Instagram is one of the fastest-growing online platforms today. It started as a photo-sharing app but quickly became an engaging channel for growing a community. It gives your audience access to your photo and video content.
But IG reels and stories are mainly for bite-size, snackable videos. How about long-form video content, you ask? That’s where IGTV comes in. It’s an incredible place to connect with your audience while showcasing longer video content. But if you’re used to creating short-form IG videos, you may be wondering how you can use IGTV to your advantage.
Don’t worry. We’ve got your back. We’ll be sharing everything we know about IGTV and how you can improve your content and engagement.
What is IGTV?
Instagram is growing at a rapid pace. It started as a picture-sharing mobile app. Now, you can also post videos on your feed. There’s only one problem. You can only upload up to 60 seconds of video. If you want to post videos longer than that, you’ll need to do that on Instagram’s IGTV. You can think of it as IG’s TV platform.
IGTV is home to long-form video content on Instagram. Not only does it give you a channel for posting longer videos, it also gives you the flexibility to upload vertical or horizontal videos.
There are different ways to upload to IGTV. You can upload via the IG app or your computer. Alternatively, you can share your video directly from IGTV’s standalone app. It’s a great place to showcase your styling tips, products, step-by-step tutorials, or any content that helps you build a long-term relationship with your audience.
Additionally, IGTV is linked to Instagram Live. You can post to IGTV the replay of your live video, as long as it’s 60 seconds or longer. You can also download the video and repurpose it. For example, you can chop it into smaller video clips and upload them on IG stories or anywhere else.
How to Share Videos on IGTV
Posting videos to IGTV is easy and straightforward. But make sure to check these IGTV requirements before uploading your first video.
- Minimum: 60 seconds
- Maximum: 15 minutes for mobile uploads and 60 minutes for web uploads
Video size and resolution:
- Vertical: 9:16 aspect ratio
- Horizontal: 16:9 aspect ratio
Cover photo size
- The recommended size is 420px by 654px or 1:1.5 ratio. Take note, there’s currently no way to edit your cover photo once uploaded.
- As long as you don’t violate the Community Guidelines, you can post any video content you think will resonate with your target audience.
How to upload via the Instagram app:
- Open the app.
- Tap your profile picture at the bottom right of the screen.
- Tap the “plus” icon and choose the video you want to upload.
- Tap the “next” icon and choose “Long Video” to upload on IGTV.
- Select a frame from your video as your cover photo or tap “Add from Gallery” (Android) or “Add from Camera Roll” (iPhone) to select an image from your camera roll.
- Tap “Next” and enter a title and description.
- If you want to add your video to IGTV series, tap “Add to Series”. If not, skip steps 7 to 10.
- Tap “Create Your First Series” or “New Series.”
- Enter a series name and description and tap the “next” icon.
- Tap “Done” in the top right corner of the screen.
- Enable “Post a Preview” to show a one-minute video preview in your feed.
- To adjust your preview, tap “Edit Preview.” This option will only be visible if your video is vertical with a 9:16 aspect ratio. Widescreen videos with a 16:9 aspect ratio will show in full. Tap “Save” when you’re done editing your video preview.
- Tap “Edit Profile Cover” if you want to make adjustments to your IGTV cover photo. Tap “Save” when done.
- Tap “Make Visible on Facebook” if you want to make your video visible on Facebook and tap “Done.” Make sure an FB page is connected to your Instagram.
- Tap “Advanced Setting” and enable “Auto-Generated Captions” if you want to turn on automatic video captions.
- Tap “Done.”
- Tap “Post to IGTV” at the bottom of the screen. If you’re not yet ready to post your video, you can tap “Save as Draft” instead.
How to upload via the IGTV app.
- Open the IGTV app.
- Tap the “plus” icon in the top right.
- Tap the square found in the bottom left to open your camera roll.
- Select a video you want to upload. You can also tap the “Record” icon to start recording directly on the app.
- Tap the “next” icon in the bottom right.
- Follow the above instructions starting from step 5 onwards.
If you want to share your live broadcast to IGTV, tap “Share to IGTV” once your video has ended and follow the onscreen instructions. But before you do that, you need to take note of these reminders.
