Vertical videos do not give the shivers to marketers and users anymore –  what do they give then? The rise in the format’s popularity has recently given birth to IGTV! We’ve decided to dig into the ins and outs of the newly emerged Instagram’s vertical video platform.

What’s the Deal with IGTV?

Instagram knows that most of its users (one billion, to be exact) come from mobile. Since mobile devices snag 60% of all worldwide video views, seeing Instagram jump in on vertical video is no surprise.

Instagram’s move to create IGTV becomes even more apparent with Facebook saying that vertical video is the format of choice for 79% of novice consumers. Facebook also claims that vertical video has a huge potential: with this format, you can “direct people’s eyes by panning up and down and utilizing the height of the vertical space.”

Although some argue that IGTV is Instagram’s attempt to challenge YouTube’s video supremacy, we cannot throw its competitor, Snapchat – a big supporter of vertical video, which has seen a 400% increase in video views in recent years – out of the window. IGTV looks a lot like Snapchat’s Discovery section where you can play various types of videos in a loop.

What Can IGTV Offer Online Marketers and Brands?

  1. Influencer marketing – As the land of influencers, IGTV presents an opportunity for marketers and brands to tap into influencer marketing. Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, revealed to The New York Times that “teens might be watching less TV, but they’re watching more creators online. Influencer community members are starting to lean towards video content on Instagram. Case in point, Victoria’s Secret model Romee Strijd has already posted videos of her daily morning makeup routine. Since IGTV’s videos aren’t limited to a minute, influencers can turn their videos into actual TV shows. This form of influencer marketing is a new avenue to walk on, with a massive potential of reaching users on a global scale and diversifying your consumer pool by letting users truly dive into the experiences of others with your brand.
  2. Deepening interactions with users – With IGTV, brands can engage with users at a deeper level, especially when users are hunting and opting for a more comprehensive, thorough viewing experience.
  3. Telling stories as they are – Online marketers and brands should seize the opportunity to communicate the tiny details about their brand to consumers and tell engaging stories by displaying long-form video content, both live-streamed and repurposed, in front of new audience segments. As the head of programming operations at Tastemade UK said: “[IGTV] is a chance to tell a story in the way it was meant to be — no segmentation, no breaks. It feels like an intuitive on-the-go way of consuming longer content. It’s true to the mobile experience in 2018.”
  4. Breathing innovation – There is no way to monetize videos on IGTV yet – and it will probably take time until Instagram finds the optimal way for brands to do it. With that, IGTV presents an opportunity for brands to show the world how innovative they are. It is a great way to boost brand awareness, visibility and solidify your brand’s reputation as a forward-thinking leader in the online industry.

What Lies Ahead

Brands and online marketers may find it challenging not to turn IGTV into a junkyard full of long-form video content. Here are a few of IGTV marketing tips:

  1. Forget horizontal – Since IGTV is a vertical video platform, it’s wise to put horizontal video best practices on the shelf and concentrate on everything that you know about vertical video shooting.
  2. Early birds get the worm – IGTV is a yet unexplored ground, which means that many of its features are yet to be discovered by users. Many of them may not realize that your brand’s video has a description or that there’s a link to click on, so make sure your calls-to-action appear as early as possible.
  3. Length still matters – It’s true that IGTV advocates for long-form video content, but it does not mean brands should go for it no matter the cost. Unless you have a very captivating story to tell, refrain from posting minutes and minutes of video content and stick to the length of up to two or three minutes tops.
  4. #Hashtags – have always been one of Instagram’s weapons for promoting content. Their popularity is likely to be seen on IGTV as well. However, don’t overdo it with hashtags. It’s best to keep it at around five relevant hashtags per a piece of content.

Marketers and brands should not carry the cross alone.

It seems that one of the first steps towards ensuring content quality has already been done. Here’s the handbook that Instagram released for partners and publishers who want to capitalize on IGTV.

Bottom Line

There couldn’t have been better timing for IGTV: users have become more demanding and curious to find new ways to consume content.

If you want to reach, engage and acquire relevant, paying users – contact us.