If you’re looking to put out more video content for your brand, Instagram has got you covered. From IG Live to IG Stories to IGTV to Reels (and even posting regular videos in your normal feed), the social media platform has created a “choose your own adventure” environment depending on what kind of creator you are or content you have.
There are a bunch of articles that talk about what IGTV is and even strategy, but most of them are super high-level. So let’s quickly go over all things IGTV and why we — as content creators, entrepreneurs, and creatives building brands — should care.
Give me the high-level facts, please
- Who: Instagram
- What: IGTV, Instagram’s way of updating the traditional TV experience to be more modern and mobile (think: similar to YouTube content).
- Where: A new standalone app that you can download from the app store on your phone (but you can also access channels through Instagram’s native app as well)
- When: Whenever you want!
- Why: Instagram is betting BIG on mobile video. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic. This is another way how the social media giant is getting in the game.
Okay, so why should I care about IGTV though?
Anyone on Instagram can create their own IGTV channel. In other words, if you already have an account with followers, you already have a built-in audience. It’s not like deciding to start a YouTube channel but with 0 viewers.
Instagram (and other platforms like Snapchat or Facetime) has already trained us to consume videos in portrait mode (in other words, holding your phone vertically). So naturally, IGTV is all about the vertical videos. You can technically upload a horizontal video to IGTV, but it won’t be be the best experience. You can also share long-form videos with your followers. For now, videos can be up to 10 minutes for most accounts, and up to 1 hour for larger ones. Instagram’s also said that eventually there will be no time limit.
What does this mean for me and my brand?
Think of it as another opportunity to rethink your visual content. By having an actual channel, other followers can find you, tune in when they want to, and catch up on any “episodes” you’ve posted on their own time. If you found IG Live intimidating or IG Stories too high-maintenance, IGTV could be your sweet spot. It’ll give you freedom to tell more of your story to your followers instead of just the moment in time that they see when you create on the fly.
Some ideas of content you can create specifically for IGTV:
- Create a regular series around an actual theme (recipe demos, workout vids, tutorials, interview other people in your space, travel recaps)
- Film longer sequences around what goes on behind-the-scenes of your business
- Take your show on the road! If you’ll be away at an upcoming event or traveling to somewhere cool, document your footage and edit everything into one episode so your followers get the full experience.
Well, since vertical videos are the focus here, if you’ve ever gotten tripped up on gear and all the tech, you really don’t have a reason to anymore.
Filming right on your phone and editing immediately after with a video editing app is a super easy way to start posting video content to your channel today (my favorite video editing app is Adobe Rush but iMovie is easy to learn and free). And of course, if you do have all the fancy gear and editing software already, you can keep producing at the levels of quality you are used to. Just make sure to adjust the aspect ratio of your video (with its original horizontal format) to be vertical before posting your content.
As is the on-going theme with content creation, everyone is different. Go with what feels good to you and your creation process and workflow and try not to overthink it.
Okay, how do I check this out for myself?
- Go to the app store and search for “IGTV”
- Download the app and sign-in
- Click on Settings (the gear icon in the right hand corner), and then click “Create Channel”
That’s it! Now you’re ready to upload videos. You can also check out other users’ channels to see how everyone is using the platform differently. For more important Instagram resources, click here. And if you need help planning out your weekly Instagram content in general, my Instagram Weekly Planner will help you organize your content so you’re not creating in real-time:
Have you played around in IGTV yet? Do you think it’s going to pull users away from YouTube at all? Let me know what you think in the comments below. And, as always, if you have any questions, send them over and I’ll do my best to figure out an answer for you.