In April 2021, I started a brand new Instagram account for a passion project, Widows Lost & Found. My content strategy was pretty inconsistent, but one thing I prioritized that first year was Reels.
The landscape of Instagram Reels was pretty different in 2021–Reels was still a newer feature, but it was clear it was the future of Instagram (at the time—more on that later). I knew that to grow on Instagram, I needed to be making Reels.
So I did! About once a month, I carved out a few hours to record five to ten videos that I could post throughout the next several weeks. These were usually silly lip-sync videos to some trending audio, with a widow/grief spin to make it relevant. I loved posting Reels for a few reasons:
- It was fun! I enjoyed exercising my creativity this way.
- It was effective! My reels were reaching far more viewers than any static posts I created.
- It was (relatively) simple! Just a couple hours a month of filming would give me up to ten Reels—that was a pretty good ROI.
Let’s fast forward to now, August 2023. If you check out the @widowslostandfound feed, you’ll notice a staggering lack of Reels these days. Here’s why:
- I got burnt out. 58 Reels later and I was sick of making them.
- Reels stopped performing as well. Around the time that I got tired of making Reels, Instagram stopped prioritizing video content. My Reels were reaching fewer and fewer viewers, and the content that was performing best was simple text-based posts, which are significantly easier for me to create.
Between Instagram’s algorithm changing and my own creativity dwindling, Reels lost their ROI. I still batch my content each month, but I focus on simple, text-based content rather than video.
Reels can still be a really fun way to create content, but like any social media strategy, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. I’m still determining myself if this new strategy of mine is effective as I’ve noticed engagement to be all over the place—some posts get 400+ likes and others get less than ten, and I have no idea why. If you are inspired to create Reels, please do! You can even repurpose them into text-based content to maximize your content creation. Personally, removing reels from my own content strategy has freed up so much of my brain space, and I call that a win.