Instagram video newcomer IGTV has just been released and is waiting for your content. I tried it out a few minutes ago on my personal account (because my friends will forgive me for looking foolish if need be). I haven’t spent much time on the platform watching videos yet, but I’m also not normally a huge video consumer.
What’s Cool About Long-Form Instagram Video
Instagram’s goal is to take advantage of its popularity, high engagement and ever-growing user base to battle YouTube. According to Instagram’s blog post about the new feature release, the platform has grown into a “global community of one billion.” With a b.
Instagram video/IGTV is not designed to replace Netflix, and Instagram’s intention is to encourage celebrities and influencers to post long-form video content to increase engagement. For that reason, you’re not likely to see major networks posting prime-time programs, at least not in the near future. There are also no ads (yet), as IGTV seeks to establish itself as a content platform.
Small businesses can easily capitalize on the new video feature — videos do not have to be slickly produced. Perhaps a step up from Stories, but you can still produce content your followers will enjoy without hiring video production and editing professionals.
You can add links to your video description and viewers can comment and like, and, much like Stories, if you get bored while watching, swipe left to move on. Each Instagram account can have one channel.
It’s a 100-percent mobile experience, and is designed as such, with full-width vertical format videos. Anyone who’s ever had to first disable orientation lock, then rotate their phone to watch a YouTube video will appreciate the ease of the vertical video. You can watch and create videos on your Instagram app, or download the free mobile app from your iPhone App Store or Google Play. The app works pretty much like the video in Instagram.
How to Use IGTV
To watch Instagram videos, tap the TV icon (circled) at the top right. Be sure you’re using the latest version of the app.
You can select videos curated for you by Instagram based on accounts you follow, videos of accounts you follow, or popular trending content. If you’re watching at work, beware: Instagram videos autoplay, just like your TV.
Create Your Own IGTV Instagram Video
The process is pretty simple – much like creating regular video on Instagram.
You’ll first be prompted to create a channel, which is just your username. After your channel is created, you’ll see your profile pic and bio. Click the plus (+) to upload your new video.
Next time you open Instagram, you’ll tap your profile photo to bring up this screen.
The text at the top says this video must be in vertical format and have a duration of between 15 seconds and 10 minutes.* Instagram accounts with a larger following can post videos up to an hour, which will likely eventually roll out to all users.
On this screen, you’ll select the video you want to use. On the Videos pull-down, you can select from your photos, videos, and selfies. This video shows the waste removal company lifting our old mattress, box spring, and a broken headboard into the truck. For some reason I happened to glance out the window at just the right time and found it interesting to watch. At the top right corner, tap Next (Siguente).
The editing screen allows you to give your video a title and description. Editar Portada (Edit Cover) using an image from the video, Subir desde la galaria (Upload from gallery), or Elegir portada del video (Choose Video Cover) from any existing image on your phone.
And that’s it. Give it a minute or two to upload and you’re good to go.
You also have access to analytics on your videos. Tap the three dots at the bottom of the screen (left) to the right of the like and comment icons. In the dialog box at bottom right tap Ver Estadisticas (View Statistics). You can also Copiar Enlace (Copy the Link) or Eliminar (Delete) the video here.
The app will show you likes, comments, and retention (how long viewers stay). Any time a user stays for three seconds, it counts as a view.
How to Make IGTV Work For Your Business
What uses can you find for long-form video? Here are a few I’ve thought of off the top of my head:
- How-to demonstrations
- Behind the scenes snapshots
- Record yourself or another speaker and share
- Introduce and promote new offerings: books, online courses, appearances
- Comment on timely news in your industry.
You’ll use video in your own way and adapt it to your needs. It’s a powerful way to connect with your audience and show your personality.
For more thoughts on how to use Instagram to build and grow your business, read this post that tells you how to build your own Instagram landing page.
*My apologies for the Spanish dialogs on my phone. I’m trying to learn the language and my phone is set to display Spanish. It’s an immersion thing for learning. I forgot to change the language when I took the screenshots. Oops.