7 Steps To Create an Instagram Reel

In just 24 hours, we reached 15,917 people on Instagram with a simple 19-second video, filmed on an ordinary iPhone, using our 

An iphone showing an Instagram reel

In today's social media world, Instagram Reels have become essential for connecting with customers in a fun and memorable way.

For example, here's what one of our best-performing reels achieved:


  • 15,917 people reached in 24hrs
  • 207 Engagements

Here's proof these outrageous claims are true:

In total, this one reel got us in front of 16,480 people who don't follow Websites That Sell.

Want to see what this reel looks like in real life? Watch the reel below:

So how do you create a high-performing reel that gets your brand in front of thousands of people in just a few hours?

Follow the same 7-step system we use in every reel we create for ourselves and our clients.

And here's the good news...

We're not keeping these steps a secret.

We're n0t going to make you pay for them... we're not even going to ask you for an email address to gain access to this valuable information...


We've put it all into a quick and easy-to-read guide, right on this page.

Here's what you will learn:

  • How to hook viewers within the first 3 seconds of your video.
  • The "center frame" camera position technique.
  • Our "shoot-hold-go" strategy which makes editing dead easy.
  • How to optimise your filming strategy.
  • Easy ways to maximise your content process efficiency.
  • How to showcase your business to brand new audiences fast.
  • How to keep existing followers hooked to your feed.
  • and much, much more.

If you’re more into video, here are the 7 ways condensed into a quick and easy-to-follow video.

What you're about to learn has helped numerous brands begin dominating the Instagram Reels game.

So... if you are ready to have your Reels go viral and drive tangible results, let’s dive in!

Tip #1 - Position Yourself Prominently And Engaging On Camera

Woman showing how to be positioned when filming a Reel

When creating Reels, position yourself prominently in the centre of the frame to directly engage viewers. Have the camera at eye level with your face well-lit and in focus. Maintain eye contact with the lens to make it feel like you are speaking one-on-one with each viewer for maximum impact.

Incorporate warm facial expressions and natural gestures as you speak to bring energy. You can move around the frame but aim to keep your upper body and face featured centrally throughout. Quick cuts between different engaging setups add dynamism while keeping the spotlight on you.

Framing the footage around your on-camera presence creates a human connection that entices viewers to keep watching. Put yourself directly centre stage and deliver your message dynamically. This personal touch will make your Reels stand out.

Best Practice:

  • Shaky, handheld footage can be distracting and make it hard for viewers to focus. Use a tripod or phone stabilizer grip to keep the camera steady as you film. The smooth motion will lend a polished, professional look.
  • Pick a simple, solid colour backdrop without distracting elements. This keeps the emphasis on you and your central message vs the surroundings. A basic wall or curtain works well. Avoid busy patterns or messes.
  • Rehearse your Reels out loud before shooting. This helps build confidence in your on-camera presence and delivery. You’ll feel more natural in front of the lens. Practice smoothes out any awkwardness.

Tip #2 - Film Vertically To Optimise For Mobile Viewing

the do's and don'ts of an instagram reel

Always hold your phone vertically in portrait mode when filming Reels. Instagram's algorithm favours vertical videos that take up more real estate on the mobile feed. Landscape footage appears uncomfortably small on mobile.

Frame shots to align focal elements like products and graphics vertically down the phone screen's centre. Capture close-up detail shots. Position yourself in the top 2/3rds of the frame. You can pan left and right for movement but optimize for vertical space.

Tailoring footage to the vertical orientation that dominates mobile viewing will maximise visual impact and immersion on the small screen. Vertical video results in more compelling, watchable Reels.

Best Practice:

  • Position products, graphics, text, and other important elements vertically down the center of the frame when filming. This alignment for mobile creates a more immersive, visually engaging video that pops.
  • Capture compelling close-up footage showing product details, how-tos, ingredients, and more. Leaning in and filling the frame with visuals pulls viewers in with you. Get intimate with the details!
  • Frame shots with yourself in the top 2/3rds of the screen. Having space above keeps you prominently in the frame even on small mobile views where you could be cut off on the bottom.
  • Add interest by panning left and right with intent. But move the camera slowly and fluidly. Jerky panning is distracting. Deliberate slides guide the viewer's eye.

Tip #3 - Stop And Restart Filming For Smoother Editing

Women showing how to film an Instagram Reel

Rather than powering through an entire Reel nonstop, film shorter 5-15 second clips stopping and restarting as needed. This allows you to remove mistakes and splice together only the best parts.

If you mess up halfway through a take, stop recording and take a breath. Capture fresh new clips, nail the part you struggled with, and move on. Having options to pick from makes for smoother editing.

Well-edited Reels that cut together the most engaging moments look polished and hold the viewer's attention from start to finish. Do not be afraid to stop and restart filming until you get the shots you need.

Best Practice:

  • Use a timer or voice note to mark the start and end of each video clip as you film. This makes it easier to recall which clips are best during editing. Being organised is key.
  • Try capturing a mix of shorter and longer clips - 5, 10, 15 seconds etc. You can piece together the ideal combination in editing. Let testing reveal what durations work best for your style.
  • Don't be shy about axing clips you don't love. It's better to have a surplus of footage to pick from vs lacklustre options. Curate only your best moments for the final Reel.

Tip #4 - Don't be Afraid To Add White Space

Woman showing how to keep Reel viewers engaged

The opening line of your Reel is make-or-break for grabbing attention, so spend time crafting a headline-worthy opening hook. Ask a thought-provoking question that viewers need to keep watching to find the answer to. Share an eye-opening statistic that sets an "I need to know more!" tone. Make a bold statement that gets people curious.

