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19 Tips to Jumpstart Your Instagram IGTV Strategy

Instagram's IGTV is game-changing for the platform. The fairly new addition to the app has transformed the platform from a photo-sharing space to video-sharing one. With such a huge transition, marketers are still learning. Read on to get 19 tips that will help you take your IGTV to new heights.

What is IGTV?

If you’re an avid Instagram user or a seasoned marketer, you may be familiar with Instagram IGTV. For a quick explanation, IGTV is a new addition to the Instagram app that allows users to watch long-form videos. This can be done through the main Instagram app or in the stand-alone IGTV app.

Though IGTV on Instagram has some amazing content that is readily accessible, it hasn't taken off yet. Recent studies have shown that the average Instagram user spends 53 minutes per day on the app. That seems considerably low considering 38 percent of users open the app multiple times a day. Don't let that discourage you. Like all new formats, IGTV is still developing. We can expect these numbers to only rise as more users find a place for the new addition to their digital routines.

Here's the good news - it's not oversaturated with marketers fighting for attention - yet. This is great news for marketers as it allows them to truly innovate on a channel they could potentially own.

If you're ready for the IGTV challenge, listen up for some expert-level tips:

1. Be Where Your Audience Is 

Instagram is booming! There are more than 500 million daily active users on Instagram worldwide - 400 million of which, use Instagram Stories every day. Both men and women use Instagram equally, and the most active age ranges are 18-34 and 35-44. Numbers are on your side when it comes to investing resources in Instagram - and what better way to engage your audiences than by testing out an innovative format like IGTV?

2. Format Matters 

IGTV is built for vertical video, so keep that in mind when shooting and uploading your footage. Don’t assume that your viewers will be willing to switch their screen orientation to view your content. It’s better to either shoot vertically or edit the horizontal footage for a vertical format.

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3. Keep it Short 

Though IGTV videos are able to be 10 minutes long (and up to a full hour for verified accounts!) you should still keep it short and sweet. It’s best to upload footage between 2-5 minutes in length so viewers don’t lose interest. Think about it –if you saw an account had just uploaded 9 minutes of footage for a new product review, would you tune in? Probably not.


4. Change It Up

Though it’s tempting to spend time lighting and setting up one particular area for an IGTV video shoot, make sure there are a variety of locations available to create visual interest for the audience. This tip isn't just for Instagram IGTV content - it can be applied to all of your videos. With so much competition on social media, it's important that you come up with fresh new visuals to keep your audiences engaged. If you're using the same tired backdrop, your audience is likely to just scroll past.

5. Keep Content Relevant

Use social media analytics to get a deep understanding of who your audiences are. Identify where they're from, their age group, as well as their social media affinities to help fuel your content creation. It's especially important to keep diversity at the front of your mind when making content and include spokespeople from different genders, orientations, races, and backgrounds.

6. Be a Teacher 

A tutorial-style video can be a powerful way to bring in new audiences and engage the ones you already have. There are many different ways your brand can use "How-to" videos that your audience will find useful. With such a huge demand for DIY content, you should find a way to integrate it into your strategy. If your an FMCG brand, think about how you can create new easy-to-follow recipes. If you're a fashion brand. you could give tips on outfit combinations… the possibilities are endless. 

7. Go Behind-the-Scenes

Your organization or brand likely has some pretty cool stuff in the works – take advantage of this and show your fans and followers what’s happening behind the scenes. This could be anything from a tour of your office to the conferences your employees are attending. This is a simple step toward humanizing your brand that can pay big dividends.

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8. Innovate Promotional Videos

Instead of a simple, promotional video where you showcase your new products, take a new perspective and have a charismatic team member show off often-overlooked features or services of your product. It's an easy way to show your current customers different content, while at the same time, impressing new audiences or potential customers.

9. Conduct a Games Show

We all know and love the game shows. So why not try to replicate that format in a way that promotes your brand? It sounds hard to do, but there are many different creative angles you could take. For example, if you’re a perfume brand, you could have two people guess the most popular fragrance scents and write them down on whiteboards, then show them to the camera. And that's just one idea! The game show format is a great way to keep viewers invested in your content. They'll likely stick around ‘til the very end because they'll want to see who wins!

