Dreaming of creating in-depth video content for your Instagram followers, but hampered by the short time limits of Instagram Stories and posts? You’re not alone. It’s hard to showcase all your dazzling knowledge in a 15-second clip. Thankfully, Instagram has created the perfect answer to this common marketing dilemma: IGTV!
What is IGTV?
IGTV, or Instagram Television, is an extended video platform for Instagram content creators. Unlike Instagram Stories, IGTV is purely for long-form content, with a minimum requirement of 15 seconds of video and a maximum length of 10 minutes for regular users.
IGTV is often called “the Youtube of Instagram,” offering users the ability to create and upload content to their own channel!
Danielle Schaffer of City Girl Gone Mom used IGTV to show some Behind the Scenes footage from her podcast – a great marketing strategy to cross-promote her content!
So why is IGTV such a powerful marketing tool?
Simply put, video is a marketing powerhouse that serves a ton of purposes for content strategy. In fact, in 2019, 87% of businesses are using video as a marketing tool, and 83% of marketers said that video gives them a good return on investment (ROI).
Hmm… 🤔 there might be something to this video thing after all – especially when it comes to your Instagram marketing strategy! You can use IGTV episodes to:
- Showcase knowledge
- Feature products
- Offer a behind-the-scenes look, and
- Offer a sneak peek of something new and exciting!
Fashion retailer Cari’s Closet uses IGTV to showcase products, including several tutorials to style and wear their “Multiway Gown.”
Now that you know the vital role IGTV can play in your social media marketing strategy, let’s take a look at how to set your very own channel up, and some quick tips on how to use IGTV!
How to Set Up IGTV Step-by-Step
Setting up and using IGTV is a breeze, and the platform is accessible from mobile and desktop! Here are instructions to set up your IGTV channel on both!
How to Set Up Your IGTV Channel On Mobile
- Download the IGTV app (iOS and Android). This app is separate from Instagram (although you can access IGTV inside the app, too!)
2. Open the app and connect your Instagram account.
3. Tap your profile photo where it appears in the app, and select “Create Channel” from the pop-up menu that appears.
4. Follow the screen prompts to finish setting up your IGTV channel.
How to Set Up Your IGTV Channel on Desktop
- Open your web browser and log in to Instagram.
- Navigate to your profile page.
3. Click on the IGTV tab (under your bio).
4. Hit the blue “Upload” button to begin uploading your creation!
Now that you’ve set up your IGTV channel, you’re ready to stun the world with your amazing videos. Let’s talk about how to upload your video to Instagram Television! 📺
Posting to IGTV
Uploading videos to IGTV is pretty simple. You can upload any videos on your mobile or computer gallery that match the video size and dimensions requirements. Since you can’t film directly in the IGTV app and have to rely on uploading external video files on your phone or computer, it’s helpful to shoot videos with the requirements in mind, so you don’t waste time (and footage!).
Here’s how to upload your IGTV video:
- Drag and drop a file into the video dropbox on the left of the screen, or click the + sign to open your computer or phone and manually select the video file.
- Select your cover.
- Fill in the Title (the first line under Details).
- Fill in your Description (under the title bar).
- Decide whether you’ll post a preview snippet by checking the box.
- Choose your Sharing Options.
- Post Your Video or Save as a Draft!
Film for IGTV Video Size and Dimensions
IGTV video size and dimensions have come a long way since last year’s launch. Previously, if you wanted to publish a video on IGTV, you had to film your content vertically (or in portrait mode) with a vertical aspect ratio of 9:16. However, after receiving tons of creator feedback, Instagram finally opted to allow landscape video. 🎞️
You now have the option to film your content in any way that works best for your marketing goals. Keep in mind that the horizontal video option, where viewers simply turn their phone to enlarge the video and watch it full screen, also enables you to easily repost content originally created for other platforms such as YouTube or Facebook.
You can also upload commercials, interviews, and advertising material without having to trim it to the vertical aspect ratio. This alleviates the need to create new long-form content for your viewers constantly! #WorkSmarterNotHarder 😅
Here are some important specs to keep in mind when filming for IGTV. Paying attention to these technical details will make your content creation process and your IGTV upload simple!
- Your video must be in MP4 file format for upload
- The video should have a minimum frame rate of 30 Frames per second
- The minimum resolution required for IGTV upload is 720 pixels.
- Maximum file size for videos up to 10 minutes long is 650MB
- Your IGTV video should be at least 15 seconds long, but under 10 minutes (unless you’re verified!)
Verified users get extra perks on IGTV. They can make videos up to 1 hour long and can link IGTV videos in their Instagram stories. All the more reason to get the blue check mark, right? #SoJealous
Since you’re basically an expert at IGTV now, here are a handful of quick tips to create maximum impact with your Instagram Television channel.
How to Use IGTV Like a Pro
Creating a channel and uploading your videos is super easy, but the real trick to making this tool work for your marketing strategy lies in the finer details. Keep our handy Instagram video tips in mind when planning your video to reach a wider audience and drive traffic!
Plan Your IGTV Cover Photo
You’ve probably heard the saying, don’t judge a book by its cover. 📚 In marketing, we know better! Think about it: product packaging makes a huge difference in sales, and an IGTV video is no different!
Your cover photo is your video’s ticket into the hearts, minds, and hands of your potential viewers. It’s the first impression of your video, and you want to hit it out of the park! ⚾ That’s why you should plan your IGTV cover photo carefully. You can select a video still from anywhere in your video, or upload a cover photo from your phone or desktop. This gives you complete control over the final product!
Greatist lets viewers know exactly what they’re in for with this pre-designed cover!
The upload capabilities give you the option to design and create a cover for your video that better helps your marketing efforts. This could include brand colors, brand fonts, or your logo! If you’re creating your own cover design, make sure the file is 420px by 654 px (or 1:1.55 ratio).
