Next to real-life communication, video on social media is the best way to connect with prospects, clients and customers. Yet social channels need to make video adjustments if they hope to compete with YouTube.
Instagram launched Instagram Television in June 2018 with much fanfare. However, the IGTV app, built for longer videos, has yet to become the breakout hit Instagram intended. That may be changing.
In response to feedback from viewers and content creators, Instagram has made several critical changes to help increase IGTV’s usability and user-base, so it rivals other long-form video platforms. The most recent new feature is support for landscape video as well as vertical. Because so many other platforms, like YouTube, primarily use landscape video this could help encourage users to cross-post video content to IGTV vs. having to create a new piece of content for the platform.
If you have an Instagram account, you have an IGTV account, but will need to download the separate mobile app to use IGTV. Or, you can view and upload videos on desktop Instagram.com.
One of the primary benefits to IGTV videos is length. Where Instagram videos are capped at one minute, IGTV videos can run between 15 seconds and 10 minutes. Larger and verified accounts can upload videos up to 60 minutes in length from a computer. (Instagram doesn’t stipulate what ‘larger’ actually means.)
Another fairly new IGTV feature is ‘Previews’ in the main Instagram feed. So, whenever you upload a video to IGTV, you can also choose to showcase the beginning clip on your Instagram account. The preview will be up to one minute, depending on the length of your video.
This longer run-time gives companies more flexibility to delve deeper with their video content, and create branded channels, along with valuable content (i.e. shows) that can inform, entertain and ultimately endear customers to their business.
So, what works best on IGTV? Here are three companies creating great IGTV content in very different ways.
REI: Produced Video Reminiscent of a TV Channel
REI (aka Recreational Equipment, Inc.) is doing an excellent job of producing just-outside-their-box videos. They upload new content two to three times a week and have four different types of videos (or “shows”).
- Camping Recipes:Quick food videos you can make in the great outdoors.
- Why on Earth?:REI asks and answers questions about nature.
- Breath of Fresh Air:The sounds and views of nature (the ocean, the forest) so viewers can “sit back and relax” for a few minutes.
- Behind the Scenes:In their newest series, the team at REI Co-op’s onsite product testing facility (aka 'Mag Lab') answers common product questions. The first one is on Sleeping Bag Thermal Ratings.
Even though they have the luxury of time, REI keeps most of their videos around 1 minute. The result is quick, engaging, and informative on-brand videos targeting directly toward their audience.
Headspace, the meditation app, has a mixture of types of animated videos on their IGTV channel. The company’s branding has illustrations throughout, so it makes sense they create videos with that same imagery.
Some of Headspace’s IGTV videos are informative (How to Use the App, Training the Mind), while others contain an actual meditation (sounds or guided meditation).
Through simple videos on their IGTV channel, Headspace shows prospects and fans who they are and what they - and their app - has to offer.
Solopreneur Sidekick: Solo Videos that Educate
Louise, the Solopreneur Sidekick, has an IGTV channel full of how-tos and tips for website success. Her channel works well for a few reasons.
- Louise’s “talking head” videos have a literal frame around them, which has her branding and YouTube link (which leads to more videos).
- Her on-screen persona is friendly and on-brand; she’s personable and knowledgeable, and it shows.
- In addition to specific calls to action in the description, Louise adds her same about me one-liner and free trial incentive link.
Solopreneur Sidekick’s short videos tell the viewer exactly what they are going to learn, and then follows through on that promise. A definite recipe for business - and video - success.
Each of these examples showcase ways small businesses could integrate IGTV in their marketing mix. Whether you go the full production, education, or animation route, there are different tools you can use to create videos.
The field is wide open on IGTV, too. Any small businesses moving quickly with video can become IGTV trailblazers.
- To Create Great Small Business Videos, You Must Go Vertical by Mari Smith
- Bringing Your Small Business to Life with Facebook and Instagram Stories by Mari Smith
- Mari Smith’s Instagram Marketing Tips by Bank of America SB Team
About Mari Smith
Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing and social media. She is a Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencer, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” She is a recognized Facebook Partner; Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to lead the Boost Your Business series of live events across the US. Mari is an in-demand speaker, and travels the world to keynote and train at major events.
Her digital marketing agency provides professional speaking, training and consulting services on Facebook and Instagram marketing best practices for Fortune 500 companies, brands, SMBs and direct sales organizations. Mari is also an expert webinar and live video broadcast host, and she serves as Brand Ambassador for numerous leading global companies.
Bank of America, N.A. engages with Mari Smith to provide informational materials for your discussion or review purposes only. Mari Smith is a registered trademark, used pursuant to license. The third parties within articles are used under license from Mari Smith. Consult your financial, legal and accounting advisors, as neither Bank of America, its affiliates, nor their employees provide legal, accounting and tax advice.