ONE37pm’s Top Tips for Launching an IGTV: A Guide

IGTV is Instagram’s future of video consumption

igtv one37 howto guide mobile
Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images

Although IGTV might feel like uncharted territory at the moment, the platform is slated to rise in popularity as Instagram takes measured steps to introduce the content more natively into your home feed and explore pages. In February 2019, Instagram announced the integration of the long-form content into home feeds. Mobile users spend one-third of their screen time watching videos, and more than half of video content is viewed on a phone, according to statistics from WordStream.

IGTV is a feature on Instagram for watching long-form, vertical video content from your favorite creators. Most people use it within the Instagram app, but there is also a stand-alone app available for download. Instagram wants the experience to be just like turning on a TV: When you open the app, IGTV starts playing immediately, no need to rotate your phone. The tabs include “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” Users can like, comment and send videos in a direct message.

We set out to demystify the basics of the content platform and give you the top ways to achieve optimum results. Today, Gary Vaynerchuk has more than 12 million combined followers across social media and produces content daily on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Spotify and more. He successfully utilizes IGTV as a marketing tool. An Instagram rep told Variety, “With IGTV previews in feed, we’re making it even easier to discover and watch the latest video content from your favorite follows.” Your business should be utilizing this valuable screen time to generate brand recognition. Here’s how:

The Basics of IGTV Videos

Videos must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long.

While you may be tempted to wax poetic about your latest brand launch or ramble for ages on topics that interest you, most users are allowed 15 seconds to 10 minutes to convey their ideas.

Larger and verified accounts are allowed to upload videos up to 60 minutes long, but they must be uploaded from a computer.

As an incentive for content creators to reach for the enviable blue tick mark, larger and verified accounts can upload an hour of content. This is unparalleled access to a business’s audience.

Videos should be vertical, not landscape, with a minimum aspect ratio of 4:5 and a maximum of 9:16.

For most beginners, recording with an iPhone in a vertical position is the best way to achieve this. If you record on a higher resolution camera, you’ll need to manually format the footage. If you’re just launching a channel, experiment first with your handy phone.

The Top Tips for Maximum Views

Cross-promote your content.

Now that you can share IGTV previews in your Instagram story, drive traffic to your long-form videos with supplemental, short content. By posting a quick, 15-second story with a swipe up link, you’ll lead your followers to the goods.  

Treat your IGTV like a classic television network.

Re-create a classic TV series. Get specific on the type of content you put out. Develop a brand identity through logos, colors, fonts and sound tags to notify your consumers of your unique stamp. This kind of consistency will pay off in the long haul of digital marketing.

Give the viewers a behind-the-scenes look.

Consumers love an authentic look at your business. Reveal hidden truths. Tiny details that may seem mundane to you and your company are marketing gold on IGTV. What do you eat for breakfast? What is your typical daily routine? All these habits are brand affirming for your followers.

Shoot in 4K.

Did you know that you can adjust an iPhone’s settings to shoot video in 4K? Well, you can. Toggle the 4K capability for a crisp, high-resolution image. If possible, shoot with your rear phone camera instead of the selfie camera, as the quality will be much higher.

Prioritize using the swipe up feature.

Again, you can’t expect a horse to drink if you don’t carefully lead it to the water. Promote your channel every way possible. Swipe up from your classic Instagram story, where 300 million people are currently active. Link on your Facebook page, where you may have an established audience. Draw traffic from other places to introduce your beautiful IGTV to the world.

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