Features

How does… Instagram’s IGTV work for marketers?

Socialbakers' Yuval Ben-Itzhak explains how Instagram's new long form video feature, IGTV, will work for marketers, influencers and brands.

Instagram has seen impressive growth since its acquisition by Facebook and it is rapidly becoming the most engaging platform for brand marketers. From Stories to Carousel, marketers have more content formats than ever to choose from on the platform.

The recent launch of IGTV is opening up yet another avenue for marketers to explore, as they leverage the platform to grow and engage their audience with longer content. It certainly seems Instagram can only win.

By offering marketers the chance to share original user-generated content via the IGTV app, Instagram is making itself even more attractive. With 1 billion users on Instagram, a ready-made audience for content creators, it’s likely that IGTV will be an appealing place for influencers and brands looking to grow and engage their communities at a deeper level.

Just under two years ago, Instagram launched its Stories format. It has already surpassed 300 million daily active users.

Instagram Stories have been a powerful channel for increasing brand awareness organically, but they are somewhat limiting in what marketers could do in terms of video.

IGTV is the next content format to allow marketers to engage more deeply with their audience. As customers opt in to the more in-depth, longer form viewing experience offered by IGTV, the brand or influencer’s message is more likely to be received and understood.

While the monetisation plan for IGTV is still unclear, longer length video content does present an opportunity not only for stronger brand engagement, but also for mid-roll ads.

As Instagram is considering the possibility of introducing ads that will split the revenue between the platform and the content creator, there is great potential for influencer marketing and for brands who create highly engaging content.

Here, it will be key that quality and engagement remain the priority as Instagram works to make e-commerce more social for users.

Instagram launched IGTV as a standalone app which users need to download. While the advantage to IGTV being in a separate app is that users won’t get distracted as they engage with longer videos, the drawback may be getting users to download the app in the first place.

Brands who are looking to leverage IGTV should start encouraging their communities to download the app as soon as possible, so they can experiment with content and get direct feedback from their audience.

With one billion monthly users spending almost an hour on Instagram every day, IGTV only stands to increase that number. The brands who will do well on IGTV are the ones who know what kind of content their audiences like and use that information to create relevant, timely and engaging content, retaining viewer attention for longer.

There’s no doubt that with an audience of 1 billion users Instagram has given marketers a new and powerful tool with IGTV. Whether they are able to take advantage of the platform is a question only they can answer.

Yuval Ben-Itzhak is CEO at Socialbakers.

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