Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin, shares insights on IGTV while explaining the present industry-scenario, impact on Influencer Marketing Industry, and more. IGTV 101 for all!
Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has grown at a rather impressive rate. It took Instagram nearly 6 years to reach its first 400 million users in 2015. Yet it took only 3 more years to reach the next 400 million. Presently, it boasts more than a billion users with nearly half of them active on a daily basis.
Image via Statista
Much of Instagram’s success can be credited to their successful efforts in catering to the needs of the people. From integrating video to adding Stories and then implanting business profiles, Instagram has grown from strength to strength.
And now they’re looking to quench a thirst for long-form video content with their recent introduction of IGTV (Instagram Television). With IGTV, the quintessential photo-sharing application, clearly has its sights set on toppling YouTube.
But what makes IGTV so special? Let’s discuss in detail to know what IGTV means for brands, social media marketers, and influencers.
Is it Really a Game-Changer?
Nowadays, people spend more time watching digital videos than they do watching television. In fact, according to some executives at IGTV, 78% of mobile data traffic will be accounted for by mobile videos by the year 2021.
Additionally, it seems like younger audiences prefer content from amateur creators. They’re spending comparatively less time browsing content by professionals.
IGTV focuses on delivering a seamless video consuming experience to users. Unlike YouTube, users don’t need to search for videos on IGTV. They automatically start rolling in on your IGTV feed.
IGTV might seem to be just a minor addition in a world bursting with social media apps. But it has the potential to seriously impact the digital video space. For content creators who specialize in long-form content, it could be a game-changer.
The idea probably wouldn’t be as successful if we hadn’t been used to vertical videos. But the success of Instagram Stories and Snapchat is proof that vertical videos can be very engaging.
Their popularity will make the transition to IGTV rather sensible. And it’s also an opportunity for content creators to explore a new creative avenue. One that seems to make a lot of sense for smartphone users.
Present Industry Scenario
IGTV is a deliberate and clear investment by Facebook into vertical videos. The move speaks volumes about the vertical video’s potential. Consider the number of mobile devices (3.7 billion unique mobile users) and the amount of video content they consume.
Think about it this way, the intuitive and ergonomic way to view content on a smartphone is vertical scrolling. That’s why IGTV gives brands looking to get into video content an extra edge. It’s why big brands like Nike jumped onto the train early on.
Image via Instagram
We’ve seen firsthand numerous brands starting their own YouTube channels as the goal in video content marketing. But building a community on YouTube is an uphill battle these days, especially considering all of the competition.
With IGTV, however, brands have a unique opportunity to get ahead of the curve and build something special. It allows you to share high-quality brand video content to the audience you’ve been fostering for some time.
Impact on Influencer Marketing Industry
One might argue Instagram already has a video sharing feature with Stories. The issue with Stories is that it's better suited for more raw and uncut kind of videos. IGTV is a more polished sibling that gives content creators a dual-edged sword to wield. Off-the-cuff videos perform well on Stories and IGTV’s great for curated, long-form content.
The cross-functionality of Instagram allows brands and influencers to craft creative assets that help them to connect with their audiences. IGTV is a new avenue for them to reach the same global audiences by sharing content at multiple touchpoints.
However, the key to engaging global audiences with IGTV content is to first find the right influencer to work with. While IGTV does allow you to directly look for channels or influencers, it’s not the most efficient way to go about it, especially considering it’s a new platform.
You should consider using platforms like Grin to discover highly relevant influencers for your brand. This will make your search process much easier since the platform provides you with in-depth insights into influencers who are relevant to your brand. It also lets you compare the performance of different influencers in terms of reach, engagement rate, and more.
Image Source: Grin
With such data, you can easily determine whether or not the influencer can help you reach a real audience through authentic IGTV content.
While IGTV is ad-free at present, Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systrom, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of introducing ads in the future. This way they can split revenues with influencers and content creators in the future.
This move will have multiple benefits for brands, influencers, and Instagram itself, including:
- Instagram will benefit monetarily from the new advertising opportunities
- Brands will be capable of advertising in other channels that can help increase brand awareness
- More influencers and content creators will be interested in leveraging the platform
- The influencer marketing industry on Instagram will grow even more
- With mid-roll ads in longer videos, Instagram will become a more serious competitor for YouTube
But what can IGTV do for influencers and brands?
