What is IGTV? And How Are Brands Using It?

IGTV is the newest feature to be added on Instagram. While still relatively new, many brands have found ways to use it to their advantage.

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Instagram is one of the most popular social networking sites on the planet.

With over a billion monthly active users, Instagram has the highest engagement rate when compared to other major social media platforms. A report by Forrester highlighted that Instagram’s follower interaction rate is 10x higher than Facebook, which has the highest number of monthly active users at over 2.2 billion. 

As one of the more visual platforms, Instagram provides a number of different mediums for your brand to be seen, with Instagram TV (IGTV) being the most recent addition.

If you’ve yet to see IGTV in action, then you come to the right place. In this article, we explain what IGTV is and how brands are using it to their advantage.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is essentially a hybrid of the app’s successful ‘Stories’ feature, and the video streaming giant YouTube. IGTV allows users to upload long-form video in the form of vertical video – the way users would watch a video on their mobile device, which is upright. 

The addition of this new medium has been welcomed by brands, with recent surveys revealing that consumers actually prefer video marketing to text-based methods. 

This new feature can be accessed in two ways.

Firstly, via the IGTV stand-alone app that you can download for Android and iOS. And secondly, it can be reached through the IGTV icon on the main feed page of the Instagram app (see below). 

IGTV icon
Image credit – Instagram press

The length of video which can be posted to IGTV depends entirely on your follower count. Verified accounts, and those with a larger following, are currently able to post videos up to an hour long, while smaller accounts are capped at 10 minutes. This is still a considerable increase from the 15 second cap on individual videos added to an Instagram Story.

On top of this, content added to IGTV will remain available for users to watch on your ‘channel’ until it has been deleted, without having to be highlighted as they would with a story.

Why Was It Introduced?

Instagram is a platform known for staying on top of trends, and IGTV is no exception.

Recent statistics from Ofcom have shown that children, teenagers and young adults are spending less time watching traditional broadcast TV, and instead are turning to their mobile or tablet devices for their entertainment.

Image Credit – The Guardian

Therefore, it makes sense for Instagram to take advantage of this opportunity and introduce IGTV.

How Are Brands Using IGTV?

Since the launch of IGTV in June 2018, numerous brands have successfully utilised IGTV for different purposes, whether it be raising awareness of a new product through influencer marketing or uploading full-length trailers for films or shows.

The fact that IGTV is fairly new to the scene means there’s less competition than other platforms. This, plus the fact that it is currently ad-free, means that now is the perfect time for you to take advantage of IGTV before everyone else gets involved.

Below, we share how some of the big-name brands that have been utilising IGTV.

1. Step-by-Step Tutorials - Sephora & The Food Network

Step-by-step tutorials have always been a favourite among brands who have used IGTV. It gives them a chance to shine the spotlight on their products, without sounding too salesy.

A top example of a brand getting this kind of content right, on IGTV, is personal care brand Sephora.

In creating their step-by-step tutorials, Sephora kept their content as easily digestible as possible. Their tutorial videos were approximately 5 minutes long, which is the ideal length to minimise audience drop off.

While IGTV provides you with the capability to upload videos of up to 60 minutes in length, research by The Video Effect shows longer videos are less likely to maintain your viewer’s attention.

It’s also worth noting that Sephora are incredibly good at producing reactive content, which come in-line with current market trends.For this, it is worth keeping an eye on relevant news in your industry and using it to inspire your content.

But beauty brands aren’t the only ones doing tutorials right, the food sector are also becoming masters of step-by-step tutorials.

The Food Network produces regular shot ‘how-to’ recipe videos which bring in an incredible number of views. This works well for them as short snappy content like this is perfect for giving prospective viewers a taste of their brand and keeps them coming back for more.

2. Behind-the-Scenes - Mejuri & Elle UK

Behind-the-scenes, or unique content you can’t get anywhere else, is a great way to establish brand authority and ensure your consumers aren’t tempted to jump ship.

Handcrafted jewellery brand Mejuri have successfully utilise IGTV to deliver this kind of content to their consumers.

By providing viewers with ‘backstage’ content helps to build a relationship with them, as it humanises a brand and consequently builds trust. These are two things are crucial to brand loyalty.

Mejuri are also open to using micro-influencers, which refers to social media users who have anywhere between 1000-10,000 followers. This influencer category have a considerably higher engagement rate than your typical mega influencer. Plus, they’re more affordable too.

Offering behind the scenes content, via partnering with an influencer, offers an insight into the life of someone that viewers have already built a relationship with, which is a great way to begin bringing a relevant audience to your channel.

Additionally, publishing behind-the-scenes content of relevant industry events on IGTV is a sure way to boost engagement, especially if the event resonates with your target market. 

3. Re-Purpose Content - Gary Vaynerchuck

If you’re short on time, or just happen to have a lot of old content which you could do with finding a home for, Instagram TV is the perfect place.

Depending on the nature of the older content, a commentary on how this video stood up against the test of time, or commenting on how far your brand has come, will give viewers a background to your story. An example of this is social media specialist and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck who shared a video he made in 2012 on IGTV.

Not only will uploading older content help develop a relationship with viewers, but it also makes for an entertaining watch, which is always a bonus!

4. Mini-Trailers - Netflix

Trailers have long been recognised as one of the most effective forms of video content. And Netflix has taken trailer production to a whole new level.

Netflix have been on the IGTV wagon since day one. The globally recognised streaming service created bold and unique trailers to promote their Netflix original series. One defining example that comes to mind is the trailer for Riverdale where the lead actor, Cole Sprouse, was eating a hamburger for nearly an hour.

While most their trailers aren’t quite as abstract, and eye opening, as this, they’re still pretty unique to the Netflix brand. This proves that thinking outside the box can go a long way.

Top Tips You Need to Know Before Investing In IGTV

If you’ve decided to give IGTV a go, you might be thinking where you should start? Well, following these tips will give you a good guide when producing your content.

1. Choose a Theme and Stick to It

As with any area of marketing, developing a ‘brand voice’ is important.

Keeping the videos you produce unique to you, and within your area of expertise, is a sure-fire way to ensure the best possible quality and also brings in the kind of consumer you want.

Keeping to a theme will also ensure your IGTV page looks professional, and is a good reflection of your business, as seen below with The Lily News.

2. Cross Promote on IGTV

The beauty of Instagram TV is that you can use it however you see fit.

As long as the content is of high quality, entertaining and informative, you can use it to promote whatever you want to, whether it be a product, service or another platform. This means it’s important yp not to be afraid to cross promote on other platforms. This can be your other social media channels or website.

3. Utilise Hashtags

Image credit – Sprout social

Hashtags are there for a reason, so use them!

Not only do they help categorise your content but using the right hashtags will ensure that your videos appear in potential customers’ ‘For You’ sections on Instagram. These customers are likely to be actively searching for content in the areas they follow, and will also be very likely to engage with your content.

But beware, overusing hashtags can actually lower the chance of engagement. So, use them sparsely and wisely, being sure to pick the most relevant ones.

Use IGTV to Educate and Entertain

While trying out a new platform can often seem intimidating, the rules of IGTV are much like the rules of any other social network. It’s important to stick with your brand voice, and not bombard the customer with content which is too sales heavy. Instead stick to entertaining and educating them, and let the rest happen naturally.

The IIEPD provide a diverse range of CPD accredited digital marketing courses. Unlike other digital marketing training programs, IIEPD provides learners with a host of different digital marketing training resources including access to the IIEPD Influencer Affiliate Program, the IIEPD Influencer Network and subsidised digital marketing services from Pie Analysis.

For more information, get in contact with IIEPD today.


Featured Image: Flickr

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