March 30, 2023

Not all Reels are created equal!

Depending on the length of your Reel, you are more likely to reach certain people. So it’s important that you choose the “right” length of video to serve your ultimate goals with the Reel.

Now, of course, there is no perfect length or secret recipe that guarantees success. But, in general there are three ranges of video length that serve different purposes and people, and are likely to get distributed differently by Instagram.

For the quick and dirty on what length of Reels to choose, check out this Instagram post:

And to recap that,

5-15 Second Videos

These are the epitome of short form videos. They are quick, punchy, and easily consumed. These don’t have to be entertainment only but they have to be short and to the point.

These are for super top of funnel. They are for mass distribution and awareness only. There should NOT be a call to action in these videos. They are simply to introduce as many people as possible to your brand. You want viewers to have a positive interaction with the video (watch the whole video, watch more than once, like the Reel, share it, etc.) to boost overall video performance and increase the likelihood that your content will be shown to that viewer again.

These videos tend to have higher “virality” meaning they get more distribution in Explore and recommended videos. Instagram is more likely to distribute this type of content over longer videos.

15-30 Second Videos

These mid-length Reels are meant to build relationships and trust with both your audience and regular non-followers – ie. those people who have seen your short Reels and interacted positively but aren’t yet following you.

These Reels should be a bit more of a value-add type content: tips, short tutorials, resources, insights in your industry, behind the scenes of your brand, and more. The idea is to get these viewers to want to know more and make you more familiar to them.

When creating these videos, you do not want big ask calls-to-action. No “go to the link in bio” or “visit our website for more”. Instead, keep the CTA to an IG related request like following you, sharing the post, etc. And you should definitely not use a CTA on every one of these posts – be strategic about when you include them.

30-90 Second Videos

Longer Reels are to serve your audience. This is where you can share detailed tips, tutorials, information, product news, testimonials, and more. These are talking directly to your followers and customers so make sure the language and purpose is driven towards helping them.

As for CTAs, go nuts! Yes, include your link in bio or visit website or shop now actions in these videos. That’s what we want to use them for. Now, you don’t “have” to put a CTA in every long Reel, but most of them should have some sort of action request even if it’s as simple as asking the viewer a question for them to answer.

These videos are not as likely to end up in the Explore page or recommendations. But they are more likely to drive conversions. Although, I will leave the caveat that most Reels are NOT good for conversions, in general. They are typically the lowest converting content on IG – Stories and feed posts are better at driving traffic and sales. So just keep that in mind when you’re crafting your Reels, determining your CTA, and thinking about where you want your leads and sales to come from.


With all of this in mind, take some time to make sure you’re drafting the best possible scripts, content, and CTAs (where applicable) for your Reels in addition to choosing the best length for your desired outcomes and optimize the results Reels can create for you.

And, don’t forget, it’s never about “one thing” on Instagram. Just because you might love those short 10 second Reels doesn’t mean those are the only ones you should use. Mix in the longer form videos occasionally too. And don’t neglect your other forms of content on Instagram either! Keep posting your Stories and feed posts to optimize your overall content strategy.

Want frequent, up-to-date training like this on all things Instagram?

My membership program, Profit Your Profile, gives you that and more!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Does Instagram Only Show Your Posts to 10% of Your Followers?

Does Instagram Only Show Your Posts to 10% of Your Followers?Does Instagram only show your posts to 10% of your followers

Read More

Does Posting at a Certain Time or Day of the Week Matter More on Instagram?

Does Posting at a Certain Time or Day of the Week Matter More on Instagram?When it comes to posting on IG,

Read More

What Does the New IG Algorithm Update Mean for You?

What Does the New IG Algorithm Update Mean for You?Instagram won the praise of creators everywhere when they announced on April

Read More

Should You Turn on Account Suggestions on Instagram?

Should You Turn on Account Suggestions on Instagram?Depending on where you get your social media tips, you may have heard other

Read More

How to Generate More Direct Messages on Instagram

How to Generate More Direct Messages on Instagram A few months ago, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, shared that direct

Read More

Why Direct Messages are So Valuable on Instagram

Why Direct Messages are So Valuable on Instagram Here’s the thing, when Meta says do something, you should do it. Regardless

Read More

Join The Newsletter

Sign up for once-monthly updates on all things Instagram and social media. It's your one-stop-shop for staying on top of social media in today's changing landscape.

Join the thousands of other marketers, business owners, and agency personnel who rely on this newsletter to keep them on top of their game with one easy resource!