IGTV From Instagram Is Here - What You Need to Know


Say Hello to IGTV

Instagram is innovating again - this time by introducing a brand new long-form video platform called IGTV!

Gone are the days of trying to fit everything you want in a video into 60 seconds - hourlong video is here to stay on Instagram and it could mean big things for you as you're marketing your business or brand online.

Here’s everything you need to know about what IGTV is, how it works, and why it’s the perfect place for you to market your business or brand.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is a brand new platform within a platform that allows Instagram users to create and consume long-form video content - videos can be up to 60 minutes long. You’ll be able to access IGTV videos from a new standalone app called - you guessed it - IGTV and right within Instagram itself. Now listen, as always, these new Instagram features can take some time to roll out. So, don’t panic if you don’t see IGTV right away - Instagram releases new features based on your location, account age, and usage so it could be a little bit before you are able to access the new platform.

Why is Instagram launching IGTV?

We’ve been saying for awhile now that video is king; but, the numbers are showing us that video is becoming more important now than ever before.

Instagram is jumping into the video game with IGTV because people aren’t watching nearly as much television as they used to and, by 2021, 78% of mobile data traffic will be used for watching mobile digital video.

Instagram is also always looking for ways to pioneer online and social media marketing and they’ll be the first major platform to adopt vertical video as the preferred format for viewing long-form video content. We’ve been watching videos designed for TVs on our phones and it’s time for that to change.

How does IGTV work?

Instagram users can create their own IGTV channel to share their long-form video content - Instagram has announced that anyone can be a creator on IGTV - you don’t need to have a certain number of followers to unlock the feature.

Once you’ve created your channel, you’ll be able to upload content for your followers! A new icon will be added to the Instagram home screen where your followers will be notified when you have a new IGTV video - you can also tap that icon any time in Instagram to check out IGTV. There will also be a new option added to your bio where Instagram Story highlights live that allow users to easily access your IGTV videos.

How do I watch IGTV videos?

Watching IGTV videos is simple! Either download the IGTV app or look for creators who are posting IGTV content. Once you find a video and open the IGTV app, video will automatically start playing for you. Once one video ends, the next video will start. The content you see will be based on who you’re following on Instagram and will be shown to you using Instagram’s algorithm.

There will be four tabs in IGTV - For You, Following, Popular, and Continue Watching.

When you launch IGTV, videos will start playing from the “For You” screen and you’ll be able to scroll through to discover other content.

You’ll also be able to like, comment on, and share IGTV videos within Instagram and the IGTV app.

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When will IGTV be available for me?

IGTV is rolling out globally over the last few weeks of June 2018 - patience, my friend! You should have it soon!


How can my business or brand use IGTV?

Now you’re talking! If you’re new around here, this is the type of stuff I LOVE to talk about - how we can use Instagram to market our businesses and brands online.

Listen, IGTV is brand new and we don’t exactly know how users will adapt to the new platform and that is a GOOD thing.

First of all, this is a chance for your business or brand to adopt a new social media platform before ANYONE ELSE! Think about being the first type of your business or the first person in your niche to start creating long-form vertical video and sharing it on IGTV. How amazing would that be?

You could be the first person who does what you do that is showing up for your potential customers or clients on IGTV.

And THAT could set you apart in huge ways.

I’ll be honest - when Instagram Stories came around, I was annoyed at first. It was another place for me to show up. Another place for me to create content. Another thing for me to think about. But, once I started doing it, things changed in ways I never thought possible for me and my business.

I think IGTV is that next thing. It’s the new Instagram Stories. It’s an opportunity for you to show up first in a place that your ideal customer or client is already using. And that last part is super important here. This isn’t a new app or a new social media platform. This isn’t going to be a flash in the pan (*cough cough* Anchor) - this is here to stay because Instagram is here to stay.

And here’s something else I need you to hear from me - the excuses for using video in your business are gone. Donezo. Kaput. Finished. Because it’s more simple now than ever before. Instagram is giving you an invitation to create video on your phone in vertical format without any special tech or equipment necessary. You don’t need a ring light. You don’t need a DSLR. You don’t need a webcam. You don’t need a microphone. You just need the tiny computer that’s either in your hand, in your pocket, or on the table beside you right now. You can create video for your business (and you should).