For example: "What if we told you that you could double your Instagram following in 30 days?" Or "Think social media is a waste of time? Guess again." Give viewers an exciting reason to stay tuned within the first 3-5 seconds.

Hook their curiosity, make them laugh, surprise them - whatever emotion fits your brand. Just make sure your opening line is ultra-compelling, so viewers feel they must keep watching. An irresistible opening is the key to Reels success.

Best Practice:

  • Craft an opening line that's short and sweet at 5-10 words long. You want it to stick in the viewer's mind instantly. Avoid long convoluted sentences.
  • Incorporate strong, vivid verbs like "transform," "reinvent," and "ignite" to make your opening punchy. Verbs create momentum.
  • Say "Our app will change your life" rather than "Your life will be changed by our app." Active voice is more direct and engaging.
  • Connect with "You won't believe what happened when I..." vs "Here's what happened when someone used this product." Personal hooks are more relatable.

Tip #5 - Batch Produce Reels In Dedicated Creation Sessions

Women showing the importance of scheduling Reel recordings

To maximize results from your Reels production time, designate 1–2-hour blocks solely for batch recording content. Prep your filming space by setting up ideal backdrops, lighting, props, and camera position. Have any graphics and visuals ready to go.

Then film a sequence of 15-60 second videos back-to-back, reusing your setup efficiently. Vary your location between a desk, a standing backdrop, and product display. Capture supplemental B-roll clips that can be spliced in.

This assembly line approach allows you to knock out a high volume of compelling video in a short time. Having a surplus of content ready to go also makes it easy to consistently post fresh Reels. Plan out what you want to batch produce, then tackle it systematically.

Best Practice:

  • Use a timer or voice note to mark the start and end of each Reel as you film your content batch. This makes it easy to identify options during editing.
  • Try out product demos, behind-the-scenes, tutorials, short stories, etc. Produce a mix of Reel styles and see what resonates most with your audience.
  • Be ruthless about axing any Reels that seem subpar. It's better to have a smaller batch of fantastic Reels vs a high volume of mediocre ones. Quality over quantity.

Tip #6 - Take Advantage Of Video Content

Women showing how to keep Reel viewers engaged

With limited attention spans on mobile phones, studies show Reels under 15 seconds receive higher completion rates and engagement. Remove any fillers and get right to your most compelling hook or message within the first 5 seconds.

Lead with a product reveal, shocking statistic, or statement of your core premise right off the bat. Then quickly progress the story or lesson in a concise and captivating way. Short runtimes force you to hone your video narrative down to the most engaging essence.

Fast-paced 15-second Reels aligned to the mobile viewing experience are primed for reaching and retaining viewers. Practice distilling your content down to just the hottest highlights that will hook attention.

Best Practice:

  • First, delete any clips that are blurry, poorly framed, or don't enhance the narrative. 
  • Focus on accentuating the most important parts of your message through editing. Boost the core ideas you want to land on.
  • Insert dynamic transitions like zoom or spin effects between clips. This energizes the pacing and sustains attention.
  • Check the timer and tighten your Reel by cutting any filler. Tight 15-30 second runtimes work best. Remove clips until you hit the sweet spot

Tip #7 - Zero In On One Core Topic Or Message

Women showing how to pick a core topic for Instagram Reels

Resist the urge to cover too many topics in one Reel. Instead, choose one product, brand story, or key message to creatively spotlight in detail. For example, highlight your newly launched skincare line or highlight how your dog treats are made with care.

You can complement the core focus with 2 brief supporting points, but keep at least 80% of the runtime focused on one narrative. This tight spotlight makes the content digestible and impactful. Limiting scope also simplifies scripting and production vs tackling too much.

Zero in on the one most compelling aspect of your business and deliver it in a memorable way through a super-targeted 15-second Reel. Quality over quantity wins.

Best Practices

  • Avoid jargon and keep your messaging easy to grasp. Plain language connects best.
  • Let images, text, graphics, and video help convey your narrative for a multimedia experience.
  • Pick music and sounds that establish the right tone and elicit emotions. Audio greatly impacts the viewer.
  • Have a small focus group preview your Reels for feedback. Refine based on what resonates and what's confusing.


If you want your brand to truly thrive on Instagram today, mastering Instagram Reels is a must. While creating captivating short-form videos may initially seem daunting, implementing these 7 tips will quickly level up your Instagram Reels game.

Focusing your on-camera presence, optimizing for mobile, editing clips smoothly, leading with strong hooks, batch filming content, keeping it concise, and spotlighting one key idea - these strategies will help you grab attention and drive significant business results.

The more eye-catching Reels you produce, the more you will pull valuable new audiences into your funnel. So put these kick-butt tactics into practice and watch your engagement start to take off! Feel free to experiment to find what resonates most with your followers. With compelling Reels that provide value and entertainment, you can build a loyal community that keeps returning for more.

As a digital marketing agency specializing in website, SEO, social media management, and video content that converts, we can help develop a strategic Instagram Reels plan tailored to your brand's goals. Our team will identify your target audience, craft compelling narratives, and produce eye-catching Reels that showcase your products or services.

We'll also optimise every aspect for maximum engagement and ROI, from video editing to timing and captions. Let us handle the Reels heavy lifting so you can focus on running your business.

Contact us today for a complimentary consultation to discuss how custom Reels creation and management can take your Instagram presence to the next level. Let's get started on video content that attracts your perfect customers!

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