Two years ago, Instagram launched its very own video on-demand service IGTV. After a bit of a hesitant start, the feature has now evolved into a central part of the app and is becoming increasingly interesting for brands as well. Our new infographic sums up the most important facts and functions.

What is IGTV?

IGTV is short for Instagram Television. The feature can be used to share video posts that are up to 60 minutes long and - unlike Instagram Stories - are saved permanently instead of self-deleting after a certain amount of time. IGTV posts are collected in a separate tab within the profile of the respective creator and can only be viewed in full there or the IGTV section within the Explore tab. However, little sneak peaks can be shared in the form of regular feed posts to promote a new IGTV video.

These previews are up to 60 seconds long and look like any other video post, with the only difference that the IGTV icon and “Watch IGTV video" are displayed in the lower left corner. After 60 seconds have passed, the video automatically stops and a button which says  "continue viewing" appears. With a tap on it, the complete video opens up in vertical full-screen format and similar videos are suggested under the button “next”. A simple swipe-down leads back to the regular Instagram feed.

Another way to browse through IGTV posts is via the Explore section of Instagram. The Explore area can be reached by clicking on the magnifying glass at the bottom of the screen within the Instagram app. In addition to numerous feed post for inspiration, at least one IGTV post is always displayed as well. The category buttons right underneath the search bar allow to filter for IGTV only. As soon as the IGTV filter is used, there are further options for categorization, such as “Subscribed”, “Popular”, “History” or “Saved”. Just like feed posts on Instagram, IGTV posts can also be liked, commented and shared via direct message.

How is IGTV relevant for Online Marketing?

IGTV allows to address existing followers in completely new ways. While setting up a new profile on a separate video sharing platform would take a lot of time and effort, IGTV provides more intense and diverse interaction with an already existing Instagram audience. Further, the focus of IGTV primarily lies on creativity, rather than professionality. Unlike professional commercials or short ads, a  good IGTV video neither requires fancy equipment nor cinematographic talent - an idea and a smartphone are enough. Meaning, every marketer can easily generate content that fuels engagement and, ideally, gets new followers hooked.

In addition, IGTV is perfect for top of the funnel marketing. The ability to share videos that are significantly longer than Instagram stories or videos in the feed offers considerably more scope to present products, show special features in detail or simply present your own brand in general. Consequently, this means that users who have not yet become aware of a brand can be caught more easily and provided with detailed information. This in turn increases the likelihood of them developing interest in the long run and eventually becoming customers.

Which type of Content works best on IGTV?

IGTV offers a plethora of opportunities to get creative and provide detailed insights into the product range of a brand or even views behind the scenes. The most popular forms of IGTV content include make-up tutorials and other how-to videos. Besides that, formats like mini documentaries, news and personal vlogs have significantly increased in popularity since Instagram introduced the new series feature for IGTV in October 2019. 

Our infographic below lists a range of IGTV content formats that are particularly suitable for brands. For example office tours, recaps of company events or Q&A sessions. Insights into the journey from an idea to the final product or the production itself also work well, but are a bit more complex in terms of production and final cut. Such looks behind the scenes, however, provide transparency and helps create trust among users.

Other options for gripping IGTV content are expert interviews or webinars, tutorials and unboxing videos that highlight special features or the integration of User Generated Content in order to authentically present products in use.

What are the Dos and Don’ts for sharing content on IGTV?

IGTV content is displayed in vertical full screen format on smartphones. Consequently, the recommended aspect ratio for filming IGTV videos - or cropping existing content - is 9:16. Alternatively, rotating content in horizontal format by 90 degrees  prior to uploading is also an option. Check out our infographic below for more tips on how to optimize working with IGTV. 

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