Have you heard about Instagram’s new app, IGTV? Well, I am sure you have. But, would you like to learn all about its launch, how it works and how to build your presence on it?
I don’t doubt that you do.
Instagram was launched in 2010, but the video feature wasn’t introduced until 2013. At first, you could only upload clips that were up to 15 seconds long. The duration was then raised to 60 seconds. But now Instagram has launched a new app called IGTV where you can upload videos that are up to an hour long.
IGTV will help Instagram compete better with social networks like Facebook and YouTube. Statistically, 45% of people spend more than an hour watching videos each week on both these networks.
If you are serious about promoting your business or blog with video, IGTV should be a big part of your strategy.
There’s so much you can do with this new network. Hence, I have written a complete guide that will help you get started with IGTV. I will show you how to navigate it and how you can use it to successfully to build a presence.
How does IGTV work?
At the moment IGTV can only be accessed via mobile devices. If you haven’t already installed Instagram on your device, you can access it by downloading and Installing the IGTV app. They have apps for Android and iOS devices.
But if you have already installed the Instagram app on your device you can click on the ‘TV’ icon in the top right of your screen to go to IGTV.
This icon appears black and white most of the time, but when new videos are available it goes colorful.
As soon as you visit the app’s home page, you will notice that videos start playing just like on a TV as Kevin Systorm mentioned in his introductory post on the Instagram press site. Here, the channels are the people you follow.
As you can see in the above screenshot, IGTV categorizes videos into four sections. These are For You, Following, Popular and Continue Watching.
In the For You section, you will find videos that Instagram recommends specifically to you based on your activities. In the Following section, you can see the latest videos from the people you follow and the popular feed is very similar to Instagram’s explore feed as you see the most popular videos on the network. In the Continue Watching section, you will find videos you haven’t finished watching so that you can pick up from where you left.
There is also a search field where you can search for new videos.
A major difference you will notice on IGTV compared to other popular video social networking apps like YouTube is that the videos are portrait orientated i.e. their height is more than their width.
Usually, on most video apps, the videos are landscape oriented, i.e., more width. This is because we have all grown up getting used to watching videos on TV and PCs.
But Instagram has decided to opt for a portrait view, probably because its parent company, Facebook, found that its viewers were more likely to watch portrait/vertical videos than landscape videos.
This might be because portrait videos look better on mobile devices which is the only way to access this network currently. It could also be because over the past few years we have grown more accustomed to selfies and vlogs.
This view will be especially beneficial for some content creators like vloggers.
How to create a channel on IGTV and upload videos
To create your channel on IGTV, click on the tool icon next to the search field first.
In the popup menu that appears click on ‘Create Channel’.
Then click on ‘Next’ on the next two pages that appear. And after that click on ‘Create Channel’ to create your own channel.
Your channel will be created and your profile picture will appear in the place where the gear icon was earlier present. If you click on this you can check out your channel.
Here you can see all the videos you have uploaded.
To add videos you can click on the ‘+’ icon next to Browse and choose the videos you would like to upload from your device.
How to Create an IGTV channel from your computer
You can also create your IGTV channel on your computer. To do this go to your Instagram account page and click on the IGTV tab.
Then click on the blue ‘Get Started’ button.
Then click on ‘Next’ on the following two pages.
And finally, click on ‘Create Channel’ on the next page and your channel will be ready. Post that, you can begin uploading videos directly from your computer if you prefer it that way.
As your channel is new, Instagram will only let you upload videos that are between 15 seconds to 10 minutes long. After you upload some videos you will be able to upload videos that are up to an hour long. Yes, you read that right. 60 minutes!
At the moment only some brands are being allowed to immediately upload videos longer than 10 minutes immediately after set up.
What type of videos should you publish on IGTV?
The types of videos you can publish on IGTV are endless. As IGTV is a new social network, engagement levels are currently very high. You should join and experiment with different ideas. It will help you determine what works best. Here are a few ways some brands and influencers are using IGTV.
Buzzfeed’s content marketing strategy initially started with creating articles that drove traffic from Facebook. But since then they have evolved into a company that creates unique content for different social networks. And they are actively on the lookout for new social networks. This is why it is no surprise that they have regularly been publishing content for IGTV.
