How to Write a Script for Your Instagram Reel Like a Pro
Table of contents
Get your notebook and pen ready! We only have 15 minutes to nail your Instagram reel script. The goal of this guide is to get you from just watching other people's reels to making your own.
In the process, we'll look at how tools can help you create the first draft of the script, like this script, generated using AI:
Instagram debuted reels in 2019, where users could post reels for up to only 15 seconds. And with new updates, you can now upload up to 90 seconds reel.
What does this mean for your business as a content creator and business?
A minute is all you have to swoon away your audience online and increase your following. Why should you focus more on reels? Because a study of 356,612 reels shows Instagram Reels record an average 2.54% video view rate, while regular Instagram videos reach only 1.74% (that’s almost 1.5 times!)
But a reel is only as successful as its script. For a reel script to have impact, it must add brevity and be free of monotonous text in order to convey the gist of a complex subject in 15 seconds, 60 seconds, or 90 seconds.
Want to create successful reels? Read on as I break down some of the most successful reels and analyze the nuances to help you create attention-grabbing scripts.
But before we dive deep, let’s see what reels actually are:
What are Instagram Reels?
Reels are short-form vertical videos from Instagram that are related to different niches like fashion, motivation, food, vlogs, and more. They are unique because you can add original sounds or use their extensive media library, including sounds categorized by artist, country, most used, genre, and more. You can add multiple clips, mix and match them, and even add attractive text to them. What’s more? You can add effects to your reel from the dedicated section “sparkle symbol” on the left section of the reel window.
What’s more? Instagram reels are algorithm favorites and are pushed more than the posts on the news feed. Reels can be found on the scrollable feeds of Instagram, like the for you page (FYP) of TikTok. You can find this section with the reel icon on the application.
How do you make an Instagram Reel?
The requisites to creating a reel:
- A script
- A good caption
- Trending audio
- An attractive background
- Equipment (ring light, tripod, a good camera)
The process to create a reel is easy, follow these steps:
Step 1: Open the Instagram app> Left Swipe> Select “Reel” option
Step 2: Choose a sound from the audio library or import from your device via the “♫” icon
Step 3: Swipe up to add videos and choose the duration as per your need
Step 4: Choose the second option on the right side to add effects from the library
Step 5: Once you add the video, click “Next” that comes on the right side of the recording button
Step 6: If you want to add text, select the last option on the panel above
Step 7: You can also add stickers from 4th options
Step 8: Once you’re done with edits, select the first option to download the reel
Step 9: Select “Next” and “Save Draft” or create the caption to post right away
Now that you know how to create a reel, let’s move on to the script creation.
How to create an Instagram Reel script with examples
A reel script can make or break the views you get on both the reel itself and your next post. Currently, the most viewed reel on Instagram is by Khaby Lame with 289 million views. But this reel didn’t emerge out of the blue, Khaby has a niche where he does things the “normal” way.
The script is the first step, and here’s how you do it.
1. Start with a hook/intro
A hook is the key to compel your target audience to watch your reel. This can also become the cover of your reel that will be displayed on your feed.
If your hook is tempting, you’ll have undivided attention on your reel. Reels have a metric called the drop off rate, this is the rate at which people stop watching your video and move to other one.
Let’s take an example of a high performing reel:
Jay Shetty, who has 12.4 million followers and is a best selling author, purpose coach, and former monk shares this reel to make your 2023 more happening. After posting this reel raked in 15 million views and there are many reasons behind it!
The thought process behind this reel is very crafty and well-timed. As the new year kicks in, seemingly every person on this Earth decides to create new resolutions and indulge in the idea of “New Year, New Me”.
For inspiration, they’ll go online and search for what’s trending. Being “Happy” is always trending since the Covid pandemic subsided. Jay (or his Social Media Manager) chose the befitting day of 1st January to post this.
The script goes as follows:
Since people are looking to do something new, “Try this in 2023” is a hook that will definitely catch their eye. This hook is a double slinger on the eyes and the ears. He’s used the same text and voiceover to serve audiences of all kinds—one that “mutes” the audio and reads the text, and the other that’s too busy to watch the screen, and listens to the audio while working.
Types of hooks that you can reel in your reel script are:
- A stat: “ Turn 18 days of leave into 47 days” (Source)
- Challenge: “30 day savings challenge” (Source)
- Pov: “Pov: Your tennis coach is Venus Williams” (Source)
- A quote: “You Matter” (Source)
- Direct hook: “Birthday Outfit Idea” (Source)
People usually come to your profile to satisfy search intent or to explore more content that matches their interest — having a hook is a motive for them to follow you.
P.S: You can use Wordtune to rephrase trending hooks in your style!
Let’s move to the next step.
2. The Body
This is going to be the part that consumes most of your 15 minutes but also reaps the most results. The foundation of a good reel is that it breaks down complex subjects, stories, or POVs into digestible chunks of content.
The body of the script is like cheese to a pizza. It makes your reel script irresistible and delivers the message you want through your content.
Before you jump into writing the script, decide on the following:
- The keywords
- The type of emotion you’ll portray (fun, serious, sulking, joyful, dark/grunge)
- The length of the script (50-100 words max)
- The audience you’re writing it for (helps with optimization)
Let’s breakdown the body of a high-performing reel:
This reel by “Healthy Girl Kitchen,” with 2.6 million views, describes the perfect recipe for “Get well soup.” The reason this reel got so many views? Good aesthetic video, a soothing voice, straightforward script.
The script for this video is as follows:
The highlighted part is the body, where Danielle (the account owner) explains the whole recipe step by step. Her body speech contains the recipe to her hook, “Get Well Soup.” The content mentions the ingredients in a few words and syncs with the video — creating a cohesive experience. Danielle delivers on the promise she made.
