Last week’s announcement of the imaginatively named IGTV sent legions of digital marketers into meltdown as they tried to unpick what this means for their content creation efforts.
Despite the attempts of other platforms, long form video has been the preserve of YouTube. Now Instagram, still high on the success of shamelessly borrowing Stories from Snapchat, has decided to park its tanks on Google’s lawn.
The first thing to do is wait. Seriously, just wait. You’ll see plenty of noise about IGTV over the coming weeks as the creators Instagram has enlisted get to work. However that in itself is no guarantee the platform is going to be a success. Adopt a watching brief before you start to spend time and energy on creating content exclusively for IGTV.
Our unscientific study into a single Instagram user suggest that things have got off to a sluggish start. Gamer and influencer @chrismelberger has 109,000 Instagram followers and, at time of writing, his most recent video upload to the network had received 15,000 views. An IGTV post from a similar time had only managed a little over 4,000 views.
Insert myriad of caveats here, but when confronted with those numbers any marketer would rightly err on the side of caution and stick to Instagram. For now.
But what if you have done your due diligence and decide that IGTV is the right fit for your brand? Then what?
Are you creating vertical video yet? Well you should be (seriously, it’s 2018), not least because horizontal content in IGTV looks pretty ropey. Sorry, Rita Ora…
— Matt Navarra (@MattNavarra) June 21, 2018
Whatever device you are using to shoot, point that thing the right way up. Aim for an aspect ratio of 9:16.
There are also a couple of other technical things you need to be aware of. Only a handful of anointed accounts will have permission to hit the 60 minute limit right away. The rest of us will have to make do with 10 minute uploads and a file size of 650MB. That should be sufficient for most of us though. Don’t forget that MP4 is the file format of choice too.
IGTV is designed to be consumed on mobile, on the go and while you don’t necessarily need to keep your videos short you do need to keep them simple.
Packing the screen with loads of intricate detail is just going to be a distraction. Not everyone is going to be viewing on a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Make sure the subject of your video is well lit, it’s framed correctly and background noise is kept to a minimum.
This final one is a universal truth, however it bears repeating whenever a new platform launches – IGTV isn’t going to make terrible content better.
If you’ve been getting poor results on YouTube or Facebook then for the love of God, reassess what you’re doing. The problem isn’t the platform, it’s your output.
The last thing this world needs is another social media channel packed to the gills with bland branded video. Use this as an opportunity to rethink not only how you can leverage IGTV, but how you can improve your content overall.