Social media giants like Facebook and Instagram keep changing their algorithms to cater to evolving user behavior and online security. Instagram, for instance, has been bringing truckloads of algorithmic changes, especially to improve how Reels performs on the platform. As a content creator, marketer, or business owner, you should know how the algorithms on Instagram work and what you can do to maximize your reach. In this extensive guide, we’re breaking down the Instagram algorithm for Instagram Reels and sharing the top tips that will help you hack into the algorithm and generate exceptional results for your brand in 2023. Let’s dive right into it, shall we?

What is the Instagram algorithm?

Instagram doesn’t function on just one algorithm. There are several algorithms in play that make Instagram work flawlessly. The algorithms are supported by classifiers and different processes that together help users have an impressive social media experience — at least that’s what Instagram tells us.

More importantly, the algorithms function to achieve one highly crucial goal — keep users on the app as long as possible. It does that by delivering content that the users love to consume.

The algorithms work overtime to figure out the content that’s relevant and interesting to you. This is why learning about the latest Instagram algorithmic updates is so advantageous. You can reverse-engineer the algorithms to create a performance-oriented Instagram content strategy. The key takeaway here is: Instagram doesn’t rely on only one algorithm. It has several algorithms that man different parts of the application.

But, how do the algorithms work? Well, Instagram algorithms harness three signals to function properly. You may call the signals “W-W-W” or “3Ws.”

First, the Instagram algorithms figure out the “Who,” i.e., who the users are interacting with. In other words, the algorithms track the creators you interact with, like or read comments of. These are the creators that will fill up your feed.

Second, the Instagram algorithms figure out the “What,” i.e., the type of content you interact with. If you are into cars, Instagram will make sure its algorithms serve content related to cars or in my case watches and fine timepieces.

Third, the algorithms take timing into consideration to determine content relevancy. Instagram tracks when you are most likely to use the app in a day and uses the information to prioritize posts.

How does the Instagram algorithm work for Reels?

The Instagram algorithms work pretty much the same for Reels. They track the type of reels users interact with the most and use a set of signals to deliver content in the right order. To make the most of Instagram Reels (as a brand), you should follow what Instagram has to share.

The social media platform recommends brands create entertaining, engaging, and informative Reels while using the in-built creative tools. Most importantly, it suggests creators experiment with their video content so that the content on Instagram stays fresh. 

What about the Don’ts?

Instagram deprioritizes the Reels that are essentially plagiarized, blurry, low-res, and captured from another social media application. Indeed, there are several other ways to hack into the Instagram Reels algorithms. But, these are the basics that you should always stick to. After all, you should build Instagram Reels content strategy on a strong foundation.

How to hack into the Instagram Reels algorithm in 2023?

1. Create valuable content

Modern-day customers are smart enough to ignore your hard sell. So, focus on providing maximum value to your audience through Reels. As a brand, you should try to be educational, informative, and entertaining to get more views. Don’t just sell. Create relatable content that your audience would like to interact with.

2. Save popular audio tracks

You cannot get this wrong. Instagram Reels is all about using trending audio tracks. Users tend to enjoy watching the Reels mostly because of the music and the meaning it gives the videos. Make sure you save the popular audio tracks as you scroll through your feed. Find out ways to use the audio for Reels related to your niche.

3. 6-12 seconds is the sweet spot

Short, simple, and entertaining videos drive excellent results. This is because of the reduced average attention span. We suggest you try to keep your Reels under 10 seconds. Keep things simple so you can focus more on the message and extend maximum value.

4. Add on-screen text (important)

You just cannot ignore this. People tend to grasp video content more when captions are included. We absolutely recommend you add on-screen text as it facilitates accessibility and inclusivity. You may even use Instagram’s automatic captions. Moreover, adding text makes it easier for users to consume the content quickly.

5. Embed Reels on your website

Drive more eyeballs to your Instagram Reels by embedding the content on your website. You may promote the videos to your site visitors and generate more views. This tactic can help you drive users from outside the platform, a massive positive signal for your Instagram profile. You can do this by installing plugging like Instagram Feed Pro.

6. Add the hashtags relevant to the video

Don’t forget to use relevant hashtags. A hashtag strategy is still relevant in 2023 and you should certainly add highly targeted hashtags to your Reels. This will increase your content’s discoverability on the social media platform. However, you don’t want to use all 30 hashtags here. Keep them specific and down to ten hashtags.

7. Timing is everything

Lastly, you want to nail the Reels timing. Check Instagram insights to see when your audience is most active. Once you have the stat, make sure you post your Reels at least 30 minutes before your audience gets active. This will give your content adequate time to reach your followers’ feeds.

Can you only share Reels on Instagram to drive growth?

Wondering what will happen if you pivot to a Reels-only content strategy on Instagram? You are not alone. Many brands want to capitalize on the benefits of creating video content, especially on Instagram where engagement on Reels video posts is at an all-time high. Yes, you can certainly create a Reels-only content strategy given you follow the basics correctly. Let’s discuss them briefly before we conclude.

  • Content virality isn’t always the focus

Of course, we all want to get viral and drive maximum engagement and follower growth. But, virality is only a consequence. You should focus entirely on the process of developing engaging, entertaining, and informative content for your audiences. Think about delivering maximum value to the audiences through your video and recognition will certainly follow. 

  • Create content pillars

You don’t need to create content on everything. Brands should focus on 3-4 topics or buckets and create content on them consistently. Creating such content pillars makes it easier for Instagram algorithms to learn what your niche is and what kind of content you produce. Thus, lining up the right audience to deliver your content.

  • Make the most of trending music

Reels are all about how well you use trending music. Think about your Reels with the audio lens. Once you come across trending audio, think about how you can create content to make the audio work for you. We highly recommend you follow Instagram accounts and blogs that share Instagram growth tips as they always come up with posts with trending audio. You may also scroll Instagram reels and figure out which audio is making the most repetition. 

  • Keep getting better

Reels are all about creativity and experimentation. Don’t just create and post. Always think about ways you can create more captivating content. Most importantly, don’t panic if your first Instagram Reels strategy doesn’t work. Instead of feeling defeated, we recommend you take the creative route and create better videos for your audience.

Final thoughts!

There you have it. We have shared everything you need to know to make the most of the Instagram algorithms that govern how your Reels perform on the platform. To summarize the guide, we suggest you double down on determining your niche and sticking to it. Develop highly engaging and entertaining content.

Most importantly, you should practice consistency to let the algorithm understand that you mean business. Only then will the Instagram algorithm do its magic the best. So, what are you waiting for? Create a mind-blowing niche-centric Instagram marketing strategy fueled by customer demands and consistency.

You’ll certainly be on the fastest route to Instagram success. Did you find this guide helpful? Let us know in the comments. Also, don’t forget to check out other informative posts on the blog!


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