How to Use Instagram TV (IGTV) for Business to Get the Most Out of this Feature?
If you are looking for ways to utilize Instagram’s full potential for growing your business, be sure to incorporate the use of Instagram’s TV feature, also called IGTV, in your brand-building strategies. This is a prevalent feature where you get to create long-form video content and reach a wider audience.
IGTV is a fun feature to use, easy to learn the ropes off, and comes with lots of inbuilt tools to help you launch your own IGTV series like a pro. Anyone who had an Instagram account can create an IGTV channel and start their running series. Viewers watch your content as they would a television series, except that they can now like and comment on the episodes they watch. This makes the experience of watching content on IGTV a unique one that integrates features of both televised channels and video-sharing platforms like YouTube.
As with other aspects of Instagram, the key to successfully run IGTV is to monitor and encourage viewer engagement. The higher your IGTV comments and likes, the higher up your channel will be placed on IGTV’s home feed. In other words, the more likes and comments you get on your videos, the greater is the chance of being discovered by Instagram users. A sizeable engagement count shows that your content is popular and trending. This is likely to make Instagram’s algorithms put your channel on feeds of new audiences who are already checking out content in a similar niche. Needless to say, the more popular your channel gets, the more well-known your brand will be.
To maximize audience engagement and organically grow your followers, learn the ropes of using IGTV before you dive headlong into publishing content on your channel. Here is what you need to know about Instagram TV.
What Is IGTV?
IGTV is a concept Instagram rolled out in 2018. It has since been updated to accommodate several new features. On the usual Instagram platform, you can create and publish stand-alone videos. Even if you make several videos on a theme in continuation, you have no means to cluster like videos together. At best, you can organize your profile to give your audience a storyboard experience. With IGTV, Instagram launched a video-sharing space where you can bring a television watching experience to your audience by creating a series under a channel. This is combined with Instagram’s mobile-friendly social media networking features. Some salient features of IGTV include:
- An Immersive Experience: Videos played on IGTV enlarge to fill out your entire screen, giving you an immersive viewing experience. Viewers are no longer limited to a square frame for watching videos.
- Compatibility with any angle of video format: When it first launched, one could only create videos in vertical format for IGTV. Now, IGTV supports videos made in both vertical and horizontal modes. So, you do not have to worry about holding your cell phone the wrong way when you record content with the intent of uploading it on IGTV. As long as your video can be fit into IGTV’s prescribed aspect ratio, your video is IGTV compatible.
- Personalized Playlist: Instagram’s algorithms customize your playlist by making discoverable content from Creators you follow or would likely prefer to follow in the future.
- Supports Long Form Video: You can use the feature to create content that requires time. Your video must be at least 15 seconds long and can run up to 60 minutes!
- Permanently Archived: Unlike Instagram Stories and Instagram Live TV, you do not have to worry about manually saving your content after uploading and publishing it. Your videos do not disappear after 24 hours. The only way to delete them is to do so manually yourself as the creator of the content. Of course, there is always the exception of Instagram taking down your content if it violates the platform’s guidelines. However, if policies are adhered to under normal circumstances, your content has a permanent spot on IGTV!
- Has its Separate App: You can navigate to IGTV videos using the traditional Instagram app, but you do not get an exclusive feed of IGTV updates. Instagram designed a separate app exclusively for the IGTV experience – much like other apps meant for video
Photo by Denis Pavlovic on Unsplash
How Can You Use IGTV to the Advantage of Your Business?
Brand building, lead generation, and sales conversions – whatever may be your goal, you can achieve it using IGTV. Here is how you can go about it:
Plan Your IGTV presence:
The secret behind any successful marketing strategy is to plan in advance and stick to the plan. As with any business strategy, effective planning requires research, constant monitoring, and the ability to adapt and revise as and when necessary. Here are some essential things you must not miss out on while planning your IGTV strategy:
- To beat your competition, begin by knowing your competition better. Check out what others in your niche are uploading. Are they able to turn their virtual followers into real-time clients and partners for their business?
- Identify your strong points as a brand. What nature of videos works best for you? Do you feel the need to outsource content creation, or can you handle it on your own? Do you want to stick to one type of video genre, or are you willing to experiment? You could make tutorials, reviews, and Q-A sessions. You could make documentaries or go creative with your video content. The possibilities are endless.
- Understand your Consumer. What kind of videos are your followers watching the most and are likely to tune into if you start making them? What content do you think will appeal to your current and potential followers that can eventually lead to your brand’s profits and image-building.
