Even if you have been taking a well-deserved vacation in 2018, you probably heard about the big changes that have hit Instagram in the form of it’s newest feature: IGTV. Instagram’s fresh video feature is changing the way B2B marketers and influencers alike reach their audiences, and we’re taking a look at exactly how it’s done.
Imagine yourself as a millennial (or really, anyone born after 1982), who is just waking up, or waiting for your morning commute to work or to class, and you have about 10 minutes to watch one of your favorite shows. How likely would you be to check your mobile device for a quick check-in to your favorite channel? We’re willing to bet the likelihood is huge. In fact, in 2016, smartphones replaced TV as the most watched device by millennial users.
Even if this demographic doesn’t fit you, the reality is that for the highest number of mobile users born after 1982, this is exactly the case. The growing majority of people who have access to devices (68 percent of all adults, to be exact), are forgoing traditional TV platforms nearly altogether, in favor of streaming services and user-generated content. And those cable TV bundle packages? They are racing toward extinction.
This presents a giant shift, as Instagram’s new feature–which functions as a home feed addition or as its own stand-alone app–provides nearly constant access for marketers to reach their target audiences. What makes this feature an even bigger opportunity? The fact that, just like its 1 minute and 15-second video predecessors, content that gets shared on IGTV channels are interactive: users can like, react, comment, and share. It’s the brand promotional gift that keeps on giving.
Your job? Making content highly watchable. But how can B2B marketers do that, especially since paid advertising isn’t available yet? And what kind of content is ideal for marketers to share?
Well, there are two components to this. Think form and function.
- Form: Making incredibly engaging content
- Function: Making sure that content is formatted in optimal, highly shareable ways.
Let’s Talk Form
What kinds of ways are B2B marketers connecting with their brands’ audiences? The crucial thing here is staying creative, and showing the human side of the brand. At the heart of social media, people are looking to make a connection.
Worried that your brand doesn’t have a “face”? Don’t be. There are plenty of ways businesses can get creative about the kind of content they are broadcasting on IGTV to connect with users in a variety of ways.
This might be through:
- Reviews or unboxings from influencers
- Product demos
- Team or staff highlights
- A “day in the life” video series
- Short series featuring the product or service in use
The possibilities are actually wide open! The key here is to stay creative. Engaging content is shareable content, and users are more likely to interact regularly with brands they connect with.
Let’s Talk Function
Since we’re assuming that your content is a home run, let’s talk about how to format it so that it works within the parameters of IGTV.
In order to optimize viewership on IGTV, the important things to remember are…
1. Capture videos in portrait form. Contrary to the square ratio that is optimal in a typical IG feed, filming in portrait mode allows for channels to fill the screen, and function as a real channel does. Dig deeper, to find the actual specs to help you, but the important thing to remember is to keep it vertical.
2. Think through your bio. The first two lines of the bio will be visible on the channel, so be sure that it captures what you really want to say, and that featured products or services are really well represented.
Looking Ahead: Reaching IG Users with Paid Ads
Currently, there is no real capability for paid advertising on IGTV, but that could change in the near future, says Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO:
“There’s no ads in IGTV today… [but it’s] obviously a very reasonable place [for them] to end up.”
Your best bet? Start thinking ahead about how to incorporate the possibility of paid advertising in your digital marketing future. No doubt, the future will be here sooner than you think.
So what are you watching? Or more importantly… what do you want people to see? Get some tips on how to master social media marketing through Instagram and other channels. Then, let us know how we can help you be great!