4 Instagram Reel Mistakes that are Killing Your Views

Instagram Reel Mistakes  Instagram Reel Ideas & Templates

We’re outlining 4 Instagram reel mistakes that are killing your views so you can stop wasting your time and start getting results. There’s nothing more frustrating then spending a ridiculous amount of time on an Instagram reel, only for it to flop. Yep. It’s happened to us too. 

Here’s what NOT to do: be scared. Your reel views might be atrocious compared to someone else’s reels, but 

  1. You’re not comparing yourself to everyone else; you’re working to improve on what you’ve done.
  2. Look at the reach on one of your reels vs the reach on your average story. I’m guessing that’ll make you feel a heck of a lot better!

Trying to wrap your head around the Instagram algorithm is… well, we can both think of better ways to spend our time. 

Let’s get practical.

Mistake #1 :: Your video is too slow.

You have milliseconds to capture our attention — especially on a short form video platform like IG reels. Now, I know this isn’t news.

Here’s the nitty gritty on EXACTLY how to speed things up (while still getting your point across): 

— Make sure you’re moving in the first 1-2 seconds of your video. 

— Switch angles every 1-3 seconds to hold attention. Yep, that’s fast-fast-fast and it’s ridiculous. Take the time to analyze the reels you pause on and you’ll be surprised by how accurate this is!

— Remove any and all pauses, even if they’re a split second long. Be merciless when trimming down your video. If that means you start talking with your mouth open, so be it. (That means you did it right.)

— Don’t waste precious seconds by telling your viewers to read the caption or check out the link in your bio. Flash that up in a text bubble instead… It’s quicker.

Mistake #2 :: We don’t know what you’re talking about.

If it’s not clear within the FIRST SECOND what we’re going to get out of your video, we’re going to scroll past.

Start with a hook. Here are some examples:

“How to (result) in (#) simple steps”
— increase your website traffic in 3 simple steps
— beat anxiety in 5 simple steps

“Who else wants (promise)?”
— to lose 7 kg in two weeks?
— to be a super copywriter?

“Don’t (mistake)”
— start your live videos like this
— hold your knife like this

The hook should be the first text bubble and the first thing that comes out of your mouth. Stay on topic for the entire video. (Do a series if you have a lot to say about a specific topic!)

Mistake #3 :: It’s all about you.

None of your content is really about you. It’s about your perfect fit person and how you can help HER. The easiest way to fix this? Flip all of your scripts to say the word “you” as often as possible. Let your viewer know that you understand where she’s at, and you’re here to help.

The easiest way to explain this is through examples:

This reel:


Simple tweaks:

  • Start with a problem and swoop in as the solution; ie
  • “Ready to freshen things up for spring?”
  • “Incorporate some delicious texture”
  • “Add some shiny things”
  • “And of course, you need something green.”
  • THEN “Come visit this li’l hidden gem…”
  • “We’ve got coffee on and a swing set for your kiddos”

This reel:

Simple tweaks:

  • There are LOTS of words to absorb here. Split it up and let your viewers know that they’re going to get something out of it; ie “how to figure out where to put your shit” 🤣
  • Explain a simple home décor rule
  • End with “we offer home decorating services! Read the caption” and give details there

Mistake #4 :: You’ve remixed the same trend we’ve already seen a bajillion times.

I know, I know, all the social media “gurus” are telling you to use trending sounds because the algorithm likes it. Bleccch.

Doing the same literal song and dance that everyone else is doing isn’t going to make your brand memorable AT ALL. 

If a million people watch a video of you pointing and shaking your booty to [insert trending sound here] is it going to do anything for your business?

If 60 people watch a video of you telling them exactly what everyone needs to know about credit card debt (or moving stress, or decorating your home, or whatever your niche is) and one of them starts a conversation with you… you’ve got a winner.

Think about the reels that YOU pause on. That’s the stuff you want to be creating. 

If you’re anything like me, you hear the opening note of an aggravatingly trending audio and before it’s even fully registered, you’ve swished your finger up to see the next reel… regardless of what the algorithm says about it.

Some Perspective

You found this article because you want more views on your reels, and I get that. But don’t get too caught up in the vanity metrics. 

It’s hella satisfying to see the number of views climbing every time you refresh, BUT as a business owner on Instagram — it’s more important to bring home the bacon. (We talk about that right here if you want to dig in.)

But otherwise — need fresh, original reel ideas? Get ideas delivered to your inbox every month. No booty shaking required.


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