As if Instagram wasn’t already an incredibly powerful digital marketing tool, the new addition of Instagram TV (IGTV) has taken the platform to an entirely new level. This game-changing feature provides yet another unique opportunity for brands and influencers to build an audience, encourage engagement, and push their message.
Since IGTV is a fresh addition to Instagram’s repertoire, you likely only have a passing familiarity with its features and benefits. Today, our mission is to change that by giving you all the information you need to add this powerful tool to your social media marketing arsenal. So, keep reading to discover how to build an amazing IGTV strategy.
As you are probably aware, Instagram is one of the most popular mobile apps in the world. Per Insta, there are more than 1 Billion Instagram accounts worldwide that are active every single month; of those accounts, 50% use Instagram stories daily, and 80% follow at least one business.
As a result, marketers have realized that the app is one of the most fertile marketing grounds in the digital world. Especially since the platform allows brands and marketers to:
- Create a visually immersive message – Granting them the ability to tell a story using powerful tools and immersive formats.
- Encourage exploration – Wherein brands can forge connections with new customers and strengthen the bonds and engagement with existing ones.
- Tap into people’s creativity – Visual messaging that appeals to an audience’s creative side or to speaks to their specific passions.
Naturally, all of these Instagram features provide marketers, brands, and influencers a bevy of ways to create content and connect with their intended audience. However, Instagram wasn’t satisfied—they wanted to push the envelope even further.
What is IGTV?
While Instagram dominated the picture and short video space, all of the content was short-form or static. Even stories or posted videos were constrained by a limited timeframe.
This is why IGTV was added. In 2018, Instagram made this announcement:
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.
The creators of IGTV had a unique vision and plan for the new feature. The notable characteristics that make this feature stand out as a marketing tool include:
- It’s Immersive – Built completely for mobile, Insta wanted to make videos that were intended to be watched on the phone. That means full screen, vertical videos. This is incredibly important since according to an eMarketing digital video forecast report: “[Mobile] is the primary device for viewing video. eMarketer expects more than three-quarters (78.4%) of digital video viewers to use their mobile phones to watch digitally streamed content.”
- It’s Long-Form – As mentioned, Instagram feed videos and story videos were limited lengths and capped respectively at 60 and 15 seconds. IGTV, on the other hand, is a long-form format, made by and for content creators so that they could flex their creative muscles and have plenty of room to operate within to push the boundaries of mobile content.
- It’s Connected to Instagram – Although there is a standalone app for the platform, it is also connected directly to the main Instagram app and your account. It lets you easily find IGTV channels as you tap through your feed, stories, or as you explore pages.
- It Works like the TV – Unlike various other video platforms, IGTV starts playing the moment you open up the app. You don’t need to search for the content you want to see, instead, it automatically shows you the channels that you already follow on Instagram. You also have a bevy of ways to discover new channels including tabs like:
- For You
- Continue Watching
- It’s Interactive – While it may share some similarities with the TV, it’s a far more immersive experience. Users can like, comment, and directly send videos to friends. On top of that, studies resoundingly show that viewers find videos, especially long-form videos, to be far more engaging than simple images and text. According to Medium, “Video generates 1200% more shares than both images and text.”
- It Gives You A Built-In Audience – The time you spent building up an audience on Instagram doesn’t go to waste. Instead, everyone who follows you will automatically follow your channel, which means you don’t need to start building from the ground floor.
How to Build an Amazing IGTV Strategy?
So, what are the best practices for building an amazing IGTV strategy? The following are but a few of the steps you should take or considerations you should make:
- Keep It Short and Sweet – While there is a time and a place for TV episode length videos, the sweet spot for IGTV lies between 2-5 minutes. This way viewers don’t lose interest and will still be left wanting more.
- Film for Format – Although IGTV now allows for horizontal viewing, it’s built for vertical video. Therefore, when shooting and uploading your footage, do so with the knowledge that the vast majority of viewers will be watching it in a full-screen video format.
- Use It to Workshop New Material – If you are mainly focused on utilizing IGTV, use IG stories as a test lab for video themes, ideas, and formats before dedicating the time to making them into complete IGTV videos. This lets you gauge audience response to what you’ve got cooking.
- Change Things Up – Your goal should be to keep your audience on their toes, even if you’re working in a serial format. Ideally, you’ll want to create a ton of variety on your channel, including:
- Look – Although you may want to maintain a visual aesthetic, try and mix up settings, lighting, and locations—so that each video stands out and that your channel is filled with fresh visuals.
- Length – Don’t be scared of time constraints. While it may be wise to have several videos that are on the shorter side, if the story you need to tell takes 15 minutes, then do so. What matters is that the content is engaging all the way through.
- Produce All of Your Content With Purpose – An aimless marketing strategy will yield little fruit. Therefore, each video should be edited, formatted, and written with a specific purpose and goal in mind. In addition, your IGTV video should always include a teaser, title screen, cliff hanger, and call to action.
- Your teaser should always be the first 15 seconds of the video so that you can give your audience a quick preview of the episode on your story.
- Your cliffhanger should be located near the 1-minute mark so that when you feature your video on a post, it will leave viewers with a desire to find out more.
- You should always end with a CTA or a reason to come back for your next video.
- Promote The Heck Out of It – You should be doing everything to promote each and every video as if it were the premier of a long-awaited movie. This is your best opportunity to increase views and engage a new audience. So, remember to do the following:
- Pick a good thumbnail. Contract is incredibly important here.
- Create an intriguing title, focusing on the first 3 words as that’s mostly what your audience tends to see.
- Build a teaser to stir up buzz and anticipation. Typically, it’s advisable that you do so 3 days prior to release.
- 2 days prior to release include a countdown sticker on your Instagram story to announce when the new video will be posted.
- On the day it’s posted, make sure to preview your first 15 seconds on IG stories and post the 60-second preview in a main post.
- Change Up Your Content – Don’t limit yourself to one format, serial, or style of video. Instead, create an array of videos. This lets you reach a much broader audience since what appeals to one viewer may not resonate in the same way with another. Types of video content include:
- Behind-the-scenes – If your brand has something cool cooking up that your audience will be excited to find out about, let them know about it.
- Tutorial – Build up authority by engaging the audience and teaching them about aspects of your industry which you are an expert on.
- Promotional videos – A member of your team can highlight a feature or service of your product.
- Interviews – Host influencers for interviews to discuss your brand’s message, goals, or values.
IGTV is yet another tool that you can use to differentiate yourself from your competition and engage your audience on social media. So, as you build out your IGTV strategy, take the time to familiarize yourself with the IGTV platform, and then seek ways to create videos that are unique, interesting, informative, funny, and/or appealing to your target user. By being intentional with your marketing strategy and investing the time necessary to produce rich video content, you can ensure that your audience will not only grow but remain deeply engrossed.
Instagram Info Center. Welcome to IGTV. (2018). https://instagram-press.com/blog/2018/06/20/welcome-to-igtv/
eMarketer. More Than 75% of Worldwide Video Viewing is Mobile. (2018). https://www.emarketer.com/newsroom/index.php/threequarters-video-viewing-mobile/
Medium. This Is Why Video Is the Most Engaging Type of Content. (2017). https://medium.com/@slicevideo/this-is-why-video-is-the-most-engaging-type-of-content-e5ca46d5cef1