionally, make sure that as you insert text elements, you’re leaving enough time between one element disappearing and another one appearing so nothing goes wonky should IG compress your video upon publishing.
Do you want to know all of the IG Reel secrets? Get Five Figure Instagram now, one of six Bungalow courses that make up the Sophisticated CEO Suite– our container program that features all signature programs + exclusive support and material reviewal for Sophisticated CEO Suite students.
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