There’s no question Instagram is one of the most popular social networks right now. Sporting a modest active user base of just over a billion people, the social network has a growth chart that looks more like the liftoff trajectory for a SpaceX launch—and just keeps on growing.
Instagram isn’t resting on its laurels, either. Traditionally known as an image and photography platform, the company recently announced a new video service called Instagram TV (IGTV) that promises to add a whole new dimension to Instagram for both users and marketers. And IGTV is generating a lot of buzz, particularly among marketers.
What Is Instagram TV?
Instagram TV is a vertical video platform that users can use to produce videos up to one hour long, organized into channels much like regular TV. The new platform offers publishers a chance to engage viewers in a new, more intimate way.
It’s still a young platform, but a number of big publishers are already on board, and with monetization options supposedly in the works, more will likely follow. So far, engagement numbers look good, with some videos already cracking a million views. Let’s look at how you can use IGTV to reach your audience in new and engaging ways.
Go Where Your Audience Is
It’s true that other platforms offer video, but those other platforms aren’t Instagram. There’s an old saying in marketing: go where your audience is. This advice means meeting them where they like to hang out so that you know they’ll see your message.
With over a billion monthly active users, Instagram has a really good chance of grabbing user’s attention. Although IGTV is a new platform, it’s part of Instagram, so the existing user base is already there. And video is hot—many believe video is the future of content marketing. The opportunity to bring video to this many active users is huge.
Record How You Want
If you want your brand to appear more casual or in the moment, one of the best things about a platform like IGTV is the spontaneity it allows for. Content creators can whip out their phones and start recording whenever inspiration hits and upload it to the platform as soon as the video is made. The freedom to record at any time promotes those sudden creative ideas—nothing is worse than having a great idea and not being able to capitalize on it because of location or circumstances.
If your brand needs to create more professional videos, IGTV is perfect for that as well. Since you can create your videos easily with almost any newer smartphone, you won’t have to invest in expensive equipment. All you need to do is find a sturdy tripod, record in a space with good lighting, and make sure you at have a strong internet connection, preferably with no data cap, since video uploads often use high amounts of data.
Partner with Influencers
Influencer marketing involves partnering with individuals to endorse and promote products, and it’s already a major form of marketing on social platforms like Instagram. For influencer marketing campaigns, Instagram TV isn’t just one more opportunity to reach a wide audience—it’s unique in that many influencers already have wide followings, so brands don’t have to build an audience from scratch.
Depending on the size of your brand and what you market, it may seem difficult to find influencers to team up with. Don’t despair, though. You can use some tools to find influencers in your niche. As soon as you identify the best influencers for your market, outreach and contact them to start planning for product placements and endorsements—it may be easier to sign a deal while the platform is young.
Engage Directly with an Audience
IGTV allows videos up to one hour, but shorter segments are proving popular as well. Shorter videos, around 10–20 minutes, allow for a more direct back-and-forth engagement with an audience. You can survey viewers, quickly respond to common questions about a product or topic, or comment on current events when they occur.
Shorter IGTV spots allow for more depth than a typical Snapchat video, without being so long that viewers lose interest and attention. It’s a potential sweet spot with video that hasn’t been tapped into on other platforms, so expect to see a lot of experimentation here.
Take Viewers Behind the Scenes
Sneak peeks at the inner workings of businesses and brands are already popular on platforms like Snapchat, and IGTV should be the same. Customers love getting a chance to see how their favorite brands operate and what goes into creating products and services.
Behind-the-scenes content is particularly well suited to a video format like IGTV. It allows for a more intimate and engaged presentation. You can create office tours, factory walkthroughs, employee introductions—really any possibility you can think of.
Although it’s still pretty new, IGTV is already making waves in the social media and video worlds. Use these tips to get off to a running start, and adapt them to your brand goals to put the platform to use in new and clever ways.
Are you using IGTV yet? If you are, put your Instagram link in the comments below so we can check it out. And join us on Facebook for our B2TV series starting this month.
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