A little more than one year ago, Instagram announced the launch of IGTV (Instagram TV) to celebrate the channel’s global community of 1 billion users.
So, we thought we’d reflect on how IGTV has performed over the past year, providing you with some expert insight on why you should utilise the platform to grow your brand’s visibility.
What is IGTV?
If by any chance you haven’t heard about or explored the shiny new platform yet, IGTV is a dedicated vertical video channel that’s accessible within Instagram and as a standalone app.
Unlike standard Instagram videos, IGTV videos are designed to be longer. The limit for Instagram video length is 1 minute, where as IGTV allows users to upload uninterrupted 10 minute long videos (or up to an hour for verified accounts). Like traditional TV, IGTV automatically starts playing content as soon as the app has been opened. Users can simply scroll through channels without always having to search for specific content to watch.
Initially, brands were slow to adopt IGTV due to additional production cost and time investment. Creators expressed their lacklustre reception for vertical videos as they’re tough to repurpose for other social media platforms. Despite a poor initial reception, IGTV reinvigorated itself by enabling content creators to share 1 minute long previews of their IGTV channel into the main Instagram feed. Within these previews, users can simply click to watch the rest of the video in IGTV. This vastly improved channel discoverability and engagement with followers. In addition to video previews in the main feed, IGTV content can also be found in the Discover section.
If you’re considering whether or not to use IGTV as part of your content strategy, there’s no better time than now to take the plunge. If you could go back to when YouTube started, you would. Here’s your second chance…
Reach a new audience
IGTV opens a wide door to reach new people, drive awareness, form deeper connections and provide more value. There are many platforms that can be similar in terms of video content and reaching new audiences, such as newsflare, where you can sell your videos as well as get extra exposure, however, those seem to be taking more time to develop the same level of favouritism amongst the general crowd. That being said, with relatively few users on IGTV at the moment, it’s the perfect opportunity to establish your brand within a new platform. Instagram wants you to not only utilise but be creative with the new platform, meaning that brands who engage with it will get incentivised for it. IGTV also showcases new dimensions of your business without limiting your video content by its length or format.
Video is the future of marketing
The prevalence of mobile phones is changing how people consume digital content and entertainment. Cisco predicts by 2021, video content will account for 78% of mobile data traffic and it’s unlikely to subside anytime soon. The statistics tell us that brands need to integrate mobile optimised content as part of their marketing strategy. Accommodating some of your social media effort towards IGTV, could help steer your company into the new era of media consumption. Instagram envisions vertical videos to be on the horizon as the channel continues to develop with these predictions front of mind.
Drive more organic traffic and leads
Relying solely on organic traffic is tough when you find that the majority of brands pay to play. 92% of small businesses plan to invest even more time and money in social media. If you don’t have a budget for paid social, IGTV can help with that. Unlike Instagram stories, where “swipe up” links are reserved for accounts with over 10k followers, IGTV enables everyone to share a link in the description after posting a video.
79% of consumers prefer watching a video compared to reading about a product, and 64% of consumers have made purchases after watching videos from brands. IGTV is a brilliant way to introduce and educate your followers to products. After introducing the new link share feature, the platform continues to increase the chance of securing potential leads too.
Easy native scheduling
Scheduling posts for Instagram couldn’t be anymore easier right now either! For the longest time social media managers have been using alternative third-party tools to schedule posts (such as Hootsuite or SproutSocial), which have been frustrating to use due to Instagram’s API restricting which information and actions can be accessed. Instagram’s latest addition now allows business accounts to schedule posts via an official app, which can accessed by heading over to Facebook’s creator studio. When you create a new post, you can choose whether you want to schedule a post to your Instagram feed or IGTV, making your social media content plans much more time efficient.
However, content isn’t a one size fits all strategy. For some brands, testing IGTV may be worthwhile if your social content is already video heavy. Utilise it as a creative extension to gain additional reach and engagement. If your current social strategy lacks video content, then you’ll need to consider a few factors. What direction are you planning to take your brand? Are you trying to form a deeper connection with your audience? Will you get more value out of longer videos compared to shorter ones?
These are some simple aspects to think about. If you’re planning to add some new videography into your content marketing mix, then maybe we can help.