How To Use Instagram Videos, Reels, And Photos To Go Viral

If you keep on posting Instagram videos, reels, photos, and carousels and do not see your account grow, then you’re doing something wrong.

Luckily, you are in the right place.

This guide will walk you through the exact steps you need to take to go viral as many posts as you can.

Fix Your Instagram Profile First

It is surprising how many influencers and brands underestimate the impact of a well-crafted Instagram profile on the virality score of their posts.

Do not make this mistake. If you want to make the most of your Instagram posts, be it videos, reels, or photos, you need to fix your profile first.

Learn why it is critical for your content virality and how to create a perfect Instagram profile here.

Find Your Dream Instagram Accounts

Whatever your niche is about, chances there are some successful Instagram profiles with a significant following in this niche.

Use it as a free masterclass about what works. If such accounts have a lot of followers and engagement, chances are they do something right.

Find five to ten examples of such accounts and write them down into your list.

Then, analyze these accounts. And ask yourself:

  1. What type of content prevails in their Instagram feed: videos, reels, or photos?
  2. What content do they have?
  3. Which hashtags do they use?

Write your findings next to each account. We will need them in a bit.

Get Your Instagram Hashtags Ready

If you reached this step, you should have fixed your Instagram profile. And have made a list of successful Instagram accounts in your niche.

It is time to research and prepare your hashtags. Follow this complete guide to discover and pick the right hashtags for your account size and niche.

Once you are ready, you can proceed to the next step: defining your comfortable posting schedule.

Define Comfortable Posting Schedule

Instagram loves it when you post your videos, reels, and photos at a consistent level. Be it once or five times a week.

Decide how often you can commit to posting. And stick with it.

Choose consistency and quality of your posts over quantity.

If you start posting every day and then switch to only once a week, Instagram will doubt you as a reliable source of consistent content. And it will damage your future virality scores.

If you are comfortable posting once a week, on Fridays, it is okay, As long as you stay consistent.

Find Best Time To Post Your Instagram Videos, Reels, And Photos

Whatever you publish on Instagram, be it videos, reels, or photos. Your post will not go viral if it fails the Instagram micro-test.

The best free tools you can use to beat the micro test are your hashtags, which we have covered. And the best time to post.

Make a quick pause to master your best time to post and leverage it for your virality here.

Once you are ready, you can proceed to the next step: preparing your content to go viral.

Prepare Your Content To Go Viral

Whether you post your original or someone else content, you need to be selective about what to post.

The following steps will help you discover the content proven to work. And use it to model your content for virality.

  1. Go to the Discover tab and search posts by hashtags that you got from steps two and three above.
  2. Choose one top-performing post.
  3. Go to the account that posted it.
  4. Compare the engagement of this post with other posts from this account.
  5. Does this post perform better than other posts from this account?
  6. If not, then go back to step 2 of the list.
  7. If yes, you struck the gold.
  8. Take it and model it for your account.

How to model a post for your account?

  1. Tweak a quote if the post has one;
  2. Add your branding;
  3. Include your offering;
  4. Localize the post language for your audience;
  5. Have your caption.

Share Your Instagram Videos, Reels, Or Photos

You have done a great job preparing your posts to go viral on Instagram. It is time to share your content.

Optimize Your Caption For Maximum Engagement

The easiest way to boost your post engagement is to go with one or more of the following methods:

  1. Tell a story;
  2. Ask a question;
  3. Use a Call To Action.

Tell a story with your post

People love stories. A good story can make a person stop scrolling and stay with your post for a longer time. Which tells Instagram it is a good piece of content. And it deserves to be distributed further.

Ask a question

When you ask a question, people answer in the comments. More comments mean more engagement. And the more engagement, the more likely Instagram will promote your post further.

Tip: Do not complicate it. People will comment if it is easy to respond. Ask simple questions. Or offer some boilerplate answers.

Use a Call To Action

It may seem obvious that people should take action from your post. But it may not be apparent to them unless you use a clear call to action.

Your call to action may include words like follow, respond, comment, DM, learn more, tap on the link in bio, etc.

Include Hashtags

Remember the hashtags we got from steps two and three? Use them in your caption. Or in the first comment to your post.

