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Instagram TV: Thoughts and Predictions from a Strategist

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INFLUENCER: StrawberryFrog's Sarah Landsberg digs deep into what IGTV could mean for brands and agencies

Instagram TV: Thoughts and Predictions from a Strategist

Last month Instagram launched Instagram TV, or IGTV for short. In a nutshell, unlike Stories, it’s long form video (right now 15 seconds to 10 minutes with some up to an hour long) uploaded full screen in a vertical format. In addition, IGTV launches automatically when a user opens the app. According to Instagram, by 2020, 50% of all video viewing will be done on a mobile screen. But, what does this mean for brands and agencies? How will they evolve their social video strategy to include IGTV? Is IGTV worth the investment? Let’s dive deeper. 

For brands: Like YouTube did for video on desktop, IGTV has the potential to do for mobile. Unlike YouTube, Instagram dominates discovery and IGTV is the perfect format to keep people watching for hours. Not to mention, at the moment, no commercial breaks. For brands this means thinking about a series or a category to own and cover. Think about all the on the go and at home moments to leverage. From your morning commute to cooking in the kitchen, putting kids to sleep, and more.

That being said, the verdict is still out on whether it’s worth the long-term investment. It’s unclear whether a younger audience will truly flock to IGTV in a meaningful way. As Jeff Kastin, our VP of new business development says, “I clicked on it twice and didn't care for it. I think mainly because I didn't know what it was and what’s the difference than just looking at a story or a video that someone has posted to their page. I predict that they will do away with it within a year.”

In addition, IGTV seems to lean towards brands with established Instagram accounts. As the number of followers determines the length of the video you can upload, with smaller accounts only allotted a max of 10 minutes. In the words of our account intern Lauren Mahr, “I think that it is important for brands with less established pages to build their following and create a cohesive looking page before jumping into IGTV - could be a waste of time if no one is watching the video content.”

For agencies: Let’s be honest it’s going to be tough to compete with creators, or popular influencers. They have a built in following and have honed their craft over the years. They are the experts. For agencies, partnering or sponsoring is your best bet at least in this early stage. Also consider co-creating with publishers. 

If considering your own channel think about cadence. Unlike TV, IGTV gives you the opportunity to gain followers. But that also means you can lose them. Keeping people engaged means developing a content calendar month to month, even week to week. Take a test and learn approach. See what’s working and what’s not and be agile enough to fine-tune the process. 

Another area to consider is promoting your own brand. IGTV could be a great outlet for a learning series for professionals, an opportunity to share thought leadership, and live stream talks. For example, at StrawberryFrog we host FrogTalks, the world’s shortest talks by the biggest movement thinkers and doers. 

Concluding thoughts: IGTV is definitely worth considering. Only time will tell whether it can sustain an audience. Check it out. Play around. Personally, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some Dr. Pimple Popper videos. 

Sarah Landsberg is senior strategist at StrawberryFrog

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StrawberryFrog, Fri, 13 Jul 2018 12:00:45 GMT