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How Brands Are Using IGTV To Build Engagement & Community

It’s no secret that visual content scores big with today’s consumers. A 2018 HubSpot study revealed that 54 percent of the people they surveyed want to see more videos from brands they support. Since 65 percent of the world’s population are visual learners, that result should be no surprise.

1. What Is IGTV?

IGTV explore page

In 2018, Instagram – the Internet’s go-to app for visual posts – released IGTV to let its users post videos longer than the 60 seconds they formerly allowed, according to a recent Wyzowl article. IGTV gave brands the opportunity to upload videos as long as 60 minutes, allowing them to share brand stories, provide their customers with demo videos, and offer useful information that could help their target customers solve problems.

With stiff competition from YouTube and other video platforms, IGTV faced more than a few challenges. In October of that year, Instagram introduced suggested videos in its wildly popular “Explore” tab to see if the tab’s 200 million visitors could boost IGTV’s popularity. Then, in early 2019, Instagram began to suggest IGTV videos in its main feed, allowing users to watch video previews before they clicked on the link to view the full video.

That move was a major breakthrough. Yet the platform still did not accommodate horizontal videos. Since most people are used to viewing content in a horizontal frame – as they do on TV, for example – IGTV still wasn’t competitive with the existing video platforms.

In May 2019, the brand updated its platform to accommodate horizontal videos. This move gave Instagrammers a stellar user experience – and brands a better platform to showcase their products and services. This year, 28 percent of today’s brands, reports Wyzowl, use the video platform in their current marketing strategy.

Along with Reels, Instagram’s showcase for user-created videos, IGTV looks to become a major player in the growing video content sphere.

2. Why Should My Brand Use IGTV?

Even though IGTV has entered the video marketing realm relatively late, its – and Reels’ – addition to Instagram’s arsenal makes the overall platform a one-stop-shop for stunning visual content. For example, although YouTube might be more popular at the moment for viewing videos, Instagram offers users a seamless experience on which they can look at both images and videos from brands they follow.

And, with its Reels feature, Instagram empowers fans to create their own content around their favourite brands. User-generated content, say consumer surveys, has nearly ten times more impact on people’s buying decisions than either search engine results or promotional emails.

That makes Instagram the one digital destination that lovers of all things visual put on their priority list. Since IGTV resides on the Instagram platform, that fact in itself makes it an attractive choice for marketers. And, if you’re trying to capture your share of the millennial and Gen Z market, 71 percent of Instagram’s billion monthly users are below the age of 35, according to Oberlo’s Maryam Mohsin.

With the number of online video users rising to a record 236 million this year – combined with Instagram’s staggering one billion users – using IGTV is a no-brainer for brands that want to showcase their expertise, products, and services. With 55 percent of consumers now using video posts to do their purchasing research, according to the Search Engine Journal, an IGTV channel is a wise move for brands of all sizes.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a lot of brands are finding that IGTV content is heavily promoted by Instagram in their algorithm – and as a result, IGTV posts get an outsized share of reach and impressions compared to other post types.

3. How to Create an IGTV Channel

IGTV logo on Instagram app

If your brand doesn’t already have an Instagram account, today is the time for you to create one. If you do have an Instagram account, you’re one step ahead. All your current Instagram followers will be able to look at videos on your IGTV channel.

Creating your account is simple and only takes a few clicks.

First, download the IGTV app from Google Play or from the Apple App Store. Next, log into your brand’s Instagram account. When you’re logged in to your Instagram account, the IGTV app will use your profile to speed up the signup process.

Once you’re signed in, you’ll see a gear icon on the upper right-hand corner. Click on it, and then click “Create Channel.” You’ve just created your company’s official IGTV channel.

4. How to Use IGTV

Before you create a video or post one of your existing videos to IGTV, first plan your brand’s strategy for using this powerful platform. A coherent strategy that maintains consistency across all channels is essential for content marketing success.

Repurpose existing video content

If you already have videos that are performing well on other platforms, consider posting them on IGTV as well. Each video platform has its own fans, so your existing content can reach new audiences on IGTV.

Gucci, for example, reached a brand-new audience for its brand by repurposing videos of its fashion shows for IGTV. With stunning visuals that pack a raw emotional punch, the fashion house positioned itself to reach a more youthful demographic for its designs.

