With platforms like Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat and new kid on the block TikTok getting billions of views a day, it only makes sense that Instagram has gotten in on the video action. As Instagram’s answer to Youtube, IGTV is a platform worth utilising to boost both your following and engagement. It’s another way to reach your audience on a platform you’ve already established yourself on, and opens up the possibility of greater brand awareness and exposure. And with smartphones and editing apps, it really isn’t that hard – or that pricey – to be a creator. Before we jump into the juicy stuff, what is IGTV? IGTV allows for long-form videos that range between 15 seconds and 10 minutes (verified accounts can extend to one hour) to sit within your Instagram profile. Optimised for phone viewing, content is best utilised if created in vertical format in an aspect ratio of 9:16. And while horizontal videos have recently been allowed on the platform too, most users choose to upload in vertical format for viewer convenience. IGTV does have a standalone app, or you can post and view IGTV videos straight from your Instagram app, making it super easy to use. Unlike Instagram Stories, your IGTV videos are here to stay, and won’t disappear after 24 hours. While you can’t currently use IGTV as part of your paid promotion strategy, you’ll be reaching the right audience on a wildly popular platform. How to milk your IGTV strategy IGTV gives your brand another place to be seen, attract attention and add value. To give your brand the best chance at IGTV strategy success, there are a few things to consider. Analytics Analytics are your best friend when it comes to IGTV. Watch your analytics closely and experiment with your videos’ length, format and subject matter until you find the perfect formula. Once you are rolling out content, don’t forget to come back to these analytics regularly to check you are still on track. If you notice a dip in views, it is time to change it up. You want to be giving people what they want and keep them coming back for more. Video length Video length is key and 3-5 minutes is usually ideal. You only want to produce videos at a length that will keep your viewers engaged. The longer you can keep eyes on your video, the better your engagement will be, as the higher your viewer retention rate is, the more you’ll be favoured by the Instagram algorithm. Video format As mentioned above, IGTV lets users upload both vertical and horizontal videos on the platform. Whichever you choose, keeping your format either vertical or horizontal consistently is especially important in keeping that engagement up, because let’s be real – no one wants to flip their screen mid-binge. Engagement boosters To get those engagements up and the followers rolling in, make sure the video goes for at least one minute, so you can promote it on your feed and draw in the views. This doesn’t happen automatically, so make sure you select ‘post a preview’ when uploading your video. Sharing a snippet of your video to your feed lets you hit your audience in two places, giving you two opportunities for engagement. Once the viewer has gotten through the 60-second snippet, they will be prompted to watch the remainder of the video on IGTV. Popping the video onto your Stories is also a big part of getting those stats up. Currently only accounts with more than 10,000 followers, or who are verified, can share a swipe-up link on their stories, but IGTV gives you a way around this. If you don’t qualify for swipe-up links, you can still add a link to your IGTV in your Stories. You can also experiment with hashtags, sharing the video to your Facebook Watch and engaging with other profiles in the ten minutes before and after you post. Content Content is key in the world of IGTV. Choose the right content for your target market and you’ll have cracked the code. Select a core focus that will appeal to your audience and once you’ve found your niche, stick with it and be consistent. You can use your IGTV platform for many different things. The most common methods are to share exclusive content, show behind-the-scenes, give sneak peeks and VIP access, tell stories, show off expertise, give tutorials and repurpose Live videos. Videos like these bring personality and a strong brand voice to your business, making it more relatable, personable and real. Series Whichever content type you choose (and you can try all of them, if you’re up for it), what you should consider is creating a series. The series feature is one of the most recent Instagram rollouts, and allows brands to place their videos into categories. While originally this feature was only available on the IGTV app, it has now been opened up to the OG Instagram app. A series will have people following and interacting with your channel on a regular basis, because they know the content is coming and are looking forward to it. Series also help categorise your content, making it easier to find. Video description Nail your video description to help you win the Instagram algorithm game. It helps if you can match your video content and description with one of the popular categories such as travel, beauty or fashion, but this isn’t 100 per cent necessary. Watchers are shown videos that match their viewing habits, so use your description to make sure Instagram knows what your video is about. This way Instagram can show it to those who align with your content. Explore page Users are shown popular videos that align with their viewing behaviours on the Explore page. This is where you can be discovered by a whole new audience that might be interested in what you do. As an added bonus, if your IGTV does make it onto the Explore page, it will show up four times larger than the photo posts, drawing eyes, engagement and followers. Influencers You may even like to enlist an influencer to feature in your IGTV videos. Working with an influencer whose audience overlaps with your market can yield great results. Their audience will head to your page to scope out your content, and if they’re interested in what you’re offering, chances are they will stay. With all these tips in mind, it’s time to get on with the fun stuff. Start creating and rolling out your IGTV strategy and reaping the benefits!