You’ve done it: you’ve created the perfect feature video for your latest product, full of Instagram-worthy footage.
But wait! Instagram’s native videos can only be 60 seconds, and your video is three minutes. What do you do now?
Instagram TV (IGTV) is the solution to your problem.
With Instagram TV, you can post videos ranging in length from fifteen seconds to one hour.
Longer content means you can go more in-depth to showcase your business and products than on any other part of Instagram.
We’ll show you how to use Instagram TV to promote your business and increase brand authenticity.
But before we dive into the details, we need to cover the basics.
What is Instagram TV?
Instagram TV (IGTV) is a video-only platform and app from Instagram.
Instagram TV allows you to post videos up to ten minutes long for smaller accounts, or 60 minutes for larger, verified accounts. That’s at least ten times as long as a native Instagram video!
To use IGTV, you first have to set up a channel connected to your regular Instagram account.
Once you do that, users can access your channel through Instagram or through the IGTV app. Users who subscribe to your channel will get notifications when you post new IGTV content.
Instagram TV is the new ‘big thing’ in video marketing on Instagram. Once you know how to use IGTV for your business, you can take advantage of all its unique features.
Stay ahead of the curve by using these four simple strategies to personalize your brand and connect with customers in new ways.
Why You Should Use Instagram TV
You might be wondering, what features?
Instagram TV is designed to be more than just another location for your typical Instagram content.
Its unique characteristics set it apart from the traditional Instagram platform and give you ways to create new and engaging content.
Long videos give you more time to personalize your brand and help customers get to know you and your products.
Unlike native Instagram content, you can put live links in IGTV video descriptions. Take advantage of this to link customers directly to your website, a product page, your online store, or other sites relevant to your video.
IGTV videos are permanent unless you take them down. This sets IGTV apart from Instagram Stories. Stories are widely used by businesses and consumers, but they disappear after just 24 hours. With permanent videos, you can build engagement over time by encouraging users to share and respond to your video.
Users can subscribe to your channel if they want to be notified of new content. Give them a reason to subscribe by creating interesting content that they can’t see anywhere else.
Instagram TV is unique—use its differences to your advantage! Here are some ideas.
4 Ways to Use Instagram TV (Plus 4 Examples!)
Instagram TV is so new that marketers are still figuring out best practices. If you’re not sure where to start with IGTV content, that’s ok—we’re here to help! We’re sharing our top four strategies for how to use Instagram TV to promote your brand, plus four examples to showcase how these tactics work in practice.
1. Take Users ‘Behind the Scenes’
‘Behind the scenes’ posts perform well on Instagram. Show users an aspect of your company they wouldn’t normally see.
This might mean showing how your product is made, taking customers (virtually) into the office or backrooms of your business, or featuring your employees talking about or using your product.
You could even make a mini-documentary about your company!
Lush featured this video on its IGTV channel to take customers behind the scenes with its employees.
Lush introduces two employees and has them walk you through the process of making one of their bath bombs. This personalizes the experience for the viewer, as if they were getting a private tour of the Lush bath bomb creation process.
Users certainly responded well: in less than three weeks, the video had over 150,000 views and over 170 comments.
Lush illustrates how to use Instagram TV to increase the authenticity of its brand. Behind-the-scenes content paints them as open and honest.
How To Use Instagram TV Pro Tip
Create a sense of exclusivity by taking users behind the scenes for a ‘sneak preview’ of an upcoming product, event, or update.
Encourage users to subscribe to your channel to see future new products and updates.
The permanent nature of IGTV videos means you can make your behind-the-scenes content into a series, releasing new videos at regular intervals and encouraging users to go back and watch the previous videos.
At the same time, you can use the extended length feature to go into more detail than you would with an Instagram native video.
2. Use Your Products—On Camera!
The long-form content of Instagram TV gives you plenty of time to go in-depth about your products. Give customers a clear idea of what they’ll be buying by making product tutorial videos.
