Instagram recently unveiled its new video feature – an app that can be used within or outside Instagram that allows you to post videos up to 60 minutes long. This was first announced in the Wall Street Journal, and is said to be keeping up with the demand for mobile video among both consumers and advertisers. Launched as IGTV, users can post high-definition videos and its said that Instagram Influencers are in talks to create original content for the new streaming app.
At the press launch in June, Instagram executives demonstrated the different ways to use IGTV. These included vertical video clips of amateur cooks and wildlife explorers, among others. Initially, there won’t be any paid ads on the service, but this could change once IGTV becomes more established. Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, stated that paid ads would be a ‘reasonable place to end up’ and at first content creators wouldn’t be paid for their content but that there would be a way for content creators to make a living.
IGTV is looking to take a piece of the online video market
Slated to be a big competitor to Snapchat Discover, which is currently home to daily content from National Geographic and Cosmopolitan, IGTV could be set to tap into the multibillion-dollar TV advertising market. Although marketers are still predominantly using TV to advertise, the spending into digital markets is slowly increasing. With the launch of IGTV, and Instagram’s one billion monthly users, more important real Instagram followers, it makes sense marketing budgets will potentially start to make space for digital advertising.
At the moment, the majority of Instagram’s users are in the 18-29 year-old demographic, which is why advertisers aren’t using it as their main marketing tool. They use it to target that demographic obviously, but TV ads are still the main marketing strategy for a lot of brands. However, with the introduction of Instagram’s new long-form video feature, it could bring in a new demographic. IGTV is set up so you can scroll through ‘channels’ and pick out whatever is interesting to you. Once you start watching, Instagram will use this data to recommend content that it thinks you will like, much like how your Instagram newsfeed works. This could potentially entice a much wider audience demographic to Instagram, meaning it’ll have more of an impact on your paid marketing strategy.
How IGTV benefits you
As a business, brand or Instagram Influencer you can use Instagram TV by posting longer videos without having to link back to your website or YouTube for the complete version. For example, if you have a new product launching, you can post up to an hour long video demoing the new product or perhaps an in-depth how-to video. If you are a comedian, you can post your full hour-long stand-up routine. This is designed to be the ‘go to’ place to build your audience. You can create a ‘channel’, much like you can on YouTube. Once users click to your channel (which is basically your IGTV profile) and watch a video, it’ll automatically jump to your next broadcast once the current one ends.
IGTV is designed with the idea of watching content on your phone, and therefore the videos are required to be in the vertical format. Content also starts playing as soon as you open it up, a concept designed to replicate turning on a TV. To find other content, swipe up and you’ll be able to switch between ‘For You’, ‘Following’, ‘Popular’ and ‘Continue Watching’. Users can also send videos in a direct message to their friends, and they’ll be alerted when someone they follow posts a new video on IGTV, which is great news for boosting visibility.
The vertical format encourages users to record videos on their phones rather than professionally via camera, this seeks to make it more accessible to everybody and build more of a community rather than exclusivity for professionals with access to video cameras. To get an idea of expected quality, it would have to be more professional than an Instagram Stories post but less curated than your regular Instagram photo posts. If users get bored they can swipe to move onto the next video, so even though they can be up to an hour, make sure every minute is still adding value. If you have a business profile you will have access to Instagram Insights, so through a few trial and error videos, you can find out which videos are getting the most engagement.
Mobile video consumption is set to increase
By 2021, Instagram expects that mobile video will account for 78% of mobile data traffic, and that the younger demographic is more interested in amateur content than professional. This started with the craze of reality TV, then trickled to YouTube stars and now Snapchat and Instagram. IGTV is designed to be more like YouTube and less like Netflix, with videos from your favorite Instagram Influencers and not the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy. As far as business goes, this is good news as you won’t have to team up with production companies or TV studios to create in-demand content.
Unlike Instagram Stories, every video you post to IGTV is archived and thus users can go back and watch old videos again and again. When IGTV launched in June, Gucci uploaded every runway presentation since 2015 and gained over 400,000 views. Netflix uploaded an old video of a Riverdale star eating a cheeseburger for an hour, and it has over 700,000 views. This shows that there is definitely a platform for Instagram Influencers and marketers to get on board and maximize visibility without really having to do too much.
People don’t need to be following you in order to find you, your videos will be visible to anyone who searches them, as well as ‘videos for you’ which brings up videos based on previous engagement, and lastly, the popular tab brings up the most popular videos from around the world. The best way to use IGTV to your advantage is to think about what you are known for, how you can add value to this through an extended video and if there are any gaps in your current Instagram content that could be filled with an extra long video.
The main ways IGTV is going to affect Instagram is that Influencers and brands can engage even more with their audience, giving more in-depth interactions and content. It’s another way to boost visibility, add links into your Instagram content and ultimately get more Instagram followers and Instagram likes. It’s a concept sure to skyrocket, so get started on your long-form video content now!