IGTV For Small Business: Why Instagram’s Long-Format Video Needs To Be A Part Of Your Strategy

I can’t stress enough the value of IGTV for small business.

Video is an incredibly powerful content marketing tool for many small businesses, and IGTV is the iteration that Instagram brought forth in 2018.

Meant to compete with YouTube and offering the first and only place for vertical video, the platform is connected to one of the most popular social networks in the world.

Instagram has over 500 million daily active users on its platform and has grown nearly 10 times in the past 7 years.

That’s insane considering it got its start as a photo-sharing platform commonly associated with food pictures and gym selfies.

The chance to take advantage of long-form content in front of an audience this size is a huge benefit for any small business.

With over 1 billion users and half of them active daily, Instagram is a huge audience for your small business. Click To Tweet

And, because more people casually browse the social network than do YouTube, it’s more likely that people will find your content by chance.

Especially because IGTV and Instagram feed video content is prioritized on the Explore page.

IGTV even has it’s own dedicated explore page to get found on.

With all this in mind, you can see why you need IGTV for your small business.

IGTV Isn’t Just Another Video Platform For Small Business

It’s important to realize the difference between this and other video platforms.

Many brands fail to see the benefit of IGTV for small business because they treat it like every other video platform.

There is a tendency to reuse content from YouTube or Twitch without altering the context to fit the unique strengths of IGTV and Instagram.

Standard video platforms are focused on delivering interesting content to their audience based on their watch history.

However, IGTV is still a part of Instagram and finds its way to your audience the same way your other IG content will.

More people browse Instagram at random than they do other video platforms, which means your IGTV content is more likely to get found by chance. Click To Tweet

The platform is also vertically oriented, which means the way you take advantage of the space in the video has to happen differently.

Rather than attempting to repost your small business’ other content to IGTV, you’ve got to assure that you keep the differences of the platform in mind.

If you want to reuse content from your other video platforms, consider re-editing it to fit within IGTV’s bounds and optimizing the video to take advantage of the space available.

But if you intend to see the full power IGTV has for your small business, focus on creating unique content specifically for the platform.

That sense of content that you can’t find on any other platform will help build a following for your small business’ IGTV.

How To Use IGTV For Small Business

The power that IGTV has for small business is unmistakable.

But if you don’t understand how to put it to work, you’ll miss out on a ton of its potential.

Thankfully IGTV is a straightforward thing provided you have a decent content strategy to go with it.

There are a few keys that make IGTV for small business work well, and you should understand what they are before you develop your strategy.

Guiding it along with good information and a strong understanding helps you stay on the best path.

Once you understand what makes the platform so powerful and a few tactics that work well, you can develop a strategy to put IGTV to work for your small business.

Taking full advantage of the platform will help you not only see better engagement on Instagram but also drive more loyal followers to your brand to become your clients.

Because long-format video goes a long way in proving your expertise on a subject, our IGTV will also add to the proof that your brand is authoritative in your industry.

Authority like that cements your audience’s belief in your brand and helps solidify their loyalty.

Here’s what you need to know to take advantage of IGTV for your small business.

IGTV Is For Vertical Video

Let me start with an obvious statement.

Instagram’s platform is designed for vertical video.

As phones began to replace cameras and camcorders for the casual user, the propensity to hold the phone vertical lead to tons of jokes about taking vertical video.

However, research shows that videos are now taken vertically over 90% of the time, and that vertical video has less room for distractions.

What’s more, only 30% of people watch a horizontal video with their phones horizontal.

People are only watching videos with their phones held vertical.

That demonstrates up to a need for a vertical video platform.

In 2018, Instagram filled this space with IGTV, and vertical video found its home.

But why does something like that need stated?

To be direct, video is better in a vertical format when it was recorded vertically.

Adjustments for a wide video to make it fit onto a vertical platform often feel unnatural, as they’re compensating for the extra space a horizontal video offers on the sides of the subject.

When recording your IGTV content, keep this in mind.

IGTV success for small business hinges on the best content experience possible and this foundation will help with every step along the way.

Creating your content within the boundaries of the platform from the start allows you to maximize what you can do with IGTV for small business.

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IGTV Is Long-Form Short Videos

IGTV, as previously stated, is Instagram’s iteration of a long-format video platform.

Instagram’s stream videos are only a minute long, but IGTV videos can be up to 14 minutes and 59 seconds in length (under 15 minutes) when you upload from your phone.

If you want to go a full hour, add your video through the Facebook Creator Studio.

With all that time available, you’d think that posting long videos would be incredibly effective.

However, it’s interesting to note that our most-watched videos are between 3 and 5 minutes long.

That trend seems to match many other brands as well.

Knowing that people typically have short attention spans, this isn’t that surprising.

