In June, Instagram marked two peaks in its 8-year history. The popular social media site reached a new milestone of one billion users, and it announced the launch of Instagram TV, or IGTV. Described by some as a hybrid between Instagram Stories (the circles of your friends at the top of your feed) and YouTube, IGTV offers plenty of new marketing opportunities for advertisers who use Instagram in their social media marketing strategies.
Advertisers and publishers have moved quickly to explore IGTV over the past month because it provides a much wider canvas on which to work. One reason for the fast attraction is that IGTV's time lengths for videos have been extended. Before, branded videos on Instagram were kept simple, adhering to the platform's 1-minute limit. Now, IGTV offers everyone a 10-minute minimum time limit — and for some premium advertisers, a 60-minute time limit on videos.
As Advertising Age points out, this may lead to experimentation by brands to take full advantage of the 1-hour time length with off-the-wall videos, like the one the article features of teen star Cole Sprouse eating a hamburger for an hour.
What Is IGTV?
IGTV is a new platform from Instagram dedicated to videos. It gives brands and everyday social media influencers the opportunity to expand brand presence on Instagram TV. The new TV format is designed for viewing on your mobile phone.
How Does IGTV work?
To get started on IGTV, go into your Instagram brand account and click the TV icon on the top right. Follow the prompts in Instagram to set up the channel. You don't get to pick a new name—the channel is the account name. When you are ready to shoot a new clip or upload an existing clip, use the "upload video" prompt that appears. Note that you can upload from a desktop browser at Instagram.com. Here is a step-by-step guide to the IGTV upload process.
Remember, this format is geared toward seeing original vertical videos. Brands that have hundreds of horizontal videos can still upload these clips, but users will have to turn their smartphones sideways to watch them.
If you're looking to make the most of your social media marketing efforts on this new platform, here are some IGTV tips.
Offer brand-related tips or use your IGTV video to share a key point about your brand or product. Keep it simple, funny, or unique. Try different ways to grab people's attention, because a swipe right will happen faster on IGTV than with a remote channel switcher.
Teach viewers how to use products. Why not offer tips for viewers on how to use the product or service? Show the product or service in action, in its actual environment. Let viewers see some things they might not know about your product. From home and garden items to software essentials, showing how your product is best used is natural for marketers using IGTV.
Interview experts or tell personal stories. Another way to experiment with IGTV is to use the brand channel to tell personal stories that can relate to the brand (or not). Invite some of the brand team experts to share their favorite stories about working with that particular product. Or you might choose to interview the brand's CEO to talk about how the product is created. A behind-the-scenes view of a top brand is always an interesting view.
Display brand culture and products with crisply edited videos. Show your brand culture and products using high-quality, professionally produced videos. Mixing these high-quality productions with mobile phone clips from your phone can help to balance the feel of your channel.
As of mid-July, IGTV is not showing any advertising. This is an opportunity for brands to upload their previous ads to their IGTV channels to give it that traditional TV experience that we know and love. You can also contact Adtaxi if you have any questions on using IGTV. You can bet there will be more developments in this fast-moving niche.