The Influencer Perspective
Instagram is a critical tool in every influencer’s toolkit. In fact, Instagram has seen a phenomenal growth in sponsored influencer posts. These posts trebled between 2015 and 2017. And this number is only going to rise more, thanks to IGTV and the cross-functionality Instagram now provides.
Image via Influencer Marketing Hub
Let’s dive into more specifics as to how IGTV will change the influencer marketing landscape. The first thing to remember, here, is Instagram’s previous one-minute limitation on video content. It severely inhibited the platform’s viability as a platform for sharing videos.
In fact, it’s one of the main reasons so many influencers operate accounts across multiple social media platforms. None of them offer a one-stop solution for influencers, specifically ones that belong to more visually informative industries and niches.
Video content is one of the best performing kinds of influencer content. 60% of YouTube subscribers trust product recommendations from their favorite YouTube influencers. IGTV will allow influencers to leverage this underlying stat to help brands achieve marketing goals.
Therefore, most influencers who rely on video content to get the word out host videos on YouTube. The trouble is that their followers spend more time scrolling through their Instagram feeds than they do looking for videos on YouTube.
This resulted in influencers sharing static images or short trailers to promote their longer YouTube videos on Instagram. Sure, that has the benefit of driving traffic and engagement on multiple platforms. But let’s be honest. When was the last time you saw an influencer post promoting a YouTube video and you watched the full video?
Indeed, there are benefits of a cross-platform content promotional approach. But it can also be inefficient. It’ll be much easier to promote your influencer content across Instagram Posts, Stories, and IGTV video channels.
Instagram allows you to watch IGTV content via the Instagram app as well as the stand-alone IGTV app. This provides users with a more seamless experience rather than having to hop from one platform to another. The biggest benefit of IGTV for influencers, though, is just that.
They can deliver three different kinds of popular visually appealing content on just one platform. You have your typical photographs – the backbone of Instagram. You have Stories to provide the in-the-moment and live experiences content consumers crave. With IGTV, they can deliver the kind of informative videos that consumers rely on most when making purchases.
Beauty influencer SHAE reviews Sigma’s brush cleaner with a polished vertical video on IGTV. She showcased detailed shots of the product with a 10% off code.
She also reviewed the new “Light Illusion” foundation from FLOWER Beauty.
Image via Instagram
The Brand Perspective
There’s no time like the present to experiment with IGTV for your brand seeing as it’s still relatively new with few users. The first-mover advantage comes in very handy when dealing with emerging social media marketing technologies.
Even if you aren’t sure about which content strategy to adopt, the freshness of the platform allows for creative freedom. You can try out different tactics and figure out what kind of videos are garnering the most engagement for you on the platform.
The sooner you jump on this, the greater the benefits you’ll reap. Early adopters can leverage IGTV to:
- Improve engagement
- Grow your community
- Get used to vertical videos
- Test your and your influencers’ creativity
Additionally, IGTV can help take your influencer marketing in a new direction. You want to make the most of this new ground while it’s still unsaturated. What’s more, IGTV is yet to implement a paid ads feature. Thus, your influencer content will be of a more organic and persuasive variety.
How to Make the Most of IGTV
Let’s take a quick look at how influence marketing on IGTV can help your brand.
1. Expand Your Brand’s Reach
You get to be a pioneer by being an early-adopter of IGTV. It’s a window of opportunity to show audiences that you’re hip and happening and that you keep with the times. Get in front of a new audience with the kind of content they crave.
The “Following” tab on IGTV also allows your fans to easily access your new content. This will increase your engagement and discoverability among subscribers as they receive notifications when you post new content.
2. Showcase Your Creativity
IGTV is a blank canvas. It’s an untapped well with vast troves of potential. All you need to do is tap into it. The additional 60 minutes you have is a boon that allows your audience to get to know you more intimately.
You can go with behind-the-scenes videos at a fashion show being hosted by you. Film everything from hair and makeup to final lap by your show-closer.
Bergdorf Goodman did just that as you can see below. Or if you want you can have influencers preview yet to be released products and get your audience buzzing.
Image via Instagram
3. Make Shoppable Long-Form Videos
An interesting way you can leverage IGTV is to use it to introduce your product catalog to prospective customers. Let your fans take action or shop when they browse through your channel.
Unlike other Instagram posts, you can introduce a link in the video description on IGTV. You can take full advantage of this by linking your videos to category or product pages.
It will be interesting to see where Instagram might head next and how the platform, including IGTV, will evolve. The rise of vertical video content, for one, is definitely going to shape the future of influencer marketing.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Comment below.