By this point, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of this feature.

Announced in 2018, IGTV is Instagram’s strategy for disrupting your streaming and viewing experience with something new, modern and mobile-friendly.

Created for a time when vertical video and mobile browsing is growing increasingly popular, IGTV has the power to transform your brand on Instagram. After all, by 2021, statistics predict that mobile video will account for about 78% of all mobile traffic.

Of course, just like any social media marketing campaign, your IGTV efforts need a strategy to work.

Anyone on Instagram can create a channel, but it takes something special to stand out.

So, what is IGTV, and how can you use it?

Let’s find out.

What is IGTV? The Basics

Otherwise known as Instagram TV, IGTV is one of the most significant updates to happen to the Instagram app. It’s a video hosting platform that exists both inside Instagram, and as a separate app. The IG team hopes that this new channel will bring audiences more of the content they love, in a new and inspiring way.

Although IGTV has some incredible content to browse through, it hasn’t taken off yet.

Many of the original IGTV launch partners only stuck with the company for a few weeks before they went back to YouTube. Additionally, studies suggest that the average user is only spending about 53 minutes a day on the app.

However, there’s still hope for IGTV.

Recently, Instagram announced that IGTV would allow previews to appear in the regular Instagram feed, which has increased the production of content by up to 1000%. The arrival of previews means that you can boost your discoverability and build your brand presence with IGTV.

What’s more, because the channel is still young, there isn’t as much competition on IGTV as you would get on Stories, or the regular Explore page.

So, what is IGTV?

Well, it could be a fantastic way to build your business.

How to Use IGTV: Getting Started

Before we look at some of the ways that you can develop your brand with IGTV, let’s cover the best practices on how to use it.

For instance, to create an IGTV channel, you’ll need to start by downloading the IGTV app. It appears on Google Play and the Apple store just like Instagram.

Don’t worry; you won’t need to create a new profile to use IGTV. If you’re already logged into Instagram on your phone, you should log in automatically.

To create a channel, just go to the Gear symbol (the settings) and click on it. Here, you can select Create Your Channel.

An IGTV channel comes with a cover – just like your thumbnail on YouTube. Ideally, it’s best to have an attractive image here, as you want it to attract people to your content. You can also add covers to each of your videos as you load them onto your channel.

A nice cover image will entice people to click your content – just as a compelling description with plenty of relevant hashtags should boost your chances of engagement.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when using IGTV:

  • Videos must always be vertical
  • Minimum frame rate is 30FPS
  • Minimum resolution is 720px
  • Maximum file sizes is 10 minutes or 650mb
  • Maximum size for cover photos is 420 x 654 px
  • Videos can be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long
  • All videos must be in MP4 format.

IGTV Video Size and Other Important Details

Using IGTV is pretty similar to posting any other kind of video content on Instagram.

Just remember that you’re dealing with a slightly different feature.

When you upload a video with IGTV, you can only edit the content before you hit “Post.” Once you choose to publish your material, you’ll only be able to edit the description and title – not the recorded content. Make sure you’re happy with how the video looks before you commit to posting it.

One extra useful feature of IGTV? When you hit the info icon on the content, you’ll be able to see valuable data from Instagram Insights, like engagement, likes, comments, and public reaction.

When it comes to IGTV video size, it’s best to stick to the rules provided by Instagram.

The dimensions for IGTV videos are 1080 x 1920 pixels (maximum). That’s the same aspect ratio 9:16 that you should already be used to if you publish videos on Instagram Stories. However, you will need to ensure that the file is less than 650mb in size to post it.

Another point to note?

The IGTV video size that you’re allowed to use will depend on your account.

Bigger companies and groups with millions of followers can upload videos up to 1 hour long. The same is true for Instagram verified accounts.

For most of us, however, the limit runs between 15 seconds and 10 minutes.

That’s still plenty of time to grab your audience’s attention.

How to Use IGTV to Build your Brand

Okay, we’ve got the technical stuff out of the way.

You know the answer to “What is IGTV” (hopefully), and the basics on how to use it.

So, let’s start looking for ways to you can build a content strategy that transforms your brand.

The freedom of being able to create up to 10 minutes or even an hour of video for your audience means that you can do a lot more with IGTV than you’d think. Plus, you can show off your professionalism and creativity better than you could with something like Instagram Live.

If you’re not sure how to get started, explore some of the following ideas.

1.     Transform your Existing Content

Lacking inspiration for your new IGTV channel?

No problem.

Why not start simply by reviving your old popular content? You can repurpose other videos that you’ve published on YouTube and Facebook and bring them to life on a new Instagram channel instead. Listicle-style content and how-tos are excellent options.

For instance, Gary Vee – one of the world’s best-known marketers/ entrepreneurs, has created an IGTV channel using content from his popular DailyVee channel.

As you start publishing your repurposed content, pay close attention to how your users respond to it. Make sure that you’re checking your Instagram Insights, so you know which content performs best, and at what time your customers start to lose interest.

