To celebrate one billion users, Instagram had announced the launch of its brand new segment with a vertical video format called Instagram TV (IGTV). It started off slow and has gradually become a primary Instagram marketing source for several eCommerce brands.
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What is Instagram TV (IGTV)?
Instagram TV can be used as a standalone app or on Instagram itself. Regular Instagram posts allow for a maximum of 1 minute for a video, but Instagram IGTV breaks that barrier.
Any user can set up their own channel on IGTV and share video content that’s up to 10 minutes long. If the user is a verified Instagram user or is uploading from desktop, they can even post videos up to 1 hour in length.
There used to be an IGTV icon on the top of the Instagram app for users who wanted to access it within Instagram, but it has recently been removed.
Instagram TV videos of people you’re following will keep showing up on your regular Instagram feed, and you can watch the IGTV videos of the accounts you follow from your feed itself.
So to keep it simple, Instagram decided to get rid of the icon. Users who want to access IGTV as a whole can access it from their standalone app though.
IGTV Vs YouTube
Even though YouTube has been in the video business for a lot longer, Instagram TV does offer individual users and brands some benefits over YouTube:
- No Commercials – Currently, there are no commercials on IGTV. Your viewers don’t get interrupted with ads and can watch your content without losing interest, unlike YouTube.
- Mobile Optimization – YouTube was started at the time of laptops and PCs, and that’s why their videos were always horizontal. Even after the smartphone revolution, YouTube continued with their horizontal videos, and to watch them on full screen on phones, viewers had to tilt their phones. Instagram TV was specifically designed for smartphones, with vertical videos that don’t require viewers to turn their phones into a horizontal position for viewing. Not only is it optimized for phone viewing, but also meant for users to upload videos via their phones easily.
The two social media apps will definitely keep competing, but Instagram has a “built-in” audience of more than 1 billion users. Whenever any of these users start their channel on IGTV, their followers are directly exposed to it.
Instagram TV and eCommerce
eCommerce is highly dependent on online marketing and the growing popularity of Instagram for multiple reasons. Besides just being a social media platform, IGTV provides multiple opportunities to reach new people using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Instagram hashtags.
With the help of these features, IGTV takes eCommerce marketing a notch above. If your brand is already using Instagram and Instagram stories, it’s time to upgrade and get the best out of Instagram TV.
You already have an audience that is used to watching your 15-second stories and 1-minute videos. Give them something more than that through your IGTV. Since IGTV videos directly go to your followers’ feed like your regular Instagram posts, there’s no extra effort required for them to watch it.
As soon as one minute is over, they get an option to choose whether they want to watch the remaining on IGTV or not. Make sure that your content is compelling enough for them to click and watch the remaining part.
IGTV allows you to have swipe-up features that act as CTAs to get your audience to land at different pages. The benefit of IGTV is that it requires a vertical format, which means you can shoot videos on a smartphone. This is a simple and easy process.
The purpose of Instagram TV is to create interpersonal videos, which help you bond and connect with your audience.
Another upgrade that IGTV provides over Instagram is clickable links. Instagram doesn’t allow you to post clickable links in your post captions. If at all, you want to send your audience to a particular link, you’ll have to put the link in your bio, and mention in the caption that the link to that particular page is in your bio.
Now, if the audience is really interested, they might go to your bio and click on it, but the chances are pretty low. With IGTV you can put the links in the caption itself, which the audience can click and reach your destination directly.
Types Of Content
You can create content for your IGTV channel in various ways. Let’s look at a few ideas below:
You must be getting a lot of questions from your audience about your brand or business or for specific products or for simple guidance. Whatever it is, use your Instagram IGTV to answer their questions in detail. The more you pay attention to your customers’ concerns, the stronger your relationship gets with them.
Whatever your brand industry or niche is, try teaching a skill or two to your audience. For instance, your eCommerce brand is about selling fitness products, make a home-friendly workout routine for your audience and teach them that.
Similarly, if your eCommerce brand is about selling professional music equipment, you can give your audience tips on sound mixing. Anything that could be relevant and helpful for your audience, could help you grow your brand value.
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BTS or Behind The Scenes give your audience access to see your brand’s content in a candid way. If a particular video or photo of yours had performed really well on Instagram, you can use the footage from that shoot to create an interesting BTS video.
Since people liked the final output, they would also like to see how it was created on the inside. However, don’t make it a habit to post BTS for every post and especially not when they look unprofessional.
One of the best forms of content for IGTV is vlogs. Instagram allows only 1-minute videos, and there isn’t much you can do in it. However, with Instagram TV, you can build a personal relationship with your audience by directly vlogging to them, through longer videos.
For instance, if you were at a day-long product shoot, which included a lot of fun moments between you and your team. Don’t let all of that footage go to waste. Use some of the fun and entertaining sections to make a blooper video.
Bloopers help in breaking the monotony of your channel. Since your audience would be used to watching serious and brand-specific videos on your IGTV, a fun blooper video could engage better with them once in a while.
How Brands Used IGTV Successfully
Netflix’s first IGTV video was not only unique but proof that experiments on social media do work. Their video featured Cole Sprouse, a lead actor from their series Riverdale, eating a burger for an hour. It might sound a bit weird, but the actor made it look entertaining and it got more than 1 million views and hundreds of comments.
2. Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton had broadcasted one of its fashion shows which featured the Men’s Spring and Summer 2019 collection on their Instagram IGTV.
The video was visually appealing and was specifically created vertically for the platform. IGTV allows brands to extend their events to a larger audience.
The fashion label enabled their fans globally to have access and see the fashion show straight from their phones while also sharing backstage content.
3. Warby Parker
Warby Parker is an eyewear brand that approached IGTV with its campaign, ‘Wearing Warby’. The video featured interviews with Influencers such as author Marley Davis, and food blogger Molly Yeh. They also included inspirational stories of how they help the needy for every sale. They used IGTV for featuring influencers and highlighting their social work simultaneously.
Instagram TV is a constantly growing and promising platform. Since it’s less than 2 years old and still at an early stage, you can experiment to identify ways to use Instagram IGTV in your favor.
Monetization hasn’t started yet, but brands can start their channel and build an audience for their channel. Whenever monetization comes into play, you might even be able to earn from your audience that you are building now.
Just make sure you create vertical videos, keep them brief and interesting, and keep them fresh and unique every time.