Instagram is known as one of the fastest growing social media channels since its launch in October 2010. This social media website+mobile application is known for constantly rolling out innovative features that help Instagrammers in several ways. Kevin recently appeared in an event and surprised the followers once again. On June 20th, Instagram made two very exciting announcements. The first was that the social media platform had reached one billion users. The second was the launch of their product – IGTV (Instagram TV). Instagram has finally launched the feature you never knew you wanted – a TV network. In one of the Instagram’s official blogs, the CEO calls the new offering the firm’s “most exciting feature to date.”
So let us understand everything about this newest feature, and see how businesses can benefit from it.
IGTV or Instagram TV is a new feature for watching long-form, permanent, vertical video from various Instagram creators. Just like a TV, IGTV also has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators of the videos are the channels. These channels can be for people alone or representative of a brand or business. IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram.
How IGTV helps businesses?
Instagram’s IGTV offers a number of benefits to business accounts over the older video and Stories features. Here are some of them.
If you have been actively using Instagram, you surely know that the channel allows you to share videos up to 60 seconds long in your Instagram posts. And when it comes to Instagram Stories, 10 seconds is all you have to put your video content in front of your followers. The introduction of IGTV has solved this problem for businesses that wanted to post and promote their long-form video content. IGTV allows you to post videos between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. Larger and verified accounts can upload videos up to 60 minutes long, but they must be uploaded from a computer. This means that you are no longer limited to the 1-minute video posts or 10-second Stories. Instead of having super long Instagram Stories stream that is broken up into 10 seconds, you can upload your whole video without any interruptions.
So, if you are a business that provides e-learning courses, manage a food recipe channel, or you are a channel that provides various how-to videos, Instagram has become an ideal platform for you too. Not only this, you can also send long occasion and festive greetings to your followers and Instagram community using IGTV to engage with your followers. The sky’s the limit for being creative with your video content.
Better Message on Mobiles
Instagram has constantly been a competitive channel. First, it was Instagram Stories to take on Snapchat, and now, IGTV is set to give YouTube a tough challenge. This wasn’t a random statement that I just made. Instagram is actually making changes considering the way people use Instagram as well as their mobile phones. Unlike other platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, which support traditional landscape videos or have algorithms that favor horizontal multimedia, IGTV was constructed to be different. IGTV distinguishes itself from other video platforms like YouTube and Facebook by focusing on vertical videos. Instagram TV is built for how people actually use their phones, with videos being full-screen and vertical. If you take YouTube, for instance, you have to click on the full-screen option and then turn your phone by 90° to view the videos in full-screen or landscape mode. IGTV enables portrait-view videos without any extra clicks. This means that your followers won’t have to turn their mobile phones in order to watch the full-screen video. Regardless of what you are trying to communicate, you can provide the best exposure for your message on mobile phones.
We all know that Snapchat began featuring vertical video before Instagram. Now you would ask me how IGTV is different from Snapchat stories? Well, the major difference is that Snapchat stories, just like Instagram Stories, only last for 24 hours. Videos uploaded on IGTV’s channels will remain until you delete them.
Simple and Free Option
What was your first thought about the usability of Instagram when you used it for the first time? Did you find it difficult? Surely no because Instagram is easy-to-navigate and all the options and features are easily available. IGTV, too, is easy to use. The process of uploading videos and monitoring the engagement on IGTV is also as simple as monitoring the engagement of Instagram posts. IGTV wins the mobile apps game right now. The standalone IGTV application follows the Instagram model of being a mobile-only app first. It’s also built into the Instagram mobile application so users have ready access to the videos uploaded on IGTV. IGTV is easy-to-use for your subscribers as well. Videos of the subscribed channels will automatically start playing as soon as they open the IGTV application. The latest uploads will start playing first. Subscribers can easily swipe left and right to see different videos, from same or different channels.
