Instagram launched IGTV in 2018 and have been adding a variety of useful improvements to the platform to help you reach your target audience and grow your IGTV channel. I’ve put together these 15 best IGTV practices and tips, and by the end of this article, you’ll have learned how to use IGTV to grow your audience and brand.
Whether you are a solo influencer trying to increase your brand visibility and grow your engaged followers on Instagram and IGTV, or a brand or business in the marketplace looking for the perfect customer, you’ll find these IGTV tips and best practices more than useful to increase your reach, visibility, and conversions.
Instagram has over a billion monthly active users and is trying to get a lot of these users over to their dedicated video platform, IGTV. This means that now is the best time to hop your brand onto IGTV to reap the benefits of Instagram helping your videos to get seen.
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IGTV is still very much a new video platform and is only getting better with new features like horizontal videos, hashtag features, etc. as well as some older features like clickable links, longer format videos, uploading a specific cover image, etc.
Whilst it is still young, you can very much use it to grow your brand and get a larger audience for your IGTV channel, Instagram or leverage it to grow your other social presence or YouTube channel.
These 15 best practices and tips will help your channel grow today and, in the future, so let’s dive straight in.
Reuse existing popular video content.
A new video platform brings about it a whole new audience that may not have seen your content on other platforms like Facebook or YouTube. This means you can gauge which videos performed well for your brand and reupload those to IGTV.
This gives those videos a second life and may even surpass what they did on the other platforms if your Instagram audience aligns more ideally than on the other networks. This goes for other videos that didn’t perform as well too, especially if you think your Instagram and IGTV audience will be more receptive to the video.
Repurpose blog posts, emails, or social posts into IGTV videos.
It’s not just existing videos that you can reuse on IGTV to grow your audience, you can do the same for blog posts, emails, social media posts, and just about anything else that provides your audience with value.
Listicles, how-to guides, tutorials, etc. are just some of the best performing content you can take over from your blog and turn them into an engaging IGTV video.
These videos don’t have to be complicated to create, you can include pictures, with narration or subtitles and that could be it. Including some clips can help, but IGTV has a more personal connection and the production value isn’t something that many are too worried about.
Create interesting content and your audience will reward you with the views.
Optimize for silent viewing.
Speaking of subtitles, whilst some may turn their audio on to watch a video, the auto-play feature doesn’t provide audio as a default. This means you need to catch viewers’ attention purely with the visuals.
This could mean your video or intro contains content that speaks for itself, or you add some clearly visible subtitles to the bottom of the screen. Subtitles can additionally be a great way to maximize your horizontal screen space whilst still creating vertical videos perfect for IGTV users on their smartphones.
P.s. Video previews on Instagram as well as in Instagram Stories are also silent by default. By optimizing for silent viewing, you’ll increase your CTR and more people will end up watching your videos.
Create content for multiple platforms simultaneously.
If you’re editing a Facebook or YouTube video, why not create an IGTV version whilst you’re at it. There are different demographics and audiences on different platforms, so you can reach many more people whilst hardly having to increase your video workflow.
Once you’ve finished exporting for horizontal platforms like YouTube or Facebook, go back to your project, change the aspect ratio to a vertical layout, realign your layout and then hit the export button once again. Now that’s what I call hitting two birds with one stone.
P.s. No birds were harmed in the making of this blog post.
P.p.s. You can also record a separate vertical video with your smartphone whilst you’re filming your horizontal video. A vertical smartphone holder can make this process a lot easier.
Create exclusive content for IGTV
Give your followers, subscribers, readers, and viewers a reason to visit your IGTV channel by creating exclusive content for IGTV.
This could be behind the scenes content, taking your viewers into the inner working of your brand or business, or simply a day in the life of you, the creator.
You can create more personal and authentic videos to connect with your viewers on a different level. People make connections more easily when they witness authentic behavior and by showcasing your authenticity, you’ll find your target audience a lot easier.
Other exclusive content could be videos on how your products are made, interviews with relevant players in your industry, meeting the team, etc.
Teach: Create tutorials, how-to videos, etc.
Use your IGTV channel to be a teacher and share with your audience knowledge and know-how about your industry. This could mean talking about topics that interest your audience or creating how-to videos and tutorials to showcase exactly how to get something done.
Teach and provide value and your videos will generate more views as people will comment and share your content more freely.
Link to mobile-friendly pages.
When it comes to Instagram, linking to external websites have often been something quite tricky for marketers, bloggers, brands, and businesses to work around. There was only the traditional link in bio option and later the swipe option in Stories for accounts with larger than 10k followers.
Thankfully, IGTV has introduced clickable links within your video descriptions, making it much easier to link to your website, products, newsletters, channels, blog posts, services, etc.
One thing to consider when linking to these pages is to optimize the landing page so that it is mobile friendly. The majority of your traffic from IGTV will be coming from mobile devices. Mobile optimization is pretty much a standard feature for premium themes and services these days, but it is still best to keep your eye on how things look when visiting from both desktop and mobile devices.
Utilize keywords in your titles and descriptions.
The search feature is possibly IGTV’s biggest let down currently. At the moment, you can only search for channel names and this can make finding what you’re looking for quite difficult if the channel name isn’t closely related to the topic.
I.e. If you’re looking for Will Smith videos, you’ll be able to find that easily. However, when looking for something like ‘how to change my engine oil’, you’ll be in for a challenge.
