Any good brand knows that a presence on Instagram is no longer a simple advantage, but a necessity. Instagram TV, or IGTV, is quickly becoming another tool that marketers can use to increase brand recognition and engagement.
Since Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012, the social media app has seen the addition of features that have transformed it from an image-sharing app to a proper social media network.
IGTV Features Added Since Facebook Acquisition
Instagram has changed a lot since 2012, and it has borrowed ideas from platforms like Periscope, Snapchat, and Youtube. Here are some of the major updates:
- Video clips
- Private messages
- Instagram live
Although these additions have been a boon to Instagram, IGTV has the potential to transform the platform once again. The addition of stories was a huge success.
With IGTV, you can share videos directly to your users without having to link to Youtube or Vimeo, a useful feature given that click-through rates on Instagram are infamously abysmal.
By taking advantage of this new feature, you could increase your engagement rates and turn a user into a customer.
Here are a few things you should know before you start posting.
What Is IGTV?
Although you can already post video clips on your feed on the Instagram app, and you can share videos via the stories feature, they are both plagued by brevity.
A video on your feed has a maximum runtime of 15 seconds, and stories are allotted one whole minute — hardly enough time to say hello or get the point across.
IGTV is a simplified Youtube platform that works as a standalone app, which also integrates with the flagship Instagram app. However, IGTV allows videos up to 15-minutes long, and up to an hour long for users with 10,000 followers or more.
While the videos are of a higher quality than the ones on your feed, IGTV videos are not HD, which is an unfortunate casualty of compression. That’s not to say the videos have a low-quality look, but it would be nice to have HD video in the modern age.
These kinds of videos are not unlike the ones from Snapchat, but they have the advantage of being much longer. The app’s interface is easy to navigate, and swiping through videos can lead to hours of lost time.
How IGTV Works
The app is available for download on the Apple App Store and on Google Play, and signing up is easy if you already have an Instagram account.
In fact, if you’re logged into the Instagram app on your phone, the IGTV app will recognize that and ask if you want to log in with your account.
IGTV wastes no time in introducing content to users, so videos begin playing the moment you log in. Swiping left will bring up the next video, and so forth.
The video feed is broken up into four tabs:
- videos chosen for you
- videos of channels you follow
- popular videos
- your video-watching history
Swiping through the “for you” video feed feels both random and entertaining. I saw a skiing tutorial video followed by a video of a backhoe pulling a massive rock out of the ground, and then came a few videos about carpentry and home improvements.
Dear reader, as a person who owns one power tool, I can assure you that I am not interested in carpentry, but I got the opportunity to watch them anyway.
However, it’s much easier to see content that interests you in the “following” tab because it pulls from channels you follow, per the name.
This is an opportunity for brands to showcase content that requires longer video times, although, videos may need some editing before posting.
Uploading to IGTV (And Making Your Videos Awesome)
Uploading a video to IGTV is simple, and there is no requirement as to what it should look like. If you want to go the extra step, however, try editing the video to help it stand out.
Improving your videos requires some knowledge in the video editing department, but there are tons of tutorials online already.
Here are a few best practices:
- Add graphics
- Add captions
- Color correct raw video
- Adjust sound levels
- Add music
Another way to make your videos better is by upgrading your equipment, such as your camera and microphone, which can be affordable if you do your research.
Here are a few suggestions.
When shooting or editing, keep in mind that all videos on Instagram TV are vertical. Changing the video to landscape is doable, but this may lead to viewers skipping your video.
Followers of your profile can watch your IGTV videos in one of two ways: On the IGTV app, and through your Instagram profile.
This two-way-street approach ensures your videos are always readily available to your followers.
Creating and Growing your Channel
Here’s a fact — hundreds of millions of videos are watched weekly by users all across the world on platforms like Facebook, Snapchat, and Youtube.
When it comes to content, video is king, so this is the perfect time to dip your toe in and get ahead of your competitors on this new platform.
To begin your IGTV media empire, first, you must create a channel and then you can upload some videos.
Creating your own channel is a quick process, and it can’t hurt to create one even if you don’t post right away.
With IGTV, you have another way to increase user engagement and connect to new users that might have never heard of you, albeit with less of the features that Youtube offers.
Tips to Increase Views and Engagement
Here are a few suggestions to help you grow your channel:
- Post regularly
- Learn to properly edit video for IGTV
- Learn how to add flashy graphics to videos
- Find your niche and your audience will find you
- Upgrade your equipment to produce professional-like videos
- Link to your videos from your other social media accounts
- Buy a shoutout to your channel from prominent IGTV channels
- Adapt your videos to current trends for maximum reach
Use as many of these as you can and see what works for your channel and audience.
Depending on the product and services you offer, there are many ways you can use IGTV to your advantage. You could chat with your followers through a vlog-style video, or you could show off a lengthy demo of your product or service.
At this point in the growth of the new app, there is room to take risks, be creative, and approach IGTV with a variety of tactics until something sticks. To learn more about marketing and social media, read this detailed article which breaks down the tools you need for a successful and efficient social media campaign.