Horizontal videos – out; vertical videos – in.
The rise of Instagram TV (IGTV), Instagram’s vertical video platform sets the stage for marketers and brands to showcase their products, tapping into the format of choice for today’s consumer.
New Kid on the Block
Instagram’s foray on the vertical video comes as no surprise, as mobile devices garner 60% of all video views worldwide. First to take advantage of this trend was Instagram’s competitors, YouTube and Snapchat. While YouTube reigns supreme when it comes to video content, Snapchat has proven itself a worthy opponent in the vertical video arena, seeing a 400% increase in video views in recent years.
With one billion users under its belt, Instagram continues to dwarf its competitors, primarily engaging its cult following on its mobile platform since its start in 2010. Instagram’s introduction of IGTV to consumers goes hand in hand with Facebook’s proclamation that vertical videos have huge potential, as 79% of novice consumers choose vertical as their preferred method of consuming video. With such impressive results, social media platforms would be remiss to neglect this opportunity to grow their user base with audiences (and marketers quick on their heels) engaging with video.
An Offer You Can’t Refuse
IGTV presents marketers and brands with an array of benefits, from influence to increased user interaction. With a long-form structure, the thorough viewing experience of IGTV enables brands and marketers to tell their stories, communicating even the tiniest detail to viewers. IGTV can be live-streamed or repurposed, allowing marketers to pick and choose when to go live and when to defer to their content inventory. This control gives brands the ability to share content the best way they see fit.
Instagram’s users are not just looking at brand pages, but also those of “influencers”. The influencer community is growing rapidly with musicians, models, chefs, and more heading to Instagram to share their lives with the world. Romee Strijd, a Victoria’s Secret model, is one of many who took to IGTV as soon as the feature was released, uploading videos of her daily morning makeup routine. The absence of time limits allows influencers like Strijd to create full-blown television shows out of their vertical videos.
Not to miss a business opportunity, IGTV – with its potential to reach millions of users worldwide – offers marketers and brands a chance to tap into that influencer marketing. Companies diversify their audience base by letting users experience their brand through the eyes of others.
While Instagram has yet to establish video monetization on IGTV, it presents an opening for brands to showcase their innovative ideas. Through IGTV, companies can boost brand awareness, increase visibility, and solidify their reputations as leaders in their field.
How to make the most of IGTV
With the presence of so many on Instagram it could be easy for a marketer to get lost in the crowd. There are a number of ways for brands to stand out amongst the crowd.
- Sticking to vertical video is key on all platforms, and specifically with IGTV. As the video platform operates upright, it is best to leave the horizontal videos at home.
- Video length is another consideration when branding on IGTV. While the platform allows for long-form video content, brands should stay away from long-winded story-telling, opting for captivating content spanning two or three minutes.
- In order to garner user attention, marketers should be crafty and deliberate in using hashtags. As a vital tool for promotion, hashtags increase visibility and open brands to a sea of new customers. Stick to five relevant hashtags for each piece of content is more than plenty.
- Think ahead about how videos will be consumed live and as a ‘reruns’ of a television show. If the IGTV channel created is a series, if there is a defined sense of time and place in videos, or if a calendar for specific episodes will be announced to viewers in advance, viewers will have a consistent format that they can depend on. Planning is key.
- As IGTV is a new playground for Instagram users, it’s many features still undiscovered. Draw attention to your brand’s video description, adding a link for users to click. Cite these features early and often so they don’t get lost on users.
More than ever before users are looking to consume content in new ways. IGTV might be the best one yet, with wide open spaces for creative marketers and influencers.