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April 19, 2022

How To Make A Viral Reel: Tips for Creating Viral Content

How to Create A Viral Reel

There is not a set formula to creating a viral reel. We can only use our experience to carve the way. The Live To Create team have consolidated top tips and tricks and thing’s we have learned along the way. After-all, we have created over 100+ viral reels, and it’s time to share our personal experience and what has worked for us, for you.

If you’ve been struggling on getting views on your reels, you’ve come to the right place. Give these tips a go, and let us know (or send us the reel) when it goes viral.

Tips and Tricks for Making a Viral Reel

1. Start with a hook

To create a viral reel, from the get go you will need to ‘reel’ them in (pun intended). You need to capture their attention. Get them to stop scrolling. Just for a second. You need to get the viewer to break the constant dopamine cycle of mindlessly scrolling. This is increasingly getting harder nowadays with the average attention span of a human being less than goldfish.

According to recent studies, over the past few years there has been a 25% decrease in the human attention span, which is now sitting at 8 seconds, 1 second less than goldfish. Additionally, Facebook published that people spend, on average, 1.7 seconds with a piece of content on their news feed.

So, we now know that you should create a reel around the 8 second mark, but how do we engage the audience to stay after the first 1.7 seconds of content?

The top tips for doing this would be putting the most colourful, bright, high quality, engaging clip at the start of your reel. Or a fun transition, quick movement or text to keep the viewer to stay. Or get them to follow a story of yours.

There are many categories that we could give examples for, but a few being:

  • If your reel is about travel - put a fascinating sunrise or sunset at the start (COLOURS)
  • If your reel is about fashion - stand in front of the mirror and click your fingers to transition into new clothes (TRANSITION)
  • If your reel is about art - put the final art at the start and then show the process of how you made it (STORY)

There are so many ways to try and capture your audiences attention, and in the end, there is no set way to do this. But try and put yourself into the viewers shoes and think about what would make you want to keep on watching if you saw your reel on the newsfeed and only spent 1.7 seconds flicking over it!

This is the first step into creating a viral reel. Capture your audiences’ attention.

2. Scout a sound

Our next tip to creating a viral reel is to choose the right sound, at the right time, and edit your content to that sound.

What do we mean by that?

Firstly, scout a sound that you want to use for your reel. The way to do this is to keep an eye on upcoming or ‘trending’ sounds as this will help your chances of increasing the view count and creating a viral reel. When you are next scouting a sound, look for the ‘trending’ arrow at the bottom left of the reels page on Instagram. Find a sound that you like with that arrow.

Now, that you’ve found a sound, you need to check the views count of that sound. This will determine how mainstream the sound already is, or if it is an upcoming trend that people are jumping on. The goal here is to use a sound that is in the ‘early onboarder’ view bracket as that will increase your chances of creating a viral reel in the longer run.

  • 100k trending - lower chance of gaining views
  • 20k-50k upcoming - medium chance of gaining views
  • 5k-20k early on-boarder - probable chance of IG picking up reel.
viral probability scale

Be sure to save that sound!

Finally, you need to edit to that sound. Add your clips and edit to the sounds beat. To do this efficiently and effectively, the team here always screen-records the sound before using Capcut on our phones or airdropping that screen-record to a computer video editor (Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut we use) to edit even more precisely. Be sure to select the saved sound prior to uploading to your IG feed!

3. Be Consistent

Consistency is key! The team here has put in countless hours into producing content for themselves, brands and businesses and a viral reel didn’t just come over night. We know for a fact that nowadays, people look for instant gratification, so don’t be put off by low views and engagement at the start. Keep pushing through as the algorithm will notice you.

We highly recommend building a long term vision, integrating your passions and the value you are going to provide your audience, with the patience of posting over numerous weeks or months. It’s a time consuming task to do in the short-term, but will yield long-term results.

In order to develop consistency, some key tips are:

  • Reminders
    • It’s always a great idea to put reminders into place as it’s often easy to forget about your goals and habits. If you want to get more content out in the world, put a hand written message near your front door reminding yourself to capture something today. Or set an alarm per day to sit down and spend 10-15minutes being creative.
  • Rewards
    • Kicking even a small goal deserves a reward. Rewarding allows the reinforcement of good habits and allows you to work more towards the bigger ones. If you managed to create a reel or two in the space of your 15 minutes of creativity, reward yourself with a little treat, or celebrate with some good food!
  • Learn from Mistakes
    • Even the best content creators make mistakes. So don’t beat yourself up! It is a time to reflect, learn and grow when this does occur. Note down the things you could do differently for next time.With consistency, perseverance and patience, a viral reel will come sooner than you realise!

4. Experiment

After testing out hooking techniques, scouting sounds and consistency comes the most important tip of them all. Have fun!

We love experimenting here at the Live HQ, especially when it comes to creating content for a huge range of clients. Varying the length of videos we produce, from short reels that loop, to longer reels with a story helps engage the audience. We have also experimented by creating new and unique sounds - to see if they pick up on momentum. Anything to change up the routine we will test out and integrate!

Some other ideas are:

  • Trending topics - find some hashtags that are trending on other social media platforms that are related to your niche and create some content surrounding them!
  • Play with colour - try and create distinct and eye catching, colourful (or monochrome) videos to evoke emotion, portray depth or standout from the rest of the feed.
  • Create your own trend - have a random idea in your head? Film it and see how it goes! Maybe pair it with a classic song.
  • Visuals - put some text into the video so people read it! Tell a story or voice overlay yourself speaking.
  • Be yourself - the most important tip. Be you. Because no one will be able to do that better than yourself.

We hope after reading this that you gained some knowledge and understanding on how we create viral reels! Let us know if our tips works for you.

The Live To Create Team

Viral Reel References:


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