Repurpose written content as videos

Considering that a majority of your target audience, like the rest of the world, are visual learners, it pays to find your best-performing blog posts to repurpose as videos. With video content’s increasing importance in an effective content strategy, it pays to get your communications out in video form as well as written.

Create behind-the-scenes videos

As Social Media Examiner’s Irina Weber points out, audiences love to see how you make your products or develop your services. Showcasing the quality and care your company puts into each step increases your audience’s trust in your brand.

Use demo videos and tutorials to build a comfort level with your products and services

Some prospects want to see if your products or services will solve their problems, but they don’t know if they will work in their situation. Or, they know that your products would help them, but don’t know how difficult it would be to implement them. Demo videos and tutorials aimed at your target customers can accomplish both of these goals, building their confidence and comfort levels with every post.

Create FAQ videos with your customers’ top questions and objections

As Weber points out, answering prospects’ questions helps them better engage with your brand. Partner with your sales team to see what questions and objections they frequently encounter. Look at the comments on your blog and social media posts to discover even more of your prospects’ questions. Don’t be afraid to tackle the most challenging ones. The more open and honest you are, the more trust you’ll build in your audience. Then film some videos that answer those questions. Be sure to update your company website’s FAQ page with the new information.

Anticipating summer’s arrival, J. Crew customers wanted to know how they could rock the streets with their favourite dresses. The brand’s popular Style Hacks IGTV series addressed those concerns in its Summer Dress Edition video:

Create videos that feature customer success stories

Nothing convinces prospects more than word-of-mouth recommendations. Take that time-tested formula digital by featuring your satisfied customers in videos, telling how your products or services helped them solve a problem, achieve success in their field, or learn to do something they love. Then, invite your customers to post their own success stories on Reels to double the buzz.

Still struggling to find the right strategy? Check out 9 Brilliant IGTV Content Ideas From Top Brands.

5. The Proper IGTV Video Format and Specifications

Once you have your plan in place, you need to make sure that the videos you create adhere to IGTV’s standards.

IGTV has strict requirements for the sizes and types of videos you may upload.

Duration and legnth

Videos must be at least one minute in length. The maximum length is 15 minutes when you upload a video from your mobile device, but if you upload it from the web, you can upload videos up to one hour long.

File format and size

IGTV video files must adhere to a .mp4 file forma, with a minimum frame rate of 30 frames per second (FPS). Maximum file sizes for videos 10 minutes or shorter is 650 MB, and the maximum file size for videos over 10 minutes is 3.6 GB.

Aspect ratio and resolution

Vertical videos should have an aspect ratio of 9:16, while horizontal videos should have a ratio of 16:9. Your video should have a minimum resolution of 720 pixels.

As for your cover photo, the size IGTV recommends is 420 px by 654 px, a 1:1.55 ratio. After you upload your cover photo, you can’t edit it, so choose wisely. Make sure it’s eye-catching so that it will stand out among the rest of the photos in users’ searches.

6. How to Post to IGTV

Once you have created your new videos or chosen older videos from your archives, you’ll need to learn how to post your videos on your new IGTV channel. Here’s how:

Posting IGTV videos from the Instagram app

You can post to IGTV on both the IGTV mobile app and the Instagram app and website. First, let’s look at how to upload your video on the Instagram app.

If you post from Instagram, you’ll need to choose the “Long Video” option so it won’t post to your Instagram feed but rather to IGTV. However, the first 15 seconds will show up on your Instagram feed so that your followers can tap to watch the entire video. When you post from a desktop, your video needs to be in a .mp4 format. It also must be less than 650 MB for videos shorter than 10 minutes long or less than 3.6 GB for videos between ten and 60 minutes.