Most of the videos are only a few minutes long. But they have also published some videos that are over 20 minutes in duration.
Buzzfeed being masters at creating videos that get tons of views and engagement, you must follow them and view their videos for inspiration and get entertained in the process as well.
Buzzfeed has created an IGTV channel for Tasty too. Tasty was initially a YouTube channel where Buzzfeed published videos of recipes and other videos related to food. They are doing something similar on IGTV. If you are in the food industry and need some ideas on what to create, make sure you check this channel out.
BBC is another brand that has published several videos on IGTV. Below is a screenshot of a recent video they created.
As you can see, it has been specifically created and branded for IGTV’s portrait format. They accompany original content like this with clips from shows that are already running on their TV channels. This works well for them as the clips will promote their shows.
Adobe Spark has only published one video so far, but I wanted to include them as this video is a tutorial. It shows you how you can use Adobe Spark to create a unique customer testimonial.
This is a great way online software companies and bloggers can use IGTV to provide easy to use tutorials for products. So, if you are in a similar niche make sure you watch this video.
Tesla Motors Club:
Tesla Motors Club hasn’t been very active. They have only published 3 videos thus far. But I wanted to include them here because they did something unique with one of their videos. They created a video about how one of their customers sleeps in his Tesla car. But they didn’t shoot the video in portrait format. It is in landscape format. And instead of just fitting the landscape video into the screen they flipped it 180 degrees and published it. So that viewers can also just flip their phones and watch the video in landscape format.
This is a great idea for people who still want to publish big landscape videos on IGTV. But be wary of this technique in the future. If IGTV launches an online version, desktop and PC viewers won’t be able to flip and watch these videos.
Athlean X is a very popular channel on YouTube with more than 5 million subscribers. Here, Jeff Cavaliere shares very helpful tips on everything fitness related. This includes both diet and exercises.
Athlean X has created a channel for IGTV as well. But it seems like instead of creating new portrait videos for the channel, they have been experimenting with publishing their YouTube videos that are landscape oriented. They are either resizing and fitting them to the portrait screen directly or flipping them 180 degrees like Tesla Motors Club to fit the screen completely. And the videos have received thousands of views and comments.
This is a great idea for brands and vloggers who have already created plenty of content for YouTube and other social networks. You can just publish your landscape videos here by fitting them to the screen and see how they perform. Even though Athlean X’s videos are landscape oriented, they are very easily viewable.
Yo Elliot is another YouTube channel that is in the health and fitness niche. It is run by Elliot Hulse and he has created a channel with the same name for IGTV.
He has already published a couple of videos that have been made specifically for IGTV, i.e., with portrait orientation. What I like about his videos is that he includes the call to action ‘Link in Description’ with arrows pointing upwards. When you open the description by tapping above, the link to the seminar landing page appears.
This is a really creative way to promote products.
If you are selling products with Instagram, this is something you should definitely try. You could also use a link shortener like Bitly to track the clicks on the link and see how effective this technique is.
National Geographic is one of the most successful brands on Instagram. They have published more than 15,000 posts, have more than 89 million followers and their photos get hundreds and thousands of likes. It is one of my favorite Instagram pages.
Now they are taking advantage of IGTV as well. They have only published one video so far (it is a documentary that is more than 45 minutes long), but it has already received over a million views.
I am expecting big things from this channel. So if you want some ideas, make sure you follow them.
Now set up your IGTV channel
When a social network is in its early stages, engagement will always be at its highest. As time goes by more people join and the amount of competition and content begins to escalate rapidly. This is when social networks begin updating algorithms that can decrease exposure to your posts.
For example, take a look at the current top social networks like Facebook and Instagram. You don’t get the same amount of engagement as you used to.
This is why when a social network is new, you should take advantage of it immediately and drive high levels of engagement and gain as many followers as you can. More followers will help you tide unfavorable algorithms with ease in the future.
So, sign up for IGTV today and set up your channel. It can be done in minutes. Creating quality content shouldn’t be a difficult trek either, as I have shown above brands and influencers from different walks of life are making the most of it with ease.
Have you used IGTV? What do you think about it? How are you using it to promote your business? Please leave your comments below.
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