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7 Ideas to increase engagement on your Instagram Reels & TikTok Videos

Short-form video has officially taken over nearly every social media platform. But as more brands & businesses jump on the vertical video bandwagon, your Instagram Reels & TikTok feeds are only going to become more crowded – and more competitive.

Encouraging viewers to engage with the vertical video content you create should be on top of every content creators because when your videos receive longer watch times & re-watches — plus likes, comments, saves and shares — you have a better chance of being discovered by an entirely new audience!

Here are 7 ideas to increase engagement on your Instagram Reels & TikTok videos.


1 | Create a Scroll-Stopping Hook

You’ve only got two-ish seconds to convince a viewer to stick around and watch your content. You want to begin your video with something that will immediately grab their attention. Here are 5 hook ideas to help you increase your watch time:

  • Challenge an assumption or make a bold claim– ex. “unpopular opinion”

  • Lead with movement (with hands or whole-body)

  • “If you want X by Y – then keep watching this video…”

  • “If you’re seeing this before XYZ date…” then drop your news

  • “X things X [other people] don’t want you to know about..”

2 | Invite Your Audience To Duet / Stitch or Remix

One of the best ways to encourage engagement is to simply ask your audience to reply back by Remixing [on Instagram Reels] or Dueting / Stitching [on TikTok] – you can have members of your community respond to your videos with their thoughts or opinions, “blind react” to the information or content you’re sharing, or just interact with your post in a fun & playful way.

These interactions add more visibility to your account, because every Remixed / Stitched reply naturally increases the number of new people who are being exposed to your original piece of content.

3 | Reply To Video Comments With… Another Video

While we’re used to replying to most comments on social media via our thumbs, Instagram and TikTok both offer the option to reply to a viewer’s comment with another video. (If you don’t have this feature yet, don’t worry, it’s slowly being rolled out).

This Video Reply format allows you to easily crowd-source new content ideas, treating your community’s questions & comments as an ongoing conversation through video. Use it anytime you’d like to offer a deeper explanation, more personal response, show off a product, or showcase the behind-the-scenes of your work.

4 | Use The Collab Feature On Instagram

Instagram released the option to “collab” with another account, which means that two accounts can “share” a photo/video and it shows up on both feeds and profiles. This is a great way to increase exposure for both brands/creators and easily get relevant content in front of a brand new audience.

5 | Create A Series

Whether your goal is education or entertainment – you can create an ongoing series to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more content. Be sure to immediately share your hook, then mention that this video is part of a series, as new viewers may not have context around what you’re talking about if they happen to see video number 3 out of order.

Each post should explain the series topic, then share instructions to “watch previous X videos to catch up”.

6 | Use Trending Sounds + Hashtags

One tried and true way to get your content seen by more people is by using trending sounds and relevant hashtags. Of course, these aren’t a “secret weapon” to guarantee engagement, they simply make discoverability & higher reach more possible. It’s still up to you to encourage a longer watch time & viewer engagement – by creating awesome content!

You can find trending sounds & hashtags by browsing the Discover page on TikTok or looking for the “up arrow” on the Reels tab of Instagram.

7 | Leave a “Surprise” or Easter Egg 

This one is a bit of a “hack”. Strategically placed ‘easter eggs’ or other items of interest within your video content can definitely get people talking in the comments – so think of a fun way to “wink” at your audience through your videos in order to boost conversations, while letting everyone in on the joke.