When Instagram TV (IGTV) made its debut in June 2018, its slow start was the stuff of worry for some, and fodder for ridicule to others. But its viewership is picking up steam, and its potential to capture the attention of viewers cannot be ignored. Since Instagram started placing short clips of recommended IGTV broadcasts in its main feed, the feature’s usage has gone up—by at least 300% and by some measures, by nearly 1000%.
Given the feature’s change of fortune, you might want to reconsider earlier skepticism about your presence on IGTV. Here, we’ve got a few tips that’ll help you craft a winning strategy in this newly desirable space.
Honor Your Existing Following
Given Instagram’s blockbuster popularity, you likely already have a following of sorts on your current profile. Crowdfire notes that “if you already have a great following on Instagram,” the existence of this potentially powerful tool for the platform means “you don’t have to start from scratch building your audience.” To the contrary, you can mine the data that this following frequently provides you for content on IGTV.
For example, do you get frequent questions about how something works or why certain features exist as they do? A mid-length IGTV video could answer these questions with the tour of a facility or introductions to staff that work in a given area of the company. Have influencers who followers might want to get to know better? Use the platform to let users ask questions and get answers. Mine comments and interactions – for better or for worse – to map out a strategy for content development.
Thoughtfully Share Previews
Along with the addition of algorithmically generated IGTV previews to the feed, came the ability for IGTV publishers to share a clip on their main feed. You can crop up to a minute of your content and share it with prospective viewers. How will you use that time to tease something they’ll tune in to continue watching?
The first minute of any IGTV should be compelling enough that viewers want to hang in for more. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your preview should be the first sixty seconds. Are there other surprising snippets that surfaced over the course of the video? How about something hilarious? Don’t be afraid to dive deeper into the meat of the content, surfacing something that could pique interest- and then implore followers to find the rest on your channel.
Edit for Explore
A major drawback for IGTV is the inability to search by topic. In many ways, prospective viewers have to know who or what they’re looking for when they seek out video content. However, additional exposure is possible now that IGTV broadcasts can be discovered in Explore.
To heighten your chance of being featured in this increasingly trafficked corner of the app, consider aligning the content you create to Explore’s content tags: crafting content that can highlight food, travel, fitness, beauty, home, or its other categories could heighten your discoverability. Even if your product or service doesn’t naturally converge with these categories, there are likely ways to pull in influencers, share stories, or highlight interesting use cases that could make your video a welcome addition to these spaces. Combine your approach with common hashtags in these spaces, and you’ll stand to bring in new viewers as a result.
Allow for Accessibility
An evergreen challenge with video via mobile app is the ability to be viewed and understood without sound. Captioning is a common solution to this challenge, but it’s far from an intuitive process on Instagram. Using tools like Clipomatic (for iOS and Android) or Clips (for iOS) doesn’t only provided needed context for viewers watching without sound, it makes your video easier to follow. This ease of consumption likely explains the statistic that 80% of viewers will persist in watching a video when they see it’s been captioned.
However, accessibility is about more than ensuring that videos are captioned. Consider additional factors like color combinations, and detailed captions that can serve as image descriptions when teasing the final product on your main feed. Taking these additional steps can ensure that when viewers take the jump from their feed to IGTV, they can do so with confidence they’ll understand what they see…and greater trust in you, as a result.
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