How to Use IGTV to Boost Your Brand

When head of fashion partnerships at Instagram Eva Chen debuted the new IGTV feature on her Instagram, I admit my very first reaction was "Ugh, what new thing do I have to get the hang of now?" My second reaction was "Shit, is this going to replace YouTube??" I've just gotten the hang of Youtube and really enjoy using it to help promote my sponsors and connect with readers. I had a lot of questions, as I'm sure you have, on how this new social media feature would further change the way we interact.

Let's start by answering the simple question - What is IGTV? To put it simply, it's a new Instagram feature, similar to Insta-stories, which allows users to upload videos to Instagram. Though instead of uploading to stories, you upload to your "Channel", which you can quickly and easily create by following these steps:

1. Click on the Home icon in Instagram.

2. Click on the little TV icon in the top right corner.

3. Click on the gear icon on the right middle of the screen and follow the quick and easy prompts. Now everyone who is already following you on Insta is also following your channel!

Where the gear icon previously was, you'll now see your bio icon. Click on that to upload a video. The best thing about this new feature is you can post videos longer than 14 seconds!

Which brings us to a more important question. Is IGTV going to be the death of YouTube? 

My husband and I spent some time talking this one out, and in the end I concluded that no, YouTube will carry on for a few reasons, one of which is that there is an independent YouTube community of vloggers, and I really don't think that community is just going to fade. Then there are a few more little factors, like the fact that IGTV videos are limited to being vertical and still have a time limit. I'm wondering if the bigger IG profiles get more time, because Eva Chen said that IGTV videos can be up to an hour long, though my upload option is limited to ten minutes. It's a hell of a lot better than the previous 14-second limit, but my YouTube videos are typically 15-20 minutes long. The biggest reason why I think YouTube will endure for now is that it makes it easy to embed videos within blog posts.

Despite the few advantages that YouTube still has over the new IGTV, this new feature is very exciting and offers a wonderful new way to connect and promote. For influencers it means more video content is just a tap away. If I film my upcoming videos with the vertical composition in mind, I can share video content to both YouTube and Instagram. It certainly doesn't have to be one or the other. I can also use it to push people to YouTube, and in turn can push YouTube viewers over to my Instagram.

The best example on how I plan to use it to my advantage is with my unboxing videos or beauty tutorials. For instance, the next time I do a full unboxing or PR haul video on YouTube, I can very quickly and easily shoot an additional video for IGTV and end the video by letting my followers know that they can see the full unboxing on YouTube. Or perhaps if I do a makeup unboxing or review on YouTube, I can direct viewers to see a makeup swatch or tutorial exclusively on my IGTV channel. Of course it'll also come in handy with giveaways!

If you're an influencer, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. What are some of the ways you hope to use IGTV to connect with your followers?

The other reason I'm excited about IGTV is it will be a very useful tool for the brands I represent. They don't all have the time or resources to benefit from a blog or YouTube channel of their own, but with IGTV, they can easily add video content! If you're one of those brands, or any business owner looking to connect with potential customers on social media, here are some great ways for you to interact via the new IGTV!

1. Share A Bio Video. Introduce yourself! You don't have to give your life story, but with social media being an integral part of branding, if you're a small business owner, then you are the brand! Customers want to connect, and for that they need context. This is where you can answer the why of your business. So you make homemade soaps or candles? Awesome! But why? Why did you start your business? How did you get started, and what do you love about it?

A lot of business owners like to do Friday Introductions on Instagram, and that is great. But people are busy and would much rather watch (or listen to) a video than read a long caption. Post the video then share an Instagram pic with a short caption that prompts people to see your latest IGTV video.

2. Share Your Process. Customers need trust. It usually takes interaction back and forth several times before someone will make a purchase. So create that interaction with some behind-the-scenes videos of your office, your operations, your staff, etc. Those can of course be broken down into multiple videos.

For example, I love it when the candle companies I represent post videos of their candles cooling, or when a soap brand shows how they cut their bars, or whenever a crafter gives an inside peek at a farmer's market they're at. It's about not only letting viewers in on your process, but your day. When you share in the moment, it helps them feel more connected. And with the increased time limit, you can add just enough commentary to make it informative and interesting.

3. Just Have Fun. Social media marketing isn't always about pitching a product. It's about building relationships and trust though consistent and ongoing interaction. So your videos, just like your Instagram posts, don't always have to have a specific purpose other that a reason to stop in and say hi! Say you're out doing something fun on the weekend or you just got a matcha latte with some serious foam art...share it in a pic and in the caption you can prompt followers to your new IGTV channel.

You can learn more about the ins and outs of IGTV at the Instagram Help Center. If you're a small business owner, leave me any questions in the comments below! And please leave any comments if you'd like to share your ideas for how to incorporate IGTV into social media marketing.


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