Instagram MarketingTips & TricksThe Complete Brands Guide For Instagram’s IGTV

Shruti Sen4 years ago

In March 2018, Deloitte did a survey which concluded that Gen-Z is spending about 22 hours/week on consuming digital videos (vs 16 hours on live TV) and Millennials are spending about 19 hours/week on digital videos (vs 15 hours on live TV). This is a great indicator of the shift in the video consumption habits. If you look at the older generations, you will still find them consuming more live TV than digital video but it’s not the same for the younger generations. They are the primary adopters of Instagram and are spending much more time with digital video content.

With the launch of their brand new long-form video content platform called IGTV that is available within the existing Instagram app as well as a standalone app, the platform may be able to attract the attention of brands to harness the power of fostering an identity and connect with their audiences in a different way.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the various components of IGTV from a brand’s perspective and discuss its importance, method of increasing reach, implications and successful content types on this new Instagram video hub.

Why Is IGTV Important For Brands?

When Instagram introduced its new Stories feature, it wasn’t expected to overthrow Snapchat Stories the way it actually did. IGTV has by far been the biggest and boldest move by Instagram to ride on the rising digital video wave across social media platforms. It takes on the mobile-first approach which makes vertical videos an intuitive way to shoot and consume videos. This is specially designed keeping in mind the Instagram creators and consumers.

Gen-Z has an undying love for content that is authentic and natural. IGTV gives brands an opportunity to experiment with that in a unique way. Currently, IGTV is absolutely free of ads as it is right now focused on just connecting viewers with curated content. That gives massive power to the integration of branded content on this video hub.

Brands now just need to be real and authentic in their form of storytelling and also use other influencers to push their message. Since it doesn’t involve high production, it makes it easier for brands to adopt this trend of vertical videos and reach out to a brand new set of audience. But there are certain ways in which brands can increase their reach on IGTV. That’s what we talk about next.

How Can Brands Increase Reach On IGTV?


Every time a new platform gets introduced to the world, it comes with a set of best practices for both independent creators and brands. Although IGTV is fairly new in the market and the only long-form platform for vertical videos, there are certain ways outlined that will definitely give brands an increased reach.

  • Use the Vertical Video format that IGTV is meant for:
    We have been subjected to horizontal video content on almost all major social platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. But the normal way that we view digital video content on our mobiles is vertical. IGTV was created to support that and ensure the ease of content consumption while on-the-go. Therefore, when you stick to this vertical video format there is a greater likelihood of people actually watching it. Brands can’t just repurpose their video inventory that is used on other platforms. For IGTV, they will need to adapt to the Instagram aesthetic.
  • Keep the emphasis on consistent branding:
    It is essential for brands to maintain a cohesive brand identity across all platforms. For Instagram particularly it is all about the aesthetic that a brand maintains through their feed, stories and now IGTV content. When creating content for IGTV, brands will need to continue to focus on their branding along the same lines of their existing content. IGTV is meant to be an extension of what has already been working all this while on Stories.
  • Have an upload schedule:
    Every platform that offers long-form video content, calls for an upload schedule for the creator/brand. IGTV comes with the same best practice too. While creating content for IGTV, brands will need to map out a publishing schedule so that the audiences know what content to expect. This will definitely give a boost in the way they engage with the brand. User engagement and post frequency is already an important factor in the current Instagram algorithm and it’s safe to assume that the same will be the case with IGTV.
  • Find the IGTV video length sweet spot:
    Unlike Instagram Stories and Feed, IGTV minimizes quick tapping and fast scrolling which makes the audiences stay a little bit longer than the usual. Despite the one-hour video length, the ideal length for videos still remains around two to three minutes considering the similar pattern of success on YouTube. Each brand will need to experiment with various video lengths and find what works best for them.  

What Are The Types Of IGTV Content Brands Can Experiment With?

IGTV aims to work like T.V (as the name suggests) by showcasing content to the viewers as soon as they open the app or get to the IGTV section on the Instagram app. The platform also has a range of content discovery tools which allows the audience to pick and choose the kind of content they want to consume. It shows IGTV content of accounts that users already follow, recommend what’s popular on the platform based on their preferences.

This is great for brands to experiment with the platform because unlike other new platforms, they need not work their way up to build a new audience. Here the Instagram followers of an account automatically become followers of their IGTV channel. Here are some of the content buckets that a brand can experiment with.

  • Behind-the-Scenes Content:
    BTS content comes in various forms and the lowest product cost because it is meant to be raw and authentic. Brands started creating such content when Instagram Stories launched and with Snapchat before that. But now with IGTV, they can take that BTS content to a whole another level without the restriction of video length. Such type of content is a great way to show their audiences the human side of a brand.
  • Tutorials/DIY/How-To Content:
    Another type of video content that is popular all across the internet is tutorial/do-it-yourself/how-to type of content. Such content has always fascinated the digital viewers since it holds solutions to all types of queries. This is great content bucket which can be utilized for IGTV as well.
  • Scripted Series Content:
    Online video content has today evolved to such a level that one-off videos are not the only way to go for content creators and brands. In order to keep the viewers hooked and coming back for more, a series of content dealing with a particular scripted theme is what works the best. Brands that utilize this form of content to create web series, reality/game shows, news commentary and much more.

What Does IGTV Imply For Brands?

With the launch of IGTV, there are three major implications for brands which could transform the online video space strategies.

  • Organic Strategies:
    Brands had already started to focus on mobile-first video content but with IGTV’s launch, it will only force adoption. This is yet another platform for brands to tell their story to the audience in a unique. And to survive that, they will initially rely on organic video strategies which align with the best practices of the platform.
  • Influencer Strategies:
    With the social media boom, there has been a birth of an all-new range of influencers. Ever since they were identified, brands started to tap into the potential of creating branded content with social media influencers, especially on Instagram. IGTV will now act as another outlet which will be considered while negotiating the content strategy for brand partnerships.
  • Advertising Strategies:
    While there are no advertisements on IGTV, we can sure look forward to that in the future as Instagram has officially already mentioned. If we have to make predictions for how advertisements on IGTV will look like – it will most probably be in full screen, in-stream and non-skippable bumper like format.

When it comes to video content, we are still in the horizontal-to-vertical shift. Vertical is often an afterthought or another edit of a horizontal asset. If IGTV is successful, it could completely shift the digital video landscape and have brands creating vertical-first video content. Let’s wait and watch whether this catches on or not.

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Shruti Sen

I love to explore challenging opportunities in the field of Digital Media. Primarily, my skills revolve around Digital Video in terms of Content Strategy/Marketing, Analysis and Audience Development. My natural affinity towards diverse audio-visual content across platforms helps me develop a multitude of perspectives. In totality - I'm a keen learner, collector of new enriching experiences and have an undying conviction to always stay curious in life!

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