Is IGTV for business worth using?

Instagram launched IGTV, its long-form video sharing service, in 2018 to mixed reviews and a slow uptake in usage. The company latched onto some celebrities and influencers to get it off the ground, opening up major competition with YouTube. Since a preview was able to be posted in the regular feed of a default duration of one minute, the rise in engagement has risen exponentially—by 300-1000%.

With 17.8% of Instagram users reportedly watching IGTV, is it worth businesses starting their own channels to further boost content and followers?

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The disdain from some companies has surrounded the aspect ratio of the vertical videos, with the size making the creation of videos for IGTV a little tougher. But this supposed fuss only benefits businesses posting on IGTV as it stimulates some creativity and originality; and content does not need to be revised or compromised to fit a certain timeframe. You get to make your point of difference.

Instagram are likely aiming to poach influencers from YouTube, though at this stage, IGTV does not currently have a specific spot for users to input info and be transparent about revenue and paid partnerships. Influencers are obliged to include #ad or #sponsored prior to this coming in. Public accounts wanting to start using IGTV must organically grow the secondary platform with intriguing content that will hook in readers.

Personalities such as Jamie Oliver, top-tier beauty brands, and worldwide publications have taken advantage of the longer format videos to enhance their profile and offer a more intimate follower experience. Oliver posts compressed versions of himself cooking various dishes, using his signature appeal to lure in views past the ‘Keep Watching’ stage. Vogue Magazine (US edition) has capitalised on beauty industry crazes and made a new video series of models and celebrities giving tutorials on make-up looks, which it also posts on the main website.

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Advantages to using the additional service are plentiful:

1.     It is a great way to educate your followers on your products and services. Show great ways on how, when and why to use the merchandise.

2.     Make sure that the video is done in an entertaining manner. Use a brand ambassador or expert here if the brand has one. The first minute—even ten seconds—of an IGTV video is crucial for a user’s attention span not to diminish and scroll away.

3.     Brands also need to subtly endorse product ranges themselves given that there is no widget to reflect a sponsored post.

4.     Whilst the maximum time limit for regular accounts is 30 minutes, if an account is verified or has a large follower base, the limit is increased to 60 minutes. Time to get that follower count up!

 

There are some disadvantages to IGTV, although usage of the platform has started to increase in popularity in recent months:

1.      The aforementioned attention span issue is a key aspect that may arise as problematic in the early phases of using IGTV. Getting your content bang on is very important.

2.     Where most Instagram users are accustomed to the vertical format using Instagram Stories and Snapchat, content producers are likely to prefer the opposite. The vertical view will better show more macro or detail-oriented content like food or skincare tutorials. Perhaps IGTV may not suit a lot of cinematic aims, such as filming landscapes for travel or automotive industries.

3.     IGTV also lacks a search tool for finding channels or videos by genre or topic. Individual channels can divide their content into groups which can be filtered by the user, but not for the entire range of IGTV content. Users are suggested videos through the Instagram algorithm based on what they have watched previously.

 

So, what is our suggested best practice for IGTV?

1.     Ideal length is two to three minutes unless the topic warrants longer viewing, such as a full recipe cook or make-up look.

2.     Stay true to your brand aesthetic and themes, enhancing the tone for a more inviting feel.

3.     Don’t forget your hashtags!

 

At this stage, IGTV is used more for brand awareness, not traffic. There are plenty of big-name brands that have not begun using IGTV, so why not get ahead of the curve?