IGTV – is it for you?

We LOVE IGTV and have some exciting things in store for our clients in 2020. It’s exploding, but a lot of people still don’t know about it, or know why it’s all the rage. We had a quick sit down with our social media manager, George Carlton. He’ll give you the 5 minute download on what you need to know about the next YouTube.

What is IGTV (in your words)?

IGTV is Instagram’s standalone video interface that allows content creators (or anyone with an Instagram profile) to make longer-form video content. It’s really cool because it introduces the opportunity to create an entirely different kind of content than what has historically been available on Instagram. Longer videos allow for a more familiar look at the subject of any kind of content: a look into an influencer’s life, an explanation of a political current event, a discussion of scientific fact, a full episode of a mini-series, etc. IGTV moves Instagram into a space that Youtube previously monopolized. It makes Instagram a platform where people can explore a wider range of content in more depth with a deeper sense of emotional investment.

Why are we hearing about it now even though it’s been around since 2018?

Instagram launched IGTV in 2018, but it wasn’t until 2019 when it launched a preview capability that it really gained traction. Now, users can view a preview video through their feed and then “continue watching” if they are interested. In addition, Instagram is now prioritizing delivery of IGTV content among all accounts. Instagram (Facebook) is eager to pull eyes away from YouTube and increase the time people spend on Instagram everyday. Which is crazy, because people already spend about 53 minutes a day on the platform (compared to the 40 minutes a day people spend on Youtube).

How do you see brands using the platform in an effective way?

There’s much more breathing room and flexibility to make an impact on IGTV compared to YouTube. First, preferred organic content delivery for IGTV videos will give any brand that creates this type of content a welcome bump in engagement—almost like video on Facebook three years ago. Secondly, it’s much easier to integrate IGTV into a brand’s standing mix of social media activity than starting a YouTube channel. Rather than creating fully developed, branded, weekly content for YouTube with a consistent personality, a brand can create IGTV videos that are more sporadic and less polished. This has the added benefit of establishing a sense of transparency and authenticity that’s highly sought after by the Gen Z market. If a brand already has a youtube channel, it’s a no-brainer to add IGTV content to the video mix. (The format for IGTV is explicitly vertical though, so content should be created just for the platform rather than repurposed from others.) Third, there’s just more room to play on IGTV. YouTube has 1.5 BILLION monthly active users and 82 YEARS of video uploaded each day. On Instagram, however, there are 800 million monthly active users and much fewer IGTV videos uploaded each day. So, this is still an early time to get on and make an impact. IGTV viewership is skyrocketing and more brands are jumping in the game so we would suggest sooner than later.

Currently, great content on IGTV is from influencers and brands that have a clear social aspect to their work. Overall, the best way to make an impact is to remember the fundamentals of good social media marketing (and marketing in general) have a personality. Be relatable. Be yourself—whoever that is for your brand. And make content that your audience (assuming you know your audience) wants to see.

The beauty industry/influencer world is making the clear jump from YouTube to IGTV. Sports brands are using it for behind the scenes action and interviews, news broadcasts are using it for a more casual, intimate avenue for news stories, and celebrity chefs use it for short recipe clips and funny moments. We are actually launching a cooking show on IGTV for one of your clients right now.

Here are some ideas on how to leverage IGTV, which might help get your juices flowing:

  • Use IGTV for content that you’d love to make but don’t think it fits perfectly with your brand to go on your social profile. IGTV inhabits a space between stories (temporary, totally candid, can be unpolished) and produced content that you use in advertising or to live on your brand’s social profile. So it’s a great chance to explore concepts for communicating the stories your audience relates to and wants to hear. It’s a way to be funny, educational, inspiring—directly with your audiences.
  • You can create a semi-regular podcast type of open discussion with recurring hosts and rotating guests (in video form of course).
  • Bring in charismatic cooks to star in your brand’s recipe videos.
  • Create a small game show or talk show that is exclusive to your brand’s IGTV.
  • Give in depth discussion of processes related to your product/experience/service. Give a human face to the people behind your brand.
  • Give users a “behind the scenes” look about your manufacturing process, company, or product development.

Interested in discussing if IGTV may be an option for you? We would be too!

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