IGTV: When and Why You Should Use It
IGTV is a long-form, vertical video feature available both inside Instagram and as a stand-alone app. When it first rolled out, content creators shouted from the rooftops, and rightfully so.
Now that the newness has settled in, IGTV is a little more quiet. Not everyone is using it, but there is definitely a way to use it effectively.
The beauty of IGTV is that it allows video for up to 10 minutes (and will eventually expand to 1 hour), which is a far cry from the previous minute we were limited.
Along with those who were incredibly excited for the new feature, there were MANY who reached out to me with—
“I *just* got the hang of stories…now here’s something else to learn.” *insert sad panda face here*
My answer was the same: Don’t fret! I’m here to help.
Instagram is growing so fast, and if Facebook is where you’re most comfortable, Instagram can be quite unsettling. What works on one platform, doesn’t necessarily work on the other.
It’s important to understand that at its core, Instagram’s purpose is to visually inspire your community and to BE inspired. Once you’ve found your community, the different features just become different ways to achieve that visual inspiration.
Let’s walk through the different features and what you should be doing there.
Profile: Your profile is where your aesthetically pleasing photos and videos up to one minute live. For most business owners and content creators, your profile is curated and planned out.
IG Stories: IG Stories are more spontaneous than a profile— it’s where the day to day “story” is carried out. It’s a fun place to share what’s going on behind the scenes, who are the people behind the business and what you want your audience to know RIGHT NOW. IG Stories last only 24 hours because it’s supposed to be what’s happening NOW. Unless you add them to…
Highlights: Your Highlights are found directly under your Bio on your profile. Think of it as a first impression for those new to your account. It’s a quick breakdown of who you are, what you do and what you’re about. It’s often where people look FIRST if they’ve never “met” you before.
And now… IGTV
So what should go there? It’s no secret that the platform was a built to be a direct competitor of YouTube. So, when you consider that…what do you go to YouTube for? HOW-TOs, SOLUTIONS, TUTORIALS, Q + A’s, etc.
Before IGTV, those creating content that was educational in some way had to get creative with ways to send IG users to their YouTube channel to watch in its entirety; like teaser videos, for example.
NOW, your IG audience won’t have to leave the platform to see your latest tutorial, lesson or chat around a certain topic. Brilliant, right?
For our clients, we’ve been successfully using IGTV as a place to repurpose their Facebook Lives and other long form video content. Previewing IGTV videos to our newsfeed has helped drive users to our other IGTV video content.
So WHEN should you create your IGTV channel and dive right in?
NOW, of course!
The fun part is that because it’s not being used by the masses, it’s prime opportunity to test what is working. When it originally rolled out, I personally committed to being a consumer first. I spent a lot of time going through the videos of those I follow and taking note of what made me stop and watch.
I discovered quickly that if what was on their IGTV channel was the same thing I could (should) get on IG Stories (ie, telling me what you’re doing today with no real value behind it), then I quickly skipped to the next video.
But, those who were teaching me something new caught my attention early and I watched the full video.
So, as you test out IGTV, ask yourself “What will my audience get out of this video?”, then make it happen.
But don’t forget— what gets measured, gets managed.
Yes, you want to test what’s working, but don't forget the critical step of looking at the data. What specific content is captivating to your audience? What are they skipping through really quickly? Then…continue doing the things that they’re watching. People will show you better than they will tell you!
Have you tried out IGTV? What are you loving about the feature? Comment below and let me know!