Since it’s launch in 2010, Instagram has become a global community of one billion! Recently, the photo sharing app announced their new feature IGTV, which allows users to post and watch videos that are up to one-hour long. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you can also watch it from within the Instagram app.
IGTV functions in a different way. First, the videos are full screen and vertical. Also unlike Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. IGTV starts playing immediately when you open the app. You don’t have to search to watch content from people you already follow on Instagram, you can search based on your interests. Some other features include:
- Swipe up to discover more
- Switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.”
- Like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct.
Here are some IGTV specs to keep in mind:
- Video length: 15 seconds to 60 minutes
(The full 60 minutes is currently only available to larger accounts or verified accounts.)
- Everyone else has a general limit of 10 minutes
- File size: up to 3.6GB
- File type: .MP4
- Video size: 9:16
- Video thumbnail/cover image: .JPG
Millions of businesses around the world already have a great presence on Instagram and IGTV can be a great way for these businesses to acquire new customers and build stronger bonds with the existing ones.
Like Instagram Stories, IGTV also allows you to add a swipe-up call-to-action, which allows you to link to target landing pages. You can also upload IGTV videos straight to Facebook Watch. So what types of businesses can fully utilize IGTV?
Beauty & Makeup business: Tutorials of makeup application or tips for styling your hair. You can even film a customer getting specialized treatment at your salon.
Interior Designer: Shoot a renovation project or a customer testimonial who got their home designed by you.
Retail: Sneak peek into the new collection or teaser videos of what will be hitting your stores.
Restaurant: Show the new recipe you are testing or tips for making gourmet food.
There are other ways to use IGTV to your benefit your business. So let’s dive in
- You can Leverage Instagram’s Huge Audience Base
Instagram’s growth and engagement show no sign of slowing down, making your brand presence on the network worth investing in.
Instagram stories recently doubled Snapchat views in total daily users – breaking 400m daily users this Summer. And we can expect Stories to become even more popular as it continues to expand by its integration with Facebook.
- Quality Content Will Help Your Brand
Instagram wants to increase user adoption of the IGTV platform. Small business brands should strive to push out content most relevant to their target audience. For instance, when a user opens the app, IGTV automatically plays a video it believes the user will like based on their interests, which brands should take advantage of by producing quality content. Brands should also add links to landing pages below the video title as they would on an Instagram Story.
- There is Less Competition,Early Adopters Will Win
IGTV as a terrific opportunity for content marketers to place their brands at the forefront of the next major video platform – especially those who act fast.
- It’s Good for Businesses Producing Video on Budget
IGTV’s vertical format is an invitation to video makers at every level to get creative with their smart phone! While more expensive equipment can still be used, it’s not necessary. There are free apps such as InShot to help you get started with video editing. IGTV also allows you to upload your business’ product or service animation videos. Your business can easily be in front of a crowd of potential customers in minutes.
- You can Link to Your Website
IGTV offers several benefits to your business. It allows you to add a link to your video to drive people to your website so that they can at least become new lead for your marketing database or even better buy something from you. We all know, Instagram doesn’t allow links to be posted along with photos. IGTV overcomes this limitation by allowing you to add links to your video posts.
- You have Creative Freedom
There’s so much you could do with 60 minutes! The added time allows your customers to get to know your brand on a deeper level. You can give a behind-the-scenes look at a runway show and include everything from hair and makeup to the final model lap at the end of the show, or you can use an IGTV video to preview a bunch of new seasonal products that haven’t been released yet to get your fans buzzing. The possibilities are virtually endless!
- Repurpose Content Too!
A lot of creators are uploading some of their older content on IGTV too so they can start building some presence on the platform and gauge its engagement without having to spend massive time, effort & money on creating original video content.
Instagram is betting big on IGTV’s vertical video format as the unquestioned future of the platform. This means it is time for small business owners to redesign their company’s social strategy as this new video channel is going to change the game.
About the author:
Shivankit Arora is a growth hacker and the founder of a startup marketing agency, MarketingMasala.com. He is an expert on online marketing for small businesses.
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