Talking about the pricing, just like Instagram, there aren’t any costs involved in the functioning of IGTV. Creating videos, uploading, and viewing them are completely free of cost. This means that you can put your business videos in front of a large set of an audience without spending a penny.
Ready-made List of Followers
Are you planning to get started with the Instagram TV but worried about getting subscribers? Let me give you a good news. As soon as you create your IGTV channel using your business’s Instagram handle details, all your profile followers will automatically become your channel’s subscribers. This means that you will have the first set of subscribers whenever you create your channel. As the followers will be directly converted into your subscribers, you won’t even have to undergo any extra step of inviting your followers to subscribe. Suppose you have 1 million followers. As soon as you create your business’s IGTV channel, all these one million followers will also become your subscribers. This way you will get one million subscribers as soon as you create your channel.
In order to invite more subscribers, you can share your IGTV channel on different platforms and spread the word. Not only this, when you constantly upload quality videos, write a compelling description, and use the right set of hashtags, Instagrammers will be able to find you with the help on the in-built search.
Basic Instagram Features Available
Whenever Instagram rolls out a new update or feature, it always has something in common with the previous features. There are some features that Instagram never changes. All the features of IGTV aren’t entirely new. You will still find some of the basic and old features that you could see and use in your Instagram posts. Let’s compare the old way of uploading videos on Instagram with the uploading process on IGTV. After selecting or recording a video while uploading, Instagram asks you to select the cover photo of your video. The same feature is available while posting your video on the TV. You can either select the cover photo from the scenes of your video or separately upload a new one from your phone’s gallery. There’s an option to choose or change the cover photo after you have uploaded your video. Sadly, you can’t apply filters on your IGTV videos just the way you can on your regular Instagram videos. The next step while uploading your video post is to craft a caption for the video. In IGTV, you can add a title of your video and a description. You can even include hashtags in the description for better search within Instagram or IGTV.
Once the video is uploaded, you as well as your viewers, will get the options to like, comment, share in Direct Message with other Instagrammers, just like the traditional video posts. You can even copy and share the video link externally by clicking the three-dot menu on the top right corner of the video. IGTV is also set up to allow you to view your Insights on each video so you can track engagement. This way, IGTV videos are not as difficult as they may seem. They will be simple for you if you are familiar with video posts on Instagram.
Bigger Future for IGTV
Looking at the ever-rising graph of Instagram growth and success, and the kind of popularity IGTV is gaining, I assume that this new feature is going to have a great future. Although many initial IGTV videos have been prompting to click through to a YouTube video because creators have their content stacked up months in advance, people will soon move on to creating new videos for IGTV directly. And then it’s difficult that people will leave IGTV to go and watch YouTube if the video is right in front of them. And if you are entirely new to video marketing, IGTV can be a good start for you. IGTV allows you to do everything from your mobile and upload directly. If all your videos have high resolution and quality, you will have to upload them from your desktop. All these benefits collectively imply that Instagram has already laid a great foundation for its video marketing side, and is going to grow in the near future.
How can businesses make most of IGTV?
If you want to use IGTV to its fullest to make your brand identity, create awareness, or overcome your competition, here are some tips for you to get started.
Select the Best Types of Videos
By now, you know that IGTV is your solution if you want to put videos on Instagram that are longer than 60 seconds. But for best engagement, you must upload videos that are longer than three minutes. To ensure that people watch your IGTV videos for the maximum duration and reach the end of the video, you must upload interesting and engaging content on your business channel. Depending on the kind of business you run and the preference of your target audience, you can select from the following videos.
Commercials, advertisements, and teasers
Seasonal, occasion, and festive greetings
Daily business tips
Customer reviews and video testimonials
Contests and giveaways
If you are a business that deals with various electronics, appliances, and devices, you can show their unboxing, functioning, and review videos. If you are a fashion-related brand, you can showcase the 360° view of the designed clothes and accessories. If you are a salon or wellness brand, you can shoot videos of the services you provide to your clients and put them up on IGTV.
