IGTV and the Future of Mobile Video

What the Expanding World of Mobile Video Means for You and Your Brand

A platform for long-form, vertical videos, IGTV is already making big waves in the digital marketing industry. Uploaded video lengths are much more generous than Instagram’s previous time limit of one minute per video post: with IGTV, video length spans anywhere from ten minutes to one hour. The one hour time allotments are reserved for Instagram royalty, aka users with over 10K followers. Accessible directly through Instagram or through the IGTV app, IGTV is being positioned as a hub for high-quality content that entertains rather than informs an audience of small updates. IGTV is taking hints that video is king and has challenged YouTube as the video hub of 2018.

So what do we know so far about IGTV? In its earliest stages, IGTV has already proved popular with large-scale influencers and celebrities, as well as publishers such as The Economist and National Geographic – some brands have attracted millions of views in ten-minute videos. But IGTV’s biggest influence lies not only in its content but in its format. IGTV was built solely with the mobile-first audience in mind, much unlike the desktop-friendly YouTube. With this strict vertical-only format, it’s built for how we actually use our phones.

It makes sense: we have been seeing a dramatic rise in popularity of video content on social media. And while Facebook is still the largest platform for video content (YouTube is a close second), Instagram is clearly upping its game with the focus on mobile. Why mobile? Check out the data: video streaming is predicted to account for 78% of total mobile traffic by 2021. Videos have infiltrated our phone screens – we have videos on Facebook, videos on Instagram, Instagram stories, YouTube videos, and now IGTV.  IGTV will undoubtedly spark an increase in higher quality videos that fit the TV format, redefining what is or isn’t TV.

Should you use IGTV?

Given the hype surrounding mobile video, nearly every brand is scrambling to figure out how to make a big splash on IGTV. It’s big, after all – showcasing your brand on IGTV is an opportunity to completely redefine or rediscover your entire brand identity! However, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and novelty and jump right into the fray without a plan – don’t make this mistake. Before you commit to the IGTV platform, you need to build a social video strategy for your brand to figure out how or if IGTV fits into it. Here are some guiding questions you should be asking yourself and your team:

  • How has your video engagement/reach panned out thus far?
  • How does your audience currently respond to your Instagram stories?
  • How will your audience respond to and engage with your brand on IGTV?

If you’re ready to forge ahead and have a viable strategy at hand, a good starting point to getting involved in the world of IGTV is to repurpose video content you have already posted. You must test your audience’s resonance with long-form content before jumping head first into the abyss. While the repurposing and recycling of old video content might require some reformatting to adhere to IGTV’s vertical format, we can assume you’ll be up to the challenge…

What does IGTV mean for the future?

Mobile video is on the rise – if we didn’t get enough of it with Facebook Video and Instagram stories, we’re about to be seeing a whole lot more of it, thanks to the mobile video prioritization of IGTV. The rise of IGTV also implies an increased reliance upon long-form video. Long-form video watching has slowly made its way into our culture already – think binge-watching a series of Game of Thrones on HBO and you’re on the right track. Studies have shown audiences spend hours watching videos on YouTube or flipping through Instagram stories. We’ve already embraced long-form video (whether or not we’re aware of it), and IGTV is just the next step.

While Instagram hasn’t announced an integration of sponsored content into IGTV as of yet, it’s sure to come. Seeing as sponsored content has already gradually made its way into our stories and our feed, the integration should happen over time – not to mention the fact that Instagram has already hinted at introducing ads that will split the revenue with video creators sometime in the near future.

What’s so great about IGTV anyway?

With all this new and exciting news, IGTV has already been wholly embraced by many brands, and we’re already seeing projects being developed solely for release on the app: Jaden Smith released his album on IGTV last week, and Selena Gomez starred in a short Petra Collins film solely released on the platform as well. Yes, we know: video is king.

As one of the most versatile marketing tools available to marketers and brands alike, video can not only boost conversions and produce valuable ROI, but it can communicate with customers and audience members in a way that regular content cannot. Video builds trust and credibility – and personality! Getting started with IGTV is a way to experiment with your brand’s personality and find new ways to connect and communicate with your audience.

How will you use IGTV? For more social media and digital marketing tips, contact our team.

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