By Kate Grigg (Digital Strategy Director)
Like me, you’ve probably seen IGTV videos popping up in your social feeds a lot more recently.
“Swipe up to watch more” or “Watch the full IGTV video” — and at a finger’s tap, you go from a 60 second preview to the full video.
This long-form video content (typically more than one minute in duration) sits within IGTV, also known as Instagram TV. IGTV has been ticking along in the background of most people’s Instagrams for the last year. You probably haven’t noticed it, unless you’ve accidentally tapped the small IGTV icon at the top of Instagram’s Home screen. Recently, IGTV significantly enhanced its integrations with Instagram, so it’s now much easier to align your Instagram content (and audience) with IGTV.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to jump on-board the IGTV trend!
Introducing the simple preview (or trailer) into the Instagram app was a game-changer. IGTV immediately improved the way long-form content is surfaced across Instagram, making it much easier for people to discover and watch. As IGTV itself has no advertising functionality, cross-promotion from Instagram is critical. Unfortunately, you cannot promote a preview (even though they look like normal posts), but you can promote a Story that features the IGTV preview video with a swipe-up link. Promoting a Story preview of your IGTV content has the added benefit of extending reach beyond your current followers. You should also consider promoting your videos across other channels as well, like Facebook, Twitter or EDM.
IGTV has enabled brands and creators to engage and interact with their audience in an entirely new way, providing a solution for connecting existing audiences with longer, more immersive content. IGTV allows videos up to 10 minutes in length, or up to one hour for verified accounts.
Through the IGTV Explore tab, viewers can purposefully browse and pick a video when they’re in the mood to really engage and pay attention. Instagram knows that if the content and audience is right, people will keep watching and make far deeper connections.
IGTV creator content is not yet monetized like YouTube. However, that hasn’t stopped creators producing content for both YT and IGTV—and now often exclusively for IGTV. As YouTube content has become increasingly professionalized, we see IGTV becoming a home for content that feels more authentic: celebrities talking directly to fans, chefs cooking full recipes, influencers giving tutorials, musicians playing tracks, and TV networks previewing trailers.
Advertisers are creators themselves, so IGTV is a highly relevant environment for brands. Opportunities for brands include sharing behind-the-scenes videos, hosting Q&A sessions, company event videos, tutorials, how-to videos, educational videos and product reviews, or giving fans the opportunity to watch ambassadors in action.
With increased audience demand, there is an influx of new and old long-form content being uploaded by both brands and creators on IGTV. Content posted to your IGTV is permanent, just like YouTube. IGTV now supports both vertical and horizontal video, so there is an opportunity to reuse your popular videos and give them the new life.
If you think IGTV could be a good fit for your brand, here are our top tips for producing IGTV content:
1. It’s okay to shoot on a phone – you don’t need to produce polished, TV-like videos. As far as production quality goes, it’s best to think of IGTV as a step up from Instagram Stories.
2. Shoot vertical to maximize the screen space and your audience’s attention.
3. Make your IGTV title like a caption.
4. Treat your launch like a premiere. Use previews and Stories to build anticipation and cross-promote across different platforms.
5. Add hashtags to the video.
6. IGTV videos should be based on a format. They should have a repeatable theme and style that your audience can expect in every episode. The basic structure of a IGTV video should include: a teaser, the title screen, a cliff hanger, a call to action.
7. Include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your video, asking audience to like and share it so they can help amplify your message.
8. Create a series link for IGTV episodes.
9. Optimize for silent viewing, ensuring it makes sense without sound and/or has easily visible subtitles.
10. Content should have a purpose. Only create and post content that warrants a longer format.