“Always deliver more than expected.” —Larry Page, Google co-founder
One of the best things about social media platforms, aside from giving us a way to connect so easily, is how inspired they are by growth and change. Being bored with a product isn’t good for its bottom line, so these companies are constantly rolling out new features for us. Some have been successful, many have been questionable, but we find ourselves pretty excited by Instagram’s latest offering! IGTV went live just a few weeks ago and manages to combine the best of YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter. This stand-alone app can be accessed on its own or from within Instagram, and it could be the platform’s boldest move yet.
What is it?
IGTV allows users to upload and share vertical videos that are 15 seconds to 10 minutes long, and some users will even have the option to make 60-minute videos. This allows you to hit the sweet spot that exists between audience retention and the bite-sized content we all know and love. While IGTV is similar to Stories in some ways, its long-form, full-screen format is one of its strongest selling points. IGTV will also seamlessly integrate with your Instagram account, so your followers will be notified about any new videos you upload, and your content will automatically show up in their IGTV feed.
How does it work?
As soon as you open the IGTV app, a video will already be playing, similar to when you turn on an actual television. You’ll be shown content that Instagram feels you may be interested in, and if you want to “change the channel” or search for specific videos or users, you simply swipe up to discover new content organically within the platform. This includes content from people you follow, content that is currently popular, personalized content based on interests, or content you’ve already been watching. One of the most significant benefits for brands comes when a user chooses to follow you on Instagram: they will instantly be able to see and view your entire IGTV channel, giving them an uninterrupted stream of any long-form content you’ve created.
What other benefits does IGTV offer?
With IGTV, technical restraints have essentially been erased. This app is built with how we actually use our phones in mind, focusing on vertical videos specifically so you won’t have to turn your phone to watch or record IGTV videos. You pick up the phone, record a vertical video, and publish it. That’s it. Anyone can do it, and everyone should do it, particularly those of us who know the importance of brand recognition and loyalty. You can optimize any IGTV content you create by adding SEO-friendly titles, descriptions, and hashtags, publish it in under 5 minutes, and it uploads in the background. So easy, and so effective!
How can IGTV help build your brand?
You may be wondering what I mean when I say it’s effective. There is a great deal of value in being able to share your insights on the spot. If you think of something important to say or have something exciting to share, you can do so in a matter of seconds. Spontaneous content has an energy that’s hard to match with more rehearsed material! IGTV is also public, which may seem scary, but is actually a fantastic way to converse and interact with a wider audience. Instagram has a massive user base, and getting in on the ground floor of this new app gives you the opportunity to leverage it in a way you won’t be able to later, once it catches on and becomes more commonplace.
Do you have the main keyword for your company? Imagine someone searching for it in IGTV. If you are one of only a few results with that keyword, the user will be much more likely to check out your channel and content. This is your chance to be a major player in an app that has the potential to go big as people continue to consume less TV and more digital video content. By some estimates, mobile video will account for almost 80% of all mobile data traffic by 2021. Younger users continue to spend more time seeking out amateur content creators and less time with professional, polished content, proving that authenticity is IN in a big way. Creating and posting longer videos that permanently live in your brand’s channel allows for more meaningful storytelling and the kind of strong connection that keeps users coming back for more!
In next month’s letter, we’ll be giving you a step-by-step guide to creating your own IGTV channel, and how to build a channel that’s full of relatable, fun, informative content, so be on the lookout for it in your inbox. In the meantime, check out the IGTV app to familiarize yourself with the way it’s set up, and take a look through the channels so you can get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t. This is going to be a great tool for any social media strategy, and our Neon Canvas team is looking forward to exploring it with you! We appreciate you and your business and are excited to help you continue growing your brand.
Kyle Fagala, DDS, MDS
Co-Founder, Neon Canvas