A 30 Day Reel Challenge
30 days of prompts to elevate your instagram reel game
Dawning Digital is issuing you a challenge, and it’s time for you to step up to the plate and make it happen!
Introducing the Dawning Digital 30 Day Reel Challenge, in which you, as a content creator, can get to know Instagram’s newest feature and expand your following in the process! If you missed out on what Instagram reels are or just need a refresher, we wrote a blog post on it here. We want to help you create Instagram reels that help your brand (or personal profile) grow and hopefully show you some creators you love along the way!
Every day for the next 30 days, we’ve detailed a prompt to help you create your daily reel. For all thirty days, we’ve given you an idea, a few examples of fun sounds you could use, and three examples of a reel using that format! These topics are just there to spark inspiration for you, and you certainly don’t need to follow the exact structure we send you. We’d love to see how creative you get. Heck, maybe you find a type of reel you genuinely love making, and you run with it for all 30 days. That would be awesome for us to see! Be sure to tag us and use our hashtag #DD30DaysOfReels when you post your reel so that we can see it. If you’re struggling with working the reels tool or want to find out more about how engaging with new features on Instagram can add significant boosts to your following, please book a free consultation call with us!
Ready, set, reel!
Topic: Introducing yourself
How? Keep it conversational, keep it chilled, and let your followers know who you are and what your vibe is. This reel doesn’t need to be of a high production value. The more chilled it is, the more relatable it’ll be!
- Natasha from @shinewithnatasha
- Dayna and Brian from @artsandfood
- Joi from @joi.knows.how
- Chelsea from @honeyandcocreative
- Cosmo of @cutecosmo_thecavalier
Songs to Use: Anything that fits your brand. Playing around with songs that you love will attract a like-minded audience (those searching that specific song) to your content! “Willgittens – Original Audio” is the track in example 4!
Topic: a house or office tour
How? Home is where the heart is, so why not show off your space for all your followers to see. Show off all the effort you put into creating your sanctuary and share your design aesthetic in a way your followers might even covet a little bit. Make sure your home or office is tidy, though – nobody wants to see laundry hampers and bedside tables stacked with coffee mugs!
Songs to Use:
- “My House” by Flo Rida
- “Homeward Bound” by Simon and Garfunkel
- “Leaving Home Ain’t Easy” by Queen.
Topic: A tips & tricks video
How? What are you great at? What do you know a whole lot about? (You can find out more about how to define your professional or personal brand with these 18 essential questions to define your brand.) Why not make a short informative video to help your followers get good at what you’re an expert in? For this video, you can edit together filmed footage, OR you can use found footage, edited together in the Reels feature or on Canva. Keep it short, fun, and adding value to your viewer’s days!
- The Dawning Digital Team on increasing story views
- The Later Media Team on how to schedule TikTok videos
- Abigail Ade showing us how to hide smile lines with makeup
Songs to Use: If you’re using text to convey your message, try to avoid using songs with lyrics as they may be distracting to a viewer who is reading your tips! Try looking for a trending instrumental sound so that the trend will send more viewers your way.
topic: A behind-the-scenes look at creating your content
How? If you’re as committed to the ‘gram as we are, you’re ready to go to great lengths to create your content. You’ll spend ages looking for the perfect lighting, most flattering angle, most trendy location, and next-level ‘fit before you take that photo. Show your followers the lengths you go to to keep them hooked, and have a few giggles and bloopers in the footage to keep it relatable and fun!
(Tip: You can easily create more BTS videos by just recording what you do while you’re working. You don’t have to take too much extra time out of your day for this, and you can make a habit of doing it once a week so that you have a consistent stream of content.)
Songs to Use: Try looking for trending, vibey songs to keep your reel upbeat. If you’re struggling, though, try “Paparazzi” by Lady Gaga or “Hey Ya! (Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture)” by Outkast.
Topic: A dance challenge! (There's an alternative option at the end if you're not feeling up for it today!)
