Instagram is constantly evolving as a platform, and in their June 2018 update introduced IGTV, a brand new way for users to engage with video content.
The platform has been rolling out new features and updates at a drastic rate, so much so that Instagram as we know it is completely different than the Instagram which launched back in October 2010.
These new features have generally been very well received, which is evident by the staggering growth of Instagram’s user base, which now exceeds 1 billion.
It’s been five years since Instagram launched video on their platform (I know – time flies), and with people watching less TV than ever, Instagram is looking to cement themselves as a leader in on-demand video with IGTV.
Now at this point you’re probably asking yourself: “What exactly is IGTV?” or “How can I start using IGTV?” Well, look no further – we’ve got the answers. In this post we’re going to cover everything that you need to know about IGTV and how it works.
What is IGTV?
IGTV is Instagram’s brand new attempt at entering the lucrative mobile video market. IGTV revolves around long-form video content, which is displayed vertically – the way that people typically engage with mobile content.
As the platform is built mobile first, it’s a lucrative move for Instagram. After all, it’s projected that 78% of all mobile data traffic will be accounted for by mobile video by 2021.
You can currently access IGTV in two ways – you can download the standalone IGTV app, or you can access the IGTV feature at the top of your existing Instagram app.
Unlike Instagram Shopping, one of their recent updates which is aimed at those who are using Instagram for Business, IGTV is already available to every user on the platform. This means that IGTV provides you with a fantastic opportunity to share long-form videos with your followers, who have already been familiarized with this concept thanks to Instagram Stories.
However, there are some limitations which are put in place by Instagram for IGTV at the moment – smaller accounts seem to have a limit of 15 minutes for their IGTV videos, while the accounts which have a larger following have an hour limitation for their IGTV content.
BONUS FACT: This is something which YouTube also actively enforced up until 2010. Smaller YouTube users were only able to upload videos that were up to 10 minutes long.
However, Instagram has already said that they’ll be removing that time limit for all users in the future.
Also, there are no ads on the platform – yet. Instagram CEO Kev Systrom said: “Right now we’re focused on building engagement, but that’s obviously a very reasonable place to end up. There will be a way for creators to make a living.”
How You Can Use IGTV
We mentioned above that people are watching less TV than ever before, and this is mostly attributed towards the “on-demand society” that we’re witnessing at the moment, rather than the foundations of TV.
In fact, IGTV follows a very similar structure to TV – you can consume content by accessing different channels on the platform.
There’s one huge difference between IGTV and regular broadcast TV – the channels on IGTV aren’t solely run by huge corporations.
Instead, it’s a free for all. Both brands and individual creators on Instagram are running the show, and you can always switch between those creators you want to engage with in just a few clicks.
To browse the channels on IGTV through your mobile app, just click on the orange IGTV logo in the top right-hand corner of the screen. It’s next to your direct messages icon.
From here, you’ll land on the IGTV homepage, and you’ll be automatically placed on the “For You” tab.
In the “For You” tab you can find curated IGTV content which Instagram’s algorithm believes you’re likely to enjoy and engage with.
In the “Following” tab you can find content from Instagram accounts which you already follow. This is another incentive for users to follow an account which they enjoy.
The “Popular” tab aggregates content which is already getting a lot of engagement from Instagram users across the globe – this could be a great feature for finding product ideas.
And, the “Continue Watching” tab will allow you to jump back to some IGTV content which you were already engaging with.
Don’t forget: you can also use the search function to find new channels to engage with on IGTV – just type in your search term and browse through!
How to Create IGTV Content
If you’re interested in creating some IGTV content for yourself, or for your brand, you might be a little confused about how you actually get started. Thankfully, it’s easier than you think.
The first thing you’ll need to do is create a channel. Just access IGTV, click on this wheel icon, and then select “Create Channel.”
You’ll see the following screen:
From here, just tap three times on the button, and your IGTV channel is all setup. Easy, huh?
Bare in mind, your IGTV channel will take the username and profile photo directly from your Instagram account, so you won’t need to worry about tinkering with anything there.
When it comes to publishing content on IGTV, you can do so by clicking on your profile photo from the homepage, and then selecting “Upload Video.”
Here you’ll be taken to your video library – you can either upload a video which you’ve prerecorded, or take one live.
After that you’ll be taken to your mobile devices video library – you can either upload a video which you’ve prerecorded, or record a live one and upload that to IGTV.
Just remember – your video must be longer than 15 seconds and filmed vertically.
And that’s it, that’s all you need to know to upload your first piece of content to IGTV.
4 Tips to Help You Nail IGTV
Creating video content for Instagram is tough, whether that’s for IGTV, a story, or just a regular post.
And honestly, it doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced video maker, or you’re just getting started with your first piece of content – there’s always more that you can learn.
Here are four tips from our team that will help you to nail your IGTV content.
1) Think About Your Audience
It’s always important to remember who you’re creating content for – your audience.
Think about what they’re interested in, or why they followed you, before you start creating any video content.
When you’re looking to maximize the engagement you receive, and the amount of people who are interested in your content, there needs to be some strategy involved.
You don’t need to plan too much before you create your content – just jot down some notes to guide your decision before you hit that record button.
2) Get Creative
When it comes to creating video content for IGTV, you can really flex your creativity muscles.
There’s so much that you can do to ensure that your video content is engaging, whether that be filming from a unique location, adding in some snappy edits, or even something as simple as adding some (copyright free) music into the background.
Of course, that’s only just scraping the surface – but you’ve got a lot of time to play with when you’re posting on IGTV, so try to make it as engaging as possible.
3) Measure Your Success
When it comes to marketing in general, it’s so important that you measure the impact of everything you do.
Why? Well, you need to understand if something is successful.
Because if it is, you can double down on it. And if it isn’t, you can move onto bigger and better things.
4) Test, Test, Test
And then test again, seriously.
There isn’t an exact science to succeeding with IGTV. What works for you might turn out to be a failure for somebody else, and vice versa.
That’s why it’s so important that you test out different tactics for your video content – you never know when you will stumble across a winning formula for your IGTV efforts.
Get Started With IGTV
Okay, that’s it – now you know everything you need to get started with IGTV.
Remember, this is a brand new feature, so Instagram might tinker with it a little until they find a winning formula for their product. However, you’ve got the foundations for success now, so just focus on creating the best content you can for IGTV.
If you’ve got any questions about IGTV, Instagram, or ecommerce in general, let us know in the comments section – we read them all!
BONUS: Follow @OberloApp on Instagram if you’re looking for IGTV inspiration!