Make A Popular Instagram Video

Want a popular music video on Instagram? Want your guitar to reach hundreds of thousands or even the Million mark? Well, I am going to give you my two cents on how to get it done. I’m assuming you have the guitar skill part under control, so let’s talk about Instagram.

First, let me go forth to say that we can theorize, but none of us know exactly what the Instagram Algorithm is doing. Even if we did get a glimpse, it would only be for a minute as the algorithm is a constant work in progress. So what can we as users do to influence the results? Instead of trying to game the algorithm, target the users.

I am an Instagram user and I’m sure you are too. You can clearly see what is popular. Pets, people falling down, girls and videos that give us some strange sensory thing. It all boils down to wanting to be entertained. What can you do as a musician to get some of those views? I’ve got two tips for you.

  1. Make the cover interesting!

    I am talking about the image you pick to represent your video. Did you know that you can pick any frame to be your cover photo? This is the front line of attraction and the gateway to your video. The best thing to say about this is that it must be interesting! Interesting is defined as “arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching the attention”. This is your big chance to entice the user to watch the video or scroll past.

    Here are some points for selecting a cover:

    👍Do This👍
    • Make sure the cover has an object of interest. Use your imagination.
    • The cover is well lit. A nice soft light is a safe bet.
    • The cover shows the subject from an appealing angle. Check this article.
    • The Cover looks good cropped square (that’s all the user sees it in a grid view).
    🚫Don’t Do This🚫
    • Don’t Leave a black cover photo.
    • Don’t do The “Standard Guitar Dude” (level perspective, no head, straight on guitar).
  2. The First Three Seconds

    Ever wonder why your impressions are so much more than your views? People aren’t sticking around. Most people don’t know this, but an Instagram View is counted after three seconds of viewing. You may think this is a short time, but it is not. Instagram users are expert swipers and many things can cause them to lose interest in under three seconds. I believe you have about a second to keep them.

    ❗️Here’s Some Rules❗️
    • The buildup is a view killer. Don’t hope they stick around for your big moment. Give them some talent in the first moment
    • Don’t fade into your video.
    • Don’t present text or titles alone in the first 3 seconds.
    • Don’t prepare (turn knobs, press play on camera, think about what to play).
    • Make your video beautiful to watch.

Now that we’ve got the rules, let’s look at some examples

In this video @chasestephenmusic hooks them with the strange apparatus on the back of the guitar in the cover, then keeps them wondering what is going to happen for the perfect amount of time.

@BrandonDeonMusic gets it. His videos always lure you in with a new and interesting concept. He uses the “meme” approach to annotating the video with text. Great video quality and playing. Here is one that has been posted on every music page including mine. Thanks for the views Brandon!

@TheDanielDonato doesn’t just make Instagram videos with his guitar, he makes Instagram productions with his musicianship. It’s clear he puts an incredible amount of thought and effort into each one. He entertains. As a result, his followers stay and become fans.

–Thanks for reading ❤️ Sam at @Solo_Section