This week, Instagram launched a new video platform called IGTV, and it’s presenting an awesome opportunity to market your business and reach your audience!

What Is IGTV?

Think of IGTV as the “YouTube for vertical, mobile-first video.” That’s because creators are only allowed to upload vertically-sized videos. Not only is IGTV a new feature of the regular Instagram app, but they’ve also created a completely separate app for it as well.

Now video is not new to Instagram, however being able to upload videos longer than 1 minute is. Right now, most Instagram accounts will be able to upload up to 10 minute videos. And for accounts with larger followings, you can upload 60 minutes.

How to Use IGTV to Market Your Business

Now this presents a new opportunity for markers and businesses because any account can start a IGTV Channel.

(To do this on the Instagram app: tap the IGTV icon at the top > go to the Gear icon > select Create Channel)

1. Create Valuable Content for Your Audience

The future of marketing is creating content around your brand that either informs or entertains. If you’re not doing one of those two things moving forward, you’re going to be viewed as the pushy salesman. Customers are really starting to tune out that old form of marketing.

I’ve talked about this in a previous post, but video is really an important medium because it allows your audience to passively consume content.

So with IGTV, there’s potential to build a following around providing helpful video content, similar to the way you do on YouTube. The difference is, IGTV is brand new, and you have the opportunity to be one of the first utilize it.

Think about who currently follows you on Instagram – because that is going to be the majority of people watching your channel – what sort of content would be interesting to them? To take it a step further, think about what kind of content will attract the audience you would like to reach.

2. Format Your Videos Vertically

This may sound obvious, but it does present a bit of a problem if you are already releasing video content on YouTube.

You need to think about how you’re going to make this transition.

One possibility is edit your widescreen videos so that it small, and contains white space on the top and bottom, however I would recommend against doing it this way. IGTV was created specifically for vertical video, so people are going to begin expecting that format.

Another possibility is to film your videos twice: one horizontal and one landscape. Or you can consider ways to film it one time so that it is easy to edit into two different versions. Now this may mean some extra work, so you need to weigh whether or not it will be worth it for you investing in this platform.

3. Focus on Quality to Avoid the “Swipe”

IGTV works similar to Instagram Stories in that people can easily swipe past your video. This means to you need to grab their attention right away. You need to be concise with what you have to say, or you may loose their attention.

Because it is so easy to just film a raw video on on your phone, that is what the average person is going to be doing. But if you have the ability to prepare what you’re going to say ahead of time and provide good production quality, that is going to help you stand out.

4. Carefully Craft Your Title and Description

Assuming Instagram wants to make IGTV as big as YouTube, they are going to continue to improve their video search engine. So, you want to use your title and description as a way make your videos easily searchable.

Make your title eye-catching and descriptive, and use your video description to elaborate more on that. Currently, the title has a character limit of 75 characters, and the description seems to have a similar limit to regular Instagram posts.

Currently there is no way to edit your title or description within the app after you’ve posted the video, however we recently discovered you can go back and edit them from the desktop version!

5. Hashtags

From what we can tell, it appears that hashtags work similarly to the way they work on regular Instagram posts. So, be sure and use relevant hashtags in your description in order to get your videos found!

6. Link to your website!

Traditionally, Instagram has not allowed clickable links in normal posts, but (to our surprise) IGTV allows you to include links in your video description. So, take advantage of this by including your website link and directing people to it in your video.

As you use IGTV to provide valuable content for your audience, you’ll be able to use these tips to drive traffic to your site, and grow your business!

IGTV is still very new, so if you’ve discovered other potential ways to use it to market your business, leave a comment to let us know!

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