Instagram Launches IGTV!

Instagram has just launched Instagram TV (IGTV), which gives users the capacity to upload videos that are up to 60 minutes long – as opposed to 60 seconds previously. If you’re wondering why this is news, then you may want to read on…

As video continues to be popular online, a lot of platforms’ video streaming features are becoming more user-friendly, and this new capability on Instagram is further proof that video is huge at the moment.

Is it necessary to follow the video trend?

According to digital expert Lori Lewis (@lorilewis) and Chadd Callahan of Cumulus Media in their viral infographic ‘What happens in an internet minute’, the number of videos being watched online has leapt in 2018 compared to 2017.

For example, this year 266,000 hours of Netflix videos are watched in a minute, compared to 70,017 hours in 2017. That’s an astounding increase of 195,983 hours!

YouTube has also recorded about 4.3 million video views so far in 2018 compared to 4.1 million in 2017. With IGTV, Instagram is most certainly ready to challenge YouTube for a piece of that pie.

Statista recently reported that Instagram users have soared from 700 million in April 2017 to a billion June in 2018; there’s never been a better time to launch IGTV!

However, it is understandable that – as with any update – users may be a bit sceptical and slow to adopt it. This will be especially true for people who have established themselves or their businesses and already have a successful YouTube channel with lots of subscribers; they may not be so keen to use IGTV, but you cannot deny its potential.

IGTV is not only built into the Instagram app for existing users, but it is also a standalone app, which means you can download it and watch videos even if you don’t have an Instagram account – just like you can with YouTube.

What opportunities does this give small businesses?

IGTV gives individuals, businesses and brands the opportunity to stream videos to their audience from Instagram, without having to leave the platform to go to other video streaming platforms. Accounts with fewer than 10,000 followers can upload videos which are up to 10 minutes long, while those with more than 10,000 can upload videos which are up to 60 minutes long.

However, it is important to note that videos longer than 10 minutes can only be uploaded through desktop rather than mobile devices – a new capability for Instagram as, until now, content could only be viewed via the desktop and uploaded from a mobile device.

IGTV provides an opportunity for small businesses to broadcast to their audiences and create an even stronger community around their brand.

While IGTV is still in its infancy, you can compete with and beat bigger brands a lot more easily; big brands are yet to dominate it like other platforms.

How can you achieve this?

Create a channel

  • Shoot highly engaging videos
  • Market your brand

If you already have an account on Instagram, the next step will be to create an IGTV channel for your brand. This is similar to a YouTube channel, except for how your video is seen and discovered by viewers.

On YouTube, every channel subscriber has to switch on the notification button to receive a notification when you post new content. But for IGTV, video content is auto-suggested to your followers in the ‘For You’ section of the app. This increases both the number of people who get to see your content and the chances of them engaging with it.

You don’t need a big production budget or any high-tech video recording gadgets or cameras. All you need is a bit of creativity and your mobile phone!

And if you’re filming on a mobile device, then you should always shoot your Instagram and IGTV videos vertically (with your phone upright as opposed to horizontally or sideways).

Several amateur videos are going viral on Instagram and that’s only going to get more achievable thanks to IGTV, which auto-populates the home screen with popular videos.

Plus, if a decent amount of people watch your video, you can easily make it to the ‘popular videos’ section (because the competition isn’t high yet), and reach potential new followers.

IGTV is definitely a marketing add-on for businesses and you should use it to showcase not only your products and services, but also upcoming events.

Ensure you create content that’s useful to your followers to keep them coming back before selling or marketing your product(s) or service(s). As Gary Vaynerchuk explains in his book ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook’, it is best practice to give valuable and useful content several times free of charge before demanding investment.

Check out our new channel

As did most people as soon as the news started to filter through, we headed straight to Instagram to create our own IGTV channel.

We’ll add videos and informative content to it over the coming weeks, so why not give us a follow? You’ll find us at @weareshootingstar

Need support with social media? Got a digital dilemma? We can devise a strategy to build your brand, extend your reach and communicate more effectively with your customers online. Get in touch today!