Now that the dust has settled a bit on IGTV, and the teething issues have been ironed out, does the new channel pose a serious challenge to YouTube? We’ve had a nose around, and examined the challenges and opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses.
“Everybody wants to rule the world.”
At the moment, it seems everyone is trying to rule the world of video. I mean, who can blame them, with the majority of social algorithms now favouring such content over all else.
WHAT IS IGTV, AND HOW IS IT DIFFERENT TO INSTAGRAM STORIES AND YOUTUBE?
IGTV is an app and plugin for Instagram that displays videos for up to 10 minutes. With previous limitations set at a mere 60 seconds, many have perceived this as a declaration of war – signed by Instagram aimed at the direction of video giants YouTube.
Instagram themselves have labelled it a ‘new app for watching long-form, vertical video’. To us, vertical is one of the key words in that sentence. The firm clearly feel that with the displays of many smartphones, this is the future of video. We’re unsure on that one.
As a ‘mobile-first’ platform, IGTV’s vertical display has certain consequences marketing-wise. Indeed, while it might not seem a big deal for the average Joe who probably already consumes the majority of video content vertically, it means businesses will need a separate strategy for IGTV than say YouTube – or even posting videos on Facebook.
If you already have a strategy in place for Instagram stories, or Snapchat, then it might even be a case of ‘as you were’ – but for many, it will require a new pipeline to produce good-looking, engaging content.
IGTV VERSUS YOUTUBE?
Yes, they are direct competitors, but we believe it’s important to not get caught up in the hype and scream ‘YOUTUBE IS DEAD, LONG LIVE YOUTUBE’ from the highest tree – they are still the unquestionable kings of video content (however if you feel so inclined, climb safe. Godspeed).
Seriously though, while IGTV does pose a serious threat, we are going to try and avoid the mud-slinging and focus on how you – the business owner or marketer – should view the relationship and strategy between the two.
At Brandlective, we believe YouTube is still the primary platform for all things polished. Think of it as the final version of everything that’s been run through Final Cut Pro or some other software to make it look as professional as possible.
Where IGTV comes in can be for less-polished, yet professional, content that oozes credibility, and tells your brand story. Whether this is behind-the-scenes content, or more personal on-the-fly content – it’s up to how suitable it is for your business.
Marques Brownlee – aka MKBHD – is an American YouTuber, best known for his technology-focused videos, gives a great breakdown of the relationship between his beloved YouTube and Instagram to 5.8 million subscribers. Well worth a watch.
HOW CAN IGTV BENEFIT YOUR EXISTING MARKETING STRATEGY?
Both early adopters and those late to the launch party will be able to use IGTV to grow their existing community, improve engagement, and test their creativity. Instagram in general has this perception about it only being good for ‘awareness and community building’ – but 30% of all Instagrammers have bought something they first spotted on the channel.
While that might be a slightly tricky consumer purchasing and decision-making process to track, for us it means that Instagram is a great place to build credibility, and communicate your story or niche.
“IGTV has given brands a massive opportunity to communicate longer versions of their story, and I have no doubt that Instagram will become a more integral part of many digital strategies because of it,” states our very own Rachel Akiboye.
It’s also only a matter of time before they start rolling out un-skippable advertisements, and all the usual marketing opportunities that arise form that. Keep your eyes peeled for that.
WHICH BUSINESSES SHOULD BE USING IT?
A question we get asked a lot about IGTV is whether or not everyday businesses and people can benefit from it, or is it best left for the celebs and brands with huge followings? While its true influencers and people with big followings will be big potential beneficiaries of the new channel, we also feel like others can definitely use it too.
We have listed some examples of the top of our heads:
- Anyone who coaches other people
- People with personal brands
- Brands who feel video is their strongest performing content
- Public speakers looking to create a portfolio
- Business owners looking to differentiate themselves in saturated markets
- Brands with a strong story – reason for existing
- Businesses already employing a strategy for Instagram stories
If you or your business falls into any of the above categories, then maybe it’s time to consider IGTV as another social media channel for your business. You can always test it out by converting some existing Instagram stories posts into extended highlights (if you have some), or better yet upload some old ‘live’ videos you’ve done in the past.
At the end of the day, statistics from Wordstream suggest that a third of all online activity is spent watching video – and over half of that content is viewed form our (potentially vertical) smartphones. Whether we like it or not, video is the future. Just like many photographers are now becoming videographers and drone pilots, video-phobic businesses may end up getting left behind.
SOME QUICK TIPS & INSPIRATION TO GET YOU STARTED:
All in all IGTV is very easy to use. Videos don’t have to be as polished or professional as big name brands, but they should be made to look less ‘raw’ or disjointed than instagram stories
For starters, we recommend posting an ‘introduction’ video first to your IGTV channel. This will set you up nicely and be an ‘evergreen’ piece of content you could probably reuse again and again. Here are some tips when creating your first, second, third, etc. IGTV videos:
- Always provide value. Make sure you include some form of insight or wisdom in your videos.
- Showcase your best work – or what you do in the best possible light, it could be someone’s first impression of your business!
- Repurpose existing content. Use the Quick or Vue apps to roll Instagram stories into longer videos, with good music and smooth transitions.
- Generate engagement by posting your video to your Facebook or LinkedIn page / group after for more interaction.
- End with a call to action back to your website or other relevant piece of content that people can extend their experience with you.
Only time will tell where the future will take Instagram’s latest video venture, but we’re excited to see how they plan to tackle competition – with other social platforms that are sure to develop similar capabilities and functionality.
Let’s hope Zuckerberg & co. can continue to offer and improve platforms to empower small and medium-sized businesses.