#1 Browse existing Reels and get inspired, then put your own twist on it
#2 Use Closed Captions
A staggering 85% of videos on social media are watched without sound (Later.com), so adding subtitles is a MUST.
Facebook, IGTV, Instagram Stories, and YouTube generate automatic captions. Note: social platforms are always adding new features and capabilities – if captions aren’t currently available on your platform of choice, check back again soon.
Instructions for adding captions to your Instagram Stories can be found here.
#3 Keep Captions Brief & to the point
Because of the brevity of Instagram Reels, it’s best to keep the captions short and sweet. This gives your viewer a solid overview of your message while not overwhelming them. Put the extended version of your message in a static feed, or blog post where viewers can refer back to and take their time with the content.
Tip: In the Reels caption, focus on writing an engaging one-liner less than 55 characters. This string of text is what will be visible when viewers stumble upon your Reel, so make it attention-grabbing! Don’t be shy to include a CTA in your caption; inviting your audience to take the next step on a freebie you offer or to leave a comment.
#4 Remove 3rd Party App Watermarks
Instagram recently confirmed it deprioritizes video content with third party watermarks – this means they are less likely to be featured in Instagram’s Reels tab or Explore Page
To remove the TikTok watermark:
#5 Be mindful of on-screen text placement
Whether you’re adding your own text or using closed captioning, be sure to place text away from the edges of the screen to avoid cropping. If a viewer lands on your video and can’t see the messaging, it’s likely they’ll scroll past, ultimately reducing the video’s engagement over time.
When adding text, keep it within a 4:5 ratio. Coffee & Contract Members, use our templates to get sizing and spacing right every time.
#6 Jump on trends quickly
As you’ve seen, Reel and TikTok trends come and go in the blink of an eye. To stay abrest of the latest trends, take a few minutes to scroll through Reels each day. Keep an eye out for repeat audio clips, songs, or even dances. If there’s a clip you’d like to re-create, tap on the music icon to see how others are re-using the sound bite and get inspiration.
Claudia is C&C's Marketing Director with a background in retail, commercial, hotel and residential real estate.
A Florida Native, Claudia loves being outdoors and on the water. Find her exploring homes in historic neighborhoods, squeezing a lime on something, or planning a trip somewhere off the beaten path.
Simple pleasures: a made bed and a hot baguette.