For some time now, I’ve been recommending the use of video in social media posts as many social media platforms seem to favour video over other types of media. At my workshops I also advise that as marketers, we must consider that the majority of people using social media platforms will do so on their mobile phones. Instagram has now released IGTV – a new app allowing you to watch longer videos (currently, videos are limited to 60 seconds on Instagram’s main platform), that is designed for use on mobile!
So, what is IGTV?
In their update, Instagram said “we’re announcing our most exciting feature to date: IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY posting her newest project or King Bach sharing his latest comedy skit. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from within the Instagram app so the entire community of one billion can use it from the very start”.
IGTV is built for mobile. Unlike YouTube, videos will be full screen and vertical (the way in which most of us use our mobile phones). As well as appearing on existing Instagram users’ home pages (you’ll see an icon next to your messages icon), IGTV is available as an app that you can download to your phone too.
IGTV videos can be 10 minutes long for most of us (up to an hour for larger Instagram accounts) but we’re told that in time Instagram will lift these time limits. This is very different to the 60 second limit on the main instagram platform, and 15 second bursts on Instagram Stories.
A bit like turning on the television, the moment you open the IGTV app, videos begin playing. When you open the app, there are currently three IGTV video categories: ‘For You’ (a selection of videos that Instagram thinks you will enjoy, based upon people you follow, videos you’ve previously watched, videos you’ve liked, etc.), ‘Following’ (videos from all the people you already follow from your Instagram account), and ‘Popular’ (videos that are trending on IGTV).
How do I get IGTV?
As I said earlier, you can watch IGTV from within your Instagram account, or download the app for your phone. You log in with your Instagram details and it’s as simple as that. To upload videos, you’ll need to create a channel (much like on YouTube but you use your Instagram account).
- Sign in to the IGTV App
- Click on the settings icon in the right hand corner, and then click “create channel”
- Go to your channel by clicking on your logo / profile photo
- Click the ‘+’ icon in the right hand corner to add a your video to IGTV
- Select a vertical video from your phone
- Write your title and add a description. Include any relevant keywords to make it easier for people to find your videos on IGTV (don’t shoehorn them in, make it a coherent sentence).
- Add a cover photo
- Click ‘post’ and you’re done
It’s important to note that IGTV does not include any features for filming the video you want to upload. Instead, you’ll have to record it somewhere else such as your camera app on your phone.
How do I use IGTV as a business marketing tool?
One of the nice things about IGTV is that if someone follows you on Instagram, they’ll be following you on IGTV too so there’s no battle in trying to gain a following on yet another platform. Also, within your videos you can add links. IGTV users will be able to click on the links within your description and be taken outside of Instagram or the IGTV app directly to your website. As long as you’re adding value and providing content that makes your viewers feel smarter, educated, and entertained, then you’ll be fine. Don’t try to sell – offer tips and advice, share behind the scenes glimpses, film interviews with your suppliers or someone within your industry instead.
Don’t forget to check how you’re doing (there’s no point in continuing to create videos that aren’t being watched, and you want to be creating more videos like the ones that are being watched!). IGTV will provide insights into your video’s performance. All you need to do is click on the ‘…’ button next to the like, comment, and share buttons on your IGTV video. From here you can click “View Insights” or copy the link to your video should you wish to share it (you can also delete your video here if you need to).
At this moment in time, you cannot ‘sponsor’ an IGTV video – there are no ads on the platform. Instagram said “Right now we’re focused on building engagement, but that’s obviously a very reasonable place to end up. There will be a way for creators to make a living”.
The social media industry is constantly evolving, and that means that us marketers and small business owners have to be speedy enough to evolve with it. No mean feat, but it can be done! Let us know what you think of Instagram’s new app, IGTV, below.