The Ultimate Guide to IGTV

In recent years, we’ve seen the power of video on the internet — Facebook alone gets eight billion average daily views, and YouTube’s video platform has enabled young teens to become national superstars (Justin Bieber, anyone?).

It’s no surprise to hear people often prefer video over other types of online content. In fact, a Cisco report predicts internet video traffic will account for 80% of total Internet traffic by 2019.Click here to access a month's worth of Instagram tips & free templates.

You’ve probably already heard of a few options when it comes to publishing and promoting long-form video content — like YouTube, or Facebook Live.

Now, there’s another option: IGTV. In June 2018, Instagram released its own long-form video feature. While Instagram Stories only allows users to publish short, 30-second clips, IGTV allows users to publish vertical, long-form videos, either within the Instagram app or in the new IGTV app.

There are a few benefits to IGTV over other video platforms like YouTube — for instance, IGTV doesn’t have ads (yet). In a press conference after the launch, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, “Right now we’re focused on building engagement.” This could incentivize users to choose IGTV over other video platforms for consuming content.

Additionally, IGTV is primarily meant for smartphones. The videos are vertical so users don’t need to rotate their phones to watch. Vertical video is also easier to record and upload straight from a phone, but editing professional videos could get more difficult.

If you’re interested in testing out the app for your own business, or simply want to know which brands to watch, you’re in luck — here, we’ve compiled all the tips and information you need to get started with IGTV.

IGTV Video Length

Anyone with an Instagram account can upload an IGTV video. Most videos must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long.

However, Instagram has said larger accounts and verified accounts can upload videos that are up to an hour long. If you’re publishing an hour-long video, you must upload it to IGTV from a computer.

Editing IGTV Video Titles and Descriptions

To upload and edit your IGTV video title and description, follow these steps:

1. Open the IGTV app and click on the icon of your profile. Then, click “Upload Video”.

2. Allow IGTV access to your videos, and then click on one.

3. Click “Next” in the top right.

4. Here, you’re able to type a “Title” and “Description”. You can also edit the cover photo.

5. When you’re done, click “Post” to publish your video. 

IGTV Analytics

Once you’ve published a video to IGTV, it’s easy to find analytics on your video. IGTV provides in-app insights including how many views, likes, and comments it has received, audience retention, and at which points of the video most people stopped watching.

To get these insights, open your IGTV app and click on one of your published videos. Then, follow these steps:

1. Open your video, and then click the “…” icon at the bottom.

2. Select “View Insights”.

3. Here are your insights, including engagement metrics and audience retention metrics.

Watching Videos on IGTV

As soon as you open the IGTV app, a video will immediately start playing — presumably with the hope that users will become immersed in the content.

To watch a video, you simply click on it. If you’re not interested in watching it anymore, you can scroll up to see other options.

There are four video categories: “For You” “Following” “Popular” and “Continue Watching”.

Underneath each category, there’s a carousel of videos. Scroll left and right to see your options, and click one you want to watch.

There’s also a search bar, if you are interested in watching a specific channel. Additionally, if you’re in the Instagram app and looking at someone’s page, you might see an IGTV circle beside their Story Highlights. If you click on the IGTV circle, you’ll be redirected to that user’s IGTV page.

Best IGTV Channels and Brands to Follow

There are a few brands and channels that create particularly impressive and unique content on IGTV. If your business is starting from scratch on IGTV, here are a few channels and brands you’ll want to add to your must-watch list for inspiration:

  • Netflix
  • Spotify
  • Vistaprint
  • Airbnb
  • Tastemade
  • Buzzfeed
  • National Geographic
  • BBC News
  • The Daily Show
  • Nike Football
  • CBSThisMorning
  • MTV
  • Food Network

Top Influencers on IGTV

While IGTV doesn’t have nearly the same audience reach as Instagram or YouTube, it can offer unique benefits for its early adopter influencers. For instance, IGTV allows influencers to create long-form content, compared to Instagram Stories. Additionally, IGTV caters to a younger demographic who are interested in watching less-edited, more candid videos on their smartphones.

A few influencers in particular are worth checking out on IGTV. These content creators are using IGTV as a platform to create original content and appeal to a specific audience. If you’re looking for influencer inspiration, take a look at videos from these creators:

  • Lele Pons
  • Zoella Beauty
  • Chiara Ferragni
  • Hannah Stocking
  • Anwar Jibawi
  • Huda Kattan
  • King Bach
  • Murad Osmann
  • Nash Grier
  • King Keraun

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether IGTV offers worthwhile benefits for your business. It’s critical you consider your audience’s preferences when making a decision — would they prefer to watch your brand on IGTV, or are they consuming content elsewhere?

If you feel your brand does well in relatively unmarked territory, perhaps you want to give IGTV a try. Get out your camera, record some unedited behind-the-scenes looks at your company, and press “Post”. Your audience insights will tell you soon enough whether it’s an avenue worth pursuing.

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