Our quick & dirty brand guide to IGTV

Just in case Instagram Stories- including Live Stories- wasn’t enough for you and your brand, Instagram recently launched IGTV.

Whether you’ve been glued to your smartphone screen trying to catch up on all the latest IGTV posts from your favorite Instagram influencers and fellow brands, or you haven’t even had time to figure out what exactly it is, we’ve written up a quick and dirty brand guide for you. Skip around to find what you need.

Got questions or something we missed? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

What is IGTV?

It’s a new long-form video app, but the content is still accessible from inside of Instagram (which you couldn’t fail to notice with the brightly hued notifications at the top of your feed). Videos can be anywhere from 15 seconds to ten minutes long, and even up to an hour for certain, pre-approved creators. Why add this to their already pretty comprehensive roster of video marketing options? From their business blog (click through for references to these stats):

“We’re evolving with the times; these days, people are watching less TV and more digital video. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. And we’ve learned that younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals.”

So the target audience for IGTV are the Kids Today who have grown up watching more digital video than traditional TV. That’s a big part of the puzzle to figuring out if IGTV is right for your brand.

Who should post on IGTV?

IGTV was created for younger audiences as the Instagram business blog makes clear, so if your audience skews younger, are active on Instagram and enjoy consuming video content, it’s definitely something you should test for your brand. If your audience doesn’t fit all of those categories, you could still consider testing it as part of your larger video marketing strategy.

If your audience fits none of those categories, keep an eye on IGTV. New additions or spin-offs of social platforms often evolve and it might make sense for your brand to work in a partnership or campaign with and IGTV influencer down the road. (Just be sure you do your due diligence before working with any influencer on any platform.)

What kind of content should I post on IGTV?

Instagram has helpfully issued an entire creators guide to help brands, influencers and everyone else create better content for IGTV. We recommend browsing the guide before you start posting, but here are some main takeaways we got from our reading:

  • Make sure your phone settings are optimized for capturing the best vertical video (that’s how IGTV is meant to be viewed) possible; the guide gives a lot of advice for this.
  • Consider using some third party apps- there’s a big disclaimer from Instagram about the specific recommendations made- to really make your video shine, from recording to editing.
  • Convert old video content you already have into vertical and repurpose it for IGTV; the guide gives some app recommendations for this.
  • Got the right accessories? A few simple things- like a tripod with a remote shutter- can make a big difference in your video quality and aren’t expensive. External lenses are another option.
  • Storyboard: The guide includes some blank smartphone screen printouts for you to storyboard your first IGTV ideas on.

That’s everything you should need to get started.

Final advice for brands

As for what else brands should consider, keep in mind that you can only have one IGTV channel per Instagram, so don’t get too ambitious with your IGTV plans unless you have several well-known employee advocates whose channels you can also expand to with your branded content.

The brand guide makes it clear IGTV is intended for more well-produced video than what you’d see in a brand Story, especially Live. So also keep that in mind when you’re planning your video content.

Finally, there are some native analytics you’ll be able to screenshot to keep track of your progress on IGTV. And perhaps most importantly—  don’t forget to have fun with it!


Featured image by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash