IGTV is here and it is literally taking the world by storm. We’re approaching just one week since the big reveal from the social media giant and while many of us are still figuring out how to best use the platform, there are many that have already jumped on the bandwagon and are holding nothing back, even if they are just experimenting.
What is IGTV?
Well, you’ve obviously clicked on this to find an answer to the question “What is IGTV?” so let’s get to it.
IGTV is Instagram’s newest long-form content video hosting service. Instagram has been working on this for quite some time now and if we were to say that people are a little excited about it, that would be an understatement. This is something that filmmakers and creatives have been waiting and asking for, for some time now.
The new app is a native release from the social media giant that allows you to upload vertical (only) video up to 60 minutes long! Some are calling this the YouTube killer and though we 1000% disagree with that statement, we do think that this is something that YouTube missed a huge opportunity on. IGTV is just one of the latest tactics and strategies that marketers can now use to market their products and services.
What is different about IGTV?
Instagram has already done such a great job with helping brands foster relationships with their customers and prospects that it only made sense to take the next step. When they blatantly stole Snapchat’s popular Story feature in 2016, people we obviously up in arms about it but quickly adapted to the new landscape and as we’ve seen has caused a very steady decline in users of the platform.
What makes this different than stories or even posting to the ever popular newsfeed is one simple thing; quality. Quality over quantity is the name of the game for this new social medium and allows (more or less encourages) creators and filmmakers to share their carefully curated and produced videos with their audience.
An Ode to YouTube
Now, when we say “their audience”. This is not a new audience. Many of these creators and brands are taking their viewership from YouTube and traditional TV is a lot of cases. Here’s what Forbes had to say in a recent article.
According to data from a 2017 Google study, YouTube is the second most-used search engine in the world. This statistic is indeed impressive, but it gets even more impressive when you realize its potential as an advertising platform. Not only does YouTube have a reach of over 1 billion views per day, but it has an extremely engaged user base with 95% advertising viewability and 95%advertising audibility. This number is only expected to rise as more and more users join the platform. Another study has predicted that by 2019, the number of YouTube users in the United States will rise to 187.8 million, up from 170.7 million in 2015.
On the other side of this coin is the ever-declining traditional TV outlet. A study in 2017 revealed the not-so-shocking statistics of television viewership. The biggest takeaway from this study lies within the 18- to 24-year-old age group, where nearly half of this group’s traditional TV viewing time has moved to other platforms in the past five years. In the last year alone, monthly viewership dropped from 76 hours and 55 minutes to 64 hours and 21 minutes.
What IGTV means for brands and companies
So, with all this information, what does this new platform really mean for brands and companies? Maybe you’re wondering, how can I use IGTV to market my brand or product? Well, we’ve got some of those answers for you and give examples of how some outlets are already taking full advantage of it. Let’s break is all down so we can get a better picture of what this new tool can do.
1. Deepen relationships with your audience
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou.
When it comes to social media, it’s no secret that people make connections based on relationships and how they feel about entering into those relationships. At the end of the day, followers aren’t flocking to read your blog posts or engage with your social posts because of your insight and witty banter. The reason why they engage is because of how they feel after engaging with that piece of content. Did you make them laugh? Did you teach them something? Did you empower them to do their job better? Whatever the case is, you can now use IGTV to build upon those relationships and make your followers feel more of that connection by showing them what lies behind the curtain.
2. Better explain your products and services
Nothing turns an advocate into an assassin faster than not understanding what exactly it is that your company “does”. If it takes you more than two sentences to explain what value or service it is that you provide then you’ve lost a potential fan. Now you don’t have to tell them. You can show them.
Take for instance the topic of SEO. Boring and somewhat repetitive while being extremely intricate and open ended. Rand Fishkin and his (former) team at Moz instituted Whiteboard Friday’s to take their viewers, customers and fan deep into the world of SEO, explaining the various practices, updates and changes to the medium while exploring what was working and what wasn’t. The concept was so simple but this is the reason why Rand (and Moz) was able to build such a loyal following over the years. People “got it” and couldn’t wait for next week’s episode.
3. Share more of what your followers already love
Give the people what they want! Stats are something that we as marketers all love, right? We love it because they don’t lie and when analyzed can tell us how we are doing and where we need to pay more attention. Engagement is one of those black and white areas where either you have it, or you don’t. Don’t ignore your insights. If there are certain types of posts that your followers are already engaged with, then why not make more content similar to it?
If people love when you share pictures of your staff or office mascot then feature episodes where each staff member hosts a segment or teaching time covering a topic. Maybe they just talk about their three favourite apps/ foods/ places to travel. If you have pets at work, showcase those cute little guys, cause who doesn’t love a cute and cuddly fur baby? Get creative and use this platform to give people more of what they’re already resonating with.
4. Share your brand story and personality
Stories (not the Instagram tool) changed the way that consumers connect with brands. Done the right way, customers can now get a behind the scenes look at who you are as a brand, what you represent and what makes you different in the sea of other potential service providers that they have to choose from.
Sharing your brand story and adding personality to your social media strategy can mean the difference between a casual passerby and a new friend and customer to join your family.
There are so many ways that IGTV can be used to help your brand stand out. The question is, will you step out now and take advantage of what it has to offer? The good news is that at the moment, a lot of brands are still figuring out what to use. There are no long lists of best practices, times to post, hashtags to use and all the other stuff that we’ll have to analyze in the coming months. IGTV is still brand new so why not be one of the first to explore, innovate and teach the rest of us how it’s done?
We love talking shop so drop us a line and let us know what some things are that you might be trying! If this is all way over your head and IGTV scares the #$%& out of you then why not start here? We’ve put together some of the best Instagram tools, apps, and best practices to help you up your “Instagramming” and social media strategy!
When you’re done, if you still have questions, get in touch! We’d love to connect!