Doctor Digital, is it true that Instagram has launched a dedicated video channel I can build my global influencer brand on?
Doctor Digital Says
Every word of it is true - and hardly surprising since Instagram has been making forays into video since 2013. YouTubers everywhere looking for a chance to jump ship squealed with delight at the June 2018 launch of Instagram’s dedicated channel IGTV, where a billion customers already have an active account and are ready to watch.
IGTV can be downloaded as an app, or accessed in your existing Instagram profile. Once you have updated Instagram, the little TV icon can be found on your homepage at the top right-hand corner. When you tap on the icon it takes you to the home screen of IGTV, which features a few video sub-sections including For You, Following, Popular and Continue Watching. The app tracks what you’re watching and who you’re following and suggests videos you might like. Setting up a channel is as easy as hitting the little set up wheel icon and beginning to create.
So what is different about IGTV to what is already available through YouTube? As legal icon from The Castle Denis Denuto would say, it’s probably the vibe of Instagram as much as anything else that is going to be its secret sauce, bringing a different social culture to the evolution of what YouTube is today. IGTV’s growth mission is threefold: to connect users to videos being made or shared by the people they already follow, to allow users to build their own TV channel, and to introduce longer-form content (up to 60 minutes long) with a focus on vertical video.
What the vertical you ask? It wasn’t that long ago that campaigns were being run to damn vertical video to a dark place forever, but pretty soon the reality that 94% of us watch our phones in vertical mode has taken hold, and vertical video especially for advertising has been aggressively on the rise for a couple of years. The IGTV move is the sure sign that you can hit record on the future being vertical.
One of the raised eyebrows about IGTV is its launch with a lack of paid advertising options - the bread and butter of many full time YouTubers. CEO of Instagram Kevin Systrom said the move was calculated, with the feature to be introduced later on. For now, IGTV influencers and identities will have to be content to make money from product placement and endorsement.
For small business the benefits of the IGTV release are being able to have a dedicated IGTV channel without doing anything more than setting it up, and instantly being able to port your existing followers along for the ride. It is also the shift from only having 60 seconds of glory, to having up to 60 minutes to captivate and entertain your fans, a game changer from the current state of play for Instagram video. It is also the simplicity of a video channel that is set up for mobile small screens from the get go, designed to quickly and simply enable you to communicate with your fans, promote your business and deepen your brand engagement. Think about how you might use that length of video real estate to make content about your products, how-to-videos, explainers, product demos and training videos, along with all the infotainment your fans can handle.