The Ultimate IGTV Guide for Publishers

Top publishers stay on the cutting edge of content. They’re always trying something new and looking for the latest and greatest outlets.

That’s why IGTV is such a valuable platform. It brings together the best of Instagram with long-form videos, and it’s starting to really take off. IGTV is a huge development in the marketing world, offering a new kind of content for publishers on Instagram that’s shaking things up.

To make sure you’re taking advantage of this incredible opportunity for long-form video content, let’s explore exactly what IGTV is, how to use it, and best practices for getting the most out of your videos.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is both a standalone app as well as an integration with Instagram’s original app. It allows users to create and share videos up to an hour in length, which is significantly longer than traditional Instagram videos (which are capped at 60 seconds). You can watch the videos on both the IGTV and Instagram app. And, if you send an IGTV video via a link, you can view it on desktop.

The app is simple but effective. Publishers upload their longer videos into the IGTV app, and then those videos show up across both platforms. On Instagram, your followers are provided a 60-second preview of the long-form video and then a “keep watching” option to head to IGTV for the rest. It’s a whole new experience for watching video on Instagram, and it’s ideal for well-planned and edited video content.

Why Do Publishers Need to Use IGTV?

As we explained above, IGTV allows publishers to share videos up to an hour long, and that’s key. While 60-second videos are valuable, longer content that allows you to go more in-depth is just as important. There’s a reason why over one billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day, and IGTV provides an alternative to YouTube.

Another benefit of IGTV is its connection to Instagram. The platforms are intertwined, so adding IGTV content will help increase your Instagram following and vice versa. You can also find new followers thanks to a host of content discovery tools offered by the platform. These tools make it easy for users to discover content they may want to watch that matches their interests.

The vertical-only format of IGTV also enhances the mobile-friendly aspect of the platform, which beats out the horizontal YouTube video-viewing experience. This is good news for brands and publishers who want to experiment with a mobile-first digital content approach.

Tips and Best Practices

Since IGTV is barely a year old, there’s never been a better time to become an expert and beat out other publishers in the field. The good news is that it’s fairly easy to use.

1. Create an Account

First, you need to set up an account, which is incredibly easy to do.

  1. Download the IGTV app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Sign up to the IGTV app or use your native Instagram account to automatically create a profile.
  3. Click on the settings gear icon in the top, right-hand corner and choose “create channel.”
  4. Viola! You have an IGTV account—quick and easy.

2. Film Vertically

The main feature of IGTV is the fact that the videos are vertical, and so need to be shared this way. If you can’t film vertically, then you’ll need to resize the video to fit the IGTV requirements and fill in the blank space with photos or text. A video creation platform such as Wochit makes it easy to format your video into the exact size and dimensions you need for the best results.

IGTV video dimensions are 1080 x 1920 pixels with an aspect ratio of 9×16.

For the best results: the higher resolution the better. You can always decrease the resolution just in time for upload.

3. Share Exclusive Content

Don’t just share the same Instagram content on IGTV. Think of this platform as an opportunity to exclusively share longer content that can’t be found anywhere else. This will increase engagement and give your Instagram followers a reason to look into your IGTV channel. What you can do is take content that performs well on your traditional Instagram profile and use IGTV to go a little further — a little longer.

4. Decide What Type of Content to Share

There’s an endless amount of video content you can create on IGTV when you have 60 minutes to work with, so try and be as creative as possible. Ultimately, you should focus on creating and sharing entertaining and valuable content that your followers enjoy watching. A few ideas include:

  • Episodic Content: Create a series of videos that all revolve around the same topic or tell a continuing story, like a TV series. Then, release this content at the same time each week or day to keep your viewers coming back for more.
  • Tutorials: Share how-to content that’s relevant to your followers, and that harkens back to some of your most popular content. For example, if you shared an article about Fashion Week, share a video on IGTV titled, “How to Bring Fashion Week Home.” Then, share some of your favorite looks from the week and how users can make it happen at home.
  • Behind the Scenes Content: Go behind the scenes of an event, an assignment, or a famous individual. This content is great for showcasing your personality and developing trust.
  • Insider Knowledge: Your followers always want to feel like they’re getting a sneak peek at information, ideas, or knowledge that other people don’t have. Share a video that explains how your company works or what it’s like to work a big event.

The key is to think about long-form evergreen content such as what you would share on YouTube, not short videos and snaps.

5. Use Instagram and IGTV Together

Instagram and IGTV are two platforms that are completely integrated; so don’t be afraid to use them together. For example, you can share a live video on Instagram that then directs your viewers to see more on IGTV and vice versa. Since the apps work so seamlessly together, encourage your viewers to move back and forth for more content.

6. Always Use Subtitles

Mobile-friendly means on-the-go. It also means that viewers won’t always be in quiet locations when they’re watching your video. That’s why it’s important to use subtitles so your video can be watched even in noisy locations or at the office when watching a video out loud might not be possible.

7. Be Careful of the Start

One unique aspect of IGTV is the instant play feature. Videos start as soon as you open the app, which can be quite shocking if your users aren’t ready for it. So, do your viewers a favor and make sure your video doesn’t start abruptly with loud sounds or jump right into the meat of the topic. Give viewers a few seconds to settle in to watch then jump in for the best first impression.

8. Change Your Instagram Name

As we said earlier, one of the best features of IGTV is the ability to search for new content based on interests or similar content. If you want to take advantage of this search feature, you’ll want to change your Instagram name to include your main topic. In this way, you ensure your video content can be more easily found.

There’s no doubt that IGTV is only going to continue to grow more and more popular over time, so the earlier your publishing brand can jump on the bandwagon, the better. It’s a great visual and social platform, that when used correctly, is a great way to generate quality social engagement.

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