Instagram TV is brand new on the scene, and everybody's talking about it!
Obviously, that makes the platform prime digital real estate — but you're probably wondering how to use Instagram TV in the first place.
What is Instagram TV?
Instagram TV, or "IGTV," is the newest extension of Instagram. You can access it either through the main Instagram app (you may have already noticed the little orange TV icon at the upper right of your screen), or by downloading a new standalone app called "IGTV." Right now, the IG team is still in the experimental stages of rolling out the app, and this whole new side of Instagram.
So, what is Instagram itself trying to do? Well, it appears that Instagram wants more long-form video content, in order to rival YouTube.
Right now, Facebook is the most popular social media site, with over 2 billion active users. YouTube is edging up close, with 1.9 billion...and then Instagram is in 3rd place, with 1 billion users.
(By the way, if you're thinking of getting a YouTube channel to grow your business, or you already have one but want some of our special hacks for getting more views and longer watch times, check out this article.)
You pickin’ up what we're throwin’ down...? A BILLION USERS!
To understand how to use Instagram TV to spark some new leads and generate more sales for your business, you should also know this not-so-secret secret about IGTV:
It's pretty apparent that IGTV is Instagram's attempt to move in on YouTube's territory, because people enjoy watching longer videos from their favorite creators.
So how can YOU utilize this trend to your advantage? Let’s take a look…
What Kind of Content Works Best for IGTV?
While you should be yourself, which means you may not be doing fast-paced comedy skits or color-saturated DIY decor, you need to know that IGTV relies on quickly getting your viewer interested with exciting visual and conceptual hooks.
Again, this is similar to how YouTube operates; the videos that get the most traction are the ones that get the viewer interested in the first 15 seconds. The first 15 seconds of your video are the most critical point because they're when a viewer is most likely to get bored and skip if you don't really wow them or rattle them, says Tubular Insights.
If you can make it out of that 15-second danger zone, you're in the clear.
That's a YouTube rule, but majority of IGTV's demographic is even younger, and even more used to quick, flashy content.
From time-lapse videos that speed through cooking or crafting; to rapid-fire jokes to make people laugh, we are definitely in an age where people are a little less patient. This means you'll want to get good at editing your videos, too.
You may be wondering, “How do I edit my videos? Do I need a video editing app or software?”
The answer is, probably, yes.
IGTV doesn’t give you any way to edit your videos (cut and trim excess footage, put multiple clips together, add an intro or music, etc.)
That stinks, right?...NOPE! It’s actually kind of a good thing, because it means your competition may not care to put the effort into using outside software/apps to edit their videos...and so, if you do take the initiative to trim out the fat and add some cool tunes...your videos will stand out and above from the crowd!
After all, the average person is only willing to give you a chance that's a few seconds long, and that's make or break time.
New platforms of this magnitude only come around once in a blue moon. And now is your chance to get in on the ground floor...but only if you really hunker down and learn how to use Instagram TV!
A Quick Tour, and How to Get Featured
Again, IGTV is very similar to YouTube, in that you follow your favorite creators.
There's a category called "Following," and clicking on that fires up a playlist of videos from, well, who you're following on IG. There are also "Popular" and "For You" categories.
And that's where things get even more interesting!
See, to use Instagram TV to grow your brand, you obviously want to appear in these two categories for as many users as possible...but nobody knows quite how to optimize their IGTV videos yet, because IGTV is so new, nobody REALLY knows how its algorithms work.
So all we have for now are points of tried-and-true wisdom, based on how YouTube brand promotion works.
But there are some key differences in how you promote with IGTV versus YouTube, because the two platforms have completely different UIs. (That stands for User Interfaces — or the way the app design looks, and how the app is laid out).
They also have completely different best SEO practices. (Think, YouTube keywords vs. Instagram hashtags).
If you'd like a more INCLUSIVE GUIDE to what you should be doing at every step — making, optimizing, and cross-promoting your IGTV video — you'll want to read our UPCOMING PARTS of this tutorial.
We'll dive even deeper into how to use Instagram TV, and leverage this new platform just before it takes off...before everyone else figures out how to use it!
1. Write the Perfect Video Description
2. Totally Kill it with Hashtags
3. Make a GREAT Video Thumbnail
4. Be Compelling/Funny/Persuasive in the First 15 Seconds
5. Create a Traffic Loop Between Your IGTV Channel, Your Other Social Media, and Your Website
6. Get AHEAD of Other Creators by Understanding How IGTV is DIFFERENT from YouTube
So, stay posted for Part 2 and beyond of this tutorial!