If you’re looking for ways to boost your social media marketing, Instagram TV—or IGTV—could be the perfect channel for engaging your audience. If you’re already using Instagram within your content marketing strategy, then IGTV might be the next logical step to boosting brand awareness, engagement and customer loyalty.
As a unique long form video content platform, IGTV is not for every brand but certainly offers huge potential for the right brands. In this blog, we’ll analyse some of the advantages of embracing IGTV to help you work out if IGTV is for you.
Keep in mind that even for the right brands, IGTV requires a tailored approach compared to other platforms. So we’ll also discuss how to get more views on IGTV.
Why embrace IGTV?
You may have heard that IGTV started on shaky footing, with many brands struggling to gain traction through this new and promising channel.
But the IGTV developers have heard this feedback and already made a series of significant changes and adaptations to improve the platform’s functionality. As you read the reasons to embrace IGTV, you’ll see what these latest changes are and how to work them to your advantage.
Reason #1 It’s shiny and new
Having launched in June 2018, IGTV is still growing. This means not a lot of brands are using it compared to other platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat—and we’ve all seen how competitive these platforms have become.
Because IGTV is less competitive, utilizing IGTV for your brand gives you what’s known as “first-mover advantage”. You can reach your audience and establish a deeper connection with them before other brands jump on the bandwagon and the market becomes saturated.
Credits: Instagram blog
Reason #2 It’s linked to IG
While IGTV has experienced a few growing pains, its mother platform Instagram is still experiencing strong growth.
Content marketing trends of 2020 show that Instagram will achieve a grand total of 112.5 million U.S. users in 2020. This will mark an increase of more than 5% compared to the previous year.
Remembering that the U.S. audience represents only 11% of all Instagram users, these content marketing trends of 2020 show some impressive numbers. As an IGTV creator, you can leverage IG’s popularity to increase your IGTV followers.
It’s true that in the earliest IGTV days, users struggled to gain traction and be discoverable on IGTV. This was because brands weren’t getting their IGTV presences discovered by their usual audiences nor by the wider community.
One of the most effective changes that has been made to the IGTV platform has been allowing creators to post previews of their IGTV videos to their usual IG feed. Since then, discoverability has been a lot easier.
Not only does the new preview feature enable more holistic multi channel social media marketing, it’s also great because your audience doesn’t even need to have the IGTV app to discover and view your channel.
Reason #3 Create long form video
IGTV is Instagram’s solution to producing long form content. It’s similar to TV except with one important difference—it’s native to digital and ideal for mobile.
When you join IGTV as a brand, you get a channel instead of a profile, with many of the benefits of owning your own broadcasting station except at a much more cost effective rate!
Because IGTV was designed specifically to support long form content, it’s built to do what Instagram and other platforms cannot. Regular users and brands can create videos up to 10 minutes in length, while verified users can upload videos up to an hour long.
Long form content has many benefits for brands, allowing you to:
- Showcase products
- Post How to videos
- Create Explainer videos
- Educate audiences
- Build a community
Originally in the vertical mobile format only, IGTV has added a horizontal format as well, giving you even more versatility when creating video for your content marketing strategy.
Note that longform video can get less viewers than snackable content, but viewers can be more engaged. This is what makes long form useful at the lower end of the marketing funnel rather than the top.
Reason #4 It has a series feature
Another clever update to IGTV has been the introduction of the IGTV series feature. This allows you to create playlists around various topics or themes, which play automatically in the order you choose.
The advantage of the series is that it groups and organises your content in a way that is useful and interesting to your audience. For instance, instead of haphazardly sifting through your videos, users can go directly to the playlist that is relevant to their immediate viewing interest whether that be how-tos or light & humorous content.
Another great thing about series is that they can be viewed both inside the IGTV app and at your Instagram profile. This is great for bringing your series to your audience’s awareness.
Here are some other advantages of series
- encourages users to keep watching: when one video ends and the other begins automatically, users are less inclined to tap on another view or switch channels
- great for branding: with videos organised into series, you can create video content with a clear purpose and consistent messaging
One great tip on How to create an IGTV series is to always upload a cover image for each video and to link connected videos with a visual theme. This will make your videos more enticing to viewers compared to a default thumbnail and also help your viewers appreciate the series as a unified sequence.
Reason #5 It has a standalone app
It’s possible to create an IGTV channel and upload video content using the regular Instagram app or website on desktop. However IGTV comes with its own standalone app, giving creators ultimate functionality to create original and engaging content.
The standalone IGTV app also has capabilities to help you track your results. You can access IGTV Insights for each video that you upload. By tapping insights you’ll view your engagement rates including likes, comments and views.
An important item within Insights is the “audience retention” which shows you what percentage of the video your audience got though. Use this information to determine which content is holding your viewers’ attention and which isn’t, so that you can optimise your future video content.
How to get more views on IGTV
Now that you know why IGTV can be a great opportunity for brands and how to work the platform for best results, here are a few bonus tips on how to get more viewers.
Hook your viewers
Hopefully if you’re moving into long form video content, you’re already adept at creating engaging bite-sized videos using Instagram Stories. This will work to your advantage when you create long form content, because you’re going to be good at grabbing viewers attention in just a short amount of time.
According to research into long form content, the first 30 seconds of the video are crucial to gaining and holding your viewer’s attention. So when creating long form video, focus on including a hook within that first 30 seconds. Consider how you can intrigue your viewers to continue watching the video.
While long form content is like short form in that it has to grab viewer attention quickly, it is unlike short form in that it has to work harder to retain viewer attention. Here’s where planning your content creation comes in. Spontaneity is often effective for short form content but long form requires planning to ensure every moment is relevant, useful and engaging.
This also means that long form content is substantially more time consuming, and hence costlier, to create. This investment might not be the right investment for every brand. But if long form video content has a useful purpose within your social media marketing, then it can be a very effective component of your content marketing strategy.
Remember that unlike other platforms like YouTube and TikTok, IGTV doesn’t have a search function. That means users can’t discover your brand by searching for topics of interest. They can however search for channels or specific brands.
In order to increase your visibility, you’ll have to use hashtags within your video descriptions. This makes you discoverable to non followers in addition to your usual IG audience.
IGTV social media marketing
Still in its infancy, IGTV holds promise for brands looking to reach their audiences through long form video content that is native to mobile.
Having gone through various transformations during its short life, IGTV is now more usable than ever before.
By allowing creators to post previews to Instagram feeds, brands can gain more visibility through the original IG app and become more discoverable to new audiences. With the latest IGTV series feature, brands can hook their audiences and keep their attention for longer by automatically feeding them sequences of relevant videos.
About the Author
George is the CEO and Co-Founder of digital marketing agency Social Garden. Social Garden specialises in data-driven lead generation and marketing automation to grow companies’ revenue in different verticals in Australia.