13 Best Rules For Instagram Reels You Should Know in 2024

Trendupp Africa
5 min readJun 19, 2024


If you want to grow your Instagram account faster, you should create engaging reel videos that can turn viewers into followers.

Online research reports that 2.35 billion users interact with Instagram reels per month and Reel play has surpassed 200 billion daily across Facebook and Instagram.

But as a new or aspiring creator, how can you make the best of Reels to attract your target audience and increase views and engagement?

We are here to help you to identify several hacks based on research, statistics, experience, and certain guidelines.

13 Best Rules For Instagram Reels You Should Know in 2024

To get a significant number of engagement and following on Instagram, you need to follow these 13 rules we have listed below.

As an influencer, content creator, a business, or just someone looking to increase your social media presence, these tips will help you create compelling and engaging Instagram Reels that resonate with your audience and keep them coming back for more.

Find Your Niche

Identify and focus on a specific niche to create content that appeals to a particular audience. Consistency in your chosen topic helps attract followers who know what to expect, ensuring steady engagement and faster growth. Specializing helps you cater to a targeted group interested in your niche, enhancing your page’s overall performance and appeal. Here is how to find your niche as a content creator and influencer.

Make It Short and Sweet

Capture attention quickly with concise content. Reels under one minute, ideally around 15 seconds, are most effective. Short videos cater to short attention spans, making it easier to engage viewers and keep them interested. Quick, impactful content is more likely to be watched in full, shared, and engaged with, driving higher reach and visibility.

Focus on the First Seconds of Your Reels

The initial moments of your Reel are crucial for retaining viewer interest. Start with something engaging or visually appealing to make it immediately clear what your Reel is about. A compelling opening keeps your target audience hooked and encourages them to watch the entire video.

Add Text and Captions

Most viewers watch videos without sound, so include captions and on-screen text. This enhances accessibility and ensures your content is engaging even in silent mode. By adding text, you cater to a broader audience, including those who prefer silent viewing or are in environments where sound is not an option, thereby increasing overall engagement.

Create High Quality Reels

Quality matters for Reels. Instagram recommends an aspect ratio between 1.9:1 and 9:16, a minimum frame rate of 30 frames per second, and a resolution of at least 720 pixels. High-quality videos are more appealing to viewers and less likely to be penalized by Instagram’s algorithm.

Collaborate with Similar Creators

Collaborating with creators in similar niches can be mutually beneficial. Instagram allows co-publishing of Reels, providing exposure to each other’s audiences. Partnering with like-minded creators can introduce your content to new viewers and increase your follower base.

Select Trending Sounds

Capturing your audience’s attention can be as simple as using a trending sound they already know. To find trending sounds, visit the Reels Explore page and look for videos with a ‘trending’ arrow next to the sound.

Alternatively, use Instagram’s Reels audio library to search for popular music or sounds, although the library doesn’t indicate trending status. Using familiar and trending audio can significantly boost the appeal and reach of your Instagram Reels.

Use Vertical Videos

Vertical videos are perfect for Instagram Reels. The ideal aspect ratio is 9:16, with dimensions of 1080 x 1920 pixels. Horizontal videos result in black padding on the top and bottom, detracting from visual appeal.

Vertical videos enhance viewer experience and are favored by the algorithm. You can also use vertical static images synced to sound, commonly seen in Reels.

Lastly, ensure your videos are high quality; low-resolution content is often penalized by Instagram’s algorithm.

Save Time with Templates

Creating a Reel involves several steps — filming, finding a sound, syncing visuals, writing captions, and adding text or stickers. The “Templates” feature simplifies this process.

While scrolling through Reels, look for a camera icon and “Templates” button on the bottom left of certain videos. Clicking it generates a blank template with pre-set clip lengths synced to the sound. Just add your photos/videos, and they will adjust automatically.

Therefore, find Reels with your desired sound that offer templates to save even more time. However, all Reels do not have this feature. Check out our detailed article on simple ways to find and use Instagram Reels templates in 2024.

Monitor Your Competitors and Industry

Another vital rule to scale your instagram reels is to keep tabs on your industry and competitors. What trends on Instagram might not align with your specific industry, so it is important to discern which trends are relevant. Observing savvy competitors can offer insights into effective strategies and emerging trends.

Use platforms like TikTok for inspiration, but avoid excessive crossover to maintain platform-specific content. Not every trend will suit your business, so be selective in adopting trends that align with your brand and audience.

Create Platform-Specific Content

Creating videos specifically for each platform is crucial. If you make a video for TikTok, post it there rather than repurposing it for Instagram with a watermark. Instagram’s algorithm deprioritizes content with watermarks from other platforms, pushing it to the back of the line.

In addition, it signals your audience that you might not be fully engaged with Instagram’s unique features. The best Reels content is designed to be funny, entertaining, or interesting, ensuring it resonates well with the Instagram audience.

Add CTAs

Incorporate clear call-to-actions (CTAs) in your Reels. Whether verbal, written in captions, or added as comments, CTAs encourage viewers to take specific actions like watching more content, following your page, or visiting a link in your bio. This simple step can significantly enhance your engagement and growth.

Post Consistently

Regularly posting content helps grow your Instagram presence. Integrate Reels into your social media strategy to keep your audience engaged and signal to algorithms that you’re an active content creator. Instagram rewards consistency in posting high-quality Reels by increasing your visibility and engagement.

Wrapping Up

In 2024, Instagram Reels continue to be a powerful tool for growing your audience and increasing engagement. By following these 13 rules — finding your niche, keeping content short and high quality, using trending sounds, and more — you can create compelling Reels that resonate with your audience.

We also recommend reading our previous article and implementing the steps to hack instagram algorithms even as a learner.

Stay consistent, collaborate with others, and always keep an eye on trends and your competitors to stay ahead. With these strategies, you will be on your way to mastering Instagram Reels and achieving your social media goals.



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