Create a Helpful Description
The description of your videos will not only tell your viewers what your video is about but also help people to find your videos. Therefore, it is essential that you think well before crafting description for each video. Just like hashtags and keywords help people find your Instagram profile and posts when they search on Instagram, IGTV videos will also be found for relevant searches. This means that hashtags or keywords will help you gain more viewers and subscribers for your videos. So if you want people to find you on IGTV, make sure your video name and/or description contains the right keywords. For instance, if you are uploading a video of unboxing the latest smartphone, you can use hashtags of the device’s name and other keywords such as “unboxing (device name).”
Another way to make your descriptions more helpful for your business is by including links in them. We all know that the links in the captions of your Instagram posts aren’t clickable. One has to copy the text and paste in their browser in order to open the URL. Most businesses follow the tactic of ‘Link in Bio’ when they want people to click the link. So, they often include the link in their profile’s about or bio section that is clickable. But if you are a business that constantly produces videos or wishes that people take different actions for every distinct link, updating multiple links in the bio is not a feasible option. The introduction of IGTV will make your lives easier. You can include different links in an IGTV video. Not only this, you can also include multiple links in one single description and explain to people what you expect them to do. So for instance, if you have a 3-minute video related to your business and the full version of the video is on YouTube, you can provide the link to the full version of the video in its description. You can also use this opportunity as call-to-action and let your viewers land on your business web pages by adding website links as well.
Use the Right Editing Tools
Creating fresh content for your IGTV channel regularly can be hectic and time-consuming. You may often fall short on innovative ideas for videos. At times, you may have multiple videos and images that you can combine to produce a single, master video. Both Apple iPhones and Android smartphones have numerous amazing editing applications that will let you make some great videos for your IGTV. Here are some of them:
This application takes complicated professional-style tools and makes them simple enough for amateurs to use. You can trim, splice, and slice frame-by-frame, and control the hue, brightness, and saturation of your clips. You can add combine multiple videos, images, stickers, text and even handwriting. KineMaster provides picture-in-picture modes, a green screen option, and instant previews for your edits.
You can trim clips, add animated titles, text, and voice-overs, create slow-mo or stop-motion videos, edit the coloring of your clips, add music, and even use Tilt-Shift mode to add depth to your videos.
You can combine numerous video clips and still photos to create a final video footage using a selection of available transitions, graphics, and music.
After editing the video, you can then upload it to your IGTV channel.
Promote Your IGTV Channel
Do you think that creating your IGTV channel and uploading videos on it are the only two things you are supposed to do? Well, that’s not true. You have to invite people to subscribe to your channel so that you have a good amount of audience to cater to. Although you will get a readymade list of subscribers when you create your channel, you still need thousands of more subscribers and viewers in order to make your video marketing a success. For getting more subscribers, you will have to promote your newly created channel. Since IGTV, as well as your channel, are new, you will have to spread the word, tell people about it, and remind people to follow you. To spread the word across and promote your channel, share the update on different platforms such as Instagram, Instagram Stories, Facebook posts and Story Statuses, Twitter, Snapchat, other channels. Copy the link of your channel and post it on different channels. You can even include the link on your official business website. WhatsApp too can be a great channel to share and promote your IGTV channel. You can either send the link directly to your connections or update the link as WhatsApp Status that will stay for 24 hours.
Image source: pixabay.com
Video Requirements for IGTV
If you are planning to start using IGTV for your business, there are some guidelines you must follow. Here are some video specifications and requirements mentioned by Instagram.
Videos must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. Verified accounts can upload videos up to 60 minutes.
Videos must be in MP4 file format.
Videos should be vertical (not landscape) with an aspect ratio of 9:16.
Video resolution should be of dimensions of 1,080 pixels by 1,920 pixels.
Videos should have a minimum frame rate of 30 FPS (frames per second).
