Quick Guide to IGTV for Brands and Influencers
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Instagram has quickly become the most feature-prolific social media channel in history. In the last few years, Instagram has launched countless new features, and many of them are receiving immediate, positive feedback. One recently launched favorite is IGTV.
Here’s how it works.
What is IGTV?
Launched in 2019, IGTV (Instagram TV) is Instagram’s response to YouTube long-form video. But there are a few notable differences.
- YouTube is ideal for horizontal video format (4:3 dimensions); IGTV is ideal for vertical video format (9:16 dimensions).
- YouTube allows verified accounts to publish videos up to 12 hours long; IGTV allows users with large followings to upload videos up to one hour long.
- YouTube will feature both in-video ads and banner ads; IGTV currently only allows in-video ads.
- YouTube predominantly leaves video recording and editing to platforms outside of YouTube, thus placing greater demands on one’s video editing skills; IGTV provides in-app recording and editing plugins (similar to TikTok) so that non-videographers can still produce amazing video content.
Users can either record IGTV videos from their Instagram mobile app or upload a pre-recorded, pre-edited video. IGTV videos are visible in follower newsfeeds (or in the discovery tab) without sound until the user selects the video to watch in full.
How to Create an IGTV Video
There are several ways to post an IGTV video to your newsfeed. To begin, select the post button. Next, select your camera and choose one of the four posting options:
If you choose the Post option, you will need to press on the circle button for the duration of your video.
After completing one of the posting options, you can choose to publish your video to IGTV for others to see. You can also choose to upload a video from your device’s Gallery.
After successfully posting your video to IGTV, it will appear on your profile under the retro TV icon.
Does IGTV Allow Editing and Filters?
Instagram does allow IGTV video editing, and there are two ways to do it. First, you can select from the various editing and filter features within the posting style you chose (Post, Story, Reels, or Live). You can, of course, do your own video editing before uploading a video.
You can also use approved third party apps for more professional editing tools. Instagram’s Help Center recommends three third party apps that allow users to edit their videos within Instagram.
Image via Inshot
InShot offers several handy editing options for creators. It’s currently one of the best apps for trimming, splitting, and merging IGTV videos. Users can also crop their videos, change playback speeds, and add music, stickers, and filters.
Image via Video Leap App
Videoleap is perhaps the most extensive video editing tool recommended by IGTV Video School. Many of the features mimic iMovie or Adobe Premier Elements. Creators can switch out backgrounds, change speeds, merge different video footage, and so much more.
Image via VideoGrade
VideoGrade allows users to edit colors, shading, and apply other enhancements to give their videos a professional look. This app is best for creators that feature nature shots, product showcasing, and action videos.
How are Brands Using IGTV?
IGTV is one of the most versatile app publishing features on social media. There’s no need to employ professional video editing skills to deliver amazing IGTV videos to fans. With the help of the plugins listed above, marketers can produce and publish professional-looking videos from the palms of their hands.
Furthermore, a brand’s ability to repurpose older video content and share across multiple channels is now much easier thanks to IGTV. These features help brands gain more views, impressions, and conversions.
Influencers are growing more creative on IGTV. This opportunity helps brands use IGTV to achieve more authenticity and expand their audience. Furthermore, brands can now take advantage of IGTV ads to “piggyback” off the success of relevant, popular video posts on Instagram.
Organic IGTV vs IGTV Ads – What’s the Difference?
IGTV, as a stand-alone medium for promoting products and services, now has an ads feature to help Creators fund their craft and brands expand their reach.
The difference between organic IGTV and IGTV ads is that ads play within IGTV videos. The setup mimics the YouTube model for ad playback.
The latest word from Instagram corporate is that they are still currently testing different ad features, such as allowing users to skip ads after so many seconds of playback.
That said, organic IGTV videos allow for swipe-ups and other call-to-action (CTA) components. Many brands are using organic IGTV (usually through influencers) and IGTV ads to leverage video content for greater returns.
What Should Brands Know?
IGTV is another way in which Instagram enables cross-platform content. Brands and influencers that make liberal use of video content can easily upload their TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook videos onto IGTV.
While IGTV will support horizontal video, vertical-form is best. Horizontal videos shrink to fit the width of the vertical screen, but some creators have been able to use the space above and below their video to add other visuals, such as stickers or CTAs.
Influencers are generating some of the compelling IGTV content to date. That’s not surprising, seeing as how Instagram is open about their desire to cater their platform to influencers. Brands can partner with these influencers to promote their products and services organically through long-form video.
5 Ways Brands Can Use IGTV
#1 – Create promotional videos for new products and services.
Before you launch a TV commercial or video ad, try your hand at uploading vertical-form product promotional videos on IGTV. It’s free, and you can promote your post after you get initial feedback from your followers.
IGTV allows you to add CTAs and links so that customers can purchase within the Instagram app. This feature can help you promote limited-time offers or presale events.
After creating long-form promotional videos, it’s easy to split those videos up into several short-form videos. Doing so allows you to send those videos in multiple directions, such as Instagram Reels or TikTok.