Don’t fret though, Instagram has acknowledged their search feature needs work and they should be changing things up soon enough. In the meantime, make sure your videos are optimized to get the maximum results when these search features eventually arrive.
This means adding keywords, both long and short, into your IGTV video titles and descriptions with a relevant and clear cover image.
Host Q&A or AMA sessions.
When it comes to increasing your brand visibility on Instagram and IGTV, it can sometimes seem difficult to come up with new content ideas to implement. If you’re not quite in the creative mood at the moment and just want to engage with your viewers, a Q&A or Ask Me Anything session can be just the ticket.
All you need to do is gather the questions and then answer them in an IGTV video. These longer format videos also mean you can get into more details and show and tell a little bit more.
For the question gathering process, you have a wide variety of options; you can mention a Q&A session on a recent post and ask for questions in the comments (which can help boost that posts performance as a bonus), and the same goes for asking for questions in your Stories.
A great way to get more cross-platform promotion and have some of your followers on other networks visit your IGTV is to ask for questions on external platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, etc.
P.s. This type of cross-promotion works vice versa as well. 😉
Upload a regular series.
Create your own IGTV series where you release new episodes once, twice, or three times a week. Depending on your schedule.
Make sure your audience knows when and how frequently these will be coming out. That way even if your IGTV video doesn’t show up in their feed through your marketing, they will be anticipating something new from you and can visit your IGTV channel organically without you having to bring them there.
Hook your viewers in the first 15-30 seconds.
People have incredibly short attention spans, and with social media, they’re only getting shorter.
If you can’t give someone a reason to watch your video within the first few seconds, odds are they’ll just skip past it and move on. This is why it’s important to hook your viewers within the first 15-30 seconds (preferably closer to 15 seconds).
You can do this with traditional shock and surprise, but if that’s not your style, you can hook them by simply stating; what the video is about, what they will receive by watching it (I.e. knowledge, entertainment, etc.), how long your video will be, who the ideal viewer is, etc.
Include hashtags in your descriptions.
Hashtags have become quite synonymous with Instagram, and it’s no different with IGTV.
By including relevant hashtags in your description, you stand a chance at appearing in users feeds that follow those hashtags and, on the search/popular page.
Upload customer success stories and testimonials.
When it comes to content to share, the options are pretty endless with IGTV. Your video quality can but doesn’t have to be production studio quality and your presentation style can be off the cuff and on the go. Because of this more relaxed style of video, you can do just about anything and this is where testimonials and customer success stories can really help push your business to the next level on IGTV.
Testimonials and success stories build an incredible amount of social proof for your business, as these are people that are vouching personally for the effectiveness of whatever it is that you’re doing or selling.
If your customers are willing to give you testimonials, go ahead and throw them into your IGTV content schedule along with a healthy variety of other content to mix things up.Grow your audience and brand with these 15 IGTV best practices and tips.
Promote in a fun and surprising/exciting way.
Instagram and IGTV videos, in particular, have a more fun and exciting feel compared to most video content. Create promotional videos that capture people’s imaginations.
This can be done through surprise, shock, awe, excitement, or simply make a promotional video that isn’t what you usually would do on other networks like YouTube or Facebook (but still keep it relevant to your brand).
Cross-promote your IGTV videos on other social media networks.
You have followers on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. How many of them are watching your IGTV videos?
Use your active following to boost your IGTV videos and watch the added engagement drive even more new viewers to your channel.
Promote your IGTV channel on your other social channels and get your followers onto your IGTV channel and have your IGTV reach increase even further.
You can do this for your regular Instagram followers as well. Post an IGTV preview as a regular Instagram post on your Instagram account. After the first minute, this preview links to the rest of your IGTV video on your channel. The same can be said for Instagram Stories, once you’ve uploaded your IGTV video, let all your Instagram followers know by linking to it in your Story.
Build hype for your IGTV videos
When it comes to cross-promoting, one of the best ways is to build hype and to get people interested in what it is you’re sharing.
This can be done in a number of ways, but one of the best is to release short trailers/teasers before and after you upload your IGTV video.
By posting beforehand to Instagram and to your Story, most of the users that view those posts will be engaged with your channel and Instagram will be more likely to push your IGTV notifications to them when your video is released.
By posting after uploading, you can drive targeted viewers to your IGTV video which can help it perform better and help it on its way to going viral.
P.s. For virality, create shareable content.
Track your results using the built-in analytics and then adjust.
The only way you can be sure you are getting better at something is to record the results. This is vital to grow your Instagram and IGTV channel and to gauge whether your content is reaching its intended audience.
Without measuring your progress, you won’t know what is working for you and what isn’t. This is where IGTV’s built-in Insights come in. You can access a wide variety of information to know when people are leaving your videos, where they’re finding them, and so much more.
You can access your IGTV Insights by selecting a video, clicking on the three dots icon and selecting Insights from the menu. Once you’ve accessed your Insights, you can gauge where you can change your videos, what to focus on, whether you should make videos longer, shorter, etc.
Analyze and optimize.
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Now that you know how to use IGTV to grow your audience and brand, when will you be posting to IGTV and how often?
Have you already uploaded a video to IGTV or tried recording a longer format video? Do you have any reservations that are stopping you from getting started on IGTV? I’d love to hear from you below. 😊