The maximum file size for videos should be 650MB. The maximum file size for videos up to 60 minutes is 5.4GB.
The size of the cover photos should be 420 pixels by 654 pixels or 1:1.55 ratio.
How to get IGTV?
You can access IGTV from a TV-shaped icon in the top-right corner of your Instagram home screen. If you can’t see this icon on your Instagram home screen, you will have to update your Instagram app to its latest version first. Once the app is updated, you can simply click on the TV-like icon and get started.
You can even download the standalone IGTV application in your Android or Apple iPhone. Visit your Play Store or AppStore and search for “IGTV.” Download the application that is owned by Instagram. As of now, the size of the app for Android phones is 32MB and that of the iOS version is 140MB. Therefore, ensure that you have enough space in your smartphone before you start downloading.
How to use IGTV?
You will first have to create your channel on IGTV, even if you are an active user of Instagram. Here are the steps to create your IGTV channel.
Log into Instagram and click the IGTV icon in the top right-hand corner. OR Open the IGTV application and log in using your Instagram credentials.
Tap the cog or the setting button on the right side of the screen.
Select ‘Create Channel’ and wait until the application automatically creates your channel.
Once your IGTV channel is created, you can start uploading videos keeping the specifications in mind. You can upload videos from both mobile and computers.
To upload videos via mobile phones, whether IGTV mobile application or directly from Instagram:
Open your IGTV channel.
Tap the plus icon on the right to access your camera roll or your device’s gallery.
Select a video from your device that you want to upload and then Tap ‘Next’.
Fill out your video Title, Description and choose if you would like it to appear on your Facebook page or not.
Select a cover photo for your video by tapping on ‘Edit Cover’ and choose ‘Cover From Video’ to select one from your clip. Slide the white box at the bottom of the screen through your video and stop on the image you want as your cover.
You can even select ‘Upload from Camera Roll’ and upload a new cover photo from the gallery.
To upload via Instagram.com:
Log in to Instagram.com.
Navigate to your profile and tap the ‘IGTV’ button above your photos.
Click the ‘Upload’ button.
Upload your video, cover image, title & description.
How to Monitor and Understand Analytics?
As mentioned earlier, monitoring, tracking, and understanding IGTV video analytics are simple.
Just open your IGTV profile
Tap on a recent upload
Select the three-dot menu and choose ‘View Insights’
You will see the following data here:
Views – the number of people who watched at least 3 seconds of your video.
Likes – the number of people who liked the video.
Comments – the number of comments that were left.
Average percentage watched – the average length of your video watched by all viewers.
Percent of plays at a particular time – the number of people who were still watching at a certain time.
Now that you’re armed with all this information, go ahead and show off your creativity to the world on IGTV. Remember that you can only create one IGTV channel for each Instagram account. So make sure you put your best efforts in one single IGTV channel so that you get millions of viewers and subscribers and become immensely popular on IGTV.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing – Canada’s fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500’s and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company’s customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches. Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they’re most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.
Ali Salman is an online marketing strategist who have worked with Coca-Cola, Extreme Pita, Mucho Burrito, KIA, Honda and other Fortune 500 companies. Ali Salman now heads Rapid Boost Marketing - Canada's fastest growing search marketing agency. RBM clients include Fortune 500's and medium size businesses across North America. Ali as RBM CMO leads his team in building and managing quality, high-performing and cost-effective interactive campaigns and programs for our company's customers and partners. In his career, he has significantly improved campaign performance for large brands such as Government of Alberta, Liberal Party, Workopolis, Cathay Pacific, as well as medium to large retailers and high-tech B2B-enterprise niches.
Ali and his team develop online promotional concepts that spark viral growth through search and social media for RBM clients, devising strategies that use search engines and more to reach key demographic segments in the ways they're most likely to be receptive. Ali Salman also oversees corporate marketing initiatives for Rapid Boost Marketing, including strategic communications counsel, public and analyst relations and client education programming.