Vertical formats have been very popular in 2020 and are likely to be increasingly popular in 2021. If you haven’t already invested in promotional videos, you might consider taking the vertical approach for greater impact.
#2 – Repurpose older video content from other channels.
Do you have videos from past posts on other channels of which you’re still proud? If so, it’s a great idea to bring them back and send them to IGTV.
Even if your old video is horizontal, use the space above and below to add special notes or stickers to engage viewers.
#3 – Repurpose influencer content.
Influencer video content that performed well in a campaign can make for great repurposed IGTV posts. Before recycling your influencer’s content, make sure that you’ve secured the rights to do so.
#4 – Publish Instagram or Facebook Live events after the event is over.
Instagram Live is only public for the duration of the live event. If you want to republish your event for fans to enjoy after the fact, IGTV is a great way to do it. Using video tools like InShot or Videoleap, you can overlay text featuring engagement highlights from the live event.
#5 – Add your IGTV to your Stories and Highlights.
After publishing your IGTV video, feel free to share it on your brand’s Stories. This approach will draw attention to your new video and increase viewership. Remember that a Story only lasts for 24 hours unless you also share that Story on your Highlights.
How Brands Can Make the Most Out of IGTV
Thanks to the nature of IGTV, fans will expect a little less polish from these long-form videos. This reality should help brands lower their costs and focus on delivering truly authentic content on Instagram.
But perhaps the most lucrative pool of authentic content lies with Instagram influencers. Micro influencers in particular offer some amazing IGTV ideas and help the brands that they love to maximize this new long-form video tool.
What Should Influencers Know?
For influencers that have enjoyed using TikTok or YouTube, IGTV is yet another powerful way to leverage video content for audience engagement.
Though TikTok has grown quickly over the last two years, Instagram still maintains the greater user base (see infographic below). And while TikTok is a short-form video platform, IGTV does allow for interchangeability between the two platforms. Furthermore, Instagram’s Creator Profile provides some of the best post performance tracking analytics of any social media platform.
Image via Mediakix
Similarly, Instagram influencers that fall in love with IGTV can easily expand their reach on YouTube. Leveraging the same content across multiple platforms has become the norm and is helping influencers gain more engaged followers.
Image via Statista
No videographer skills are necessary when creating IGTV content. Followers are often thrilled when their favorite influencer adds video to their content mix. IGTV is a great way for non-videographer creators to “dip their toe into the video waters.”
After completing an IGTV post, influencers can share their tutorial videos on other platforms. Reposting an IGTV video onto YouTube is possible with the help of an IGTV downloader app. If you are posting a Live video to IGTV, users can select the option to download their Live video so that they can also upload that video to their YouTube channel.
5 Ways Influencers and Creators Can Use IGTV
#1 – Create fun product tutorials.
Sometimes, it’s better to show followers how to do something in an informative video rather than in a series of static images. IGTV allows influencers to create DIY or “how to” videos without possessing the video editing skills required of top YouTube influencers.
#2 – Vlog on Instagram.
IGTV is perfect for influencers that have been nervous about vlogging for lack of video editing skills. So far, it is a perfect medium for aspiring vloggers.
Image via Instagram
That said, avid vloggers can expand their reach from YouTube onto Instagram thanks to IGTV. All they have to do is upload the video file through IGTV on Instagram.
#3 – Repurpose older video content from other channels.
Influencers that create video content on other channels can repost those videos onto IGTV. This technique will help them expand their reach and connect with audiences that are more active on Instagram.
#4 – Establish a weekly webinar on Live and then publish on IGTV.
Because of the seamless integration between Instagram Live and IGTV, influencers can take advantage of this integration to post regular webinars. Engaged followers can tune into the live event, and the influencer can publish the finished webinar on their IGTV feed.
#5 – Add your IGTV to your Stories and Highlights.
Posting an IGTV video to Stories and Highlights can signal to followers that an influencer just published a new video. This approach can generate excitement and increased viewers among fans.
How Influencers and Creators Can Make the Most Out of IGTV
IGTV is currently the only long-form video platform serving millions of mobile users. It also allows TikTok users to expand their audience, and it offers non-videographer Instagram users the opportunity to create more types of content.
Experienced videographers will also enjoy IGTV, since they can easily upload their videos onto their profile.
When partnering with brands, influencers can leverage IGTV to get more mileage out of their video posts by adding swipe-ups to affiliate links. Partnering brands can repurpose that influencer’s content into Reels, Carousels, and other social commerce channels.
Conclusion: Partner with influencers to create authentic, long-form video content on Instagram.
Influencers make a living from developing authentic, compelling content for their online communities. Because the best influencers enjoy meaningful relationships with their audience, sharing about their favorite products and brands informs their followers’ future buying decisions.
Brands can draw significant ROI by partnering with influencers. While their influencer content contributes to that brand’s social content library, as well. Successful brand-influencer relationships can generate greater revenue and brand awareness on a modest budget.
IGTV is just one more way in which Instagram caters to influencers and creators. Thanks to IGTV, influencers can do more to promote the brands that they love.
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