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Instagram TV, or IGTV as it’s become known, is barely two years old, but it has become one of the fastest-growing video apps in the world today. The fact that it was immediately accessible to Instagram’s 1 billion active users has undoubtedly influenced its popularity.
But what is it, and why should content marketers care? Well, as mentioned above, there’s an audience of more than 1 billion people who have access to it, but that’s not the only reason content marketers should get to know this video app.
The Nuts and Bolts of IGTV
IGTV was designed exclusively with mobile content in mind. Similar to YouTube, IGTV is available on IOS and Android platforms. It’s free (for now), and anyone with an Instagram account already has an IGTV account, called a “channel.” You can access IGTV through your Instagram account or through the separate IGTV app, but you must have an Instagram account to use IGTV regardless.
In much the same way Instagrammers upload photos, they can now upload videos. Videos are associated with your Instagram profile and are available via your channel. Any video you upload will be available to your followers immediately; there is no need for users to do a search to find your content. All they have to do is click on the IGTV link on your Instagram page, and Voila! The videos are always there, always available, and will even auto-play when the IGTV app is opened.
One big difference between Instagram and IGTV is the length of those videos. Instagram allows videos of up to 60 seconds to be uploaded, but on IGTV, you can upload videos that are as long as one hour in length. Videos cannot be uploaded as they are being recorded as you can do with Facebook Live or Instagram Stories – and that is by design. IGTV developers envisioned the app being used to promote high-quality, well-planned content, and where IGTV resembles YouTube more than Instagram.
IGTV for Content Marketing
IGTV shines as a content marketing option for several reasons:
- It’s free and accessible to all, not just famous Instagrammers or influencers.
- It’s simple and easy to use. There is no need to create a new account and build a new following, as you would with YouTube. Simply upload your video to your account, and you’re done. Your followers will receive notifications just like any other post you create.
- It places value on well-thought-out long-form videos, which can be used to build brand awareness and provide links to other platforms.
- It is fully integrated with Instagram, which can be used to promote IGTV videos to your followers and beyond.
IGTV is also incredibly versatile. Since it is designed for long-form videos, you can get really creative with your content and don’t have to worry about cramming it all into a 60-second spot. Businesses, entrepreneurs, and influencers all use IGTV to share:
- Teasers. Teasers and episodic content drop just enough information to get users coming back for more – and that’s the entire point. Jewelry brand Mejuri has embraced this concept, as has Playdoh, whose IGTV is full of fun “Claymation” episodes.
- Tutorials. Tarte Cosmetics and Food Network are using their IGTV channel to share how-to’s and tutorials, and they are far from the only ones to do so.
- Reviews. Influencers have long done this, but now the rest of us can get in the game too. Consumer goods and clothing companies like Lululemon are using IGTV to share customer reviews from real people.
- Behind the Scenes Tidbits. Long-form video is a great way to share more about the how’s and why’s about your business or brand. Even NASA is getting in on the action, showcasing behind-the-scenes training and research.
- Q&As and Interviews. ESPN uses the platform to showcase highlights and interviews, but IGTV would be a great way for a business to address common questions or share the latest company news.
- Stories. One thing all of the brands mentioned above is that they are simply sharing stories. Stories connect us with one another, and IGTV is just the latest innovation in story-telling. Start with a good story and build your content from there; be it answers to FAQs, a tutorial, or a more in-depth look at your company’s why.
IGTV Lets You Dig Deeper
IGTV is turning video marketing on its head. If you struggled to capture authentic messaging in short 60-second bursts of video or live video never seemed to meet your needs, IGTV might be what you’ve been waiting for. This platform gives you a chance to share deeper, longer, more detailed content with your followers. It’s less superficial and more meaningful, which works well for businesses that have a hard time condensing content or explaining complex subjects in short videos.
If you already have an Instagram account, adding IGTV is a logical next step. As consumers turn to Instagram for more information and become more aware of IGTV, they’ll start to look for it from your business too. Get started now to beat the rush. Experiment with different types of video content to see what resonates best with your followers or gets the most comments and shares. Use it to build brand awareness and customer connections and enjoy being able to showcase your brand – your way and in-depth.