How to use Instagram’s long-form video on the new IGTV

04th July 2018

You’ll probably have noticed the new longer vertical videos that are appearing on Instagram by now. Instagram launched IGTV in June which allows for video content up to 60 minutes long compared to the previous maximum of 60 seconds. This new social video channel offers a great potential for brands to increase engagement with the 500 million daily users and 800 million monthly users already on Instagram.

But IGTV also raises pitfalls that we want to help you avoid. Read on to find out what this means for your video marketing plan.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is Instagram’s new video channel with its own app where brands and users can watch and share videos (or you can watch from your Instagram account by clicking on the IGTV button on the top right of the app). This is a move from short-form social video to a channel more akin to YouTube, but with the vertical format of Snapchat. The video content can contain links so that they can be used to drive viewers to your website or other channels. The useful part for brands is that followers of your Instagram channel also follow your videos by default.

What does Instagram long-form video mean for your brand?

Repurpose for the vertical format – with care

From a look at what brands are doing so far, we’ve already noticed content on the site which has obviously been repurposed from YouTube or Instagram Stories (even with parts of heads cut off). Generally, we’d recommend creating content for each channel specifically but there is a place for repurposing your existing videos in order to maximise their value as long as they are framed properly. This could also be a good way to test what will work most effectively in this new channel, without creating a whole new suite of content.

Moving forward, I would advise following the rules of “shoot to protect” so that when you’re shooting in 16:9 format, you’re also thinking about how it would be framed well on 9:16. Shooting in 4K also gives you more scope when you’re recutting. The rule of thirds does not apply for IGTV, so focus on how the video will look in vertical; follow the 1080 x 1920 px dimensions of Instagram Stories.

Strategic use of IGTV

When new video channels pop up, usually we advise that brands assess if it’s the right channel for your brand and a strong strategic fit before jumping on the bandwagon. With this, it’s slightly different as if your brand is already on Instagram, using IGTV could be an effective way to engage your audience even more. 

IGTV video content is another tale in your brand narrative; the moments and minutes where people are engaging with your brand digitally. How do Instagram videos fit in between longer content on YouTube and shorter, lo-fi content on Instagram Stories or Snapchat in order to raise awareness about your brand and connect with customers? The primary focus is to think about how your content is adding value for the audience at each of these stages in the consumer journey.

Although you have up to 60 minutes, it would be advisable to think about IGTV content as another part of your brand story and perhaps leave the longer, more ‘filmic’ content onYouTube with shorter additional content on IGTV.

Influencer marketing

This new video channel will attract influencers and content creators, although there’s been no mention of monetizing the channel for creators yet. Brands can use this channel to run an engaging campaign which will increase brand reach and engagement by drawing on the influencers’ existing Instagram following. We’ll have to wait and see how many content creators move over from YouTube, but it seems likely that they will work as complementary video channels.

Product demos and how-tos

One of the most hard-working types of video on YouTube is the how-to. These videos help to build brand trust via useful content and consistent tone and visuals and give you an SEO boost. Help content could work nicely on IGTV; beauty brand, Benefit has already shared how-to demos of the perfect brows. If you have already created these kinds of videos, use your analytics to find the most popular topics, and then test which works on IGTV. Is there a how-to that you could produce for your brand?

Think like an IGTV producer

I used to work in TV, so my mind is always on focused on thinking like a publisher and bringing them back for more. With this in mind, consider posting your videos as part of a series at the same time each week to build an audience with teaser trailers on Insta Stories and other social channels.

Insider view

Customers love to be considered brand insiders and see what really happens behind the scenes. Why not set up an interview with a team member, document an event, or shoot an office tour? This content could also work with your YouTube channel as additional content that’s exclusive to IGTV. 

Are you ready to make your first IGTV video? If you’re looking for help with any of your social video content, do check out my book on Video Marketing Strategy or give us call.

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