How? You’re going to have to do some research in your Reels Discover Tab for this one. One of the hugest genres in the world of reels, dance challenges entail finding a trending challenge, learning it, and replicating it yourself, on video! If you can’t dance, don’t worry, none of us at Dawning Digital can dance either. This reel is more for fun, moving your body, and finding a space in your day to be a little less severe.
Songs to Use: The way these dance challenges work towards driving direct engagement is to use trending sounds. Go on a watching spree and find one that’s happening on the day you do this challenge!
Alternative challenge: hop on another trending sound and show us how you lip-synch your heart out!
Topic: My morning routine
How? You can go the artistic route, but a personable POV works well too! Document the little rituals and habits that take you from getting out of bed into being ready for the day. This can be comedic in its quirks and super informative to the people who follow you in that it could show them ways to better their day.
- Sol from @dawningdigital
- This small business owner routine from @prettygirl.bangles
- Tom, an Olympic athlete at @tomdaley
Songs to Use: If there’s text in your reel explaining what you’re doing, we’d say look for a trending instrumental track. If you’re feeling a little edgier, use Mak Sauceh’s “Good Morning.” If you want something a little funnier, why not try “The Lazy Song” by Bruno Mars?
How? Gather a list of the questions your followers usually ask you. Those things you have to type out a reply to over and over and over again. Why not take 30 seconds of your life to explain your answer? Compile a list of them and use those as your improv script for this reel. We recommend doing this as a PoV video, and while you’re answering each question, keeping the question somewhere on screen in text.
Songs to Use: This will be quite a text and talking-heavy reel, so if you choose audio, make it mellow and soft.
Topic: My mood board
How? Find the images or short clips that inspire your profile’s vibe, and create a video that plays a satisfying slideshow to the people that follow you. Sometimes it’s that simple. Just a collection of what you and your followers like to see. Set it to a tune that inspires you. You can create this in the Reels editor, but you can also do it in Canva if the in-program editor is confusing you.
Songs to Use: Though certain trending sounds could work here, this presents shareable content opportunities and longevity if it speaks to where your brand’s aesthetic is at. So if a trending song fits – that’s awesome! If not, pick something that works for you, and make this a bit of an indulgent one.
Topic: Revisiting older, successful content.
How? We all have those pieces of content that we’ve made that have done some truly fantastic, exceeding expectations things. Now it’s about taking those pieces and adapting them for a new platform. Whether showing them through a slideshow, re-establishing them through a video narrative, or even just expanding on a joke tweet: give this excellent piece of content to new viewers in your larger audience!
Songs to Use: If this content is stuff you’ve posted before, it’s going to do the best with a recent, relevant sound repackaging in the video. It would be best if you changed it sufficiently so that your long-term followers won’t see it as a repeat and it can access a new audience. Finding a trending track on Reels will do just that.
topic: A Meme reel
How? Gather some meme images about your industry, your brand, and even about you! If they aren’t readily available, create some memes using our FREE Dawning Digital meme template, to show that you don’t take yourself all that seriously! If you’re not sure how to make a slideshow video, try iMovie or the resources available on Canva. There’s nothing cooler than a brand or person who doesn’t take themselves too seriously.
Songs to Use: Keep it quirky with music, or add a laugh track!
Topic: Thoughts that keep you up at night
How? Think about what’s worrying you, and express it. It could be as simple as “will I wake up with my alarm in the morning?” or as complex and layered as “where is the world going?” Take a video of yourself getting into bed, and then act out those thoughts appearing in your space – captioning them as they pop around corners and appear at the foot of your bed!
Songs to Use: Use something suspenseful, like a movie soundtrack!
Topic: Mistakes I make
How? We’re thinking: a little montage of mistakes you make that you’re choosing to work on and improve. Maybe you don’t drink enough water, spend late hours of your evening looking at your phone, forget to water your fave houseplants, or you don’t make time for yourself! It’s relatable to show vulnerability, and by acknowledging these mistakes, you may just stop yourself from making them next time! You can also switch this one up to show the typical business mistakes you make or have seen others making!
