We have lift-off of Instagram TV.

Ambitious brands and savvy marketers, here’s what you need to know.

What Is IGTV?

IGTV is a new standalone vertical video app brought to you by the powerful people at Facebook, Inc. Unlike Instagram, videos on their new platform aren’t limited to one minute. Popular creators, after months of demanding more, can finally share long-form video content to their growing audiences.

IGTV is must-see TV for brands who believe in the power of digital storytelling to grow their business. It’s just like traditional television, with separate channels (which are simply creators) and content that starts playing as soon as you open the app.

What Do I Need To Know?

– Videos are full screen and vertical
– You can upload your IGTV videos straight to Facebook
– Users can like or comment on the videos, and send videos to friends
– Users can watch content inside the Instagram app or on the IGTV app
– Creators have the ability to add “swipe up” call-to-actions within the videos
– Users can browse four tabs: For You, Following, Popular and Continue Watching
– While videos can be 15 seconds to 60 minutes long, 60 minute videos are only available to larger verified accounts. Everyone else is limited to 10 minutes videos at this time
– And for you video producers, the file type is .MP4 and the file size is 9:16 and up to 3.6GB

Does IGTV Make Sense For My Brand?

If your business already has a robust video strategy, inclusive of both the YouTube and Instagram platforms, then this is the obvious next platform for you to explore as the storytelling functions are quite similar. If this is the case for you, we’d advise you to take advantage of consumer intrigue and lack of competition and start experimenting with telling your brand story here as soon as possible.

If you’re worried about financial investment and the stress of content creation, then try repurposing recent video content that you’ve already run on either Facebook or YouTube. This will give you an opportunity to experiment with the channel and see how your content performs without breaking the bank.

That said, it’s important that you ask yourself the following questions: who is our consumer, why are they on the Instagram platform, and how can we authentically weave our product into their daily social diet. Because a majority of the people who will see your content already follow your brand on Instagram, it’s safe to say that your content should give them a peak behind the curtain. To be most successful, your story should feel like a natural conversation happening between two people. We suggest leveraging talent to share your brand message, and keep the dialogue casual and playful. Narrative is key here, so ensure that the video has a purpose and proclaim it loud and clear within the first 5-15 seconds.

If you don’t have a video strategy but want to explore innovative marketing tactics, it’s safe to say that you can approach this platform like you would the YouTube platform. If the type of content you’d like to create is already popular there, it’s likely to do well on this platform too.

Keep in mind that Instagram is focusing a majority of its recent efforts on web celebrities that have made their name on mobile, so your content shouldn’t be too polished if you want it to be successful. Instead, focus on authentic dialogue and natural behind-the-scenes content. This will certainly outperform fancy, ad-like creative that would be better suited for television or paid advertising on Facebook.

If your business is used to making digital content that looks natural in-feed, then IGTV is right for you. And hey, True Sydney would love to help you!

What Can I Expect From IGTV In The Future?

If Instagram’s 1 billion users catch onto this like they did Instagram Stories, then its safe to say that you can expect more and more content to show up on IGTV each week.

As far as advertising is concerned, no options are currently available for brands. But don’t worry, Instagram says it does have plans to make sure popular creators are able to make money from their efforts in the future. So our advice is to use this time before that occurs to master your unique IGTV voice and refine your IGTV creative.

IGTV also looks like a (successful) attempt at slowly destroying Snapchat. If you needed additional rationale as to why you should stop using Snapchat and start using Instagram, this is it. So open your email, send a message to True Sydney, and let’s start developing your IGTV messaging strategy.

Sean Szeps
Digital Strategist

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