4 Tips to Maximize Your Brand’s Reach on Instagram’s IGTV

Opinion: It could be a serious YouTube and Snapchat Discover competitor

Instagram introduced IGTV last week
Instagram

Instagram is, unsurprisingly, the second-most-popular mobile social networking platform. After being acquired by No. 1 seed Facebook over six years ago, the image-focused application has arguably overtaken Snapchat with its Stories function, introduced addictive new features and partner apps such as Boomerang and—perhaps most telling of all—announced a Beyoncé album release.

Despite its many pros, Instagram has often lacked the capability to help brands really tell their stories and captivate consumers. Many official company accounts only have one clickable link—the iconic #linkinbio. While others may be able to add a “swipe up!” link in their Stories, conversions still depend on viewers completing several actions to get there first.

Ultimately, Instagram couldn’t compete with the traffic that Facebook and Twitter drive to websites, but it didn’t truly enable important brand-driving video content either.

However, all of this changed last week when Instagram officially announced a brand-new long-form video hub nestled within the existing app, IGTV.

Instagram TV, or IGTV, is a new platform that couples the structure and popularity of YouTube and Snapchat Discover in one user-driven location. Instagram attempted a new environment driven by easy user experience and consumer demands. Therefore, the program functions more like a TV, and videos automatically play as soon as users open the sub-app.

IGTV features channels comprised of many videos, but these channels aren’t controlled by like programming or topics. Instead, the “creators” (or account holders) are the channels. And, much like YouTube, anyone can create free of charge and empower people to follow their channel.

The new video platform allows commenting and liking, enables users to direct-message videos to other users and even personally suggests videos and channels that viewers may enjoy. However, the most exciting IGTV feature is the increase in length. Unlike Stories, which only allow up to 15 seconds of video per post, and regular Instagram, which allows one minute, IGTV can host videos up to one hour in length.

Users can locate IGTV in the top menu of their Instagram app’s feed. From left to right, you’ll see a Stories camera icon, the logo, the IGTV button and a direct message inbox. However, Instagram also plans to release a separate IGTV app to the App Store and Google Play Store shortly.

These new functionalities give brands the power to really foster an identity and connect with their target audience in a unique yet simple way. But how can we maximize the possible benefits of IGTV? I gathered the top four IGTV best practices to promote your brand (or personal creator channel) quickly and easily.

Make vertical videos

Unlike other platforms such as YouTube and Facebook, which support traditional landscape videos or have algorithms that favor horizontal multimedia, IGTV was constructed to support the way people normally view videos on their phones: vertically. This new emphasis on vertical video makes it easier for consumers to view your content on the go, increasing the likelihood that they’ll actually watch it.

However, it also means that you can’t just repurpose videos from your other channels, because they will probably be the wrong sizes and formats. Instead, create new clips specifically for IGTV that match your Instagram aesthetic. Film and edit videos before you upload to Instagram’s TV platform and stick with the Stories dimensions of 1,080 pixels by 1,920 pixels, or an aspect ratio of 9:16.

Emphasize branding

Speaking of an Instagram aesthetic, we all know that the best brands invest in a cohesive brand identity that communicates trust, authenticity and reliable services throughout all platforms. This consistent branding increases revenue by up to 23 percent and overall brand recognition by three to four times.