Instagram Reels have exploded in popularity, with brands seeing higher engagement rates on short-form video over regular posts.
But simply creating Reels isn‘t enough. To fully capitalize on their marketing potential, you need to optimize content – with strategic hashtag usage key for visibility and reach.
This definitive guide will explore how to successfully incorporate hashtags into your Instagram Reels strategy.
Why Instagram Reels Are Ideal for Marketing
Reels pack a punch when it comes to brand-building and driving conversions. Consider that:
- 80% of users say they discover new products on Instagram Reels
- Brands have seen 30% higher conversion rates from Reels vs Stories
- Conversion rate from Reels is 26X higher than feed posts
Additional reasons Reels excel at marketing objectives:
- Reach new audiences: Gain access to the 60%+ of Instagram users engaging with Reels daily. Your content gets visibility even with those not following you.
- Position as trendsetter: Reels frequently launch viral challenges and pop culture moments – perfect for showcasing products.
- Authenticity appeal: Users actively choose Reels for "realness" and escapism – so spotlight your brand personality.
With Reels critical for Instagram marketing success, constructing the ideal strategy becomes essential.
And that‘s where hashtags enter the picture.
Why Hashtags Are Essential on Instagram
Hashtags help Instagram posts gain up to 12.6% more engagement on average.
But for Reels specifically, targeted hashtags take visibility and conversion rates to the next level.
Here‘s why you need to hashtag your Reels:
Drive Massive Reach
Including relevant hashtags exposes your Reels to interested users beyond just your current followers. Anyone searching related terms can stumble upon your content.
Hashtags get your Reels out of the echo chamber, helping exponentially expand your potential reach.
Users actively look at hashtags matching their interests. When you include niche or popular terms, it conveys precisely what your Reel showcases.
This contextualization gets viewers to stop scrolling as hashtag-focused content piques their curiosity – getting them to like, comment and share at higher rates.
Come up with branded hashtags containing your company name, slogans or other trademarks. Repeated usage cements the association in viewer minds.
And anyone searching for your specific brand terms will see all relevant community content aggregated under your customized hashtags.
Track Campaign Performance
Running an Instagram Reels campaign?
Create a separate dedicated hashtag and embed it into all related assets and influencer content. You can then easily monitor views, engagement metrics and conversion rates in real-time.
Grow Your Following
Strategic hashtags ultimately help attract an audience intently interested in your brand or niche.
The increased visibility and engagement hashtags fuel organically converts impressions into devoted, long-term followers.
Now that you see why hashtags matter, how do you select the right ones?
Choosing the Best Hashtags for Your Reels
Mixing different types of hashtags strikes the right balance of customization and volume.
Launch at least one hashtag unique to your brand so fans can find associated content in a central hub. Short, memorable phrases work best.
If you sell artisanal sweets, something like #SugarShackTreats builds consistent branding.
Narrow hashtags precisely relate to your products, services or content style/category. Though lower in overall volume, they attract engaged users because relevancy is extremely high.
For example, a luxury watch seller would incorporate niche terms like #SwissWatches and #MechanicalMovement.
Pop culture, events and meme phenomena frequently create trending hashtags. Identify ones tangentially related to your niche to tap into viral momentum.
Just be sure volume doesn‘t drown out your actual content.
Enable geotagging then include local hashtags so nearby audiences can discover your Reels (ex. #ShopLocalPortland). Useful for promoting in-person events, physical retail, or area-based services.
Mix branded, niche and trending hashtags with selective use of popular/general terms for an optimal Instagram Reels hashtag strategy.
Ideal Number of Hashtags for Your Reels
You can include up to 30 hashtags per Reel. But restraint is recommended, as excessive hashtag use often backfires by:
- Overwhelming viewers with too much text
- Making caption seem sales-y or promotional
- Burying the best terms among niche relevance
Here are best practice guidelines on ideal hashtag amounts:
- 3-5: Minimum amount for new accounts still testing content styles
- 5-10: The recomment sweet spot balancing customization with volume
- 10-15: Maximum if you‘ve identified highest-performing niche terms
Picking the right quantity gives each hashtag room to boost impressions and engagement.
Now let‘s explore specific top-performing options to consider.
Top 20 Hashtags for Instagram Reels
Here are 20 of the most widely used – and effective – hashtags brands leverage within Instagram Reels:
Hashtags like #reels and #instagramreels should be foundation of any marketing campaign. Then niche terms like brand handles (@lorealsparis) give hyper-targeted visibility.
Local hashtags like #reelsindia make geo-relevant in specific regions as well.
Now let‘s explore how to track hashtag performance.
Evaluating Hashtag Effectiveness
You need to monitor analytics to determine your optimal hashtags – and continually refine usage.
Instagram Insights provides robust analytics, including:
- Impressions and Reach
- Engagement Rates
- Traffic Sources
- Audience Demographics
- Play Duration
Analyze metrics weekly, assessing which specific hashtags over-index for engagement and Explore visibility. Identify the top terms consistently converting viewers.
But also consider advanced third-party analytics tools like Iconosquare. Benefits include:
- Historical performance data
- Competitor hashtag benchmarking
- Suggested new relevant hashtags
- Campaign management
These provide actionable recommendations – which hashtags to double down on and new relevant ones to possibly incorporate.
Continual optimization means your Reels and hashtags stay cutting edge.
Pro Tips for Hashtag Success
Ready to take your hashtag game to the next level? Try these pro tips:
Hyper-target campaigns: Create a unique hashtag for every Reels campaign and product launch. Make it clickable in bios or promote through influencers. Granularity gives insight no aggregated metrics can.
Repurpose trends: Spotlight trending topics/memes but add own twist and niche hashtags. The familiarity builds trust while custom terms get right audience.
Enable geotags: Allow geotagging then include local hashtags. Nearby users searching location terms will discover relevant branded content. Powerful for retail, events, and area-based services.
Hashtag call-to-actions: Channel hashtag interest into conversions with clickable profile links or website redirects on related terms.
Influencer collaborations: Sponsor influencer Reels centered specifically around sharing and popularizing a new campaign hashtag. Pay them to promote it with their audiences.
Algorithm monitoring: Continuously evaluate hashtag performance as Instagram‘s algorithm changes impact reach. Pivot terms as necessary to maintain rankings.
Keep these pro tips top of mind while constructing your data-driven hashtag strategy.
Transform Your Instagram Reels Impact
Adding perfectly matched hashtags introduces your Reels to the widest possible target audience. This powers visibility while letting custom brand terms build an owned community hub.
Be intentional about curating niche, location-based and branded hashtags – while still mixing trending and popular hashtags when strategically relevant.
The hashtag analytics available give incredible insight. Continually assess metrics then double down on what content and terms perform best.
Pair this strategic hashtag approach with compelling short-form video that showcases your brand identity via Reels. The engagement and conversions generated transform Instagram into a sales and customer acquisition juggernaut.
So take the time to research and test various hashtags until you unlock the ideal combination for your niche and audience. The difference in Explore page potential and visibility will be massive – making hashtags the engine behind Instagram Reels marketing success.