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IGTV – How Can Your Brand Leverage Instagram’s Powerful Sibling

Okay, so do you remember when was the last time you held your phone horizontally except watching a video on YouTube or Netflix or playing games? Don’t remember? It’s ok. Neither do I.

Since a large number of mobile users usually access content on their phones in portrait mode, it’s no wonder that mobile games developers and advertisers are going vertical too.

To produce video content that’s easily accessible for most users, Instagram came up with a novel idea of unveiling a platform that lets users share live vertical videos with their audience.

Vertical videos have totally transformed the way in which users create and consume content, allowing brands to capture a large number of the video-watching audience.

Instagram has decided to capitalize on this user behavior and recently announced its brand-new application of long-form video format called Instagram TV (IGTV). Though Instagram is not the only player in the long-form video, Snapchat launched vertical videos back in 2015 and reported that vertical video ads also called Snap Ads have up to 9x more completed views and 5x greater consumer engagement compared to CTRs on most mobile ads.

This standalone app is Instagram’s jab at YouTube which allows verified creators with a massive number of followers to set up their own IGTV channel and post video content of up to one hour in length. Instagram users can see videos from accounts they follow, popular content and recommendations based on user behavior.

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From our CEO @kevin: “Today, we have two big announcements to share. First, Instagram is now a global community of one billion! Since our launch in 2010, we’ve watched with amazement as the community has flourished and grown. This is a major accomplishment — so from all of us at Instagram, thank you! Second, we’re announcing our most exciting feature to date: IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favorite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY (@laurdiy) posting her newest project or King Bach (@kingbach) sharing his latest comedy skit. While there’s a stand-alone IGTV app, you’ll also be able to watch from within the Instagram app so the entire community of one billion can use it from the very start. IGTV is different in a few ways. First, it’s built for how you actually use your phone, so videos are full screen and vertical. Also, unlike on Instagram, videos aren’t limited to one minute. Instead, each video can be up to an hour long. We made it simple, too. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests. You can swipe up to discover more — switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct. Also like TV, IGTV has channels. But, in IGTV, the creators are the channels. When you follow a creator on Instagram, their IGTV channel will show up for you to watch. Anyone can be a creator — you can upload your own IGTV videos in the app or on the web to start your own channel. Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. With your help, IGTV begins a new chapter of video on Instagram. We hope it brings you closer to the people and things you love. IGTV will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks on iOS and Android.

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More and more brands are repurposing content they might have already posted while some brands and vloggers are producing fresh content for their IGTV channels. Brands such as Netflix, Warby Parker, Gucci, and Nike are going crazy to test this brand-new feature of Instagram and posting content ranging from interviews with influencers to silly one-offs.

How Does This Vertical Video Work?

Similar to YouTube and other video streaming platforms, IGTV gives users have complete freedom to access different channels to stream long-form video content. If you are inspired by any celebrity, influencer, business leader or vlogger, you are expected to see longer video pop-ups on their IGTV channels in the near future. When you open the IGTV app, a video will start playing, you don’t have to start watching content from users you follow. You can upload your own video to start your own channel.

Users have the option to change the channel or simply search for their favorite channel, popular content or simply watch videos posted by other users they follow. Moreover, you can also like, comment, share any video that draws your attention.

YouTube was previously the most famous social media platform for users who wanted to consume video content.  Now with the arrival of IGTV, influencers and brands are more excited to increase their viewership and ROI by tapping into the power of Instagram’s latest marvel.

How are Brands Making the Most of IGTV?

The launch of IGTV is encouraging many brands to tweak their organic video strategies and leverage influencers for content creation. Many brands are using this new medium to tell long-form stories that provide real value to its users in order to keep them glued to their screens.

Let’s take Gucci as an example. The brand shared a video from their recent fashion show to present their latest collection to their users.

Louis Vuitton is also taking advantage of this app and posted a video of Men’s Spring Summer collection which is exclusively made for vertical viewing.

Some brands are working with influencers when it comes to creating content for IGTV. It’s a win-win situation for both – Instagram influencers can increase their viewership and engagement while allowing brands to increase their reach and popularity by tapping into the power of influencer marketing.

Have a look at Nickelodeon’s video. The brand is interviewing influencer Liza Koshy talking about her new show.

Warby Parker posts a weekly series of videos, #WearingWarby, that features young influencers from various spheres of life. By doing this what Warby Parker does is that is it shows that it represents the trendy fun-loving youth who’s doing a great job in their area of expertise.

In the following video, Sophia Chang, a famous illustrator and designer, talks about herself and the creative process that she follows to come up with her designs and illustrations.

Why Your Brand Should Invest More Efforts and Energy into IGTV?

Whether your digital marketing agency is already capitalizing on Instagram Stories or not, using the power of Instagram TV is a great opportunity for brands to provide content in a more interesting and fun way. The launch of IGTV is motivating brands to produce high-quality branded videos to engage and delight their audience resulting in a positive image and strong brand recall. Like Instagram Stories, IGTV also allows brands to add swipe-up CTAs and take your audience to your website’s landing pages.

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In an already competitive space where brands are warring for a maximum number of eyeballs, IGTV is a great platform that will allow you to reach global audiences and increase your following base by shouting out loud your brand story in the vertical video format. What you as a business can do is repurpose a blog post, or simply repost your Facebook or YouTube videos and share them to an entirely untapped segment. This will provide your brand with another chance to enhance positive engagements by providing your audience with fresh and innovative content.

Wrapping it up

All in all, content that is created for specifically the vertical format is ideal for your mobile audience. It is a promising platform; your brand should experiment with it to stay ahead of the pack. No matter if you repurpose your blog post, already posted videos or share user-generated content, harness the power of IGTV to convey your brand message and engage with your audience at a deeper level that would help you rope in more potential customers in your sales funnel.

Macy Lambert

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