How to Use IGTV by Instagram for Video Marketing

Jim Coulson - Yorkshire Content Writer, Radio Presenter and Video Maker

How to Use IGTV by Instagram for Video Marketing

7th August 2018 Video 0
IGTV Cover

Instagram launched IGTV in June 2018, offering users the chance to create videos longer than those allowed on the main app. The other big difference is that IGTV videos play in portrait mode, which made video purists simultaneously weep real salty tears.

I was one of those naysayers originally. I had just about come around to making square videos to fit Instagram better and fill up a bit more of the screen on Facebook. But portrait seemed like a step too far. Then IGTV arrived and, you know what? It looks really good. So I jumped in and started making content for it.

IGTV Logo

If you’re looking to use IGTV as part of your video marketing, here’s what I’ve learnt. I hope that it helps.  

What is IGTV?

IGTV is a channel connected to your Instagram account in which you can create video content. Most of us can make clips of between 15 seconds and ten minutes, although bigger accounts and those that are verified can add videos of up to an hour.

The content up there so far ranges from personal vlogs, filmed using a phone’s selfie camera setting, to highly produced series. The Movember foundation recently announced a run of documentary films about men’s cancer issues to be released on IGTV. 

IGTV Movember

Basically, anyone can make and host IGTV videos, no matter what your budget or ambitions. Whether you want to show off your editing prowess or you just want a permanent version of the videos you were already adding to your Instagram story. This simplicity and range makes it perfect for marketing a small business

IGTV Dimensions

One of the good things about IGTV is that you don’t need to go out and buy special camera equipment to make your own beautiful looking films. As it displays videos in portrait format, you already have the perfect camera – the one on your phone.

Although traditional video platforms have always looked better in landscape, when you watch them on your iPhone or Android device, you have to turn it on its side to get the full screen effect. Shooting in portrait means it looks perfect on people’s smartphones when they hold them as they do for pretty much every other function.

This is what attracted me to IGTV – it looks amazing on your phone, which is where I watch virtually all my online content.

If you want to recreate the perfect IGTV dimensions on another device, or you need the measurements to set up your video editing software accordingly, go for 1080 x 1920 pixels. That’s 1080 pixels wide by 1920 pixels tall.

My IGTV Videos

I’ve made a few IGTV videos so far, but I plan on creating more. Some are for my Bewildered Dad parenting blog, and one is something I made whilst watching my wife’s roller derby team. I decided to shoot some footage and see whether I could make something out of it that reflected the excitement of the sport. Here they are:

A Child’s First Football Game

CBBC Summer Social

Bewildered Family Guide to Portugal

Spa Town Roller Derby

Now, the eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that they are all linked from Facebook. This is correct. One disappointment of IGTV is that you can’t embed videos anywhere. You can find a direct link to send to people or stick on your tweets, but it would be nice to be able to embed them in blogs too.

How to Upload an IGTV Video

Here’s how to upload an IGTV video:

  • Download the IGTV app and sign in using your Instagram details.
  • Hit your profile picture and then press the + icon.

IGTV Plus Sign

  • A selection of your videos lasting between 15 seconds and ten minutes (1 hour for bigger and verified accounts) appears.

IGTV Video Selection

  • Select the video you want and press ‘Next’.
  • Add a title and description, then toggle the switch to tell IGTV whether or not to add it straight to your linked Facebook account.

IGTV Video Selection

  • Tap ‘Post’ and it appears in your channel.

Well, I say it appears in your channel, but one of my Bewildered Dad videos seems to come and go from my channel list at will. No idea why.

Problems With IGTV

The embed issue and the mysterious disappearing video are certainly problems with IGTV. In addition, it’s still only a relatively small community, so I’m finding it tough to rack up a huge number of views at the moment. The videos above have all managed decent figures on Facebook, but actually in the IGTV app, they’re relatively unnoticed.

Instagram users do sometimes get notifications when their connections make IGTV videos, but not always. You only really notice someone’s videos if you’re on the specific IGTV app and browsing or if you happen to visit their Instagram profile, but who does that? You mainly just see the usual pictures etc that come up in your main feed.

I guess the key is to make regular fresh content in order to build up some momentum, and it’s true that many people are bringing in some impressive figures already. It’s all a matter of having time to do it though!

My final gripe with IGTV is that it is difficult to tag people in descriptions. The tags work once you’ve published the vide, but there is no ‘suggested tags’ list that appears when you start typing, unlike on the Instagram app. It means you have to remember people’s Instagram names, and I have enough trouble remembering people’s real names.

There is a similar issue with hashtags. You have to preplan the hashtags you use on IGTV. On Instagram, when you start adding in a hashtag, you can see all of the related tags and the popularity of each. This helps for marketing on Instagram and could do the same for IGTV too.  

IGTV Vs YouTube

A lot was made of IGTV becoming a rival for YouTube, but I don’t think that’s the point. YouTube is a mix of new and old content. I can’t see IGTV running Only Fools and Horses clip compilations any time soon.

YouTube is firmly still a landscape forum, IGTV is only portrait, and that suits different content creators in different ways. For instance, I don’t think my Bewildered Family Guide to Yorkshire videos would work in portrait as they are more about the places we visit and landscape helps you take in more of the environment.

IGTV is much better for personal, human videos. You can still capture action and space, but it feels different. The fact that IGTV is only really going to be watched by people on their phones allows you to really talk to them one-to-one. It’s more intimate.

There’s room for both IGTV and YouTube because they serve different purposes.  

Should You Use IGTV for Video Marketing?

IGTV is still small at the moment, but it is growing fast. It has the power of Instagram and Facebook behind it, so it’s certainly worth getting in on the ground floor now. If you can bring out regular content, the audience will grow, but you need to start now so you catch the wave when it begins to break.

Starting when it’s just getting going is also a good idea because you can experiment with what works and what doesn’t in front of a relatively small audience. By the time it hits real popularity, you will be knocking it out of the park every time.

If you want help making IGTV videos, get in contact today. We can work together on what sort of clips work best for your business and on the message you want to convey. IGTV videos look amazing and are so handy for people to watch on the go, meaning you can put your business right in front of their eyes very easily. Give it a go!

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