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IGTV: Instagram’s Newest Video Feature

Insights / 06.29.2018

Red Door /

On June 21, Instagram launched their newest feature, Instagram TV (IGTV), which allows users to stream long-form, vertical videos. With one billion monthly active users now on Instagram, this release is expected to bring even more people to the app—and help keep them engaged.

Tuning in to IGTV

The launch of IGTV stems from an increase in video streaming and consumption on social networks, especially amongst teens (13-17). While Instagram already has a video feature, IGTV comes with a few differences:

  • Videos can be up to one hour long, instead of limited to one minute.

  • Videos are vertical only, optimized for mobile viewing in the way users naturally hold their phone.

  • Users can access IGTV within the main Instagram app for viewing all content in one place, but can also download it as a stand-alone app for iOS and Android.

  • Video starts playing as soon as the user enters the IGTV section, and users can swipe up to discover more videos, curated by “Following,” “For You,” “Popular,” and “Continue Watching.” Users can also like, comment, and send videos to friends in the Direct feature.

  • Instagram plans to have IGTV populated with “creator” content, and launched with creators such as Fortnite champ Ninja, singer Lele Pons, and KKW Beauty.

  • There are plans to include monetization for creators in the future, however, this section of the app does not currently have advertising.

  • Videos can have links in their description, which direct viewers to an Instagram-sponsored post.

  • All of Instagram’s one billion users can upload and watch videos immediately. 

Implications for brands

With the release of IGTV, brands need to reconsider their channel and content strategy to appeal to an audience of video consumers on Instagram. IGTV creates another channel of communication, a potential advertising opportunity, as well as a new space for creators/influencers to experiment with new mediums and offerings for sponsored content. Below are a few implications to consider:

  • Vertical video brings a different type of video experience than YouTube and Facebook.

    • Not only can video be shot on an iPhone, but it brings a “behind the scenes” feel and “raw” content types to connect with consumers, like Instagram Stories.

    • Brands will need to think vertical first, taking into consideration elements such as shooting styles and text placement.

    • Brands should consider weighting vertical video creation in their resource allocation, as these videos can be leveraged on IGTV, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat advertising.

  • Up until now, Instagram was thought of as a channel for strong visuals and quick video clips, but with the ability to share long-form content, brands can adjust their channel strategy.

    • Episodic videos or series could start to surface on Instagram. Brands and creators should consider hosting regularly scheduled videos.

    • Live event coverage and behind the scenes events now have another platform to be broadcasted on.

    • Content creators could leverage IGTV more than IG Stories, specifically for video content.

    • Brands should start using shoots to capture vertical video for use on multiple platforms.

  • There could be decreased engagement around other live platforms (Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube Live Stream, etc.) because users have so many options for where to watch live content. 

    • Engagement trends should be watched closely to not only adjust channel strategy, but also advertising recommendations. 

  • The platform should be tested to understand implications and explore benchmarks for views/engagements on the channel.

    • With a new channel, there will likely be extremely large organic viewership numbers in the first few months of the platform, especially without monetization.

  • IGTV does not currently run any advertising in the app or within users’ videos, but as the user-base increases, advertising opportunities are likely to roll out.

    • Social media teams should consider testing success of video content on IGTV versus Instagram advertising to see if the organic nature of IGTV drives higher view-through rates.

  • Instagram has always been a top channel for influencers/content creators to capitalize on for brand partnerships. With the decreased production time and dollars needed to create an IGTV video, we anticipate seeing more influencers partnering with brands on IGTV for video content rather than YouTube.

    • Consider leveraging influencers for paid content on IGTV.

How brands can take action

In order to be early adopters of this newest feature, as well as get the most organic value out of IGTV, we recommend the following next steps:

  • Update any current content and channel strategies to include areas of opportunity for IGTV.

    • Consider upcoming events, tutorials, or “sneak peek” videos of new product.

    • Immediately record any success metrics of IGTV on a weekly and monthly basis to understand performance benchmarks.

    • Observe competitors using the tool. How are they creating content for IGTV, and what can be learned from it?

  • Build partnerships early with content creators to publish sponsored videos.

    • Not only will this allow brands to build their authenticity on this channel, but content creators will also be eager to try the new platform. Because their benchmark metrics may not be established for IGTV, sponsored content could come at a lower price.

At Red Door, we always strive to be on the forefront of new technologies, and will keep you updated as the future of IGTV continues to unfold. If you have any questions about IGTV and what opportunities it can offer your brand, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to help.

Insights,Social Media

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