Glossier, for example, uses IGTV to show their makeup tutorial series.
The videos give followers useful makeup tips, and tells them which Glossier products to use for each look.
The videos are 20-30 minutes (making good use of IGTV’s extra length!), which gives Glossier enough time to showcase their expertise as a beauty brand.
How To Use Instagram TV Pro Tip
Partnering with influencers to create tutorials can dramatically increase reach.
Not only will your users see the video, but all of their followers will as well.
Hosting an influencer on your IGTV channel can also increase brand authenticity.
Nearly 2/3 of millennials say they trust an influencer’s recommendation more than a celebrity endorsement.
3. Feature User-Generated Content
Let your customers do the work by featuring user-generated content (UGC) on your channel.
The permanent nature of IGTV videos is an extra selling point for encouraging UGC submissions—not only will you feature their video, but it’ll stay there long term!
Once you have user-generated videos on your site, you can use the live link feature in the description to send viewers to your website or to the relevant product page.
BarkBox gives us an example of how to use Instagram TV to feature videos sent by users. The company used IGTV to share an unusual box they sent to Tracy Aviary.
View this post on Instagram
DINOSAURS TEST BARKBOX! 🦖 via @tracyaviary : “This is an unusual request that I was told you would be able to accommodate, but the BarkBox will not be for a dog, but rather for a bird (a Southern ground hornbill named Epic). This being said, we will need to trade treats for toys, so that the box only contains toys and no treats. Our birds will not be able to eat anything sent to them, so we were hoping to be sent only toys. Our bird also probably qualifies as a Super Chewer (@superchewer), as they are extremely rough on toys. Epic is a predatory bird with a strong beak made for hitting things, so he enjoys durable toys that he can hit, toss, and shake. He also enjoys things that squeak or bounce.”
A post shared by BarkBox (@barkbox) on
BarkBox is a subscription service for dogs, but Tracy Aviary requested a toys-only box for their Southern ground hornbills. BarkBox fulfilled the request and used their IGTV channel to show the birds opening their box.
With this video, BarkBox shows how responsive and accommodating they are as a company—even to very unusual requests!
The permanency of IGTV was beneficial to BarkBox with this post.
Even three weeks after being posted, the video was still gaining likes and comments. A little over a month later, the video had over 145,000 views and 620 comments.
How To Use Instagram TV Pro Tip
UGC isn’t just a ready-made source of videos—it also taps into social proof.
People trust reviews from other users and base decisions on what other people are doing. When users see videos of others loving your product, they will want to try the product themselves or send it to someone they know.
Host a giveaway to encourage users to send in content you can feature on your channel.
For example, you could have users send in video reviews of themselves using your product in their daily lives.
Emphasize that the winner (or winners) will be featured on your IGTV channel.
4. Promote Your Brand’s Activism
Customers want to see that your company is authentic and believes in something beyond selling a product.
Patagonia uses IGTV to advocate for environmentalism and to feature the environmentally friendly side of their products.
Patagonia makes the problem of waste clear at the beginning of the video with powerful images of landfills. The company then explains how the brand is helping by featuring their use of recycled materials in their products.
How To Use Instagram TV Pro Tip
Are your products environmentally friendly? Do you partner with any charities? Use Instagram TV to tell everyone about it!
If you’re partnering with a service organization or donating proceeds, be sure to tag the organization in the video description.
This gives them the opportunity to comment or share so their followers can see the video.
Connect to Customers with Instagram TV
Now that you know how to use Instagram TV, you’ll be able to highlight your products, employees, and customers in ways that 60-second videos can’t do.
Start taking advantage of the feature today with our suggestions for IGTV video concepts. Before you know it, you’ll have thousands of shoppers regularly tuning in to watch your videos.
Of course, just like on any other social media platform, you can’t have a set-it-and-forget-it approach to your Instagram TV content.
Track how your content is performing and use that information to adjust and improve your strategy.
How is your business using Instagram TV? Let us know in the comments!