The Art of Creating Instagram Reels that Engage

The Art of Creating Instagram Reels that Engage

How do you hook your audience within the first 3 seconds of the bite-sized content and potentially go viral? Creating engaging Instagram Reels can be overwhelming at first. Nonetheless, with a few tips and tricks and some experimenting, you can generate captivating Reels that could become the cornerstone of your Instagram and overall online presence. Let’s take a step back before we dive into how to create such Reels and look at their popularity.

The Popularity of Instagram Reels

Vertical content is popular among telephone users as they hold their phones 94% of time vertically, so it's no wonder that Instagram Reels have gained a massive audience quickly. The chart below proves it:

Instagram Reel’s popularity is undeniable. The short-form videos attract millions of active users and have become integral to successful Instagram marketing tactics. The popularity is driven by their short-and-sweet nature, smartphone friendliness, and creativity empowered by various tools like effects, filters, soundtracks, and music.

Moreover, Instagram’s algorithms tend to favor Reels, not to mention the higher user engagement rates. Despite the ever-growing popularity, creating Reels can be daunting. So, why even give it a shot?

Why Bother About Creating Engaging Instagram Reels?

Everyone is making Reels, but don’t just join the bandwagon; do it for the right reasons. Creating Instagram Reels helps you realize more than just adopting the popular trend. High-quality Reels can significantly supercharge your social media strategies, making realizing your goals and objectives easier.

If you are still on the fence, here are some of the top reasons that make Instagram Reels worth your time and energy.

  • Keep up with current trends: Staying on top of emerging trends helps you maintain relevance. You’ll easily increase visibility and capture and retain your audience’s attention, which is critical for Instagram and overall social media success.
  • Stand out from competitors: Just because Instagram has over 2 billion monthly active users doesn’t mean you’ll amass a huge following. You must stand out to grow a notable following, which engaging Reels can help you achieve.

Compelling and catchy Reels make it easier to grab users' attention, tell your unique story, and differentiate your brand from the competitors. This way, you’ll build a huge loyal follower base and keep organically growing your Instagram.

  • Interact with your following: Reels have a higher engagement rate. This means your creative short videos will generate more likes, shares, and comments, providing more opportunities to interact with your followers. The interactions foster deeper and more meaningful relationships with your followers, further helping grow a vast and engaged following.
  • Reach a new audience on the platform: Instagram algorithm favors content with higher engagement rates. Compelling Reels that resonate with your audience fall under the high-engagement category. It means your Reels are likelier to appear on the Instagram Explore page, exposing your content to a broader audience beyond your followers. This means you’ll attract new users and amass a vast following, helping grow your Instagram.
  • Achieve business goals: Are you looking to improve visibility and brand awareness, drive traffic to your products/services, or boost sales? Regardless of your goals, engaging Reels can help. The Reels improve exposure, help attract more users to your content, and can prompt them to act on your call to action.

So, how do you go about creating engaging and shareable Instagram Reels?

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Instagram Reels that Engage

Creating amazing Instagram Reels takes creativity, strategic planning, and observing the “social” in social media. It is not as much work as it sounds, though. Here is a breakdown of the steps to help you create compelling Reels.

The best way to keep up with emerging trends is to check what others are doing. In this case, it’ll help if you spend time on the Reels section. This way, you’ll spot the popular content, identify the in-demand trends and themes, and learn more about what the audience wants. The exposure provides inspiration to create engaging Reels that match your target audience’s preferences.

Learn more about Reel dimensions and sizes

Instagram Reels vs TikTok: how are they different? At face value, they are Reels. The 1080x1920 pixels with a 9:16 aspect ratio dimension are alike, but Instagram and TikTok Reels differ in some ways.

Before you start creating, you should know the best dimensions and sizes. This is to ensure you fit in your message and upload Reels that won’t just be approved but also capture and captivate your audience by delivering a seamless experience.

