Instagram has released IGTV last June 2018. It’s a new app for watching 10‐minute to hour‐long videos of your favourite Instagram creators. Even though it’s a stand‐alone app, videos uploaded in IGTV can still be seen and watched from within Instagram — meaning everyone using Instagram can use it.
If you’ve been using Instagram as one of the main platforms to reach to your audience, here’s an extension of it and we’ll teach you what you need to know to add it to your marketing platforms.
#1: Setting up an IGTV Channel
One of the great features about IGTV is that it’s accessible and functional on your desktop. So you can set it up on either your mobile phone or desktop.
* Creating your Channel through your Mobile
a. Download the free IGTV app on your mobile phone (the app is compatible with iOS and Android).
b. Then, open IGTV app and connect your private or business Instagram account.
c. The next step is to set up your channel, so tap on your profile photo and select CREATE CHANNEL from the pop‐up menu.
d. Then, follow the prompts to finish the primary set up of your channel.
e. Once you’re connected, your Instagram account information will automatically be uploaded on your channel and you’ll be asked to upload a video.
* Create your Channel via a Laptop or Desktop
a. Go to Instagram.com and log‐in to your account.
b. After logging in, you’ll notice that there’ll be an IGTV tab between the Posts Tab and Saved Tabs. Click IGTV tab and the Get Started button.
c. Follow all prompts then click Create Channel to finish setting up your channel.
2. Uploading Videos to IGTV
Unlike Instagram, videos cannot be directly captured or recorded on IGTV. Only external videos can be uploaded to your channel.
It’s also advisable to have your videos captured in vertical or portrait mode with an ideal size ratio of 9:16. However, squarish videos with a ratio of 4:5 is still supported. But keep in mind that anything with a ratio other than 9:16 won’t fill the screen.
All videos uploaded can be viewed on both IGTV and Instagram by the people that follow you. As they automatically become your followers on your IGTV Channel, the only way to unfollow it is to unfollow you on Instagram as well.
Since there’s no restriction on how many videos can be uploaded on IGTV, the creators recommend that you upload multiple videos to engage new followers and retain your current followers.
* Uploading Video on your Mobile Device
To upload, click on the “plus” icon on the right side above your information and select a video to upload from your gallery.
However, keep in mind that IGTV has set some restrictions when you upload video from a mobile device:
a. The length of your videos must exceed 15 seconds (videos on your Instagram stories can’t be uploaded).
b. The length of videos must be limited to 10 minutes (however, you’ll find exemptions to this limit in the desktop instructions)
c. Live Instagram videos saved to your device won’t be available in your gallery when you upload videos on your IGTV Channel even if it didn’t exceed the 10‐minute limit. A workaround is to save the video on a different folder on your mobile device.
After going through your gallery to select a video to upload, create a title, write a description, and edit the cover image.
When creating a title, give it a descriptive and intriguing title to capture your audience’s interest. However, note that title also get cropped as the pixels of a mobile device is limited and can only fit in 20–25 characters. So make your titles short or keep the descriptive information at the beginning.
Once the video content has been uploaded on mobile devices, the video title and description can no longer be edited. So before posting, be mindful of your grammar, typos, and ensure that all information you want to be included is already there. But edits can be done using desktops if needed.
There will be default images that may or may not be ideal for your video. So we encourage you to replace it with a more appropriate and relevant cover photo. To edit, tap on Edit cover. A pop‐up screen will appear, and you can choose a separate photo from your gallery or choose a frame from the video that is to be uploaded.
Having done all the necessary edits, click ‘Post’ to finally upload the video on your channel.
After uploading your first video on your channel, you will notice that your profile image will be highlighted. By tapping it, you or any of your followers will be taken to your channel to watch your video and the others you have uploaded.
* Uploading Video on a Desktop
To upload your first video using a desktop, simply drag and drop your preferred video content on IGTV’s upload field on your desktop.
Though most accounts are limited to 15‐second videos to 10‐minute videos (via a mobile device), “larger accounts and verified accounts” can upload to a maximum of 60‐minute long video through a desktop device as ruled out by Instagram’s Help Center. Unfortunately, there’s no way to determine the criteria to pass a “larger account”.
Unlike on the mobile device, you can simply edit the title and description of your video while waiting for it to upload to 100%. Once done, you can edit the cover photo the same way it’s done on the mobile device — either select a separate photo from your gallery or choose any frame from the uploaded video.
When ready for upload, click post and it’ll be uploaded on your Channel. You also have the option to save the videos as a draft.
And again, you have the option to edit information when using the desktop site — Title, Description, and such. Simply click the 3‐dot button, and a pop‐up menu will appear. Click “Edit Video” to edit.
#3. Best Practices to Apply on your IGTV Channel
Like in any social media platform, Instagram is encouraging you as a user to upload new and unique content on your channel. As IGTV has required everyone to upload from external sources, Instagram is assuming that the video to be uploaded is separate from this channel.
Here are some tips to create effective videos on your IGTV Channel — implement it when editing and uploading your video.
a. Avoid Distracting and Loud Audios
Like in Instagram Stories, uploaded videos on your IGTV Channel will automatically play with audio unless users have turned off the audio volume on their settings.
IGTV has allowed it’s users more freedom as it’s one of the very few platforms that requires video content created to be accompanied by audios. And as videos play with audio, it’s advisable to avoid using loud and distracting noises that may lead to users swiping through your content. Conversational audios, Interviews, and Voiceover type of audios make for good audio strategies.
b. Add Links to your Descriptions
Any link inserted on your description is a clickable link, so maximise this feature to drive traffic to your website & other social media accounts. Just insert any URL to your description and it will be hyperlinked when the content is uploaded.
And though the link inserted is a clickable one, many have not realized that they can click the link so be sure to insert a call to action before the link. Like, click here to check my website or follow me here on Twitter.
Since videos can be long, retention can be a bit of a problem so make sure to include your CTA within your video. And don’t necessarily leave it till the end of the video as practised.
c. Add Hashtags in your Video Description
Hashtags have been used on Instagram as it’s been a golden rule to keep adding them on Instagram’s descriptions to gain more exposure. The same rule applies on IGTV. Adding hashtags help you reach new audiences as they will appear in the search results for the hashtags you listed. And users that tap on your video in the search result will allow them to view your content as an IGTV full‐screen video.
d. Reviewing your IGTV Insights
Strategizing means analysing your content and the metrics of your content. Fortunately for businesses and entrepreneurs using IGTV as a marketing platform, IGTV has provided insights for all videos within your mobile app.
To view these insights, tap the vertical 3‐dot button on any video uploaded on your channel and click Insights.
The Insights allows you to view the engagement your video has generated (view, likes, and comments) and view your audience retention percentage.
e. Respond to User Comments on Your Videos
Like with any other platform, it’s smart to engage with viewers who leave comments and likes your videos. And IGTV will have you notified for each action viewers does on your video.
To respond, click your notifications or click on your video comments and tap reply.