IGTV: All You Should Know

All you need to know about this Instagram feature and how you can use it to boost your audience's engagement.

As announced by Instagram, the platform now has over 1 billion users worldwide. So, making the most of ALL its features is key to reaching success for your brand or business. 

As you probably know, IGTV is a feature on Instagram that allows users to share high-quality videos up to 60-minutes long and for both vertical and horizontal viewing. 

Wondering if it’s still a good idea to give this strategy a try? Recent changes made to the algorithm make it definitely worth testing it out. 

Want to learn more?

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What is IGTV? Who can use IGTV? Why is it important to make longer content? IGTV Resources Can IGTV be monetized? Step by step to posting on IGTV Ready to stand out with IGTV? The best types of videos
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What is IGTV?

As mentioned above, IGTV (Instagram TV)  is a free app to share long-form videos.

Whereas Instagram allows the publication of videos of up to 60 seconds, the new app has space for videos of up to one hour in length.

Longer videos allow you to deliver something that really adds value to the viewers, which is much easier to do when you have more time.

You should know that when it was first launched,  IGTV provided a great way to view videos with no commercials or ads. 

It was launched in 2018, as a long-form vertical video on Instagram. though now Instagram is supporting both vertical and horizontal videos on IGTV.

As you access it, IGTV starts broadcasting videos from the accounts you follow on Instagram. You don’t have to start following the people and brands all over again.

Also, get ready to watch more produced videos: unlike Instagram Stories, IGTV doesn’t allow uploading videos at the same time you record them.

The idea is to be a platform for complete content, that is well-planned and of high-quality.

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How does IGTV work?

Released on June 20, 2018, IGTV can be accessed as its own app or via Instagram, both available on Android or iOS.

Despite being different apps, both are fully integrated. In addition to being visually similar, to access IGTV an Instagram account is required. 

IGTV was dream up and developed especially for mobile devices. As soon as you click on IGTV and open a video, it automatically starts to play. The symbol to access it on Instagram is in the upper-right hand corner of the home page of the app.

The idea behind the feature is to transform it into an actual TV app, where the users don’t need to waste time searching for content from the people they already follow. Everything will be on one screen.   

Who can use IGTV?

One of the positive aspects of this new feature is that it will not be exclusive to famous Instagrammers.

All users will be able to use the new feature to share their videos. To do so, you just have to use the app to upload your videos directly. The app is available for iOS and Android, and also on a web version.

IGTV focuses on young users, and is ready to compete with YouTube, opening doors to those who want to become content creators.

With interesting videos, it will be possible to stand out and become a “celebrity of Instagram TV”.

Important: Content creators can add a CTA to their videos, putting links to other platforms or sites.

Why is it important to make longer content?

You cannot ignore the success of short videos that flock the feed and stories on Instagram.

However, the possibility of sharing long-form videos gives the opportunity for creators to put more information on their videos, making the material more valuable and appealing to users.

The objective is to deliver something that really adds value to the viewers, which is much easier to do when you have more time.

Can IGTV be monetized? [2020 update]

The CEO of Instagram has announced that as of Feb 2020, IGTV creators are going to be monetized. 

The good news is by giving creators a sustainable way to generate earnings from IGTV, they might feel inclined to create more interesting content for this feature. The model is expected to be similar to youtube, therefore, using ads on the videos. 

Keep in mind that even though ads may be a bit annoying for the audience, providing a way for creators to earn from their IGTV videos ought to generate a lot more quality content, especially considering the algorithm is expected to make it simpler for IGTV videos to reach a wider audience.

Of course, you need to be eligible to monetize IGTV. But even if you don’t have a big following right now, it’s still worth using it for your strategy, because it’s one more way to attract not just any audience, but the right one, the one that will truly engage with your content.

IGTV Resources

Those who’d like to access IGTV separately from Instagram, just download it from the App Store (iOS) or Play Store (Android), but it is available directly through Instagram. When accessing it, the user will see a feed of videos with vertical thumbnails.    

The interface has a search tool, suggested videos, popular content, and the option to post a video. Let’s take a look at each one of these. 

1. Categories

The IGTV categories are organized under four main tabs: 

  • Following: Here, the platform puts all of the videos and channels you follow;
  • Popular: Shows the most popular videos among platform users;
  • History: Stores your recently watched videos; 
  • Saved: Displays the videos you’ve saved to watch later.

2. Searching on IGTV

In the app, the user has access to a search bar by clicking on the magnifying glass symbol. This feature allows the public to search by user or via keywords.

The results with the most relevant channels appear in a vertical list. When selecting one of them, the user has access to a quick channel description, a list of the previously posted videos, and an option to follow. 

3. Posting a video

Every Instagram user already has an IGTV channel. In other words, as long as you have an account, you can post a video on IGTV whenever you’d like. Just click on the plus icon. 

Different from an Instagram Story, your video has to be at least 1 minute or longer. Want to learn how to post a video, add it to your feed and stories, and attract more followers? Check out the step-by-step guide below!

Step by step to post 

Now that you know about IGTV and are familiar with its tools, the time has come to learn how to get the most out of it. Because of the changes made to the algorithm, it has been attracting more attention.

If you go to search in Instagram, you’ll see IGTV right under the search bar as well as being featured in other parts of the app. 

But to get more attention, the video has to meet some standards. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get going? 

Creating the video

Different from Stories, the video needs to be recorded and edited in order to be posted on IGTV. There are a variety of free and paid apps to edit your videos, and you can check some of them out here on our list!  And then,  you just have to click the “add new post” button and select IGTV.

