Instagram recently announced the launch of its app which allows users to post up to an hour of vertical, permanent video – IGTV. And in came the complaints.
Look, we get it. Just when your online brand has mastered the fragile art of Instagram stories, the social media giant rolls out another colossal update. It’s not fair. You might be sick of posting to multiple channels, yearning for the simpler days when MySpace was your only online concern.
But now that Instagram is competing with YouTube for informal, long-form video (instead of just hosting #aesthetic visuals and cat videos), a new wave of marketing opportunities has opened for your business.
But first, what even is IGTV?
According to Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, IGTV is “a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators.” The feature is available in a stand-alone app as well as within the Instagram app, meaning that anyone who updates Instagram on their phone automatically has IGTV.
Wait, quick double take. Your Instagram followers are already following your IGTV page. Unlike Twitter or YouTube, starting a new IGTV channel doesn’t mean starting with zero viewers. And the built-in follower opportunities are massive.
The video movement
Okay, so that sounds cool. But what’s the point of IGTV, and who is Instagram targeting with the app? As it turns out, mobile video is expected to make up 78 percent of total mobile traffic by 2021. A huge number of those viewers represent younger audiences, who (through apps like Snapchat and Vine) have clearly defined their preference for more amateur content.
IGTV is Instagram’s attempt to become an all-in-one content creator’s paradise – one that audiences will be tempted to stay glued to. This presents the perfect opportunity for marketing-minded individuals to engage in smart branding and product placement via video.
Wait…I thought there were no advertisements on IGTV?
You’ve clearly done your research. For the time being, Instagram’s new video app is void of ads. But you better believe that this is only temporary. As it happens, this ad-free stage presents the perfect opportunity to jump into IGTV. And the sooner your brand starts, the better.
As more and more people become familiar with IGTV and advertisers begin staking their claims, the app will become fiercely competitive.
How to increase your brand’s social media presence with IGTV
If you can start creating content and building your IGTV audience early, your brand has a better chance of standing out once the competition increases. That’s why starting now is our number one tip for beefing up your brand presence using IGTV.
Our second piece of advice? Be genuine. As we already said, younger audiences prefer more amateur content. But that doesn’t give you an excuse to be sloppy. Remember: IGTV content is permanent, so, unlike Instagram stories, IGTV posts stick around.
While Instagram has stated that IGTV isn’t meant to replace Netflix, it’s pretty clearly going after YouTube. When crafting your IGTV content, think YouTube length (approx. 10 minutes), YouTube-style (polished but real), all with a reconfigured design (helloooo, vertical video).
Finally, don’t just use IGTV as a second home for Instagram stories. In the excitement surrounding the launch, several brands have taken this route. But Instagram has made clear that its goal was to create a new opportunity for content creators – not a rebranded opportunity. To reap the full marketing benefits of IGTV, stick to unique content that’s more polished than stories but less formal than a Netflix Original. And, whatever you do, just start posting.