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What I Learned From My First Month Making Reels

what i learned the first month of making reels

I jumped into the world of reels on a whim while sick with COVID. My first one, which I thought was horrible, got 3,244 views. To some of you that may not sound like a lot, but for an account who typically only gets 30 views per post or story, this was HUGE! I knew I had to keep going. In the month of January, I created 4 reels (1 a week). I tried different things with each one and tracked what did and didn’t work.

If you’re interested in learning a little from what I did, keep reading. And if you are also a beginner in the world of reels, find us on Instagram @onestep_oc and drop us a DM to let us know!

What I Did

Reel #1
This post used music found on Instagram. It was just a video, and its purpose was to educate.

Reel #2
This video didn’t use any music, it was original audio of me talking. I used video and a photo dump. The purpose was to promote products.

Reel #3
I used a trending song on Instagram. This was purely entertaining, but it did pertain to our niche and industry. This one received the most likes of all 4 videos.

Reel #4
I created this video in TikTok and imported it to Instagram. No video, just a photo dump. Purpose was to promote products.

What I Learned

Audio Matters. Audio isn’t the only thing that matters, but it definitely matters. Using a trending sound will usually result in more views than a sound that isn’t trending or using your own audio. 

Show Your Face. Videos of me usually garnered more views than product photo dumps. This is not because I am a particularly stunning or charismatic person. It’s simply because people watch reels to see people, not products. In the future, when I want to feature products I plan to do so 

Mix It Up. Just like in every other marketing strategy, you need to mix up the messaging in order to fully engage and activate your audience. People prefer to be entertained and educated, or “edutained.” But as a business owner, you also need to actually sell products! So a mix of content that entertains, educates, promotes and sells is the best approach. 

Create Reels in Reels. My worst video was one I created in TikTok and then imported. There were probably a few other things wrong with this video (like the fact that it was just a photo dump and didn’t show any video) but I also think that Instagram’s algorithm doesn’t like TikTok imports. Well established content creators are often able to import successfully, but I think those of us starting out would do best to create within Instagram. 

Keep Going. As you can see, my first reel got 3,000+ views and my 4th one got 3. Hahaha, what in the world! Some reels got likes, some didn’t. And I don’t think any of these first 4 generated a sale. But, I know I’ve got to keep going and experimenting. My plan is to continue putting a strong effort into this channel for 6 months, and then evaluating if its worth it to keep going indefinitely.

Looking Forward

I’ve enjoyed making reels much more than I thought I would, and I’m looking forward to creating more in February. During the month of January, my main focus was views. In February, my focus is still on views but also on getting engagement, i.e. more likes, comments and even shares. I also have a goal to create 8 reels that month, doubling my previous month of just 4.