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We know them, we love them. Reels have become a popular way for people and businesses alike to share their content and connect with their peeps! We have three common mistakes that we have noticed people make when filming Instagram Reels and how to avoid them.

With over 2 billion users, it’s not surprising that Instagram Reels are on your priority list for 2023. However, with the rise in popularity of Reels, it’s important to make sure that your videos are of high quality (enough) and engaging to your audience.

1. Your video is too shaky

One of the most common mistakes we see people make when filming Instagram Reels is that the video is too shaky and unstable. This can be caused because you aren’t using a tripod or gimbal when filming, or simply by not holding the camera steady. To avoid this mistake, make sure to use a tripod or stabilizer when filming. Here are a few options we love.

But if that is not possible (and let’s be honest, it’s sometimes too much work) try this great trick we use! Hold your phone steady by keeping your elbows locked close to your body and holding the camera with both hands. Don’t be afraid to try different body movements (think: side to side or slow panning up and down) to get a creative angle or shot.

2. The video is too long or too short

Another mistake that people make when filming Instagram Reels is that the video is either too long or too short. Ideally, Instagram Reels should be between 15 and 60 seconds long. And you need to hook the person in the first 3 seconds! This is not a hard and fast rule. The key is that the story/idea should hold the attention of the audience. So if you have a great story, it’s likely people will stay. But our general rule for Instagram is no longer than 30 seconds…ideally.

Here are some great examples of perfect length vids:

If your video is too long, it may lose the attention of your audience, and if it’s too short, it may not provide enough information or engagement. 

To avoid this mistake, plan out your video content before filming and make sure that it fits within the 15 to 60 second timeframe. Or you can always use a template that is featured in Instagram’s new app update!

Waiting for a train on Blaise Butte with the Combat Railfans. The ancient camcorder on Trainmans's shoulder dates this photo to sometime in the early 1990s.

3. Your reel doesn’t have a point of view

The final mistake that people make when filming Instagram Reels is that the video doesn’t take a point of view or have an opinion. It’s just putting up content for content’s sake. To avoid this mistake, make sure to have a clear message or goal in mind before filming your video. And this can also mean, that your video has an entertaining purpose. But just begin with an intent in mind.

This will ensure that your video is engaging and that your audience will understand the point of view that you are trying to convey.

Bonus: Look for TRENDING audio

Ignore audio and sounds within Instagram at your own peril. Using trending audio can help your Reel to be more findable, relatable, and engaging for your audience. To find trending audio, you can use Instagram’s built-in audio library or explore popular songs and sound bites on other platforms like TikTok.

When looking to pick a song, look for this icon next to the song.

Instagram Reels are a great way to share your content and connect with your audience. However, it’s important to make sure that your videos are of high quality and engaging. Just avoid doing these and your sure to go viral (maybe, if you’re lucky). 😉

Image credit: Flickr

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