- From the @homemadesocial_ team
- Marlo from @theeyesofmylens
- Rabab of @rabab.lifecoach owning up to her mistakes
Songs to Use: “Oops, I Did it Again” by Britney Spears or the custom sound from example number 2 or 3!
Topic: Something I’ll never do.
How? Using the sound in the examples down below, write the caption for an imaginary scenario that you’d NEVER be in. Then, when the track says, “guess I’ll never know,” lip-synch along and write out why that could never be you. This one is short and sweet!
Songs to Use: The original audio by @morganreneemcintyre in the above examples.
Topic: Hometown Pride
How? Using the sound in the examples below, create a slideshow showing off the beautiful parts of where you live. Start it off with the text overlay “When I say I live in [your home], this is what I mean…” and then compile a slideshow of your best pics of your location in time to the beat of the music!
Songs to Use: The original audio by @alohaa_jana in the above examples.
topic: instagram vs. reality
How? Find your best selfie – we’re talking angles, great lighting, gorgeous edit. Start your reel with that image on the screen for a little while. Then show a video or pictures of you in a normal state. You can take this concept through to your space, or your pets, or even the meals you eat! Show your followers that you can’t be curated and perfect all the time, and become instantly relatable!
Songs to Use: Try and choose a song that means a lot to you and resonates with you on a personal level. This challenge is about honesty and authenticity, so the song should represent that.
topic: Before and after
How? Find an element of your life that lends itself to a dramatic reveal of a finished product. This can be something as big as a room makeover or drastic haircut, or something as everyday as making a beautiful-looking sandwich or reorganizing your desk. Film the beginning scene or elements of the final product, create a time-lapse of you making it happen, and end the video with an appreciative slow-mo shot of your final triumph!
- This kitchen remodel from @beforeafter_ideas
- This driveway cleaning from @livingstoneconst
- This root touch-up from @hairbychrissydanielle
Songs to Use: Go for something that’s trending to ensure maximum views. Before and after reels tend to do incredibly well! If you can, try to time it so that the build-up to the song’s break is in your transition shots, and the grand reveal happens as the break does! It’s super satisfying when they line up perfectly.
topic: follower spotlight
How? Ask your community to send you selfies or short videos of themselves that you can compile into a “thank you” edit. Or – if you have some creative followers, why not feature some of their content? Be sure to credit them, though!
Songs to Use: This is very dependent on what you’re posting. If you’re reposting fan content, use their sound. If you’re making your own content, try a song about being grateful, like Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Gratitude”!
Topic: A day in my life
How? Keep your phone handy throughout the day and take little video snippets of what you get up to. Who you meet, what you eat, where you shop, and what you do to unwind! Edit these together and let your audience get a snapshot of what it’s like to be you for a day.
Songs to Use: Switch it up by kicking it Old School with Simple Plan’s “Welcome to My Life” or even OLDER school with The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life.”
Topic: A lookbook
How? Pick a few of your favorite outfits on a theme. These can be glamorous, geared towards a night out, comfy at-home staples, or even something like cosplay or fancy dress! Film yourself modeling them and stitch them together to a trendy song. If you know your followers like a specific style, challenge yourself to keep your looks in that realm. You can drive engagement by asking your followers to choose their favorite look in the comments!
Songs to Use: Pick something vibey and trendy. It’s even cooler if you know the words and can lip-sync to it while you do outfit changes to create a sense of continuity between your looks.
How? Go out to your local dog park and video some of the little cuties you find there. That’s it – just dogs. If you have your own fluffy best friend, you can video them too!
Songs to Use: Keep it light and happy. Nobody wants to be listening to heavy metal music or a sad story about heartbreak when looking into the eyes of pure joy.
(We haven’t forgotten about you, cat people! We just know an extensive collection of cats is a much rarer sighting!)
Topic: A prank
How? Make sure you’re doing something with no real-life repercussions. Think using a pin to slice a banana through the peel, then handing it to your partner who opens an already sliced banana. Or wrapping a co-worker’s whole desk (down to the individual pencils) in gift wrap! Make sure you film the reaction, but if it’s not well received, preferably not post the footage.
