Like YouTube—and television —IGTV gives users access to different channels from which to stream long-form content and puts the creation of that content into the hands of anyone with a smartphone. With IGTV you can share video content up to an hour long, which is ideal for YouTube inspired binge-watching sessions.

Instagram TV is accessible either from the standard Instagram app, or from the separate IGTV app.  On the original Instagram app, you’ll see it as a TV icon in the top right, and it will be highlighted if there is new content for you.

No matter which app you log into, when you access Instagram TV, video starts playing instantly based on what the IG algorithm knows about your browsing preferences.

Instagram has been pushing IGTV videos a lot.

  • If you go into your Instagram “Explore” page, you will see a video playing automatically: it is an IGTV video.
  • You might also receive a notification on Instagram when someone uploads a new IGTV video.
  • Videos are vertical and full screen.
  • The full 60-minute recording time is only available to verified or large accounts.
  • IGTV videos play both in the IGTV app and Instagram app.
  • Swipe up call-to-actions are available in videos.

Ways to get started with IGTV:

Re-post your horizontal and square videos:   If you are already creating videos for social, this is the easiest way to get started on IGTV — simply re-posting your horizontal and square videos onto your IGTV channel.

Your videos will not make good use of the full screen and your followers will be forced to rotate their phones to watch your horizontal videos. But for a start, I think this could be a great low-investment way to experiment with IGTV, test out different content, and see if your audience on IGTV is interested in watching your videos.

Point and shoot with a smartphone:  Great content doesn’t always have to be produced professionally.  The early content on Instagram was also less polished images with filters. Since IGTV is still a young platform, with a vertical video format that is still less common than the horizontal video format, people are more forgiving and focus more on the content itself rather than the aesthetic.

Take your blog posts or instructional pages and create video: Tools like Lumen5 and Animoto allow you to create videos from text and both have great templates to help you. 

Repurpose your FB and Insta Lives: Lives are quite often filmed vertically and make great content for your IGTV account, so consider repurposing them into IGTV episodes.

IGTV Tips

  1. Be Strategic: Like all social media, don’t dive into IGTV without considering how it will align with and support your business goals. There should always be a purpose to any content you create – and IGTV is no different.
  2. Include a Call to Action: Once you’ve set goals for your IGTV content, make sure that you’re clear about what that means for your audience. What’s their next step after viewing your videos? Perhaps you want them to comment? Or to follow you on Instagram or sign up for your email list?
  3. Be Consistent:As with any other channel, the key to success is consistency. Once you’ve committed to IGTV, make sure you post regularly and consistently.
  4. Be Authentic: A video is a perfect way to build your brand because it allows your audience to actually see and hear you, which feels so much more personal than a blog post or even a podcast. Make sure that the content you produce is real and represents you and your business authentically.  This is the best way you can stand out in a crowded market.
  5. Experiment: With so few users right now, this is the perfect time to experiment with different types of content to see what works best for your audience.
  6. Research There are already tons of great resources out there to help you to get started with IGTV, so give yourself the best chance of success by putting in some groundwork.
  7. Measure Success:  With a channel that’s so new, we’re all learning together and there are very few benchmarks out there. So monitor your own performance and track which types of video work well and which are less successful. By doing this you’ll be able to optimise your IGTV strategy and results.
  8. Share your episodes to your feed and stories: As you load an IGTV episode you get the option to share it to the newsfeed, this is MUST-do for reach, but to boost that reach even further come back an hour or so later and share that episode to stories too.

Lastly, have fun! Instagram TV is still new and you have the chance to learn and grow with it – so enjoy the ride!

IGTV Tools:

  • Lumen5 for Taking Tips and Creating IGTV
  • Animoto has a great Vertical format that you can make funky how to videos with stock or footage you have shot.
  • Wevideo is great for repurposing the videos you already have into an IGTV format.