Decide on your Instagram Reels ideas

What content aligns with your brand and style and resonates with your target audience? Brainstorming Instagram Reel ideas requires thorough audience research and taking stock of your content and campaign objectives. This way, you’ll decide the best approach, such as creating Reels covering behind-the-scenes, tutorials, humor, or storytelling, among others.

The point is to map out content types that’ll drive your audience to your goals. For instance, behind-the-scenes or brand storytelling is recommended if you’re running brand awareness campaigns. If you want to expand your reach, humor is effective since such light-hearted content is highly shareable, which could go viral and improve exposure.

Find a reliable video maker

What’s your skill level and budget? The video maker you choose can make or break your efforts to create Instagram Reels. As a beginner, the focus should be on simple and user-friendly video maker. Such options feature easy-to-use editing tools and templates to help fast-track your progress. Intermediate users are best suited by advanced video makers with features like transitions, trim, split, and overlays.

For advanced users, the limit is how far you are willing to go. You can pick video makers that give you complete control over the Reels editing for that unique touch. Your budget also counts since some video makers could prove pricey if you want to unlock more editing tools, an extensive music library, effects, and templates.

The bottom line is to pick a reliable video maker that won’t frustrate your editing process. Ideally, it helps if you select a solution that easily integrates with the platform, allowing you to share the Reels directly to Instagram.

Invest time and effort in video editing

Video editing takes time, but it is an investment that delivers long-term benefits. Investing more time and effort in editing the Reels lets you creatively tell your story. You’ll effectively structure the Reels and incorporate edits like overlays and transition effects that help deliver a cohesive narrative. You’ll also express your creativity and professionalism and maintain brand consistency. Such high-quality Reels stand out, leading to better reach, engagement, and conversions.

Add music and filters

You want your Reels to be as engaging as possible, and among the best ways to achieve this is to add music to Reels. Select popular and relevant music for the Reels. This helps elevate the mood of your Reels, which increases engagement rates. Also, consider spicing up the Reels with filters. Experiment with the diverse built-in filters to find the options that best exude your brand’s uniqueness.

Write descriptive captions

Captions help make Reels more discoverable, especially when optimize with relevant keywords. It means that besides the hashtags, the Reels will be searchable using given phrases. The searchability helps you reach a broader audience.

In addition to the discoverability and drastically improved reach, captions make your Reels more accessible. Hearing-impaired individuals, users in noisy settings, or silent environments like libraries can engage with your Reels. Moreover, captions bridge the gap if other aspects like music or accent make it harder to understand the Reels. They don’t need the audio to enjoy the Reels, making captions a valuable asset as you strive to improve accessibility and inclusivity.

It gets better: descriptive captions provide more space to spice up your Reels with your unique personality. You can include humor, explain and add context to your Reels, and include compelling calls to action. Such concepts further enhance engagement rates.

Include relevant hashtags

Relevant hashtags can dramatically improve your Reels’ discoverability. The trick here is to research, select and utilize a mix of popular and niche hashtags. Such a strategy makes it easier to reach a broader audience and even encourages your audience to generate content around your Reels.

Interact with reached users

Your job isn’t done once you upload the Reels on Instagram. It is essential to monitor the Reels, and especially the engagements. Interact with your audience to ensure they feel a part of your brand. Promptly respond to the questions and comments, and follow and engage users who interact with your Reels. Observing the social aspect helps you organically grow an engaged audience base. Such users like, comment, and share your Reels, engagements that are essential as they help you reach a broader audience.


Creating Instagram Reels that engage is never a one-and-done job. The above steps will set you on the right path. Nonetheless, you have to keep improving, especially considering the ever-emerging trends. A simple way to keep track of your progress is using Instagram insights. You’ll easily analyze the Reels and access metrics such as views, shares, likes, and comments, which tells you how well they perform. This way, you’ll be better positioned to make informed changes and create Reels that work best for your target audience.