Instagram IGTV: Launching Your Channel to Best Practices from Top Brands [Part 2]

Instagram IGTV: Launching Your Channel to Best Practices from Top Brands [Part 2]

Instagram IGTV has arrived – bringing new features and opportunity along with it! This addition was huge, and if you are looking to get started or improve using IGTV, you’re in the right place.

First of All, What is IGTV?

IGTV or Instagram TV is an app for watching videos from creators and brands on Instagram. You can both watch videos and create your own. Instagram IGTV is also a stand-alone app, but you can watch the videos in the Instagram app as well. Also, if you send an IGTV video through its link, you can view it on desktop.

The great thing is that anyone can use IGTV right from the start – and gives a whole new experience for watching video on the platform. If you already have a following on Instagram, these followers are already there for your IGTV channel. As with any new feature, Instagram made the extra effort to motivate users to use it. Right now when you open your home feed you’ll be suggested relevant IGTV videos. If you start making them, you’ll increase your chances of getting noticed by your followers.

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While content typically shared on Stories tends to be short and in the moment, IGTV is perfect for well-planned and edited video content. Not only are the videos vertical (which works well for how you typically use your phone), but they can be a longer length as well. General account videos may be up to ten minutes in length, while larger and verified account videos can actually go up to an hour long! This allows for even more space to let your creativity shine and provides the best video experience for your audience.

So, How Do You Start Your Own IGTV Channel?

You’ve decided you are ready to start your own channel. Don’t worry at all though because it is very simple to set up and begin! To access IGTV in the Instagram app, simply tap the IGTV button in the top right corner in your app. It will be next to your DM button.

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Under the main heading you’ll see IGTV notifications from users you follow – and, vice versa – everytime you release a new video to IGTV, your followers will be notified. Notifications for videos from users that you follow will sometimes show here at the top of the screen. Once you’re in the IGTV area in the Instagram app, tap on the gear icon on the right side. This will bring you to a few screens with additional information, and then a confirmation to create your channel.

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If you are using the IGTV app itself, first download and open the app. Once you’re in the app, log into your Instagram account. You will then see the same gear icon that will allow you to create your channel. Once your channel is set up and ready to go, all that is left to do is upload your videos!

Unfortunately, Instagram doesn’t give us the option to turn on IGTV notifications yet. However it’s very likely that they do in the near future. When that happens, naturally it would be wise to motivate your followers to turn them on like you would do with post notifications and story notifications. If you’re now wondering exactly how your followers or new viewers can find you – and your videos – (besides notifications on top of the home feed), users will be able to access your channel directly through your profile or by searching keywords in the Instagram TV search bar. We currently don’t know much about how Instagram chooses which notifications to be shown to you. However we can make an educated guess and say that it’s based on the same algorithm used to show you posts and stories. 

The more relevant and recent your content is, and the stronger the relationship you have with your followers, the more likely your content will be shown to them. Also, using relevant keywords in your Instagram name can help your videos get discovered by people who search new content within IGTV, so choose wisely!

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What Should I Share on IGTV?

No matter what kind of videos you decide to share, there are a few important points to consider for each of them. Not only should these IGTV videos be vertical, but the quality of the video is also very important. High-quality videos will stand out more and help to attract new viewers and followers. Editing your videos can increase quality and add more interest. Even with a variety of topics and types of videos, stay on brand as much as possible and analyze what content your viewers would like to see. Look at some of your older posts and see which ones received higher engagement. That’s a good place to get started on the content ideas. Consider a call to action. Direct viewers to your Instagram profile for a follow, to your website and email list, or to consider a purchase. As for what exactly to post, the list just goes on. Here are some popular ideas to help get you started though:

  • Giveaways
  • Behind the scenes footage
  • Workspace tours
  • Unboxing video 
  • Special events and parties
  • Tutorials
  • Product demos
  • Education and news
  • Questions & answers 

There are many Instagram business accounts using IGTV exceptionally well and creating awesome content, so let’s take a look at how these other brands are leveraging the long-form video platform.

1. NASA on IGTV

If you check out the official NASA Instagram account, there are some incredible and interesting content to see. NASA uses their channel to provide information about current projects and goals, accurate updates about what is going on in space, breathtaking views they have captured through telescopes and Earth-orbiting spacecrafts and user generated content from astronauts, and details about life in the space station.

These kinds of videos can easily capture attention and captivate viewers, as they are so special. While typical users can’t provide that kind of content, think of what it boils down to – it’s generally unique, educational, inspirational and entertaining content that can seriously attract viewers. Think of ways to incorporate those aspects into your IGTV videos, and don’t forget to post content in high quality. For example, consider shooting content with a DSLR camera. It can definitely make a difference. With over 35 million followers, NASA seems to know what they’re doing.

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2. The Food Network on IGTV

Who doesn’t love food? The Food Network and other food-focused brands use Instagram TV to upload recipe tutorials, taste tests, restaurant features, and even some beauty recipes using food. Viewers can use these videos to create a new recipe for the first time, decide on a new restaurant to check out, and determine if they want to try a certain food item or not. Popular food trend videos in general definitely have the potential to spark interest.

Popular food trend videos in general definitely have the potential to spark interest. So if you’re running a CPG brand, it’s easy to come up with content ideas. You might consider doing review type videos where you test out certain cooking tools, for instance. As long as you’re relevant to your followers, you should be good.

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3. Tarte Cosmetics on IGTV

Tarte Cosmetics and many other beauty brands frequently use IGTV for, you guessed it, many tutorials! Brand updates, product reveals, giveaway information, and trending challenges are just some of the other content provided. For tutorials and product reveals, they use a variety of models who also sometimes provide their own tips and tricks to viewers for interest.

Using influencer marketing to showcase your product can be a wonderful strategy. With IGTV influencers can get more creative on producing content and showing your product from an entirely new angle. For example, if we’re talking specifically about beauty influencers, have them shoot a video showing your products being used in different situations in everyday life.

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4. BuzzFeed on IGTV

BuzzFeed is very well known for their trending content across social media platforms and have now included it in their IGTV channel as well! Their content ranges from unique interviews to challenges and just simple eye-catching topics. The videos tend to be shorter, but they keep their audience captivated, interested, and wanting to watch even more.

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The Takeaway

Now that you’re ready to get started, it’s time to explore the new world of Instagram TV. There are almost endless options for videos and even more opportunity available. Remember to shoot your videos vertically, listen to your followers for ideas and make sure to add a call-to-action into your videos to increase engagement. We would like to know what you think. Have you already started using IGTV and what type of content works well for you? If you haven’t, let us know what’s holding you back. 

Johannes Kanter helps businesses and individuals with their online marketing challenges and writes about Instagram marketing for his blog GettingGrowth.com.

Digital Consultant at GettingGrowth

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