IGTV (Instagram TV) What you should know

It’s been a minute since I last updated the blog. I needed to take some time off and refocus on things. I celebrated one year at my current job as a Social Media Specialist. It allowed me to focus on the things I loved and ignore the things I didn’t. Such as new business, accounting, forecasting, and more. After ending my consulting business last year, it’s nice to just be able to go to work and not be on 24/7. That doesn’t mean I don’t still keep up with the latest industry news like IGTV

This past month Instagram entered the world of long-form video. It has been rumored for a few months that this was coming. It seemed odd to me that they were going to do video up to an hour in length. The initial release has videos from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. I haven’t seen in the wild someone with the ability to do an hour.

Here are some things you should know:

Vertical Video

We have all been taught that vertical video is bad. This is reinforced from TV to social media sites. IGTV is all vertical video. Which came in handy for friends I were helping understand the new service. They had some amazing behind the scenes videos of a shoot that was vertical. We were just trying to figure out what to do with them when IGTV came on the scene. These videos proved to be a hit with their fans. It goes to show you good content comes in all forms and what may seem like a mistake turns into something great.

Back to vertical video. It’s best to shoot the video you are going to do vertically. More on the downfalls when I talk about repurposing video below. As a rule, it’s easier to shoot video in the orientation it will be played rather than edit it to fit.

You can upload from the Web

One issue that has driven marketers crazy is uploading from the web. Dealing with video files, sometimes getting it on your phone takes a few steps. Especially when AirDrop on iOS devices isn’t working. I have uploaded it to Google Drive, iCloud Drive, Drop Box, One Drive and more. It’s a mess. Now if you use Final Cut or Adobe Premier, you can upload directly from the computer.

To access this function go to your Instagram page on the web and then click IGTV. Then you will see the blue upload button. Upload the file, fill out the description and upload a cover image! This is one of the best things they’ve done since they have allowed for automatic posting.

Repurposing Video

The big question is should you repurpose video?  I have done this but it depends on the content. If it’s shot in landscape (horizontal) and the action moves all over the frame. This will cause you to do so much work on the back end it probably won’t be worth the effort needed to make it work.

I wouldn’t recommend just uploading a horizontal video and hoping for the best. You risk irritating your followers. If they get a sense you aren’t putting the effort into content, then why should they watch it. In order to get the video from horizontal to vertical will take a program like Final Cut or Premier. If you do this, copy and then convert the original file. This will allow graphics and lower thirds to be resized for the new ratio.

IGTV Analytics

One big hole in the new video service is Analytics. There is no place in the app that shows plays, comments. There are third-party apps that are incorporating these but not the Instagram or IGTV app. The easiest is going into the IGTV app and seeing plays and comments. Instagram has always been the straggler in analytics to smaller brands. My advice is to compare your IGTV videos to your in-stream Instagram videos. I can almost guarantee they will be less. Don’t let this stop you from posting. Look at comments and feedback on the videos. Like my friends, you may have something great on your hands and not even know it.

NOTE: after I wrote this I discovered where the analytics are located. It’s not under the regular analytics. Go to your IGTV video and click the three dots past the like, comment, and send. Then click insights.

MICS Items

  • Can link to IGTV in Instagram Stories regardless of having 10K fans.
  • Can’t tag people or brands.
  • IGTV is included in the Instagram app and has it’s own app
  • IGTV is only for brand profiles, not personal profiles

If you are using the service post how it’s working out for you! And I will keep you updated on new features as they are released.

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

Leave a Reply