What is IGTV?
Earlier this year, Instagram launched IGTV, their entrance into the long form video content world. Creators have the ability to upload videos between 15 seconds and 1 hour in length. Some are saying this is positioned as a rival to YouTube or a YouTube killer, but we don’t believe that necessarily to be true. As with most platforms, you’ll find different demographics for your audiences on each just depending on the primary demographic using that particular platform. With that being said, brands and influencers have taken advantage of the new platform giving their Instagram audiences the longer content they desire.
How brands are using IGTV
Creators such as Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee), who regularly put out long form video content on Facebook and Youtube have utilized the platform as just another channel to push their content on. As you can see Gary is uploading his DailyVee series on IGTV with no change to formatting from the other platforms. This has actually become the trend. Though the platform is intended to push the use of vertical video, most creators seem to be uploading traditional 16:9 landscape orientated video and prompting users to turn their screens sideways.
Some influencers are using IGTV as an alternative to stories when they have a bit more they need to say and don’t want to deal with the hassle of breaking up their thoughts into multiple 10 second clips. Other users find IGTV to be more beneficial than writing actual blog posts, and some are using them in conjunction with long form written content.
Is IGTV right for my brand?
As with any social platform, the answer to the question if it’s right for your brand will always be “it depends”. It is a fun and useful tool to incorporate into your social marketing mix, but the effectiveness will be determined whether or not your target audience is active on the platform or not. The platform allows creators to invest more time and production value into the content they want displayed on Instagram, but that’s not always a requirement either. Sometimes a quick and dirty video thrown onto IGTV is exactly what your audience is looking to consume. This is especially true among younger audiences who are looking for authenticity in the content they consume.
The great news for your brand or business is, you’re not starting from scratch when it comes to your audience if you decide to start utilizing. Unlike on YouTube when you start a channel and your subscriber count is zero, on IGTV anyone who already follows you on Instagram is automatically following your IGTV channel. Now, this doesn’t mean they will automatically watch your content, just like it doesn’t mean they engage with all of your posts on the gram anyways. What it does do is give you a great starting point, and a lukewarm audience who have already expressed interest in your brand or business to deliver valuable content to.
If you make the decision to invest time and energy into using IGTV there are a few simple rules to follow some of which apply to most content you put out into the world.
Keep it relevant:
If you’re posting anything, no matter the platform, it needs to be relevant to your audience. They follow you because you post a certain type of content. Give the people what they want!
Instagram started with the goal of publishing content in the moment. While going live on Instagram would be the better option for that now, IGTV doesn’t have to be overproduced. Keep things real, share cool longer form stories with your audience and just have fun with it. Too many brands waste time and money trying to put out the perfect piece of content in an era where short, raw content is king. Think skateboard videos in the 90s and 2000s, except we’re not stuck with massive VHS cameras. We have 4k cameras in our pockets and you can upload from just about anywhere.
Capturing the attention of your audience is hard to do and if you earn it, reward them for it. Provide valuable content that reminds them why they stopped scrolling dedicated 10 minutes of their lives to you. Give them a reason to consume and share your content.
What could be improved
While IGTV is still relatively new, there are many things we’d love to see improved with the platform. A big one being an improved search/discoverability feature. This is something YouTube does great, and though we’re not saying IGTV needs to copy every feature of YouTube, this is one that would bring more users to the platform, and help those already providing quality content the ability to be found easier. For many content creators this will definitely not replace posting on YouTube for the foreseeable future. This is due to the fact there is no way to monetize your content, which is a big draw and why hundreds of thousands of creators aspire to get big on YouTube.
IGTV is a great addition to the Instagram platform and can be a great addition in your marketing mix. Just remember to keep it relevant, authentic, and provide value to your audience and you’re good to go. Have fun creating!