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IGTV: Does it make sense for businesses?


Yup-Instagram has a television app. Maybe you tried it when it was first launched and did not find it to be useful or found it cumbersome because it did not interface with the Instagram app. Those issues are fixed, and IGTV is up and roaring.


And it presents some wonderful opportunities for marketing.


Since we have already established that content is king, and that video content is becoming more and more popular, let’s now establish what IGTV can do for businesses.


What is IGTV?

IGTV is a separate app than Instagram. It allows users to post long form videos. Initially, there was no crossover between the two apps. This made using IGTV cumbersome, thus, was the source of some of the complaints. Now, Instagram allows users to post 60 second previews of their IGTV videos on the Instagram app. This makes finding users’ channels and content easier. IGTV will also ask creators to choose the thumbnail they want their followers to see on Instagram. At this time, creators must choose at the time of creation; there is no going back to choose.


IGTV is different than Instagram Stories (if you do not know about Stories, learn more here), mostly because videos can be longer. Some accounts will be eligible for videos up to 60 minutes, but for the most part videos can be up to 10 minutes long. That does not mean that 10 minutes is the ideal length. Some research suggests that the most watched videos are 3-5 minutes.


IGTV also allows you to link your videos to your website.


How is IGTV different from videos on other platforms?

Instagram created IGTV to fit a phone screen held vertically. This is one of the features that differs from YouTube and Facebook. Instagram suggests that this year, 50% of online videos will be viewed on a phone. Horizontal videos are also supported.


Unlike YouTube IGTV does not require users to search for videos. The videos are in feed and they start playing as soon as users log in.


IGTV has pretty cool editing features that allow creators to do far more interesting videos than just talking to the camera.

  • · Layering 2 videos into one

  • · Visual effects like: memes, GIFS, tweetable quotes and more.

  • · Editing features like zoom in and out, cut aways and more.

IGTV is not like Netflix; television shows and movies are not available, and as of right now, neither are commercials, but we can expect that to come.


Creating a Series

IGTV allows users to create a series of videos. Users can release videos on a regular basis. Creating a series can be useful to businesses to create suspense and build a brand. Followers will get an alert when a new video is posted.


A series of how-tos can be very useful in bringing in new customers and building trust and authenticity for a company.


A series is also a great place to release new products or show results of a product.


Before you start a series, be sure to plan ahead. I would even suggest creating a storyboard for a series.

How long is the series, what content will go in and what order should the videos be released are all incredibly important elements to build a brand and suspense. This will also help creators build videos that have the same look and feel, important to building a brand.


Do Not Forget What You Already Know

When using IGTV, users should still remember all they already know about social media practices. IGTV videos should still have relevant hashtags.


Video content should be interesting, relevant and on brand, just like your picture posts.

IGTV posts should be planned, not just when making a series. All marketing should start with a marketing plan and goals. IGTV is no different.


Use your analytics to make decisions about future posts.


Watching Videos on IGTV

When a user opens the IGTV app, videos will just start playing. To switch videos, they just have to swipe. To search videos users just need to swipe up. They can search videos by category or by channel.


At the top of the feed, there are 3 categories. “Following” is a collection of videos from those users follow on Instagram. “Popular” is a collection of videos that are trending. “History” is a collection of recently viewed videos.


Instagram has put much research and social listening into the creation and refinement of IGTV so that companies, marketers, influencers and regular people can get the most out of it!


Check out Instagram's help page to get you started.

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