Instagram: Why and How You Should Create Your Own IGTV Series
In 2018, Instagram rolled out a new platform called IGTV, which allows users (and businesses!) to create long-form, vertical video. This creates some new marketing opportunities for you and your business.
Today, I’ll tell you why you should create your own IGTV series, give you steps and strategies so that you can get it done.
But First: What is IGTV?
IGTV is a platform, separate from Instagram, that allows users to upload longer videos (up to one hour, in fact, if you’re a verified user and up to 10 minutes if you’re a regular user) instead of the shorter snippets offered through traditional Instagram.
In early 2019, Instagram added the ability for users to share previews of their channels, up to one-minute long, from their Instagram feeds. This gave followers access to your attention-grabbing preview without leaving Instagram to do it. And, if the video is intriguing enough, followers can watch the rest of the video on IGTV when prompted.
How are IGTV videos different from my standard video content?
You might be a little overwhelmed with the idea of a new video platform, and you might be wondering if you can use your previously established content. Well, unfortunately, the answer would most likely be “no.” You’ll probably have to create new content since IGTV features vertical video meant to be played on smartphones.
It won’t be enough to repurpose video content from elsewhere because of the vertical aspect, but there’s also the length to consider. Most of your content is either shorter or has already been published, and in both cases, you’ll want to create IGTV videos concerning fresh content that warrants the lengthier format. In other words, make sure your content is new and is a topic that could be engaging for more than just a few minutes.
Consider content that would work best with longer videos like “behind the scenes” sneak peeks of your business or an event, commentaries on a popular product or service, documentaries about an intriguing facet of your business, or tutorials for those who need help engaging with your product or service.
Why Go Through the Trouble to Make New Videos for IGTV?
Younger generations spend immeasurable time engaging with social media platforms, the most popular being Instagram. And since they probably already make up a great deal of your customer base (or they soon will), it’s time to reach them in a format they’re already engaging with.
How to Create Your IGTV Series
First things first, you’ll need to create an IGTV channel. To do so, open your Instagram app and tap the IGTV logo (it looks like an old-fashioned TV) on the top right corner on your home feed.
Next, tap the settings/gear icon. Then, tap “Create Channel” and follow all of the prompts until Instagram says it’s complete.
You can also create your own IGTV channel directly from the IGTV app using the same directions as above.
When uploading your video, follow the prompts from the IGTV logo. Make sure you fill out a title and description for your video and share a one-minute preview to your Instagram feed. Remember: your followers can tap “Keep Watching” and they will be transported to IGTV for the rest of your video.
Strategies for Creating Engaging IGTV Videos
#1 If you’ve been creating video content for a while now, you definitely understand that your window of time to get a viewer’s attention is seconds long. That’s why you need to make sure your hook is irresistible and occurs within the first 15 seconds of the video.
#2 Use video editing techniques to combine videos with other visuals like GIFs, quotes, other videos (think top-and-bottom simultaneous footage), or even a hilarious or on-point meme.
#3 Use a thumbnail from the video itself rather than a stock photo or still photo from elsewhere. And be careful: you can only choose the thumbnail while you’re uploading your content (not later), so don’t forget.
#4 Use your Instagram story to promote your IGTV video by including the first minute of the video or even just a short, engaging snippet.
#5 Don’t take advantage of the full hour that IGTV offers unless you have to. Most of the people who scroll through social media apps have fleeting attention spans, so you may want to record shorter videos (5-10 minutes) and check engagement.
#6 Let your followers in on when you’ll post. Tell them when to expect your content and hook them with some irresistible knowledge that only you can provide.
#7 Read your followers’ comments and adjust your approach accordingly. Being a good listener is key when it comes to creating credibility and building your follower base.
#8 Use your other social media platforms, like Twitter or Facebook, to announce your IGTV video and the link to keep watching. You could also consider sending out an email whenever you’ve got some juicy info to share.
The Bottom Line
Starting an IGTV series may add to your content creation load, but it’s a whole new way to use video to engage with your community on a platform that’s seeing massive growth and engagement. Pounce on the opportunity to stay one step ahead of your competition!