- The number of viewers, likes, and comments will restart when you post your live broadcast replay on IGTV.
- You won’t get the chance to trim or edit your live video before sharing it on IGTV.
You can also tap “Download Video” to save the video to your camera roll or “Delete Video” to discard it.
10 Tips on How to Make an IGTV Video
IGTV has seen impressive growth in popularity over the years, but simply posting content on this platform won’t lead to automatic success. You need to create high-quality videos to attract viewers. Here are our 10 tried and tested strategies that’ll get your IGTV videos noticed.
1. Know your audience
You need to create content people can relate to, but not everyone’s the same. So how do you create content everyone likes? Fortunately, you don’t have to. Just come up with videos your target audience will like. To do that, you need to know your audience first. Who are they? What do they like? What are their pain points? Answer these questions to identify what kind of content you’re going to post.
You also need to know how long your videos should be. The length of your video will depend on what type of content you’re creating and your target audience’s attention span. In most cases, the safest video length is between 15 and 30 minutes, but IGTV allows video lengths up to 60 minutes. If you think your target audience has the patience to finish an hour-long video, then go ahead and maximize the allowable time.
2. Use catchy titles and descriptions
Your title and description should be catchy. They should also convey exactly what your video is all about. But when you write them, make sure they have the right keywords and relevant hashtags. A bit of keyword research will help you know which titles and hashtags related to your video are already working well.
3. Start the video with a hook
It’s important to start your video the right way. The first minute of your video can make or break your success. Don’t beat around the bush and let them know right off the bat what your video is about and who it’s for. Give your viewers a reason to stick around and watch your video until the end. Keep the introduction short and sweet then get to the point right away.
4. Use the correct video aspect ratio
Format plays an important role in IGTV videos. Use the official aspect ratio, which is 9:16 for vertical videos and 16:9 for horizontal videos, so that your video will take up the entire mobile screen. This will give your audience the best mobile experience possible.
To maximize quality and engagement, your content needs to be optimized for IGTV use. So avoid using old videos made for other platforms.
5. Make your thumbnail visually appealing
Your video thumbnail is the first thing people see when they land on your IGTV channel. Think of it as the first impression people get when they see your video. It can make or break how many views you get. If it’s not visually appealing, they won’t even give it a second glance.
You can use a frame from your video or create a bespoke thumbnail. It’s your choice. But whatever you choose, make sure it describes your video content. It should also match the overall look of your IG feed to maintain design consistency.
6. Add a preview
A one-minute preview can go a long way, so don’t forget to tap the “Post Preview” option before uploading your video to IGTV. This will give your followers a sneak peek of your video. It also gives them the option to keep watching if they liked what they saw in the preview. This is an awesome feature you need to take advantage of.
7. Don’t forget your call-to-action
Your call-to-action lets your viewers know exactly what you want them to do. It’s like giving them a gentle push into the direction you want them to take once the video ends. For example, if your goal is to increase your reach and following, ask them to like and share your video and subscribe to your channel.
8. Repurpose content
Instagram Live video replays can be uploaded to IGTV. Take advantage of that feature to maximize your video’s reach. Plus, you can repurpose your video by cutting some of the highlights and posting them in your IG stories or other platforms to promote your IGTV channel.
9. Post consistently
You can create some of the best videos on IGTV. But if you don’t practice consistency, all your efforts can go down the drain. Consistency is a vital factor if you want to succeed in anything in life. That includes making a name for yourself on IGTV. We highly recommend you post at least one video on the same day of the week at the same time. You don’t even have to do it manually. You can schedule your IGTV posts to make it easier for you.
10. Promote your videos
Creating an awesome video is only half the effort. You also need to promote your videos. Of course, creating previews and adding IG stories are all good promotional efforts. But you can do so much more than that.
Don’t be afraid to cross-promote your content on other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest. Give people a taste of what your video has to offer and provide them the link to your IGTV channel for the full video.
IGTV offers an awesome channel to showcase your long-form videos, but people are slow to adopt the use of this platform. That means it’s still in the process of taking off—and it will soar high one day. Those who are quick to embrace the use of IGTV will reap the benefits someday. That’s why it’s a good idea to master the platform as early as now.