Instagram's IGTV Solves Big Problems for Users and Brands Alike
When Instagram introduced IGTV in June, the announcement came as big news for marketers struggling with Instagram calls-to-action and users sick of the painstaking process long required to get more information while watching a video or viewing a post. Previously, only Verified Instagram accounts had been able to add true links to Instagram Stories, but this often lead users away from Instagram.
IGTV could drive significant shifts in the media mix of many brands and have broad implications for marketers’ video and social strategies. While many are still familiarizing themselves with Instagram’s new feature, marketers should consider the immediate and long-term opportunities IGTV provides to:
- Create an all-encompassing branded video ecosystem within the Instagram/Facebook walls
- Seamlessly engage Instagram followers with a new universe of longer-form, vertical video
- Capitalize on a limited-time, first-mover window to outmaneuver competing experts
4 IGTV Recommendations for Marketers
1. Embrace IGTV
Instagram and Facebook both command a greater interaction frequency than YouTube, and IGTV should only widen the gap with a better environment for brands to interact with followers. While content creators will enjoy the dedicated IGTV app, Instagram users and fans of a brand will find IGTV in their core Instagram app. With the ability to do more and do better, IGTV gives marketers many reasons to jump aboard.
2. Put Existing Content to Work Straightaway
Many brands house most of their long-form consumer video on YouTube; a lot of this content will be ripe for the IGTV picking. Marketers should port a lot of this existing content over to Instagram to hit the ground running and selectively consider recreating their most important video assets in vertical format to capitalize on IGTV. Moving forward, brands should follow IGTV content creation best practices and commit to a regular publishing schedule to keep content fresh.
3. Offer a Wide Range of Video That Adds Value and Positions the Brand as an Expert
What challenges do customers and prospects face? What expertise can brands deliver to help? As long as value is being delivered with these videos, the type of video content brands could publish runs the gamut, including how-to/instructional videos, product demos, buyer beware advisories, and other formats.
4. Train Followers on New Features
As brands continue to publish with IGTV, they should point out new impactful content to followers and encourage them to access the brand’s latest IGTV offerings.
Just don’t let short-term, tactical priorities distract from larger strategic initiatives. While springing into action, be sure to also think long-term.
Long-term Opportunities for Brands on IGTV
1. Partner With Influential Content Creators to Reach New Audiences
Brands can align with thought leaders much like they’ve done with offline and online ad campaigns for years; the best partnerships will be built upon common themes and complementary capabilities. A manufacturer of paints, for instance, might partner with commercial painters but also architects, artists or even psychologists. Anyone with interesting perspectives on color, design, creating moods and more could be a valued content creation partner.
Together, powerful organic content can be created and presented to potential customers, partners and influencers who follow these content creators. Some brands will easily identify the most relevant and widely-respected thought leaders. While others may be unsure about where to start, they can lean on a growing number of matchmaking services to secure meaningful, productive partnerships.
2. Build Credibility
By surrounding a brand with respected, thought-leading experts from inside and outside the company, those brands can become known as experts themselves through the power of association. This is how brands position themselves as go-to sources for important topics, by continuously delivering the most knowledgeable experts and helpful information.
3. Prepare to Amplify This Content Should Paid Opportunities Emerge
For marketers who find success with IGTV organic content, future opportunities to promote this content should pay dividends by attracting more valued fans and customers. Like Facebook and Instagram Stories, IGTV content that resonates with fans could potentially become powerful customer acquisition tools if and when Instagram chooses to monetize this video content.
4. Build a Tribe People Want to Join
Provide special experiences for followers so others will want to connect. While marketers must start by creating high-quality original programming, the brands that achieve the most success will give fans meaningful rewards. Consider content that encourages more frequent engagement and conversion. Offering a more detailed take on a complex topic as a follow up, for example, can better engage fans and help position the brand as their one-stop shop for this expertise and guidance.
Beyond content provided to fans, consider other perks that resemble those of a fan club. Special deals or other incentives can increase chatter related to a brand and entice other people to become fans.
A brand’s product mix, competitive landscape and other attributes can determine the best ways to build a tribe people want to join. Marketers should strive to add value and appeal to the right type of people as they build their following for the future.
5. Make Sure It Works
Marketers should never assume anything works well. By being attentive to the success of tactical elements as well as the brand’s overall marketing, social and video strategies, marketers can fine-tune for greater success on an ongoing basis.
Determine which IGTV efforts perform the best to ensure these types of activities get prioritized going forward, while continuously looking for opportunities to improve. Like any organic content or paid advertising campaign, certain activities will work better for some brands in some situations.
IGTV already appears to be a game-changer, and the months ahead present critical opportunities for brands seeking to get out in front of the competition and solidify their expert reputations.