Adding the video to IGTV

When clicking to add a new video to IGTV, you can personalize it to draw more attention. The video needs to be in your gallery and ready to be posted and viewed as a thumbnail. 

To add the thumbnail, just select the video, continue, and now you can either pull a thumbnail from the video itself or select an image from your photo library. After doing this, it’s time to optimize your video. 

  • Title: The title of your video should be short and appealing, making it clear to the user what they will be watching;
  • Description: It’s essential to add a description, giving more details about the content of the video;
  • IGTV Series: This acts like a playlist. If you don’t have one already, the option will appear to add to a series or to create your first series. Just click on the title and add a description. 
  • Post a preview: In this step, you can choose to add a preview to your profile and feed on Instagram. The preview can be up to 1 minute long; 
  • Edit the profile cover: This will be how the image will appear on your feed. You can select which part of the video you’d like to show in your feed and hit save;  
  • Facebook and Watch: Finally, you select if you’d like to share the video on Facebook too.  

Important: Everything ready? Just tap Post. But go over each step to make sure everything is ok. After being posted, there’s no way to change the video, only the title, and description. 

Ready to stand out with IGTV?

We’ve prepared a few tips that will help you create quality content and stand out on IGTV. Check them out:

1. Think of a subject matter you master

To make a good video, you need to know a lot about the topic you have chosen to approach.

Remember that the focus of IGTV is to enable everyone to create content, and that this content takes a deeper dive. This means that there will be more competition, and people will not spend their time watching tiring, shallow videos.

That’s why you have to pick a subject matter you master to show credibility and become an authority on this topic.

2. Follow a script

To create a complete, professional-looking video, it is essential to write a script before you record.

Besides being an effective way of keeping the content linear and sequential, with a script you don’t run the risk of forgetting about important information.

As you cannot upload videos at the same time you record them, you will have time to prepare the content, highlight important information and think of all the tools you will use to record your videos.

3. Use professional equipment

If the idea is to stand out on IGTV, you can’t make average videos, with low resolution or a lot of noise.

Users tend to give up watching videos that are not in good quality in audio and image, as this makes it difficult to understand the content.

That’s why it’s a good idea to use professional cameras and microphones. But we know it’s not always possible to invest in these tools, especially when you’re just starting out.

The good news is that most smartphones come with advanced resources nowadays, and if this is your case, then it’s OK to use your mobile to record your videos.

Don’t forget to record them vertically, OK?

4. Edit your videos

Long-form videos usually need to be edited, be it to correct something or to make them more dynamic and interesting.

You need to provide the viewers with a pleasant and relevant experience.

That’s why you have to make the best of the editing to cut wrong or unnecessary lines, adjust audio, add soundtrack and sound effects, links, tag other profiles. In short, to make everything in your power to make your content as pleasant as possible.

5. Promote your videos on Instagram itself

IGTV is a brand new tool that many people still don’t know.

To get views and engagement in your videos, promote what you have posted on your own Instagram profile. Therefore, people who are interested in what you share will know about the new and exclusive content that is waiting for them on IGTV.

Both apps are completely integrated, so your followers will be able to view the new videos clicking on the icon inside their Instagram profile.

The best types of videos for posting

IGTV is a versatile tool. Entrepreneurs, digital influencers, and all types of businesses can take advantage of its features.    

The secret is to produce the right content and keep things in line with the tastes of your persona. In the list below, you’ll find the best types of videos for you to get started producing and posting on your channel. 

1. Teasers

You know those little clips put out to create expectations and buzz among the public? These are called teasers. On IGTV, you can use them when releasing or announcing a new product or service, or when posting sections of the videos you’ve already posted on YouTube or on other platforms. Since these are so easy to produce, the sky’s the limit.   

2. Tutorials

The other type of content that has been a hit on IGTV so far are tutorials. The goal of these is to teach the user how to do something or how to use a product/service offered by your business. 

In addition to helping those who are looking to learn or solve a problem, video tutorials create a real connection with your audience, as long as you are effectively helping them. With one video, you can help your audience and become an authority in the market.  

3. Reviews

Reviews are among the top types of videos on YouTube, so it’s only natural for this type of video to become a success on IGTV. 

It’s a great way to engage with your audience because it’s basically you presenting a summary of a product or service. It could be about games, sports, films, books, products, online tools, etc.  

A review should be impartial, presenting both the positive and negative aspects, and topping it off with your perspective about the topic while keeping a friendly tone.  

4. Webinars

A Webinar is like an online class or talk. It’s a great format to post on IGTV, whether it’s complete or in small clips up to 10 minutes long.   

Webinars are a way to offer rich content for your audience and in this way, capture potential customers for your business. Since IGTV allows you to put links in the description of the video, you won’t have any problems directing people to your landing page and collecting new leads.

We hope you have enjoyed this new feature, and start using it soon! If your idea is to use this social media to promote your business, then also check out our post on how to sell on Instagram.

After posting your IGTV videos, don’t forget to ask your audience for feedback. That’ll be key to help you when making more videos. 

Go for it! 

Even if you don’t have a huge number of followers, and can’t monetize it with ads, IGTV is a great way to engage with your audience, work with influencers from your niche, get more followers and build authority. 

Also, expect IGTV to have a greater organic reach, which means, you can reach more people without having to spend money. 

We hope you’ll start using IGTV in your strategy. To learn more about using Instagram features and other ways to build engagement, you can also visit our blog.

Also, you should definitely share a preview of your IGTV video on your stories. Use the swipe up feature for your audience to access the video. Make sure there’s a hook in the preview that will attract them to watch the complete video. 

This post was originally published in June 2018 and has since been updated to convey more complete, accurate information.