Stack Your Post Using Instagram Stories Or Lives

Content stacking is when you make a post and then share it in your story or live to boost more visibility for your post.

Content stacking is your secret weapon that can send your engagement through the roof. But the problem is that 99% of people do it wrong.

The purpose of content stacking is to trigger curiosity to check your post. But if you do not add some hype to it, you will not add up much desire to learn more.

Instead, when sharing your post in a story or live, include some sneak peek.

Obscure some part of the post content with stickers or other story visuals. And use phrases that trigger human curiosity.

Examples of such phrases could be:

  1. I did not want to share this, but.
  2. I can’t believe I said that.
  3. You will not believe what you are about to see.
  4. Your ideas!


Avoid click baits in your trigger phrases. Make them appropriate to the post content.

Organize your best content into Instagram Guides to increase users retention and engagement in your account.

Add Geo Tags For More Engagement

Finally, when sharing your content, include a geotag. A geotag can provide up to 80% of your post reach and engagement.

Tip: You do not have to be in the location that reflects your geotag.

Bonus Tips for your Instagram Videos, Reels, And Photos

Instagram Videos

Make sure your Instagram videos are of high quality and have the right size: 1080 x 608 pixels (landscape videos) to 1080 x 1350 pixels (portrait videos)

Remember that your Instagram videos can be up to 60 seconds long. If your videos are longer than that, Instagram will convert them to IGTV.

How to post a video on Instagram:

  1. Launch Instagram app;
  2. Tap on the plus button;
  3. Chose Post;
  4. Select a video from your phone library that is 60 seconds or less;
  5. Add your caption, hashtags, and a geotag;
  6. Post your Instagram video.

Instagram IGTV

People do not watch long videos till the end. Do not make your IGTVs long for no good reason.

How to post an IGTV on Instagram:

  1. Open the Instagram app;
  2. Tap on the plus button;
  3. Chose Post;
  4. Select a video from your phone library that is 61 seconds or longer;
  5. Add your caption, hashtags, and a geotag;
  6. Post your IGTV.

Instagram Reels

Instagram reels are great to boost your account reach. But you can take your reach even further by using soundtracks from those reels that have already gone viral.

How to make and post reels on Instagram:

  1. Launch Instagram app;
  2. Tap on the plus button;
  3. Chose Reel;
  4. Record the reel. Or upload it from your phone library;
  5. Add a soundtrack;
  6. Add your caption, hashtags, and a geotag;
  7. Post your Instagram reel.

Instagram Photos

Make sure your Instagram photos comply with recommended sizes:

  • Square: 1080px by 1080px
  • Portrait: 1080px by 1350px
  • Landscape: 1080px by 608px

How to post photos on Instagram:

  1. Open the Instagram app;
  2. Tap on the plus button;
  3. Chose Post;
  4. Select an image from your phone library, or snap one with your phone;
  5. Add your caption, hashtags, and a geotag;
  6. Post your Instagram photo.

Instagram Carousels

If you want to post multiple photos on Instagram, you should choose a carousel. It will allow you to add up to 10 photos to your single Instagram post.

Please note that as per Metricool study, carousels get about 15% less reach than Instagram posts with a single photo.

On the other hand, Instagram carousels get around 10% more engagement than single Instagram photos.

It happens because every time someone starts swiping your carousel, Instagram counts it as engagement.

Use this knowledge when you consider Instagram carousels for your content strategy.

How to post Instagram carousels with multiple photos on Instagram:

  1. Launch Instagram app;
  2. Tap on the plus button;
  3. Chose Post;
  4. Select up to 10 images from your phone library;
  5. Add your caption, hashtags, and a geotag;
  6. Post your Instagram carousel.

Instagram Stories

This guide would not be complete without showing you how to use Instagram stories to make your account go viral as we did with Instagram videos, reels, and photos.

That is why we created the complete guide about Instagram stories which you should check if you are interested in growing your followers, engagements, and revenue.

How to Download Instagram Videos, Reels, or Photos

When exploring and modeling your content, you may need to download or privately view Instagram videos, reels, or images.

This guide will walk you through the easiest ways to do that.

Roman Gurbanov
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