Songs to Use: You want to be able to hear the reaction to your prank, so if you’re going to use a backtrack, keep it low, instrumental, and ambient.
N.B. Please be kind; no laughs are worth hurting someone!
Topic: Virtual Talent SHow
How? Find the special little thing that you’re good at – even if it seems silly – and show your audience! It can feel a bit strange to be broadcasting, but as long as you’re enjoying yourself, it will reflect, and your audience will find it entertaining!
Songs to Use: This is very contingent on your talent. Don’t pick anything that’s going to overshadow your unique abilities! OR, if your talent is a little silly, some epic orchestral soundtrack music could be hilarious.
How? Get right up close to your microphone and record some soft, satisfying sounds. You could whisper-read a page of your fave book, just have a soft, breathy chat about your day, record your cat purring, or even gently chop some veggies! You can get super imaginative with this one and adapt it to the theme of your already existing content.
Songs to Use: Don’t! This reel is all about your voice or the sounds of your surroundings. Keep it soft and subtle.
How? For this reel, simple is the best. Sit down and tell your story to the camera as if you’re talking to a friend. You can up engagement by asking your followers if they have any similar stories in the caption. Get descriptive and engaging – if this is a long story, you can even make this a multiple-part series. Your followers will keep coming back to see the end!
Songs to Use: A song isn’t essential, but if you want to, go for something instrumental, so it doesn’t interfere with what your audience hears.
How? Find old photographs and footage of yourself as a kid or teen and compile these into a fun slideshow. To show how much you’ve grown up (or glowed up!), add an image of yourself now at the end.
Songs to Use: Find the song that was number 1 on your 12th birthday for a real throwback!
Topic: A FAVES LIST
How? Pick an object you have a bit of a collection of, and show your audience your five fave types of that item. For example, if you love snacks, show them your five top ones. If you’re into makeup, you can show off your favorite shades of lipstick. If you’re into movies, show your audience the ones you love!
Songs to Use: Use a trending song if you’re not talking, but if you are, keep it soft and instrumental.
Topic: A workout video
How? Simply film your daily workout! If it’s something your audience can follow along with, make it a tutorial. If it’s not, show them an inspiring time-lapse! Sweat it out, b!
Songs to Use: Keep it upbeat, fast tempo, electro tunes to keep your audience pumped!
Topic: Yup, Nope
How? Using the song “Choices,” film yourself nodding on “yup” and shaking your head on “nope.” In editing, add questions that correspond to the answer via text overlay, and inform your audience of your opinions/advice entertainingly!
Songs to Use: ‘Choices (Yup)” by Lil Skeet
How? Show off your favorite book! Do a brief voice-over on top of the front cover footage and add text elements of essential themes, characters, and messages. You may just spark the interest of someone who wants to share this journey with you!
Songs to Use: Something that suits the theme of the book. A coming of age tale about a young lady finding herself won’t go well with a gangster rap song, and a fantasy novel won’t go with the latest club hit! Use your discretion.
topic: Party for one
How? Treat yourself! You’ve earned it, fam! Plan yourself a little celebration-for-one, and document it. Get some cake, make a playlist, put up some festive lights, and have a blast. You established yourself as a video content creator, and the world gets to see you celebrating that.
Songs to Use: YOUR song! Use the fave that makes you feel happy and dancey and awesome!
Don’t forget to tag #DD30DaysOfReels so we can see what you post!
Thank you so much for coming on this journey with us. You can also get this blog post as a daily email reminder here if you tend to be a little forgetful! It happens to the best of us! We have adored watching the things you’ve been creating, and we hope you had as much fun as we did. How did this help your growth? Or help you find new avenues as a content creator? We’d love to hear your feedback.
If you want to talk to us about other ways to step up your Instagram game, please don’t hesitate to book a free consultation call with us. In the meantime though, don’t forget to keep it Reel!