How to maximize IGTV for marketing

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Do you use Instagram videos in your marketing? With the social media app’s new feature, IGTV, now in full flow, here is what you need to know about successfully using the platform for marketing purposes.

Set up your channel

Videos must be in vertical or portrait mode. The ideal size ratio is 9:16, but a ratio as close to square as 4:5 is also supported. In anything other than a 9:16 ratio, the video won’t fill the screen. There’s no restriction on the number of videos you can upload. Once you upload a video, it’s available to view by all of your existing Instagram followers. Your current followers automatically follow your channel and can only unfollow it by unfollowing your Instagram account. IGTV also recommends multiple videos to each user on the app, increasing your chances of having your content distributed to new followers who have an interest in content similar to yours.

Upload via a mobile

To upload a video into IGTV, tap on the + icon above your bio information. Scroll through the available videos in your gallery list to choose the video to upload to your channel.
There are some restrictions when you upload videos via a mobile device:

  • Videos must be at least 15 seconds long (which means you can’t upload individual videos from your Instagram stories).
  • Videos can’t exceed 10 minutes (see the desktop instructions for exceptions to this limit).
  • Instagram live videos saved to your device (even if shorter than 10 minutes) don’t appear in the gallery of videos to upload. A workaround for this is to save the live video to another folder on your device (for example, save it to your Google Photos folder).

Give your video a descriptive title that will intrigue viewers so they want to watch. Be aware that the titles get cropped off of the thumbnail at around 20-25 characters, so keep the title short or include the most descriptive information at the beginning of your title. When relying on a mobile device, video titles and descriptions can’t be edited after posting. Be cautious of typos and ensure all the information you want to share is included before you post. Titles and descriptions can be edited via the desktop site if needed. Most default thumbnail cover images aren’t ideal for your video. To edit your cover photo, select Edit Cover. From the pop-up screen, upload a separate image for the cover photo or choose any frame from the video.

Uploading via a computer

Most accounts are limited to videos from 15 seconds to 10 minutes long (just as with mobile uploads). As defined by Instagram’s help centre, “larger accounts and verified accounts” have the ability to upload videos up to 60 minutes long if uploaded via desktop. Unfortunately, there’s no definition of what constitutes a “larger account.” While your video is uploading, you can complete your title and description information. After the video has uploaded, you can edit your cover photo, much as described in the mobile device section above.

Best practices

Instagram is encouraging users to upload unique, new content to IGTV. By requiring videos to be longer than 15 seconds, you can’t simply repurpose your Stories videos to IGTV. And by requiring you to upload from an external source, Instagram is presuming you’ve created separate video content for this channel. To create effective videos for your IGTV channel, here are some tactics you can implement in your video editing and uploading. All videos on IGTV begin playing instantly when viewed. Users are likely to have audio turned on and are prepared to listen to your videos. Unlike other platforms where it’s important to consider that your videos will be played without sound, you have more freedom to create videos that require audio for IGTV. Because the videos autoplay, however, loud intros or distracting noises will possibly lead to your viewers swiping through your video. Conversations, interviews, and voiceovers make for good audio strategies.

Any URL listed in an IGTV video description is a clickable link, which means you can drive traffic to any website or URL of your choosing. Simply add the correct URL in any part of the video description and it will become a hyperlink upon uploading. Because IGTV is new to most users and many people may not realize they can click on a link, or even that there’s a description they can read, it would be beneficial to include a call to action in your video instructing viewers to open up the description and click on the link. Video retention may be a challenge, so including your CTA to click on the link earlier in your video will ensure more people hear or see that CTA to take action. Don’t necessarily leave it to the end of the video.

Use hashtags

Hashtags have long been a golden rule for more exposure and views on Instagram. IGTV is no exception. You can include a list of hashtags in your IGTV video description and your video may appear in search results for those hashtags you listed. Viewers who tap on your video in the search results will view your video as an IGTV full-screen video. Part of any good strategy requires you to analyze the results of your content. Fortunately, Instagram has provided insights for all IGTV videos directly within the mobile app.

Respond to comments 

Viewers can comment on and like your IGTV videos, just as they would any other Instagram post. You’ll see these notifications mixed in with all of your other regular Instagram notifications. To reply to a user’s comment, you can tap on the comment in your notification list or view the list of comments on the video by tapping on the comment icon directly on the IGTV video on your channel.