What IGTV (Instagram TV) is and How Brands Can Use It

Do you know what IGTV is and how can you really take advantage of your brand? Keep reading this post!

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Do you know what IGTV is and how can you really take advantage of your brand? Keep reading this post!

The fight that surrounds the online video has just received a new opponent. Should YouTube worry about Instagram TV?

The strategy of the video on Instagram

There is an evolution to a certain logical point in the integration of the video with Instagram. We must recognize that this network is one of the most particular, it takes its own rhythm and does things in a very own way.

Five years ago, it began to allow the reproduction and creation of videos within users’ feeds. This was a functionality that users demanded and that the corporate accounts opened new possibilities, but yes, the videos can not last less than 3 seconds or more than 60 and, of course, they have to be in vertical format.

Despite the restrictions, the video triumphed immediately, reaching 5 million videos, or what is the same: 40 hours per minute in the first 24 hours of the new feature of the social network.

Then came Instagram Stories, the ephemeral format that revolutionized Instagram. This function that allows us to upload and edit videos that are only available for 24 hours is, on the one hand, a consequence of the high engagement that the videos have within IG and on the other, a defensive manoeuvre.

Snapchat was exploiting a new type of content and Facebook could not afford to run out of its share of the pie, so it launched this option on all of its networks, with Instagram breaking the market and leaving Snapchat out of the game. According to Recode, by mid-2017 it had 255 million users while the ghost’s network had remained at 166.

All this limps with respect to an evident tendency: the users consume more and more videos of a greater duration from their mobiles as it is clear from this study of Ooyala, a company of video analytics.


What is IGTV?

I think this introduction was necessary to understand how Instagram TV came about and why. With the video absolutely on fire on all social platforms, YouTube expanding its paid and video version, on demand redefining consumption, it might seem that Facebook was lagging behind in a race that started far away from Google.

Yes, the live streaming video is interesting, the panoramic or 360 videos have many possibilities, the users like them and the brands are using them to sell more expanding the creative possibilities, but still they needed to go a step further.

That little step is just what we talked about in this post. It is an own application that allows you to upload vertical videos. You are wondering what difference there is then between IGTV and Stories? Basically two:

  1. The duration of the videos allows to reach 10 minutes to all users and 60 to those who have profiles with many followers.
  2. These videos do not disappear at 24 hours but they are stored in a YouTube-style channel.

In addition to this I insist that its integration with Instagram is partial because it is a standalone application, although it allows access from the photo network’s own interface. You can see the icon in the upper right part of the app, in a striking orange color.

Once inside, users have access to the videos about:

  • Recommendations based on your interests.
  • The accounts that are already on Instagram.
  • Popular videos within IGTV.

Is not there a search engine? Yes, of course there is, but it is noticeably different from what you would expect if you are thinking about YouTube. You can not search based on topics or keywords, you can only search for profiles.

Regarding interaction options, they are the same as in Instagram Stories: like, comment and share.

IGTV for brands

The concept is very interesting because we are talking about a positioning oriented to mobile video in an evident way and, in addition, it is based in some way on what television was always because you can choose the channel, but not the content, hence the TV fits you so well.

For brands it will represent more an engagement tool than anything else … for the moment. Keep in mind that still does not admit advertising, of course, but we know how Facebook works and when it has a sufficient critical mass, I’ll play whatever you want to start exploiting it in an advertising way.

To this I would add the effect it will have on video influencers who are quite disenchanted with the movements that YouTube has been doing recently. It is true that the lack of a direct monetization system like the Google network may be less attractive, but as part of the community that already have on Instagram, it does not start from scratch and this still makes them relevant to attract investment by brands.

For now we can find the first ones who have launched to try to take advantage of IGTV. Some stand out as Chipotle who always bet on video as part of their strategy, Netflix that what will I tell you about the video and Netflix? And one of those brands that we’ve talked about many times for their ability to tell stories: Warby Parker online optics.

The contents, at least for the moment, do not exploit the new duration of the video. They surpass in every case the minute, but Netflix and a video in which the actor Cole Sprouse devotes an hour to eat a hamburger, and that somehow is somewhat disturbing, but it serves very well to mark the ground and stand out as a pioneer

After all, IGTV’s greatest possibilities for brands go through branding while a business model is being consolidated that, sooner rather than later, should go through monetization via advertising.

If Instagram is an important part of your brand’s strategy, you should create your profile, it’s almost automatic (just click on the gear, choose the option to create a channel and upload your first video, do not ask for anything else).

Do you see it clear? Will you use IGTV as a brand?