10. Share Knowledge

No one knows your business better than you. You can specifically use IGTV to share information in a fun and visual way. This is an easy thing to do because you don't have to do any research! All you have to do is pick a topic you're passionate about (that relates to your business) and speak. You'll be able to not only build brand awareness but also promote your employees as thoughtful leaders in the industry.

11. Conduct an Interview

Instagram is the place to discover and strike up collaborations with influencers. Instagram's IGTV can be used as a space to host interviews with influencers that are relevant in your industry. It's easy to utilize these resources and gives you the opportunity to tap into the influencer's audience.






12. Subtitles, Subtitles, Subtitles

IGTV allows you to add subtitles to your video which is important for a few reasons. First, some of your viewers or followers might be deaf or hard-of-hearing. It's important to ensure that you make your media as accessible as possible for everyone. Secondly, 85 percent of people watch videos on Facebook or Instagram with the sound off. With the vast majority of people consuming content on mute, you'd be missing out on tons of views! More and more people are consuming content on-the-go, so always be sure to make your content user-friendly.

13. Use Pop-Up Text

In addition to subtitles, pop-up text is a great way to get your message across while making your content more engaging. Unlike subtitles, you’re able to put animated text wherever you want. This means you can really experiment and go against the traditional rule of thirds. A great way to use pop-up text is to use it to reiterate your main points with on-screen text throughout the length of the video.



14. Use Hashtags

Hashtags aren’t just for traditional Instagram posts –you can also use them throughout in the caption and description text of your IGTV post. Stay away from oversaturated hashtags such as #food, #travel, #business, #follow etc. You’ll need to strike a balance between using hashtags that are brand specific - but not so specific that no one can find them.

15. Pay Attention to Cover Photos

Instagram IGTV allows you to choose cover images for your video. The photo you select will appear in the Instagram Feed when you publish a video and can be the deciding factor that determines if a user will click or scroll past. If you don't take the time to choose an engaging photo, Instagram's algorithm will choose one for you. And as you can imagine, what they choose at random may not be what your video is actually about.


16. Promote Across Social Media Channels

Your video will likely get its highest number of views within the first 24 hours. To make sure your video gets the highest number of views possible to be sure to promote across your social media channels. It’s important to let people know that they can expect new and exciting content from your brand. 

17. Tease Your IGTV Episodes

Adding on to the previous tip, you can promote within Instagram itself as well. For example, a day or a few hours before your IGTV segment goes live you can: create an Instagram Story teasing your new video, publish a post to your feed, and even go live to discuss the new content. The algorithm can be tricky to predict, so it's best to take it into your own hands and promote where possible.

18. Be Onbrand

Though IGTV is a new format, you still need to ensure that the content you create for the channel still follows your brand guidelines. When choosing to brainstorm your IGTV segments, always make sure to include branded marketing items that promote your brand’s colors and logos. You can even take a more creative approach and encourage people that are featured in your videos to wear branded apparel.

19. Always Measure Your Results

Like all social media content, it's crucial that you measure your results. Luckily, Instagram offers in-app analytics to help you measure the views and demographics of the people who watch your IGTV content. Keep tabs on all of your videos and monitor if there are any drastic changes over time. Don't be afraid to play around with posting times, promotion techniques, and topics to find a formula that works for your organization.

The Takeaway

IGTV can be a fun and creative way to engage your Instagram audiences. The format is still new which means there are plenty of ways marketers can make their mark - without having to worry about a lot of competition. With a bit of planning and a long term strategy, IGTV can be one of the most useful tools in your growing social media arsenal. Here’s a full guide to how to set up and use IGTV for more information.

Hungry for more IGTV content? We've got exactly what you need. Check out our complete guide Everything Marketers Need to Know [Part 1]!


About the Author 

Amy Lecza is a content marketing manager at G2 Crowd. She’s passionate about learning, editing, copywriting, and has been known to keep a red pen on her person for copy editing emergencies.



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