Social media platforms update their products with new and exciting features frequently in order to stay on top of the latest digital trends. In an industry where novelty is the name of the game, these platforms are doing anything but wait for their users to catch up.

Enter Instagram, who took advantage of the fact that people nowadays are watching less TV and streaming more digital video content. They predicted that mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic by 2021. In order to play into that shift in attention and encourage digital video creators to think about their content in a new way, Instagram launched Instagram TV (“IGTV”), their video-streaming feature, in June of last year.

What’s the Point of IGTV?

IGTV, which is available in the Instagram app and its own separate app, was introduced as a new way for users to connect with their favorite influencers outside of Instagram Stories. Video on IGTV is presented in a vertical screen format; a departure from landscape videos on YouTube that require users to rotate their phones 90 degrees to stream content in full-screen mode.

IGTV offers more than just space for videos that are longer than those permitted in posts or on Stories. The IGTV feeds contain five tabs (For You; Following; Popular; History; Saved) and is customized for each user based on the content they already follow. Unlike videos on the main feed, a user is able to pause or skip to a specific time in a video.

Who Can Post IGTV videos?

Anyone can create an IGTV channel and upload videos that are between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. Verified accounts or accounts with a large following can upload videos up to 60 minutes long, but they must be uploaded from a computer. Because you can’t record video directly through IGTV, all vertical videos must be uploaded from an external source. MP4 files can be up to 3.6GB, and the aspect ratio is 9:16.

Businesses are using IGTV to better market their products and services. While this may seem like more work, trust that IGTV can expand your reach outside of the viewers who see your content on your main feed and Instagram Stories. Read on for tips on how to successfully add IGTV into your marketing mix.

How to Hack IGTV for the Growth of Your Business

 

1. Use Content You Already Have

Once you’ve created a channel, recycle your most popular video content or live-stream recordings to reach new audiences and pique the attention of your current followers. If your videos are horizontal, you’ll have to convert them into vertical format to upload them to IGTV.

2. Share that Content on Facebook Watch

Yep, you can get the bang for your buck by toggling the “Share to Facebook” button before you post your IGTV video.

3. Consider Series and Franchises

Choose a subject or topic that you can cover in multiple videos to keep your audience coming back for more. For example, if you have a video shoot that will take a few days to film, cover it in an IGTV series! Or, if you’re a production company, you can use IGTV to showcase what a typical brainstorming session is like.

4. Keep your Branding Consistent

Make sure that your IGTV content “feels” like it’s a part of your brand. Maintain your brand’s colors, fonts, and voice throughout each video. Remember: viewers can share, save, and screenshot your insightful content, so it should be produced at a caliber of quality that’s consistent with the standards of your (awesome) brand.

5. Stay Organized

People love predictability. In order to regularly produce IGTV episodes that will keep people coming back for more, you need to produce accordingly. Uploading content to your main feed and IGTV at the same time can help keep your posting schedule on track.

6. Take Advantage of IGTV’s Features

IGTV offers Insights and CTA (call to action) options. Review your page’s Insights to determine when you have the largest captive audience. Post at these peak periods to reach the biggest audience. The Insights tab can also show you which audiences you should be targeting outside of your current reach.

Additionally, the CTA feature allows you to add multiple links in the descriptions of your videos, which will help drive traffic to your website or product. Include five relevant hashtags in the description field to further promote your videos.

Using social media to market your product or business is the new seasonal color. Try it out!

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