In June of 2018, Instagram launched Instagram TV (or IGTV, for short).
But what is IGTV? And how do you use it?
IGTV is the social media network’s newest feature and is a long-form video sharing service; while videos were available on Instagram prior to this release, they were limited to a maximum of one minute. IGTV now let’s users upload content between 10 minutes and one hour long.
Accessing this new feature is straight forward too; simply log onto your Instagram account through the app on your smartphone and look for the orange TV logo at the top right corner.
Tapping the logo takes you to IGTV where content recommended “For You” immediately starts playing, just like a regular TV. Users also gain access to the “channels” and videos of individuals they follow as well as other “popular” content including that of celebrities and other not yet discovered Instagram creators.
IGTV users also have the opportunity to choose between Following, Popular, and History (previously viewed) categories and can even search for specific channels (named after the content creators who own them) by tapping on the magnifying glass on the middle-left section of the screen.
Users of iOS and Android have the option to download IGTV as a separate app although all features available within this entity are also available through the Instagram app and creators can directly upload their work here too.
Like Instagram Stories, Instagram TV is displayed vertically and full screen. Anyone can upload videos and although the maximum capacity is one hour long, unless you are a more largely followed influencer or celebrity, the vast majority of users are restricted to a 10 minute time allotment (not a bad thing – we’ll get to why that is a bit later).
Unlike Instagram Stories however, Instagram TV videos DO NOT disappear from your feed after 24 hours. You do not have to add them to one of your highlight reels in order for them to stay on your channel either!
Instagram TV was designed to compete with the likes of Youtube and Facebook Videos but differentiates itself in that its meant to be utilized in the way you would normally use your phone, i.e. full screen and vertically. This allows bloggers and business owners to literally get into the hands of their audience!
When a user follows an account on Instagram, they automatically have access to their channel which shows up in the “Following” section of the IGTV menu. Simply put, this means that your followers will already have access to your channel after it’s setup!
Video is a fantastic way to give your audience a more intimate understanding of you and/or your business and while there is a learning curve involved in going from still images to video, the reward has the potential to be absolutely incredible.
So, get comfortable in front of that camera and start practicing now
How Do I Start Uploading Content?
Its super easy! Just click on the settings icon in the middle-right section of your screen to prompt setup. You’ll see a text reading “Create Your Channel” displayed just like the one shown below. Read the prompts and hit next to continue.
The next and final two screens of the setup have headlines that read “Share Longer Videos” and “Built for Vertical” and are simply meant to provide information on the benefits of IGTV and how videos should be formatted for it.
Hit “Create Channel” and you’re ready to upload your first video! Wasn’t that simple? Tap the plus sign and you’ll be prompted to choose from videos on your mobile device for sharing.
But before you upload anything, just like in your Instagram Posts and Stories (Check out these 6 Super Easy & Effective Ways to Increase Your Instagram Story View Count), don’t forget to include relevant hashtags before publishing your video to Instagram TV and promoting it on your other social media pages or blog.
Always, ALWAYS, cross-promote! Use your Facebook Page, Instagram Stories, Twitter, and everywhere else you’re active to get your new IGTV content seen.
If desired, you can even include call-to-actions just like in Instagram Stories 🙂
Can I monetize my content on IGTV like on Youtube?
For now, the answer is no but Instagram is working on this! After all, they are the third largest social network around and are looking to compete against Youtube with the introduction of this new feature.
Stayed tuned for upcoming details!
What Should I Post on IGTV?
Instagram TV is great for anything too long to post to Stories or main feed. Use it for:
(1) Unboxings or product demonstrations
(2) Introductions (to you, your business, and/or your environment – if for example, you specialize in home decor)
(3) Behind the scenes content
(4) Tutorials or “How to” Guides
(5) Any other relevant content your followers have already come to love you for – Stay true to your brand; consistency is key!
Other Things to Consider
Keep in mind that when you post a video to IGTV, your first frame will automatically be used as your cover photo. If you’re happy with this, that’s fabulous! But, if you want to change it, be sure to edit the cover photo before uploading your video.
Retention rate is another big factor; while users have anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour long to showcase their video-making creativity, not all of your potential viewers might stick around.
Generally, shorter videos do better than longer ones! So, if you can do a series rather than one lengthy video, this is definitely the way to go (if you want to see how your videos are doing, tap the “…” button on the IGTV app and checkout some detailed insights).
And finally, as with every other feature on Instagram (and as previously mentioned), staying consistent is key. Try to upload one video every week or month if you can! If you have five you’d like to share, try waiting it out and posting one every Thursday, for instance.
I find my content always gets more views when I leave time between material. You want your followers to have time to process what you’ve just shown them before moving onto the next item!
Have you tried out Instagram TV yet? Are you a fan of this new feature? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
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