2.     Reward your VIPs

Want to get new followers swarming to your Instagram account?

One of the easiest ways to do that is to let them know you have something exclusive to offer on IGTV. If you can provide your audience with a dose of behind-the-scenes content from your IFTV channel, then you can start to build a dedicated following.

Options include:

  • A behind-the-scenes look at how your products are made
  • Interviews with members of your staff
  • Unique discount codes and hints about upcoming sales

Huda Kattan gives her followers an insight into her incredible makeup tools by providing videos that show how to use her products. It’s a great behind-the-scenes look at both the brand, and the woman that made the company a reality.

3.     Deliver Insightful Tutorials

Speaking of how-to videos, you can always build out your IGTV strategy using tutorials too.

People love watching videos to learn something new, whether it’s how to apply makeup, how to make the most out of a new product, or even how to bake cookies.

Educational videos allow you to showcase your thought leadership in industry and highlight the unique benefits of your products. What’s more, most instructional videos won’t have an expiration date on them – they’re an evergreen way to keep driving people back to your Instagram page.

To get the most out of your tutorials, make sure that you don’t just share the same thing that people kind find anywhere else. While it’s fine to get inspiration from around the web, make sure that you give each video your own spin. Lele Pons, Vine artist, turned Instagram star, provides plenty of fantastic IGTV videos on how to make healthy foods for fitness enthusiasts:

4.     Create a Community through Recurring Shows

Just like with most social media strategies, consistency is often crucial if you want to stand out on IGTV.

Once you’ve figured out your answer to “What is IGTV,” don’t just publish something once and forget all about the channel. Think of IGTV as your own mini TV channel, where you can schedule and post content according to a specific format.

If you think that you’ll have trouble finding something unique to post once a week, you can always try things like:

  • News blasts: Updates on what’s happened in your industry/business over the last week
  • Q&A sessions: Collect popular customer questions and make videos answering them
  • Interviews: Invite people to join you on your IGTV channel. This could include influencers, members of staff, or other people in your industry.

The more time you spend on IGTV, the more you’ll learn about what kind of content your customers respond best to. For instance, Hannah Stocking is one of the most popular stars on IGTV today – with more than 16.6 million followers. She regularly posts “Science of Beauty” shows, where she explains the technical side of the beauty industry.

5.     Celebrate your Customers with Success Stories

Finally, one of the easiest ways to attract people to your IGTV channel and improve the reputation of your brand at the same time – is with customer videos.

In a competitive business world, consumers are always looking for evidence that they can trust your brand. Reviews recorded by your customers, or videos showing other people using your product or service are great for giving credibility to your business. You can even invite your clients to join you for a quick interview where you discuss what they accomplished with your health.

Beauty companies like Fentybeauty are notorious for posting videos of their customers using their products to recreate a look or design one of their own.

Not only does user-generated content make your business stand out by showing clients dozens of happy customers, but it also takes some of the pressure off you. You don’t need to spend nearly as much time figuring out what to post on IGTV if your followers are producing content for you.

Making the Most of IGTV

If you’re excited to start using IGTV yourself, hold on a sec.

There’s more to this channel than knowing your IGTV video sizes and replicating the content you see on other people’s profiles. IGTV can be a little complicated when you’re just getting started, so make sure that you have a plan in place.

Remember the following essential tips:

  • Always add subtitles to your videos: You’ll need to do this before you upload your content, and it will mean spending a bit more time on editing. However, subtitles are crucial because they support a hearing-impaired audience. What’s more, 85% of users watch videos without their sound turned on.
  • Choose cover images carefully: Don’t just post your IGTV videos with the cover that Instagram provides. You’ll need to pick your photograph carefully. Either select a scene from within your video content or create something on an app like Canva. Whatever you produce is bound to be better than the auto-generated option.
  • Use your time carefully: Even if you only have a 10 minute limit on your IGTV videos, that leaves you with a lot of experimenting to do to find out what length your audience likes best. Experiment with different sizes of video to see when your customers start to lose interest.
  • Add links to your IGTV video: Unlike the standard Instagram app, IGTV allows links in the description of your content. This means that marketers can take advantage of their IGTV material to drive people back to their website and product pages.
  • Remember your hashtags: Since IGTV previews can now appear in the Explore page – don’t forget your hashtags. Relevant tags will ensure you reach the right audience and improve your chance of attracting people back to your Instagram profile.

Are you Ready for IGTV?

Though IGTV has been around for a little time now, the feature is still in its infancy.

That means that we’re continually seeing the arrival of new things you can do with IGTV, unique brands pushing their creative boundaries and more.

Now that Instagram is putting more time and money into pushing IGTV into the limelight, there’s a good chance that we’ll see more marketers embracing the format. If you want to get ahead of the curve, now’s the time to start figuring out how you’re going to use your vertical videos.

With the tips above, you’ll be on your way to #Instafame in no time.

Are you ready to discover what IGTV could do for you?

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