The Instagram Reels game has changed MASSIVELY over the past year.
We went from pointing and dancing in 2020 to lip-sync in 2021, transitions and trending songs in 2022, and in 2023 it will be about ORIGINAL content that helps you stand out from the mass, position your brand, and of course, drive more sales to your business.
So, now let's take a look at some of the common mistakes that most creators, entrepreneurs, and business owners keep doing that are killing their Reel's performance.
But before getting started, I wanted to remind you about my free No BS Reels Guide where I teach you the first steps to start creating original content for your brand and business.
Mistake # 1 - Using hooks and thinking this will fix your content
Listen, it's 2023 and we know what hooks are. It's what every Instagram or Social Media coach has been repeating for the past 4 years.
We understand that you need to stop the scroll, and we get that hooks help...
However, most people think that by throwing a hook with a power word out there all their problems will be fixed, and this is just not true.
A good hook won't make up for bad content. In fact, if you use the hook as clickbait for people to watch your reel, but then they see your content is crap, they'll end up feeling deceived, and it will make you lose trust and credibility.
Focus on your content, the messaging, and the value it provides. Keep it clear, concise, and relevant.
Mistake #2 - Not using storytelling
Storytelling is a skill every Instagram creator, entrepreneur, or business owner should master.
It's through stories that we connect, we learn, and we make decisions because they are great to evoke emotions and they are memorable.
Storytelling will make your Reels more engaging and will increase the odds of people watching until the end and sharing it with someone else.
What are some examples of storytelling Reels?
Sharing your story
A day in the life
The story behind your product/service
Behind The Scenes
Mistake #3 - Overcomplicating Your Reels
The era of over-edited Reels and fancy transitions is over. People crave to see originality, authenticity, and raw content.
People need to see themselves in your Reels in some way and feel inspired to create something similar.
Overcomplicated Reels might make your followers feel intimidated and disconnected from your brand. At the same time, you need to simplify YOUR life when it comes to content creation.
Just as my friend Jessica from @soulcialbohemia says, "Less perfection, more connection".
Simple Reels will help you connect SO MUCH BETTER with your audience and will result in higher engagement and... more sales!
Mistake #4 - Putting all the value in the caption
I love writing, and I used to write an entire bible in my captions, but this doesn't work anymore. Especially for people who are scrolling down the Reels tab. They are in watching mode, not in reading mode.
If the Reel doesn't provide any value, they won't be reading the caption, and you will be failing to get your message through.
Provide quick value in your video, keeping it simple, and THEN you can expand more in the caption.
Mistake #5 - Using CTA's wrong
Most people either use too many CTA's which becomes really confusing or use them wrong.
Going back to captions, if you hide your main CTA at the bottom of a caption, chances are very few people will see it. This is a huge NO-NO, especially if it's a promo post where you're promoting your products or services.
The other day I was speaking with my friend Carole from @thedigitalbuzz, and she said something that's so true, which is that not every Reel needs to end with a call to action.
Most storytelling Reels, for example, don't end with a CTA, but you can start your caption (the first line that everyone sees) with a question related to the Reel.
Depending on the type of Reel, you can add a CTA at the end of the video, the beginning or end of the caption, and a pro-tip here, you can also change the name of the audio and add your call-to-action there. I do this a lot with my talking Reels and you would be amazed at the results.
Mistake # 6 - Not using your voice to create original content
I have an entire video where I go over what original content is, which is basically any content that's created, edited, and posted by you.
So technically, if you start a trend, it still counts as original content (for you), but this won't help you either build trust and credibility or generate more sales.
Using your voice, through talking head Reels or DTC Reels (however you want to call them) is absolutely KEY to improving your Reels' performance.
By the way, remember that by performance, we're not talking about views... that's a whole different story. A Reel that performs well is a Reel that helps you achieve the goal or purpose with which it was created, like community building, lead generation, etc
Talking Reels might not generate tons of views, but hiding behind the trends and lip-syncs won't generate any brand or business growth either. Which is exactly what we're here for.
Mistake #7 - The pace of your Reel is OFF!
There is nothing more boring than a slow Reel where you're either talking or moving so slowly or where there are a lot of empty and dead spaces, which can easily be edited out during post-processing.
And nothing more annoying than a Reel that goes way too fast that you can't read the texts and understand the main message.
Finding the perfect pace is key to retaining people. Fast enough to keep it engaging but slow enough to keep it clear.
The truth is that perfect pacing comes with practice, but there is a lot you can do when editing your Reels!
Alright, so those were the 7 mistakes I see most people doing in 2023 with their Instagram Reels that need to stop NOW if you want to win the Reels game this year.
Don't forget, you can grab my free Reels Guide to start learning the first steps to create standout original content to grow your personal brand and your business.