If you want to write a million views script, decide on your topic and connect it with your hook. Here’s a template for you to take inspiration or rephrase from.
A reel script body doesn’t need to be full of jargon. Instead, follow the KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) principle. If it’s a new concept, people should understand the majority of it in the first go and come back later for reference. If your language is incomprehensible for someone new, they’ll go to some other creator in your niche for a simple explanation.
BTW, Wordtune is an excellent tool for finding alternatives to complex words.
3. CTAs (Call To Action)
CTAs are the part where you bag followers or nudge viewers toward the next step. Unlike the general CTA like “Share the video,” you can be creative and have better alternatives.
These are some of the most used CTAs, and although there is no golden ratio for likes and views of reels, you can customize these examples to ensure the best performance of your reels.
These three simple steps will help you create viral reels that are shared worldwide! Now, let’s move on to some cautions that are essential to make your script harness the most of Instagram algorithms.
Things To Remember About Instagram Reel Scripts
It’s challenging to create a viral reel, even with a great script. Several factors play the auxiliaries in skyrocketing your content and ensuring people watch it multiple times.
Let’s explore some pointers you need to focus on while uploading your reel.
1. Choose A Trending Sound
Sounds are one of the essential parts of a reel and add more pomp, so choose a trending sound from Instagram’s sound library. They have over 9,000 sounds to select from (and many more are added daily).
There are multiple ways to find a good sound.
The first step is to choose the kind of sound like Lo-fi, grunge, your own VO, or instrumental sounds. To find good sounds, go to the most followed pages and click on the sounds you find the most enticing.
This sound, “Escapism” by Raye (A music artist), has been used for 87.5k reels and is trending right now. Using this sound for transformation videos, breakup stories, or business milestones will rake in views for you.
Another way to find good reel sound is to scroll your reel feed and trust the algorithm. Insta algo shows you what you like based on your hobby, interest, and search history. You’ll see some trending and befitting sounds for your content. You can use them right away if you have the reel script ready or “Save” them for later before you get the script ready.
Another way is to create your own trending sound by using your voice or creating an original sound if you know how to play instruments!
Additionally, you can also explore the Creators' accounts on Instagram for some inspo, where you can scroll through different influencers' and creators' accounts. These sounds come directly from your favorite creators and show what Instagram loves to display on their reel feed.
Last but not least, you can scroll TikTok and your FYP page to see the trends that are emerging and be the first to bring them to the Instagram platform first!
2. Don't be too serious
Conversations are the reason why you create virtual relations. The more people talk, the more they know about you and the more traction your channel gets. When you write the reel script, do it as if you're talking to a friend or cohort of people who've come to learn from you.
Instead of saying, "Here's a video for winter recipes," say, "This video is the coziness for your Winters."
The reels that talk to their audience are the ones that are the best performing, and the reel script that focuses on each aspect without making it too serious.
3. Be in sync
Another important aspect! How would your mind feel if the video dialogues came before the subtitles appear on your screen? Your mind will become agitated, and you'll change whatever you're watching.
Such is the case with reels. Being in sync with your script and matching the clips with the text is essential to maximize the impact of your content. Before you post your reel, preview if your reel matches the rhythm. If not, edit clips to improve them.
Sometimes, low battery or Instagram glitches mess with the syncing process. If this happens, save the draft, exit from the application, and restart the process of posting again.
4. Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags help the audience find the reels they like. People search and follow the hashtags they're interested in, and if your reel gets good views on relevant tags, it'll also reach more audiences. To find the best tags, use the following combination.
The first step is to use hashtags with millions of views; the next set should have ideas in triple digits, and the last set should have news in double digits. Additionally, to create your unique identity in the market, you should create a new tag with your or brand name. Alternate different combinations to find the match that gets you the most views.
5. Mind the aesthetics
Aesthetics and beauty are some of the pivotal things that dominate the Instagram space. People love to see minimal or extravagant backgrounds, tranquil sounds, and melodic voices.
People love to read and see things that calm their minds and are attractive to their eyes. The aesthetic improves brand recognition, and the viewer watches it repeatedly, which helps create a better brand voice. It also enhances the look and feel of your feed, making it all synchronized.
6. Be authentic
Content that goes viral is original and brings new content for the platform to share with its audience. That's what helps Instagram be the most diverse platform. With global users, it needs content that is out of the box and worthy of kick-starting new trends. You can piggyback on trends but give them your own twist.
For example, if it's a motivational sound, share your journey with it, or recreate past trends in your own way. While at it, remember to use Wordtune to create a new script reflecting your true authentic self while at it.
7. Stay up to date
Instagram is an evolving platform that comes with new features frequently. This includes the unique voice-over text feature or sharing videos to the platform as a reel feature. You can leverage most of the elements by taking the first mover advantage and even get in contact via email to Instagram to give your valuable feedback.
8. Be consistent
The reel can go viral anytime, there is no magic to it, but you must be consistent with posts. You should create scripts in advance for a week's content to ensure a smooth creation and posting process. If you post at least three reels a week, you have a high chance of making the one with many views and creating better connections with people in your industry.
Moreover, Instagram rewards consistency by giving you first access to its new features as a beta tester. Remember, three reels a week is difficult, but your scripts will become easy to create if you use an aid like Wordtune for alternatives and ideas. You can create a calendar for your reels and categorize your script, cover, and day of posting to automate the task to an extent.
Write scripts that resonate
My motto for reels is to write what you know but also make it enjoyable. This 15-minute tutorial will help you create a reel checklist and write the best content for your audience. With social media as an integral part of our lives, it's essential to leverage what we can and connect with more people.