There are more than 500 million daily active users on Instagram worldwide. Of those users, 400 million use Instagram Stories every day. When it comes to investing resources available on Instagram, what better way to engage your audiences than by testing out an innovative format like IGTV? This relatively new addition to the app has transformed the platform from a photo-sharing space to video-sharing one.
You may be familiar with IGTV if you are an avid Instagram user or a seasoned marketer. If this is new for you, IGTV is an addition to the Instagram app that allows users to watch long-form videos. This can be done either through the main Instagram app or in the stand-alone IGTV app.
Like all new formats, IGTV is still developing. Recent studies have shown that the average Instagram user spends 53 minutes per day on the app which seems a bit low considering the fact that 38 percent of users open the app multiple times a day. The good news is that the IGTV app is not yet oversaturated with marketers. This means that hard-hitting marketers have the opportunity to truly innovate on a channel.
1. Vertical Video
When shooting and uploading your footage, keep in mind that IGTV is built for vertical video. Don’t make the assumption that your viewers will be willing to switch their screen orientation just to view your content. It is better practice to either shoot vertically or edit the horizontal footage into a vertical format.
2. Keep it Concise
IGTV videos have the capacity to be 10 minutes long. That being said, it’s best to upload footage that is between 2-5 minutes in length so viewers don’t lose interest. Studies have found the sweet spot to be closer to the 2-minute mark before a significant drop off in engagement is seen.
3. Vary the Background/Location
The idea of spending a large amount of time lighting and setting up one particular area for IGTV video shoots might be appealing for some. But, truly, the better practice is to offer a variety of locations in order to create visual interest for the audience. This tip can be applied to all of your videos. There is a large amount of competition on social media so it's important to come up with fresh new visuals to keep your audiences engaged. If you're using the same backdrop time and again, your audience is likely to just scroll past.
4. Include Subtitles
Even though 60% of Instagram videos are watched with sound, subtitles will help grab the attention of the other 40% that don’t. IGTV allows you to add subtitles to your video which is important for a couple of reasons. First, some of your viewers or followers might be deaf or hard-of-hearing. It's important to ensure that you make your media as accessible as possible for everyone. Secondly, more and more people are consuming content on-the-go and often in the midst of other people. So, it is best to make your content user-friendly for those being considerate of others in whatever environment they choose to consume your content.
1. Customer Stories
Feature loyal customer success stories to build social proof. Nothing is more persuasive to prospective customers than existing customers talking about why they love your brand, your products, or your services. Invite loyal customers to be featured in IGTV videos and let them tell viewers why they love your products or services.
Conduct an interview. Instagram is the place to discover and strike up collaborations with influencers. Instagram's IGTV can be used as a space to host interviews with influencers that are relevant in your industry. It's easy to utilize these resources and gives you the opportunity to tap into the influencer's audience. You can also conduct interviews with your employees to humanize your brand and show the people behind the business.
3. Question & Answer Sessions
Host Q&A sessions to directly engage with your followers. Answering questions from your audience is an excellent way to not only improve engagement but also provide useful information. Project yourself as open, and committed to discussion and answering questions to encourage people to trust and rely on your business. Collect the most frequently asked customer questions, make a video of you or your staff answering those questions, and post it on your IGTV channel. Using the questions sticker in Instagram Stories is a great way to gather relevant questions.
4. Weekly or Monthly Show
Utilize a recurring show to help develop a sense of community. IGTV is, essentially, a modern form of television. Approach it in that way by sharing a weekly or monthly segment at a regular time. Consistency is important because people appreciate predictability. Publishing episodes on a regular schedule will get your audience accustomed to coming back and watching a show on your IGTV channel.
1. Relevancy Matters
Keep content relevant. You can use social media analytics to gain an understanding of who your audiences are and identify where they're from, their age group, and their social media affinities to help inform your content creation. It's important to keep diversity at the front of your mind when making content. Consider including spokespeople from different genders, orientations, races, and backgrounds.
Tutorial videos can be a powerful way to bring in new audiences and engage your existing followers. There are many ways your brand can use “how-to” videos that your audience will find useful and actionable. The high demand for DIY content should make it fairly easy to integrate tutorial videos into your IGTV strategy.
Show behind-the-scenes activity. This helps to humanize your brand and can pay big dividends. Consumers are fascinated with what goes on in the background of the brands they frequent. The content could be a tour of your office, creation of a product, preparation for delivering a service, or professional development in which your employees engage.
4. Have a Hashtag Strategy
Hashtags are not just for traditional Instagram posts. Use them throughout your IGTV content like in the caption and description text of your IGTV post. Avoid oversaturated and generic hashtags such as #food, #travel, #business, #follow, etc. It’s important to strike a balance between using hashtags that are brand specific and yet not so specific that no one can find them.
5. Utilize User Generated Content
Make the most of User Generated Content (UGC). Brands that leverage UGC for IGTV create longer lasting relationships with customers than brands that don’t. Today’s consumers trust the opinions of others more than they trust traditional brand advertising. By utilizing UGC within your IGTV content you build your brand’s credibility, increase the confidence level of potential clients, and drive conversion. For more about UGC, see our article:
1. Follow Brand Guidelines
Stay on-brand with all of the content you create for the channel. When brainstorming and creating your IGTV segments, include branded marketing items that promote your brand’s colors and logos. Encouraging the people that are featured in your videos to wear branded apparel is also an excellent strategy.
Measure the results of your efforts. As with any social media content, it's crucial to measure your results. Instagram offers in-app analytics that help measure the views and demographics of the people who watch your IGTV content. Monitor all of your videos to track any drastic changes over time. Experiment with posting times, promotion techniques, and topics to find the combination that works best for your organization.
3. Repurpose Previously Published Videos
Reach new audiences with previously published video content. IGTV provides an excellent opportunity to reuse your popular video content. You can repurpose horizontal videos you’ve posted on YouTube and Facebook, as well as live-stream recordings. If you have videos that were shot horizontally, they will need to be edited so they are in the vertical video format required for IGTV. Once you start repurposing your videos for IGTV, keep an eye on how your audience reacts to this long-form video content. Based on that data, you can offer other meaningful stories about your brand.
IGTV means another place where marketers can have authentic conversations with their users. It can be a fun and creative platform on which to engage your Instagram audiences. The format is still relatively new which means there are still ways that marketers can establish themselves without having to deal with a lot of competition. With a bit of planning and a long-term strategy, IGTV can be one of the more useful tools in your social media toolbox.
The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing are excited about this new Instagram tool that can help brands engage with their existing followers and attract new followers as well. We’d love to learn more about your brand and to discuss how IGTV can fit into your social media marketing plan. Contact our team for all of your marketing needs – let’s connect and get started!