Here’s what I want you to think about when it comes to creating content for IGTV:

How can I deepen the relationships my followers have with me through IGTV?

Consider how you can tell your personal story or your brand story in a way that gets your followers closer to you and your business. How can you take your relationship with them to the next level? What stories can you tell and what personal bits of information can you share that will allow them to see you and get to know you, what you do, and why you do it? That could be powerful content for IGTV and it will, without a doubt, help you stand out in your industry or niche.

How can I better explain my product, service, or process using IGTV?

IGTV is the perfect place for you to take away all of the mystery about what you do. It’s going to allow you to bring your followers inside your studio, into your office, behind the scenes in your business, and closer to the process of making the thing or creating the thing that they buy from you. When you demystify the process, it makes it easier for people to understand what they’re getting from you and why what you do is so worth it.

What do my followers already love from me that I can share more of on IGTV?

Our followers are always telling us what they love and what they want more of from us (they’re also telling us what they don’t love as much and what we can get rid of) through their engagement. Look at your engagement and start paying attention to what your followers are loving from you. Then, consider how you can take that content to a deeper level through IGTV videos.

What is missing from my brand story and marketing strategy and how can IGTV fill the gap?

Maybe you don’t really have a place to fully show your personality or you haven’t been able to figure out how to showcase your process quite yet. Maybe you want to create vlog content but YouTube is daunting (I know that’s true for me) or you could want to take people along on a journey but it’s something that will take more time to experience than an Instagram Story. You could be a thought leader who wants to teach people ideas or concepts but you don’t have the tech for a fancy YouTube or Facebook show and live video is a little bit toooo spooky for you - wherever you are in your business, there is a place for this brand new type of video content on IGTV. It would work for you!

Now, before you go, I want to walk you through a few IGTV best practices.

IGTV Best Practices

When it comes to creating longer video content, these are the things you need to remember so your content is worth your followers’ time:

Use A Story Arc

The Story Arc Method is something I teach all of my students for creating engaging Instagram Stories and it works perfectly for IGTV videos, as well. Remember, take it back to elementary school, all good stories have a beginning, middle, and end.

When you’re creating IGTV content, make sure you always kick it off with an introduction into what the heck you’re talking about, take your followers (or viewers, in this case) through a process or story or experience, then wrap it up with a clear call to action or by telling ‘em what they can expect to get from you next.

Make It Valuable and Intentional

Y’all know I’m a big fan of making your Instagram content valuable and intentional. And this is soooo true for IGTV, too! Make sure that you’re not just creating videos for IGTV for the sake of creating videos! Your IGTV content should be valuable for the people who decide to watch it. It could be educational content that teaches them something new.

It could be inspirational content that helps them believe in themselves or some new idea. It could be funny content that entertains them. It could help them better understand your process or your story. It could showcase your personality.

There are so many ways to make your content valuable; but, whatever you do, make sure it’s worth it for your followers to launch.

Keep It Focused

Don’t try to do anything and everything in one video on IGTV. You have plenty of time and space to create videos. And, even though you can create videos that are up to 60 minutes long, I’d suggest you don’t! Remember - people are watching this on their phone and it’s easy to for them to leave your video if it’s not as interesting to them as they’d like.

Try New Things

Don’t be afraid to try anything and everything on IGTV and see what sticks! See what your followers love from you - see what gets them commenting and liking and chatting with you. As with any new platform, we as the users get to decide what we want it to be. Sure, Instagram is giving us this new tool and featuring ways to use it; but, they’re going to let you and I decide what it turns into. Don’t be afraid to try things that you’d be scared to do in other places - who knows, it could work for you and your audience!

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Hey! I'm Tyler J. McCall and I'm an Instagram marketing strategist for entrepreneurs. I teach my students how to use Instagram with intention to grow their business. I think vanity metrics are overrated and pretty pictures are a nice to have - not a gotta have. You can find me on Instagram @tylerjmccall.