  • First, go to your Instagram account.
  • Next, tap the ‘+’ at the bottom of the screen.
  • Enable the app to access your library.
  • Select the video you would like to post.
  • Tap ‘Next’. A ‘Share as’ menu will pop up.
  • Choose ‘Long Video’ to ensure that it goes to IGTV.
  • Tap ‘Continue’.
  • Next, a rectangle will appear on the video preview. Slide the rectangle to the image you want for your IGTV post’s cover image. Alternatively, you can choose a photo from your camera roll as your cover image. Simply tap the ‘+’ sign at the bottom of the screen. Click or tap ‘Next’.
  • Title and description fields will appear. Click or tap on each field to add your video’s description or title.
  • If you want your video to be part of a series, tap ‘Add to Series’. If you’re a series first-timer, a prompt will appear that reads, ‘Create Your First Series’. Enter the series name and its description. Otherwise, choose the series you want the video to be a part of.
  • If you want a preview of your video on your Instagram feed and profile, check to see that the ‘Post a Preview’ slider is on. If you want a preview, tap on ‘Edit Profile Cover’ to adjust the appearance of the IGTV cover photo.
  • Tap ‘Save’.
  • Finally, tap ‘Post’.

Posting IGTV videos from the Instagram website

  • First, find your company’s profile on the Instagram website.
  • Next, click ‘IGTV’ in the menu bar above the photo grid.
  • Click ‘Upload’.
  • Click on the ‘+’ sign to choose your video.
  • Drag and drop the video file into the box.
  • Add your video’s description and title to the proper fields.
  • If you’d like a preview of the video on your Instagram profile and feed, check the ‘Post a Preview’ box.
  • Finally, click ‘Post’.

Posting IGTV videos from the IGTV app

Posting your videos directly on the IGTV app is the quickest and easiest way to get your videos up and running. Here’s how:

  • First, open the IGTV app.
  • Next, tap on your company’s avatar (located at the bottom left-hand corner of the screen).
  • If it’s your first time, tap on ‘Share your first IGTV video’. Then, you can choose between filming your own video (using the round button) or choosing a video from your camera roll (tap on the icon that shows an image from your camera roll).
  • If you’ve posted before, tap the ‘+’ sign at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  • Choose the video you want to post.
  • Add your title and description, using relevant keywords in the description and title to make it easy for prospects to find your videos. You can even include clickable links in your description, allowing users to navigate to a relevant page on your website.
  • Choose your cover photo from your camera roll or a thumbnail image from the video itself.
  • Tap ‘Post’, and you’re done!

Planning and publishing IGTV videos through Sked Social

With Sked’s new feature, implementing your IGTV strategy just got a whole lot easier. You can now upload and schedule your Reels and IGTV posts right alongside your other social media content.

Record your IGTV ahead of time, upload to Sked and you’ll get a notification when it’s time to post.

If you aren’t a Sked member yet, you can sign up for a free trial.

If you already have an account set up with Sked, when creating or editing a post for Instagram, choose to post it as a story, Reel or IGTV post:

Next, select IGTV from the Story Type dropdown.

When you select IGTV, the check the box labelled ‘Publish story manually’ will automatically be selected.

You can add information that will be displayed in the Sked Social mobile app under ‘Notes for manual publishing’. This might be useful as a place to include reminders about the accounts or location you want to tag, or the stickers and/or caption you’d like to use.

Then, select the time and date you want to post your IGTV.

When it’s time to post, the users specified in your account settings will get a push notification from the Sked app on their phone telling them that it’s time to post.

Click the notification and the app will open to your post. Click the post icon in the top right corner.

This will save your IGTV to your camera roll. Then click Open Instagram and add your IGTV Post.

For customers, we also have an in-depth guide to getting started with manual posting and notifications.

7. Follow Best Practices for IGTV

Beyond the required specifications and formats, there are several best practices to follow to help your IGTV content perform up to its potential. Pay attention to these at the outset, and you’ll be set for IGTV success.

Customise your videos’ length to their purpose and your audience

Most IGTV videos, says social media content provider Social Supply, should be between two and five minutes. In today’s instant-everything culture, attention spans have shrunk. Unless your video is so riveting that it’s practically binge-worthy, shorter is better.

For example, if you’re demonstrating how your product works, a short, easy-to-follow video is best. However, if you’re doing a long-form story about how your service changed someone’s life, a longer video – provided you keep the story moving along – might be a better choice.

Children have an extremely short attention span, so you’ll want to grab their attention at the beginning with colourful graphics, cheery music, and images of other children enjoying your product.

