Is IGTV The Next Big Thing in Video Consumption?

August 17, 2018 | Article written by Carly Morris

In just a couple of decades we’ve gone from appointment TV viewing from a big box in the living room, to watching a viral video in the palm of our hands on the subway. Unsurprisingly, the type of content we consume has also evolved in parallel with the devices and platforms we use to consume it.

Today, television viewership continues to decrease while social media consumption continues to increase. It therefore comes as no surprise that social platforms like Instagram have begun developing features to further engage audiences through video.

This past June, in response to the growing number of users who consume video on social, Instagram launched IGTV. IGTV is a mobile-first longform video platform available through the Instagram app. Viewers can watch on Instagram, through the IGTV app, and directly via user profiles.

While ads have not yet been integrated directly into the platform, marketers and advertisers are keeping a close watch (pun intended) on how to leverage IGTV to reach their mobile audiences in an all new way.

Until then, here’s what you need to know about IGTV, how it’s being used, and what to consider before diving in.


The Ins & Outs of IGTV

In their reveal of IGTV, Instagram shared that by 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile traffic. To keep up with that overwhelming movement, IGTV was spawned.

Prior to IGTV, video length on Instagram was limited. Standard video posts can be up to one minute long, while Stories max out at fifteen seconds.

IGTV is also paving the way for vertical videos. Since it’s much more natural for people to hold their phone vertically, the new feature was built to match that user behavior. This is a smart move, particularly on the heels of news that users tend to watch vertical videos for longer than traditional 16:9 videos.

Unlike most other video platforms, IGTV is built for content creators. IGTV is meant to feel organic and not overly produced, which allows anyone to contribute and creates a more inviting social space.

And, as content evolves to become more personalized, IGTV is set up to showcase content based on your interests, who you follow, and popular trending videos.


Why Get Involved with IGTV?

Many advertisers and marketers worry about spreading themselves too thin. Are you on too many platforms? Is it worth getting involved with every new, flashy product? IGTV is generating a lot of buzz given that it already lives on a popular platform, and it’s worthy of the attention.

While IGTV is still relatively new, it’s likely that viewership will be strong considering Instagram’s current success with video. Instagram Stories see about 400 million daily users, which is twice as many as Snapchat alone.

With mobile viewing on the rise, it’s also a strong platform to reach younger audiences. Today 60% of Instagram’s users are between 16 and 34, evenly split between genders, which gives marketers access to a vast potential audience within the Gen Z and Millennial demographics.


Best Practices on IGTV

With any new platform, it’s wise to sit back and learn what works before diving in the deep end. While it’s only been a few months since the formal launch of IGTV, there are already a number of clear dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
Hashtags Are Still Key:
Include a slew of hashtags in your IGTV video description so your video is more likely to appear in search results related to your hashtags.
Add A Link:
Instagram can be a limited platform when it comes to linking. Because you can’t put a link in a standard post, users resort to adding links within the page bio. Luckily, with IGTV, you can include a link directly in the video description.
Track Your Video’s Success:
We can never stress enough the importance of measuring your content’s impact. With IGTV, you can track insights per view to see exactly what’s working and what’s not.
Keep the Conversation Going:
Like Instagram Stories, users can comment and message in response to your video. You can aim to improve engagement by replying to comments and keeping abreast of who is sliding into your DMs.
Avoid Abrupt Noises:
Because IGTV videos autoplay upon login, loud intros or distracting noises can disrupt the user experience and turn people away. We recommend videos that include conversations, interviews, and calm voiceovers after a few brief intro frames to capture your users’ interest.
Add Subtitles:
On Facebook, 85% of videos are viewed without sound. That means subtitles are an essential addition to ensure that you’re your audience still gets your core message, even without the background volume.

The great thing about IGTV is that it’s built to feel organic. You don’t need a production team or a high-end studio to get started with producing your own video content.

That being said, people visit IGTV to be entertained, so be sure your videos still provide a level of value and intrigue. Brands that are doing well so far are keeping it simple, fun, and social, like Netflix. Consider what creative, entertaining content you can contribute and have fun with it!