IGTV and the future of content creation
Well, that’s a bit of a snazzy blog post title isn’t it?! I’m sure a few of you have come over here searching for some pearls of wisdom, and I hope that I can provide them to you. I think it’s fair to say the launch of IGTV took a lot of us by surprise. We were expecting a big video launch from Instagram, but I don’t think we expected it to take the form of a new app OR vertical video. It’s thrown a fair few of us a curveball, with lots of people rushing to upload EVERYTHING they can, regardless of if it works for the vertical format (which I, personally, think is a mistake).
Personally, I was really excited by IGTV, and after using it for the past week, I’ve got to grips with the platform, learnt more about what types of content I’m enjoying (watching and creating) and formed an opinion on what I think will boom and what I think will flop.
Getting to grips with IGTV
Ok, so whenever a new platform launches it’s always a mad rush to figure out the ‘magic formula’ for quick and rapid success. I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but I personally don’t think there’s one fail-safe way to guarantee success on a social media platform, so I think it’s best to look at what you’re currently creating and brainstorm ways you can tailor it for IGTV.
Some general rules of thumb:
- Video doesn’t need to be filmed vertically, but it is better to (if you’re filming landscape, make sure your subject is at the centre of frame so when it’s cropped to vertical it still works!)
- Majority of users are only able to upload videos that are 15 seconds-10 minutes long, so bare this in mind when filming
- Hashtags and tags do not work on the platform right now, so stick to snappy titles and descriptions that entice your current audience to watch and engage with your content
- You can upload from your phone or desktop
Apart from that, the world is your oyster, and I honestly think those of us that embrace the new platform, and just get cracking with experimenting with different types of content will benefit. As my Instagram account is fashion-focused I think I will stick to lookbooks and hauls, with the occasional makeup/beauty video as this will appeal most to my current followers.
Using IGTV to your advantage
Instagram has been around for a few years now, and if you’ve got an account that you regularly use you’re probably already aware of what your audience likes (and what they don’t) so keep this in mind when planning your content for IGTV.
If you’re stuck for ideas, jot down a list of 5-10 accounts that you see as similar to your own and have a watch of what they’ve created so far! Also, don’t be afraid to just give things a go, and learn through trial and error. As they roll out updates to the platform I think the ways in which we can all benefit from it (and use it to our advantage) will become clearer, but for now it’s good to just play around with it and learn what works for you.
Personally, I have found my attention span for IGTV is MUCH shorter than it is for YouTube (other people I have spoken to have also agreed with this), so bare this in mind when uploading your content. I’ve enjoyed watching videos that sit around the one minute mark most, they’re quick to watch and it means I can interact with quite a few people per session. As the platform develops I may well find my attention span for content on there extending, but for now it’s short and I’m enjoying quick content the most.
I would also recommend asking your Instagram followers what they want from you. Stick a few polls up on your Instagram Stories and see what they think. It’s always good to get feedback, and at least this will give you some direction when deciding what types of content to film and upload.
Is IGTV the future of video content?
Time will tell, but I do see it giving YouTube a run for their money, especially as so many content creators have struggled to build an audience on YouTube and been frustrated by their attitude towards creators. I do have to admit, there is something about vertical video that feels more intimate and engaging, and it’s something I am really enjoying dipping into a few times a day.
I think there will always be space for YouTube, and horizontal video (I mean, basically 90% of the video content we consume is filmed and displayed this way round), but IGTV will hopefully give YouTube a kick up the ass to make the experience for their content creators better. I also think it will be nice to have an alternative for those of us who love creating video content but struggle to engage with an audience on YouTube.
Personally, I think every content creator should give IGTV a go, even if it’s to quickly realise it’s not for you. It’s always good to pick up new skills, and diversify your content channels, so it’s worth giving a go!