- Think ahead. If you decide upon a certain kind of content, is it going to have a momentary or lasting effect on your business? If it does have an impact, will it bring positive brand building for you?
Have Realistic Goals:
Becoming an overnight sensation is possible in the digital world, but not everyone has that luck. Take your time to build your brand presence. Be patient, set specific mini-targets leading up to your main goal, and monitor your progress along the way. Use inbuilt tools like Insights to understand your audience engagement and traffic. Use this to determine a realistic timeframe for successfully reaching a broader target audience. Whether you aim to build better customer relations or generate conversions, you will soon be on your way to success if you set achievable micro-goals.
Adhere to Instagram’s Community Guidelines:
While you may feel like IGTV gave you the wings to unfurl your videography skills, remember all your hard work can go to dust if you inadvertently violate community guidelines. Be sure to read and understand what you can thoroughly or cannot do before planning your IGTV series. Whether you are simply an amateur with a good cell phone camera or a seasoned video creator, use your creativity wisely and keep the platform’s limitations in mind. This includes the platform’s dos and don’ts list. Build a credible rule-abiding brand. You will find organic supporters for your business as long as you can demonstrate that you have integrity and play by the book.
Experiment with IGTV Tools:
You cannot upload live broadcasts on IGTV (though you can save a Live TV session after it has ended). This means the platform is for publishing pre-produced content. Use the inbuilt tools of IGTV to your advantage to edit your videos before you upload them for the public. Some tools you can try out on your videos include but are not limited to:
- Descriptors (like hashtags),
- Animated stickers and buttons.
Create Promotional Videos:
You can create anything from 15 seconds to an hour long. Why not make some fun promotional videos that highlight and humanize your brand? Whether you choose to hard-sell your products and services, or soft-sell, is up to you. Given its YouTube-like user experience, perhaps you can promote your brand skillfully by making videos on issues and subjects that align with your business ethos and principles. You could do covers on employees, a documentary on your brand’s back story, take your audience behind the scenes for an experience of fairs, your brand participates in or of the manufacturing process involved in your services. You could throw in your Story if your video content is in a serialized narrative format, or you could add your brand logo on one corner of the screen. Think of ways that will work for you without putting off your followers. Here is a list of ideas you can use to build up your brand:
- Reuse videos you have previously posted on Instagram or other social sites;
- Create video listicles;
- Feature In-house and Consumer Success Stories;
- Feature Surprise Guests;
- Collaborate with Fellow Creators;
- Create tutorials;
- Create product highlights;
- Leave cliff-hangers that connect to the next episode;
- Schedule a consistent daily or weekly uploading time, and keep to it;
- Release exclusive content.
Photo by Brands&People on Unsplash
Publicize your IGTV Channel:
Your goal is to attract new viewers for the videos you have already launched and have your existing viewers return to view and engage with future uploads.
Spread the word about your channel and its upcoming uploads using different means to reach out to as broad a target audience as possible:
- Use Instagram Stories: The Stories segment of Instagram is a great place to announce upcoming and already available IGTV content. You can also insert a working link to the video here, and this makes it one of the best spots for generating organic traffic to your channel. All your viewer has to do is swipe on your Story feed.
- Create Posts: Share posts with teasers and sneak peeks to build anticipation and excitement among your IG followers. Keep them hooked in the manner promos do for upcoming TV serials.
- Cross-post: Use other social platforms to spread the word about your IGTV channel. Simultaneously post announcements, promos, and teasers on sites like Facebook to reach a larger potential audience.
As you can see, you can use IGTV to your brand’s advantage with a little bit of intelligent planning and analysis. Creating content for IGTV will not be a time-consuming effort if you have your POA organized. The 60-min time length makes it possible for you to upload performances and detailed Q-A sessions if conducive to your brand-building approach. However, as with any strong content, remember not to drag your video to unnecessary long lengths if you do not need that kind of time for an episode. An engaging 10-minute video is likely to get you way more user engagement than a bland and unfocused 50 minute one. Keep your goals in sight, and have fun getting your channel up and running. For best results, upload a series of videos setting up a day and time. Viewers return to IGTV for new episodes, the same way they return to the television channels for a new episode of a show they are hooked onto. As long as your audience does not lose their interest in your content, you will soon see the engagement analytics filtering in your favor. So, get creative and let IGTV be the route that leads your brand to shine in the spotlight!