Instagram Business Account Basics: IGTV
June 13, 2019
There are so many different ways to add content on Instagram, it can be hard to keep up. Instagram posts, videos, boomerangs, Stories, Highlights, and IGTV – it’s important to know the difference between them all and when and where it’s appropriate or the best choice to use each one in order to get more followers on Instagram.
Using IGTV is a great tool for business accounts to up their game on the social media outlet, but it’s important to understand the difference between IGTV and the other forms of Instagram posting, and how these posts should differ.
Instagram Posts Dictionary
Here are the main types of Instagram posts, defined for clarification.
This is where all of your ‘regular posts’ appear, the ones you simply upload and click post. You can do these in the form of a photo, video or boomerang. They can be captured right in the moment or you can choose from your camera roll.
These are photo or video posts that remain live for 24 hours. They don’t appear on your newsfeed, and won’t appear on other users’ newsfeeds. They will appear as a bubble icon at the top of the newsfeed and users must click on a bubble to watch the Stories. They feed on one after another, so often users will watch more than the one they clicked on.
This is for when you want your Stories posts to last more than 24 hours. You have the option of grouping together old Stories in this section, which sits below your Instagram bio. You can choose any content that you’re particularly proud of, or perhaps a compilation of different types of posts showing off all aspects of your personality. It can be seen as a little portfolio of your best moments for potential new followers.
So, what is IGTV? This is essentially a TV app within Instagram, but the content has to be shot vertically. Verified accounts can upload ‘episodes’ or video footage up to an hour in length, while everyone else can post up to 10 minutes. It can be viewed within the Instagram app or you can download the standalone IGTV app and connect your accounts. If you have hour long capabilities, the size limit is 3.6 GB compared for 650 MB if not. The files must be in a 9:16 aspect ratio and in .mp4 format.
IGTV has quite a few categories within it:
In this section, Instagram selects videos it thinks the user will enjoy based on its algorithm. It bases the choices on videos the user has previously watched in combination with the accounts they follow and what time of day it is.
This area comprises the videos of channels the user has chosen to follow. It’s likely that this section features the most videos of interest so the user will often head here first.
The ‘Popular’ tab on IGTV isn’t personalized to the individual user, it’s simply where you go to see what everyone else is watching, the most popular videos around the world in real time. A lot of people visit this tab because they want to know what everyone else is watching, it helps with small talk in the office, and they can know what is ‘hot’ or important around the world at the click of a button.
Here, the user will find videos they have started watching but not yet finished. It gives them the opportunity to watch them later if they were interrupted. It also promotes the idea of starting a video, despite knowing you don’t have time to finish it because the user knows it’ll be saved. This is invaluable from a business perspective, as it shows how important it is to hook in users with the first few seconds of your video post. This way you’ll ensure they’ll come back to it later.
What Videos To Post on IGTV
One thing to note when creating content for IGTV is that because of the vertical requirement, it might not translate well to your other social media platforms. For example, YouTube can handle vertical videos but it works better with horizontal. With this in mind, it could be an idea to create content specifically and exclusively for IGTV. This may seem like more work, but will also encourage more users to tune into IGTV because they won’t have the opportunity to view it anywhere else. It also enables you to create a different type of content.
When you start out, the first post could be an introduction to your business/brand/team. This instantly humanizes your brand, which is probably the biggest benefit of using Instagram, the ability to connect with your client base on a more personal level.
This personalization can be kept up by featuring employees each week, perhaps a spotlight episode on what they do, why it’s important to the brand and what impact they have. Fans often want to invest their emotions into a brand, not just their money. They want to love it with everything, and these insights give them the opportunity to love more of your brand than just the product.
Popular IGTV episodes for brands include ‘how it’s made’ or ‘behind the curtains’ themes. For example, fans of a certain video game will definitely be tuning in to see how their favorite game was created, designed and actioned.
If you really want to branch out, try and think of any themes that could be relevant to your niche for a short documentary. If you are a beach clothing brand, perhaps your take on ways to save the ocean could make an interesting documentary your fans would be interested in? The idea is to think about what your fans would be interested in, how it’s relevant to your brand and then actioning it to expand your brand.
Similar to a blogpost or podcast, you can create episodes that are a commentary about something. Some accounts choose to dramatize short parodies about life. Think of it as a podcast but one that is acted out with props and often guests.
Once you’ve created your IGTV content, and edited it all together, you’re almost ready to upload it to IGTV. Before it goes live, ensure you have a good cover photo for your videos as this is often the first impression users are given and can be the deciding factor in watching or not.
The next factor to consider before upload is the title, make sure it is catchy and represents what the video is about and not just click bait. This will create a feeling of distrust between you and your followers.
Don’t forget to use hashtags in your description to optimize visibility. All the usual Instagram hashtag rules and advice apply here.
Once your IGTV episodes go live, don’t forget to monitor the metrics in Instagram Insights to see what content is working and what is not. It’s likely you’ll need to create quite a bit of content before you can figure out what your followers are responding to, and what they aren’t interested in.