Instagram Introduces IGTV

phone screen with IGTVInstagram Introduces IGTV

Video has been on the rise in digital marketing for a few years now. We have the OG, YouTube, which is tried and true. Then the new kid on the block, Vine, caught the digital world by storm but ended up being a flash-in-the-pan. Facebook and Twitter have now ramped up live streaming efforts, while Instagram and Snapchat keep pushing forward with Stories that disappear after 24 hours.

Instagram’s newest announcement in San Francisco is sure to send shockwaves through the digital, social, and video world. On June 20th, Instagram announced the launch of a new, standalone app they’re calling IGTV. Seemingly a direct competitor to YouTube, IGTV presents marketers and creators with a slew of opportunities – and a few questions too.

What Is IGTV?

Instagram announced a new app, IGTV, which will offer creators the ability to create video content up to 60 minutes long. Creators will be able to develop and build their own channel, drawing comparisons to YouTube.

Videos will be vertically oriented, so that users can watch videos the way that phones are meant to be held. Unlike Stories or Live Videos, IGTV videos will be permanent, helping creators build a channel that is searchable and users can browse through. This will give creators stronger storytelling capabilities while allowing them to build active, engaged audiences.

An added benefit is the ability to link-out from each video. Creators can add a link that can be visited by swiping up while watching the video. This is great usability for end-users, who are already accustomed to this motion through Instagram and Snapchat Stories. Creators can link-out to other social channels, an article or blog, a lead form, or even an e-commerce page.

How Marketers Can Use It

The options and opportunities presented to marketers with IGTV are limitless. For those with core audiences on Instagram, this is a great opportunity to deepen relationships with customers and prospects.

Do you regularly maintain a blog? Try turning your blog posts into an IGTV ‘episode.’ Take the blog post and develop a video-friendly script that touches on the main points of the blog. Tease out some additional value that can be found by visiting the blog itself by swiping up.

Are you in e-commerce? Product launches and product reviews can be recorded and shared, giving users an inside look at a new product. These videos could link to pre-order or product pages to help drive sales.

What about the travel and hospitality industry? Take viewers on a tour of your property, showcasing amenities, views and guest rooms. You could also create a weekly series to experience local attractions and destinations in your city.

And then there are the influencer opportunities, of course! Partner with strategic influencers to discuss your brand, visit your store/hotel/location or showcase a product on their own IGTV channel – linking to your social profile or website. You could also run IGTV takeovers, where an influencer can bring their audience over to your channel to see the video they create and publish.

Unanswered Questions

With any new product or app, there are some unanswered questions that we’ll be keeping our eye on. For example, will Google index IGTV videos? Since it seems to be a competitor to YouTube, it will be interesting to see if IGTV videos rank. For now, it sounds like the platform will be mobile-only.

While we did reveal a few initial strategies to deploy, this is just scratching the surface of opportunities. We’re excited to see IGTV launch – and look forward to testing the waters with custom strategies and initiatives for clients!

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