Take a cue from catchy TV ads and repeat your call to action, such as ‘Ask Mum for your Toasty Wheaties today’, several times so that kids will remember it. Teens, too, are notorious for impatience. Again, catchy and short is the rule.

On the other side of the emotional spectrum, there are the angst-ridden millennials. Yes, it’s a stereotype, but it’s also a real thing, as Adpulp’s David Burn points out. It’s a double-whammy when it comes to millennial women, who are 20 percent more likely than their male counterparts to suffer from depression and other stress-related maladies.

The Lily, a publication that targets that demographic, seized the opportunity to reach out to their female subscribers with an in-depth IGTV interview. This video, which featured noted mental health professionals, offered actionable advice to women going through romantic breakups amid the added stress of a worldwide pandemic.

Keep audiences coming back with a series

There’s a reason why people binge-watch gripping television series. Make your video series so appealing that your audience keeps coming back for the next episode. Always, though, give the audience an actionable takeaway so that they’ll look forward to the next nugget of helpful information.

NASA never runs out of other-worldly wonders. Its ‘What’s Up?‘ series gives viewers monthly previews of what they can expect to see in the coming month’s skies.

Use a catchy title that will intrigue your target audience

Don’t be so tied to keywords that you turn your title into word salad. Use something that hooks likely customers into watching. One word of caution, though: always keep the promise that your title makes. Keywords are important, but be sure to tuck them into an irresistible headline.

Find a cover image that complements the title and grabs viewers’ attention

Since you don’t need to use a scene from your video for your cover image, take time to find an image that will turn browsers into audience members. Colourful, emotional, and topic-focussed images are best.

Use feed previews to attract your Instagram followers

Since IGTV is so new, you might have Instagram followers who don’t have the IGTV app yet. Make sure that you have a catchy feed preview (the first minute of your IGTV video) so that your followers will click to continue viewing in IGTV.

8. How Brands Are Using IGTV Successfully

Brands that rock marketing on IGTV have an inroad into building loyalty on this relatively new app. Some of the major brands who have managed to grow their audience – and their business – on IGTV can serve as an inspiration for other companies who are just starting their IGTV journey. Here are some of the best:

Vogue US – sharing the beauty secrets of the stars

Long the legacy queen of the beauty industry, Vogue now faces heavy competition from newer, hipper beauty publications. In its IGTV series, ‘Beauty Secrets’, it returns to its roots with a 2020 twist. The series depicts some of today’s top influencers testing makeup and sharing their secrets with eager viewers. It’s a fantastic idea at any time, but during the coronavirus pandemic, many women want to look runway-perfect on their Zoom calls. Without the proper makeup, people often look washed out – even tired. Vogue has provided them with the perfect solution.

Netflix – The power of humour

Bringing humour to the fore, Netflix featured Cole Sprouse, the star of its flagship hit, Riverdale, eating a hamburger on a now-viral IGTV video. Targeted precisely at the show’s fans, the video served to further endear the audience to their favourite character.

Tastemade UK – How to turn a disaster into gourmet deliciousness

Who hasn’t absolutely ruined a cake because you forgot to set the timer or let it get stale? Tastemade UK solves that problem for its subscribers with gourmet panache.

Food Network and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – Behind the scenes repurposed

Who wouldn’t want to know how that creamy peanut butter gets inside its perfectly chocolate shell? Irina Weber, whose Social Media Examiner article we cited earlier, praised the candy brand on its savvy move to post a demonstration video about how the company makes the iconic candy. Repurposed from a 2016 Facebook post, this tasty video is one new audiences will — literally — eat up.

Louis Vuitton – An insider’s View

In 2019, this international fashion house posted not only all of its women’s spring and summer fashion show, but it also showcased the kinds of behind-the-scenes action that their fans craved. Even global brands can build relatability with their followers by showing personal glimpses of their influencers.

Conde Nast Traveller – Answering travellers’ FAQs

Answering its customers’ most-asked questions, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Melinda Stevens, took time off her busy schedule to answer its followers’ questions, building trust in its expertise to help them elevate their travels to the next level.

FouFou Esthetics – Step-by-step beauty

In his article for media monitoring service Glean, Andre Oentoro highlights the value of educational videos. FouFou Esthetics, famous for its peel-off mask facial treatments, creates IGTV videos that provide step-by-step instructions to its customers so they can maximise the benefit of their purchases. Its attention to its customers marks it as a company that serves them long after the sale is over, building lifetime loyalty – and higher lifetime revenue from each customer.