If you’re not a Photoshop wizard, don’t worry! Design sites like Easil make customizing and branding graphics for your social media – including IGTV cover photos – easier than ever.
By planning your IGTV cover photo, you’re packaging your video as beautifully as possible, just waiting for your next viewer to come along and dive in. But how exactly do you find that next viewer?
That’s where hashtags can help. Let’s talk about how and where to use these handy little helpers to get your IGTV content seen!
Use Hashtags for IGTV
Did you know that the hashtags you use in your description help your video appear in relevant search streams? This is so important for driving traffic to your content on Instagram but doubly crucial for IGTV videos! That’s because right now, you can only search for channels on IGTV, not videos on a specific topic.
Tailwind Tip: Optimize your name and bio with keywords in order to appear in channel search results!
So while your established followers can search for your profile on IGTV, you’ll have to rely on other methods to get your videos in front of new viewers. Hashtags are perfect for this!
Using hashtags is easy. Simply add them to your video description the same way you do for Instagram captions! You’ll want to carefully plan the hashtags that you use for your video to make sure it appears in relevant search streams. There’s nothing worse than watching a video that has nothing to do with the topics that it’s tagged for, right? #FalseAdvertising
Tailwind Tip: Even though Tailwind App doesn’t currently have integration for IGTV posts, you can still use the Hashtag Finder tool to create a list of the best hashtags for your video topic. Just open a draft post and search away!
Speaking of advertising, you can use IGTV as an advertisement for a product, service, or your blog! There’s a way to help your viewers journey from your video content to their next stop- through clickable URLs in your video description.
Create a Clickable Call to Action in IGTV Videos
One of our favorite marketing tricks for IGTV is including a hyperlink to a URL in the video description. Any link you put in your IGTV description becomes a hyperlink, which means viewers can click through to a product page, blog post, or another resource right from your video!
This is incredibly powerful for product marketing, and means that your IGTV content could become part of a sales funnel that drives traffic to your website and closes sales. Nifty, right? Keep in mind that if you put a URL in your video description, you should mention it at least once, if not a few times, in your video and encourage viewers to click the link.
Why is that? While your viewers are soaking up your fascinating content, the description is hidden from view. If you don’t direct viewers attention to the existence of your handy link, they may never notice it’s there! 🕵️♀️
Find the Sweet Spot in IGTV Video Length
As with many things in life, just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should. This includes getting bangs, 💇 surprise yodeling competitions in the office, 🗣️and making ten-minute videos every time you think of a new topic.
Ten minutes is a considerable time commitment for your viewers, especially if they’re just scrolling through their Instagram feed when they happen upon your video. Make sure that the length of your content is appropriate for the purpose. If you can discuss your topic in two minutes, then do it!
If you’re unsure whether your content is too lengthy, check out IGTV Insights to see how your audience is responding to your content. To get to Insights:
- Open your video in the IGTV app.
- Click the “…” button at the bottom of the screen.
- Click “View Insights”
IGTV insights will tell you how many views, likes, and comments your video has collected. It will also give you the average percentage of your video watched, which will tell you how much of the video your viewers watched before exiting out.
If your audience is only watching 25% of your ten-minute-long masterpiece before clicking on to something else, this might be an indicator that you should shorten your videos in the future.
Of course, there may be some instances where you need all ten minutes to deliver your content in the best way possible. That’s okay! Support your long video with graphics, fascinating talking points, and constant action to keep your viewers engaged!
Using subtitles may not seem like the most obvious addition to your video, but this is a surprisingly effective touch for improving audience retention, especially as Instagram users are browsing while their volume is low or muted. This means that if they scroll past a preview of your video and have no idea what’s going on in the first few seconds, they’ll quickly lose interest.
However, if you include captions to your video, they’ll be able to figure out what the topic is and get hooked on your content without having to turn up their volume.
Share Your IGTV Video Everywhere
Our final tip for using IGTV like a true marketing professional is to share your video everywhere. You have several tools available to you when publishing IGTV content, including posting a 1-minute preview to your Instagram feed, sharing to connected platforms, and promoting with Instagram stories!
Instagram preview videos appear just like a post in your feed. After the preview is done, the video pauses, and the viewer can tap Keep Watching to see the rest of the video.
You can also share your IGTV video to your connected Facebook platform. This option and the option to create a preview of the video on your feed is available as a toggle switch option on the final screen before you post your video.
Finally, you can create a link to your IGTV video in your stories if you have over 10,000 followers. To do this:
- Open Instagram Stories
- Type your message, take a photo or video, or upload an existing photo or video.
- Select the Link Icon in the upper right corner
- Select +IGTV Video
- Select the IGTV video
- Select Done!
These three little steps will help boost your content’s visibility instantly, ensuring that more viewers engage with your content and maybe even stick around for more!
That’s a Wrap!
By now you’re so well versed in IGTV tips and tricks, you could probably direct a feature film! Just kidding…sorta. 🎥 🎬
Creating long-form content with IGTV is a great way to dive deep into topics to engage your followers, whatever your niche may be. Whether you’re using longer videos to feature products, conduct interviews, or create tutorials, IGTV has a place in your marketing toolkit.
Tell us about your favorite IGTV content and how using this platform has boosted your engagement in the comments below!
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Kristen Dahlin is a Content Marketer at Tailwind — a Pinterest and Instagram scheduler and analytics platform. A recent graduate of OU, Kristen lived several different lives as a hotel manager, wedding planner and actress before discovering her love of content writing. When she’s not finding new ways to work finger guns into a conversation, she’s living in rural Guthrie Oklahoma with her husband Kyle, daughter Sophie, terrier Kerouac and a very temperamental flower garden.