Try to allow your videos enough content to be longer than a minute (to justify the use of IGTV), but still short enough that people will watch them.

When you do, you’re going to earn greater visibility on IGTV for your small business as the algorithm will favor videos that get watched more often and for longer.

Balancing the view time against the length of the video is a big part of that.

So, it’s important to pay attention to your video analytics.

As you experiment with your IGTV content, watch what lengths get higher view counts and longer views to see what’s working and why.

That way you’ll keep earning more from IGTV for small business.

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Stories Boost Your IGTV

While great videos get seen well on Instagram’s explore page, your IGTV videos won’t get there immediately.

You’re going to need to do something to boost their early exposure.

That’s where Instagram’s stories feature kicks in.

Instagram stories place you at the top of your followers’ feeds.

They’re also instantly visible by anyone checking out your profile for the first time.

And it’s easy to share your IGTV videos to the stories platform.

Plus, by using the countdown sticker in your stories, you can promote the upcoming release of your IGTV video.

Couple that with a scheduled post through the creator studio and you can treat the IGTV post like a premiere.

Here’s the strategy:

  1. Schedule your IGTV video to post.
  2. Just under 24 hours before the IGTV goes live, add a countdown to your story.
  3. Share pictures and short clips of the IGTV video in your story as the countdown continues.
  4. Once your video is live, share it on your story.

It’s so straightforward a process that it almost seems too simple.

However, what it does to boost IGTV for your small business is incredible.

With all the views you’ll earn early you improve your odds of the post showing up on the explore page, boosting your exposure.

Ultimately, you’ll expand IGTV for your small business and earn a larger Instagram audience overall.

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Use IGTV For Small Business Brand Building

One of the great aspects of social media is the way you can take advantage of it to build your brand.

The constant flow of content that comes through social media allows you to define your brand’s voice and personality better while sharing the mission your brand is on.

Instagram gets amplified when you use IGTV for small business brand building.

Outside of IGTV, Instagram content is bite-sized, only allowing small glimpses into the core messages of your brand.

While they work great for building your brand, they aren’t nearly as effective as IGTV is.

And the combination of both will skyrocket your ability through Instagram.

Longer video formats allow for more in-depth information to be offered to your IGTV audience.

That extra context is an opportunity to better explain how your content ties into your mission.

It’s also a greater chance for the audience to get familiar with your brand’s voice.

Using IGTV for small business brand building you offer more than just a window into the nature of your company.

IGTV’s long-form versatility allows you to produce all kinds of content, even categorizing it into a series of related videos.

Those can include:

  • Product Demonstrations
  • Q&A Episodes
  • “Behind the Scenes” Content
  • “Talk Shows” About Your Brand

Or just about any other kind of entertaining, relevant, brand-focused content you want to produce.

There’s a lot of success that can come from using IGTV for small business brand building.

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Exclusivity Is A Huge Benefit To IGTV

People love exclusive content.

There’s something about getting access to something that others don’t that’s appealing.

We’ve often seen that exclusivity can even massively drive sales.

So, when you have a video content platform that’s formatted differently than others and offers an easy way to categorize series content, why wouldn’t you create something exclusively for that platform?

Creating content exclusive to IGTV for your small business’ followers allows you to tap into the effects of FOMO to keep people coming to your Instagram.

It’s a chance to reach out to followers on other platforms and let them know there is something special they can find there.

But you might be curious why you’d want to do that.

Drawing followers over to your Instagram from other platforms improves your engagement numbers and watch times.

Those who follow your other social content and enjoy it enough to seek it out elsewhere will likely improve your watch times, likes, comments, shares, and overall exposure.

That works to your favor in Instagram’s algorithm, moving you up on the explore page.

IGTV for small business is a powerful tool to aid that process when you take the time to make that exclusive content.

And, with so many options to base that content on, you shouldn’t have too much trouble creating exclusive content for your audience.

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IGTV For Small Business Is A Golden Opportunity

As a platform, you need to take advantage of IGTV for small business.

It’s a massive boost to your Instagram efforts, and it can be a huge benefit to building your brand overall.

And, because it’s an addition to your feed content (when you opt to share a preview), it helps expand your overall Instagram content.

That makes more opportunities for your audience to see you, your brand, and your content, and get to know it.

Plan out a great IGTV content plan and put it to work.

Be sure to analyze and adjust your content based on the insights that Instagram provides.

Experiment with different kinds of content, different lengths of video, and different post times to see what works best.

When you put in all the effort to make it the best you can, you’ll see your Instagram following and your long-term customer base grow.

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IGTV For Small Business: Why Instagram’s Long-Format Video Needs To Be A Part Of Your Strategy

by Michael McNew Read in 8 min