Milk Makeup – How-tos from beauty influencers

As we pointed out earlier, user-generated content is a powerful factor in winning new customers. Makeup brand Milk Makeup leverages customer testimonials on its IGTV channel, including ones from beauty influencers. Seeing these well-known people extolling – and demonstrating – the makeup’s effectiveness can give undecided prospects the courage to click ‘Purchase’.

Tiffany & Co – Repurposing classic cachet

A legacy jeweller with a storied history, Tiffany & Company republished several of its iconic television commercials, giving its international customer base a chance to see commercials that only ran on US TV stations.

Blackforest Wood & Co – Nature-sourced beauty

A high-end furniture maker, Blackforest Wood & Co showed potential customers videos that detailed the painstaking process it undertakes to create furniture that will become heirlooms in its customers’ homes. As a result, the company boosted its brand awareness and following among its target customers.

Buzzfeed – A one-stop-shop for viral content

Going after the all-important millennial and Gen Z demographics, this media company goes after its IGTV-savvy target customers with content they crave. With an amazing mix of comical, entertaining, and informative content, it has risen to even greater heights of popularity among its target customers. Staying true to one’s brand – and one’s target customers – is probably one of the top indicators of IGTV success.

Bacardi – Using influencers to capture a new demographic

One of the brands that get long-form video right, spirits maker Bacardi made a big splash among a new demographic, young adults who have come of age over the last few years, as well as those who will soon. Featuring the Dixon Brothers, the tasty music video ticked off all the boxes for its millennial and Gen Z fans. [Note, you might need to be logged into Instagram to see this example, as Instagram requires you to be over 18/21 to see it.]

9. More IGTV Content Ideas

Finally, let’s take a look at some other ways that your company can leverage the visual and auditory power of IGTV videos to build brand awareness, increase engagement, and generate more revenue. To do so, though, you need to create visually stunning videos that get your message across.

Brand news stories

Brand news shouldn’t be all about you. The kinds of news stories that perform well on IGTV focus on what your brand has done for your customers. Whether it’s long-form videos that showcase how your brand transformed their businesses or their lives or shorter ones that serve as visual bullet points of what a customer accomplished with your brand by their side, make the customer the focus to generate more interest.

Here’s a video the demonstrates how you can position your brand as one that transforms its customers’ lives. Subaru vehicles are legendary for their ability to navigate the roads in all weather. On one of its IGTV posts, the brand posted the true story of one of its customers, a teacher who drove 120 miles through snow, wind, rain, and landslides to provide her students with a good education.

Live events

People love to feel as if they’re participating in an event, especially in this socially distanced new normal. Live events posted on IGTV give them the sense of immediacy they can’t experience from a past event.

Musician John Mayer frequently teams up with other well-known artists to give his fans a taste of a live concert — even when they were stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. This video, performed with Lil Nas X, gives fans a bonus as well — live footage of the guitarist riffing about life as well as music.

Freebie Mini-Lessons

Music courses, language-learning courses, cooking courses, and other extracurricular educational courses – all can benefit from allowing people to experience what they can learn in only a few minutes. Mini-lessons, such as those that language app Babbel posts on its YouTube channel, can find new, unreached audiences on IGTV. Once they’ve experienced the sweet taste of success, they’re likely to get hooked on learning – and sign up for paid lessons.

The Team Behind the Scenes

Prospects don’t want to always hear from your CEO – even if it’s you. Your team members, who create the products that change your customers’ lives, are a valuable resource in building confidence in your brand. As consultant Neal Schaffer points out, employee advocacy can generate up to five times the traffic and 25 per cent more leads.

10. What’s next for your IGTV?

Once you get your IGTV channel up and running and have posted a few videos, you might notice that your team could create more content if it didn’t have to spend so much time on all the behind-the-scenes work, such as scheduling, automating, and managing your posts. We can help.

Our social media scheduling tool can help your brand manage your content across channels – including Instagram – and soon, IGTV as well. To learn more about how our team can free up more time for your teams, get in touch with us today.

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