Instagram recently rolled out a new feature you may have heard about or started using for your content marketing already called Instagram Television, or IGTV.
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It's a feature to watch longer videos on Instagram in addition to the short videos you can post in your account or in your stories.
It's housed in the regular Instagram app and you can access it by clicking the TV icon in the upper right corner of the updated app. This takes you into the IGTV section of the app.
Instagram stories are staying the same for now – you can still upload photos and 60-second long video clips to your profile. These serve as a great marketing tool because you can film or shoot directly in the app and add in features like filters, gifs, text, stickers, geotags, etc.
The main difference with IGTV is that you can upload much longer form videos right into the app – right now you can film up to one hour of video.
It works much more like traditional TV – you can browse between channels by swiping up and navigating through suggested videos and followed channels.
That means that anyone can upload or film their own "episode" length video and keep the user within the app without having to click out to sites like YouTube.
This could have a huge impact on the way online video is produced and consumed – but what does it mean for your brand's content marketing and advertising strategy?
We have seen a rise in demand for vertical video as audiences continue to shift from desktop to mobile.
The pay-TV industry lost 1.7 million, or 1.7%, of its customers in 2016.
Vertical film is much easier to consume on a mobile screen and it doesn't require having to turn the device or alter controls.
But bear in mind that there is still a need for horizontal videos – they are more natural to the way our eyes see things and are more familiar to users. It's a good idea to plan on creating videos with both horizontal and vertical usage in mind, depending on which platforms you advertise on most often.
Shifting Content Needs
While you may have been using Instagram all along, it's now important to consider it as a major player in the video marketing world.
Whereas before Instagram was best for stunning pictures of food, gym progress, vacation destinations, etc. the ability to upload long-form video content means you'll want to have a variety of content to share on the platform. If your audience lives on Instagram, the app and IGTV should start to become a bigger part of your content strategy discussions.
More Diverse Audience
Marketers will want to get more familiar with the IGTV platform as it is highly likely to dominate the attention of the current middle school demo and possibly become the platform that young adults 8-10 years from now grew up watching.
That means that the audience will get older and older over the coming years and it will continue to be a solid income stream for marketers to depend on. With over 1 billion users, it has proved itself as a platform that is here to stay.
Better Storytelling Ability
Creating relationships is key to digital marketing today. And the best way to build relationships is to share content on a regular basis and involve your audience in your story.
IGTV provides an awesome way to strike a cadence with your content in order to craft a narrative that provides value to viewers and helps them relate to you. It's likely that we can expect to see "web show" style formats that tell a story over time, such as Vlogs, docu-series – the video equivalent of podcasts.
So How Can you Optimize Your IGTV Strategy?
IGTV is the newest great opportunity for brands to expand audiences and deepen relationships with followers. Here are some tips and examples to help you get started.
Make a Good First Impression
If viewers aren't excited in the first few seconds, they won't continue watching your video. Make sure to open it strong with an engaging, branded message right in the beginning.
Users are going to be overwhelmed with long-form content soon so you want to make sure you capture their interest right away. Louis Vuitton does an awesome job of this in their 12 minute Men's Spring Summer 2019 fashion video.
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Don't Skimp on Crafting Polished Content
IGTV needs to be slick and high quality. Using tools like iMovie and Final Cut Pro helps ensure that you are producing content that will keep your audience pleased and engaged.
There are also other great apps on iOS and Android devices that can help you film and edit for IGTV. Cheddar is doing a great job of this by editing some of their most visually stunning videos into smaller informative segments for IGTV.
Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer is known for their crazy, over-the-top milkshakes. Within 72 hours of their first Instagram post, they had gone viral, with a line that was over 250 people. They went from a mom and pop shop to multiple locations around the globe.
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Give Them Tips
Short IGTV videos, two minutes or less, are a great way to start out your IGTV efforts.
That is the length that most people are likely to watch all the way through and it's a good length for offering quick tips that provide information and are fun to watch.
These tips can vary from offering info on how to use a product to industry news to any kind of info on what is going on in the world of your products/services.
Look at what Tastemade is doing with their IGTV channel – they provide amazing guilty pleasure recipe videos and tips for making goodies in a visually compelling fashion.
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The world is quickly moving toward a mobile and video experience and your online marketing strategy will greatly benefit from shifting your focus over to these areas. Start thinking about your presence on IGTV to make sure you stay ahead of the game with your online presence.