You may have heard that Instagram has released a new part of their Instagram app just for streaming videos. Called IGTV, it is designed for longer videos than what you find on Instagram and is free from all other types of content. Plus, IGTV is different from other video platforms (such as YouTube): all videos are vertical and videos start playing as soon as the user opens the app — just like TV.
Should You Use IGTV for Your Business?
Adding IGTV to your social media strategy will mean that you need to upload content to yet another platform. Before you dismiss this as too much effort, consider the many benefits of using the app.
- Users like video — in fact, one-third of the time people spend online is used watching videos.
- It gives you another way to engage with your audience.
- IGTV is brand new. This your chance to take advantage of the platform before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon.
- You can benefit from special features like links in video descriptions and “swipe up” from Stories — without a follower count requirement.
Having said all that, IGTV may not be appropriate for all businesses. It is particularly ideal for certain types of content, including vlogs, product launches and demos, behind-the-scenes footage, and ad campaigns. Whereas you can easily find social media marketing services to help you with all these, unless such videos will form a regular part of your strategy, you may still be better off publishing on other platforms.
How to Get Started
1. Download the App
Once you’ve downloaded the IGTV app, make sure that you are logged in to Instagram. This will allow you to create an account simply by clicking “Continue as [username].” The app will then start playing a video (with the sound off) according to your Instagram preferences.
You can check out other videos on the app by looking through “For You,” “Following,” and “Popular.” You may like to look around for a while before you continue to see what other users are uploading. You can return to any video you start watching by heading to the “Continue Watching” tab.
2. Set Up Your Channel
To set up your own channel, click your profile photo and follow the prompts. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to set up a channel on a desktop computer, look for the option on your Instagram account below your bio.
3. Shoot a Video
The only way to add content to IGTV is to film a video and then upload it. There is no way to film a video within the app.
When you are filming, bear in mind the IGTV requirements: videos must be vertical and they must last at least 15 seconds. The ideal size ratio is 9:16, although videos can be as close to square as 4:5. All accounts are able to upload videos lasting up to 10 minutes, but verified accounts and what Instagram considers “large accounts” (the criteria is unclear) may upload videos lasting up to one hour.
4. Upload Your Video
On the mobile app, click your profile picture and choose the “+” icon that appears on the right side of the screen. Choose the video you want to upload. On a desktop computer, drag and drop an MP4 file into the “+” field.
Next, give your video a title. Keep it to no more than 20 to 25 characters to avoid it being cropped in the thumbnail. Add more details about your video in the description. Users can see the description by tapping the video title. Consider adding some hashtags to improve performance in search.
You’ll probably also want to edit the cover image, as the default is rarely the best option. You can upload a separate image or choose a frame from the video. If you upload a picture, it must be vertical.
Finally, decide if you want your video to be visible on your Facebook Page.
After completing all the above, click “Post.” Your video will immediately appear on IGTV. Bear in mind that you are unable to edit your video from the mobile app, although you can make changes through the Instagram website.
5. Monitor Your Success
Check how your videos are performing by clicking the icon made up of three dots and choosing “View Insights.” Here, you’ll see how many views, likes, and comments your video has received as well the average percentage of video watched.
IGTV Best Practices
Think About How to Use Your Channel
Your IGTV channel should have a specific purpose in your marketing strategy. Think of ways to use longer videos than you currently upload to Instagram.
Create Videos Suitable for Autoplay
Videos autoplay in IGTV — and the default is to have sound turned off. Avoid an audio intro right at the beginning of your video, considering that users will likely turn the sound on after a second or two.
Add a Call to Action
Take advantage of the fact that you can include a link in your video description. Decide what you want users to do after watching the video and include a relevant link. To ensure that users know about the link, include a CTA. You may want the CTA at the beginning or in the middle of the video, as many users may stop watching before the end.
If you have videos lasting more than one minute that you want to share or if you’re interested in creating such content, IGTV may be a good option for your business. At the very least, download the app and try it out with your followers. Setting up an account requires almost no effort if you are already on Instagram. Best of all, your Instagram followers will automatically be following you and Instagram will recommend your content to other users, meaning you’ll start receive views soon after you upload your first video.