We consume content everyday, in several different ways. Everytime we mindlessly scroll through our phones before going to bed, we are opening ourselves up to stories- stories that marketers create to make us pay attention to their products. These days, with consumer expectations rising higher and their attention spans getting lower, marketers are experimenting with different mediums in order to keep users hooked on to their content.

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To facilitate this consumption of content, the world of Social Media is releasing updates faster than we can download them, and sometimes it’s tough to keep up with the next big thing. The latest addition to the landscape is IG TV- an extension of Instagram, that lets users post long-form, vertical video content to their existing accounts.

Video is a medium that people extensively tune in to- for knowledge, advice, tutorials and entertainment.Video-sharing giant YouTube has dominated the scene so far, and now it looks like Instagram seeks to compete with India’s second most popular search engine.

 

What is IG TV?

IGTV is a new app released by Instagram, that lets existing instagram users post from 15 seconds to up to 1 hour long videos! This is great for users who are most comfortable communicating their stories through videos, but feel restricted by instagram’s 60 seconds limit.

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Instagram’s vision for this app is to make it a standalone video platform similar to YouTube, where users can follow their favourite instagrammers, and also share their own videos with the click of a few buttons. IGTV also has channels similar to YouTube, but on IGTV the creators themselves are the channels.

However, the app has a few key differences from YouTube:

  1. At this stage, the app does not allow you to search for specific content, only Instagrammers. So if you want to know how to drape a saree or how to catch someone bluffing at poker, you’re better off searching on YouTube.
  2. IGTV supports only full screen vertical video content, to mimic the way you actually use your phone. This move also differentiates them from Youtube’s horizontal format and forces users to create content specifically for instagram.

 

How do I use it?

There is a separate app for IGTV, but it can also be accessed from within the instagram app itself so that the one billion Instagram users can immediately start using it. Just click on the IG TV icon on the top right hand corner of your feed, and it boots right up. Alternately, you can download the IG TV app and log in using your instagram ID. Instagram automatically uses your bio information, profile picture, username and followers details for IG TV.

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Once you have logged in, videos start playing  automatically- just like turning on the TV. The app plays videos from people you follow and others you might like based on your interests. You can then swipe up to discover more and switch between tabs of  “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.”

The videos that are displayed will be based on your interests and the people you follow- this ensures that you usually see content which is highly relevant to you.

Here is where you can create a channel of your own and start sharing clips of your life with your followers instantly! Just click on the little cog icon that appears when you swipe up and start sharing.

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Your IGTV channel will appear in your instagram profile next to the story highlights, and you will get instagram notifications for every new like or comment on your videos.

 

How do I get the most out of it?

As of now, there is no way of monetizing IGTV videos, but the platform could still have wonderful implications for marketers.

For one thing, IGTV creators will have instant access to the people who are already following them on instagram, and will not have to go through the process of acquiring viewers. This is great for brands who are already active on the picture sharing platform, and have a niche following.

The process of posting is a cakewalk, but here are some things you should keep in mind in order to optimally engage your audience:

  • Follow the links: Unlike normal instagram posts, the links within IGTV video descriptions are clickable! This is a great chance for you to lead your viewers to wherever you want them to go after watching your video
  • Size matters: The standard video size for IGTV is 1080px X 1920px. This doesn’t matter if you’re recording with your phone on portrait mode, but if not, you might want to get your video resized before posting in order to avoid important elements being cut
  • Get the word out: You can link to your IGTV video in instagram stories. This is just another way of making sure your followers are aware that you have something new out

 

Longer videos mean that you can afford to get descriptive and share a lot more about yourself or your brand. The only challenge is knowing where to stop to keep your followers engaged till the end.

As with most new platforms, there will undoubtedly be a lot of revisions and updates to make your experience better. But the important thing is to experiment while it’s still young so you have an edge over your competition.

So there you have it! You are now ready to go out there and give your audiences a bigger and more visually descriptive dose of what you are all about.

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