Aug 18
increase instagram reels watch time

[Guide] 6 Tips to Increase Instagram Reels Watch Time in 2023

Low Reel watch time? You’ve came to the right place! Whether you just started creating Reels for your profile or you’ve had been doing it for years now, anyone can run into the block when it comes to worrying about low Reel watch time. Our clients have plenty of doubts and fears when it comes to this, believe me. When it happens, I know we can get into our own heads and slow down our Instagram momentum by second-guessing our Reel ideas or deeming good concepts, thinking that maybe they’re not exciting or important enough to create a Reel about.

Boosting watch time is our common goal. A common goal of all creators. It’s like sending emails, carefully crafted newsletters to your subscribers – we all hit moments where we wonder how to keep the audience engaged till the very end. Till the last sentence of it. I’ve certainly had my fair share of Reels that didn’t quite hit the mark in terms of keeping viewers hooked, and I’m here to share some insights on how to tackle this challenge. It’s easy to second-guess our ideas and discard topics that might seem less exciting or significant. But guess what? It’s the ordinary moments that often resonate the most with others. Think about it – sharing a candid moment of your daily process really can connect you with your audience on a personal level. You just need to care about your Reel’s structure a bit more.

What is Reel watch time and why does it matter so much?

Watch time is the total accumulated amount of time people have spent watching your Reel. Instagram has confirmed that this factor is an important part of their search and discovery algorithm, so you need to take advantage of that. 

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Proven Tips to increase your Reel Watch Time and Boost your engagement

How can you make people watch Instagram reels for a longer duration?

  1. Start Strong (and use the power of a good hook)Just as you’d hook your email readers with a captivating story’s middle, begin your Reels with something attention-grabbing. Instead of a mundane intro, consider diving into the heart of the content – to promise value delivery right from the very start.
  2. Visual Intrigue: Much like using unique graphic design that stands out in emails, opt for eye-catching visual details and vibrant editing techniques that pique curiosity and encourage viewers to stay engaged. The goal is clear: we don’t want to let our viewer get bored!
  3. Engaging Content: Similar to sharing relatable life snippets in your regular posts, try to focus on Reels that resonate with your audience’s everyday experiences. Showcasing relatable moments adds this HIGHLY NEEDED human touch and makes people want to stick around. Observe how many views relatable Reels have – they tend to perform so much higher.
  4. Effective Storytelling: Just as storytelling keeps readers engaged in blog posts, or in essays, weave a narrative throughout your Reel that keeps viewers curious about what comes next. Sure – it’s much more difficult to include advanced storytelling in such a short format, but it’s possible, and viral creators have mastered this art. You can too (if you got curious already – we’ll talk about it in an upcoming series!)
  5. Clear and Concise: Ensure your Reels convey the message succinctly. Quick-paced, informative content keeps viewers intrigued till the very last second. And that’s our mission.
  6. Use Captions – the algorithm loves it when your followers read your captions and spend more time in-app: Add engaging captions to your Reels to provide context and engage even these viewers who watch without sound.
  7. Call to Action: Yup, our CTAs can be included even in your Reels. Encourage engagement by including a good call-to-action in your Reels, urging viewers to like, comment, or follow.

What should I write on Instagram about?

8. Experiment and Analyze: Just as you refine your email strategies based on data, analyze your Reels’ performance. Experiment with different approaches and learn from what works best. Your new best friend? Our Reels Metrics, the super intuitive IQ Hashtags’ feature that will arm you with all the data you need to analyze which kind of Reels perform the best, and which topics your audience enjoys the most.

As you can see, you can employ various strategies to make people watch Instagram reels for a longer duration!

reels metrics

Bonus protip: If you’re using trending audio, make sure you take the sound length into consideration when you’re writing your Reel scenario. If you get to the main point too soon or if you do the most funny thing before the viewers get even half way through the video, let’s face the truth: they’re going to keep on scrolling and move to the next Reel, because they already know what your Reel is about, and they feel they watched it.

So here’s the key takeaway: think about how to ensure your viewers get to the end of your Reel. 

To Wrap-Up!

Will every single Reel be a rockstar stunner and receive HIGHHH engagement? No! And when it comes to Instagram, that’s totally normal AND more than okay. As long as you’re consistently showing up, boosting your Reels watch time, and engaging with your perfect follower (and being genuine), you’ll build connection and spark emotions, which is the whole point of Instagram Reels.

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