Instagram TV or IGTV has been quietly picking up steam over recent months. This is Instagram’s entry into the realm of longer videos, allowing it to compete with YouTube, Facebook Video and other video platforms. Let’s look at exactly what IGTV is and how marketers can use it for promotion.
An Introduction to IGTV
IGTV is an app that’s separate from Instagram itself. This is why many Instagram users, as well as marketers, aren’t yet familiar with IGTV. Although the app was introduced in 2018, Instagram has been fairly low key about promoting it, unrolling features gradually.
Instagram has traditionally been for photos and very short videos. On IGTV, users can create longer videos of up to 10 minutes. If you have a verified account, your videos can be up to an hour. Videos on this platform are designed to be mobile-friendly, so they are vertical and full screen. There are also social sharing features so viewers can like, comment on and share videos. Like YouTube, creators form their own channels on IGTV.
IGTV has the potential to become a major social media force. Instagram is already one of the most popular sites with younger users. Its main competitors for the youth market are currently Snapchat and TikTok, both of which support only very short videos. Thus, IGTV is positioning itself as a new alternative for longer videos.
Building Your Brand With Organic Content
One way to use IGTV is to provide helpful organic content. In this way, it’s similar to making videos for Facebook or YouTube. However, the demographics will be a bit different, as IGTV attracts a younger audience who will be watching strictly on mobile devices as this is an iOS and Android app. You can create all kinds of content for IGTV, including:
- Broadcasting from events and interesting locations.
- Providing a close look at your business.
- Educational and explainer videos. Longer videos are perfect for explaining products and services.
- Reviews and testimonials. Encourage customers to make video reviews for your business. These are often more persuasive than written testimonials.
Promoting Your Videos on IGTV
While it’s been around for over a year, many people still aren’t familiar with IGTV. For this reason, you may need to promote your videos on multiple channels and platforms. One of the easiest ways to promote your IGTV videos is on Instagram itself. While Instagram and IGTV apps are separate, Instagram allows you to preview videos on your feed. While people can see a preview of your video on Instagram if they want to see the whole thing, they’ll need the app.
You can preview up to 60 seconds of your video on Instagram. Viewers will then get a message to watch the full video on IGTV. This can be a great way to convert your Instagram followers into fans of your IGTV channel. Instagram provides instructions on how to upload IGTV videos from Instagram.
Advertising is still an emerging feature on IGTV but it’s a good idea to keep track of it so you can get in early if you want. It sounds like IGTV will be introducing monetization methods similar to YouTube’s, where creators can earn money by showing ads.
You can also promote your IGTV videos on your blog, Facebook page, LinkedIn, Twitter and of course on your Instagram feed. This can be a good opportunity to get more people to sign up for the IGTV app. New users are good for you because they won’t yet be following many accounts. Your videos, therefore, will show up prominently on their feed.
Tips for IGTV Videos
When doing any type of video marketing, you need to consider the platform. The strategy of making a single video and sharing it everywhere will only get you so far. It’s well known that Facebook native videos perform better on Facebook than YouTube videos. This is largely because of Facebook’s algorithm but it’s also because videos are more seamless when shown on the same site they were made for. Similarly, when creating videos for IGTV, you should keep your audience in mind.
- Engage with your audience visually. Many YouTube videos consist of someone sitting in front of their webcam talking. There’s nothing wrong with this but it isn’t ideal for Instagram’s visually oriented audience. You’ll do much better if you take some effort to make your videos more visually interesting. This can mean shooting them in a scenic setting or trying to set the stage with props and decor. Your appearance counts as well. The full-screen format fills the viewer’s screen with the video, so you want to make it as engaging as possible.
- Choose the appropriate length for your videos. Although IGTV videos for verified accounts can be as long as an hour, most fall into the 15 second to 10-minute range. You can explain quite a bit in 5 or 10 minutes. Even for longer training and explainer videos, it’s often more engaging to create multiple shorter videos rather than one long one.
- Entertain your audience. Young audiences appreciate humor, music and acted-out dramas. Instagram users prefer a livelier approach rather than just a list of facts and features.
Instagram Stories, Instagram Live and IGTV
Instagram is introducing ways to integrate IGTV with some other popular functions, Stories and Instagram Live. Instagram Live allows users to broadcast Stories in real time. Instagram is currently testing a feature that lets you share Instagram Live videos to IGTV. In other words, your live videos will have a permanent home on your IGTV channel, giving you a way to get more leverage from this content. Although this feature is still in testing, it suggests that Instagram plans to integrate some of its most popular features.
IGTV Can Boost Your Social Media Presence
IGTV provides businesses with an opportunity to establish a presence on one of the newest video platforms. If you’re already active on Instagram, it will be quite easy to promote your videos to existing followers. If you want to build your IGTV channel, you can invest in promoted posts on Instagram that show previews of your IGTV videos. You can also build your audience organically by creating quality videos on your channel. IGTV is likely to grow quickly in the coming months so it’s the perfect time to get involved.