November 6, 2020 Last updated November 6th, 2020 1,166 Reads share

How Does IGTV Work for Marketing?

Image Credit: DepositPhotos

Up until recently, YouTube was the main destination for video marketing. When combined with select video hosting sites, they were the dominant force in a relatively noncompetitive area of marketing. However, the area of video marketing has exploded. Facebook has developed a Live service, and its sister brand Instagram has released Instagram TV (IGTV). With these developments, there are more opportunities for marketers to reach consumers with their brand message. Let’s focus on the more popular option, IGTV.

Why Consider IGTV for Marketing?

Learning about the latest marketing tools is part of what we marketers do all day. However, it’s easy to learn about a new tool and not realize its value for our brands. Fortunately, IGTV has been out just long enough that we can talk about reasons to consider branching out.

Ease of Content Creation

One of the great things about IGTV is its ease of use. Unlike other forms of video marketing, you don’t need a lot of fancy toys in order to be successful. Instead, many people create IGTV videos with just a smartphone. Add a cheap app or two (if you want), and you’re ready to go with professional results. In other words, video marketing with IGTV is almost a polar opposite of traditional television in terms of implementation. You might say that it’s broadcasting for the masses, rather than the elite.

Low Cost

Connected with the ease of use is its low cost. Not only does IGTV only require the most basic of equipment, but it’s a free social option. Sure, you can pay to promote the content, but you aren’t paying for the bandwidth or broadcast time. Essentially, you can broadcast on IGTV for the cost of your staff time. Or, repurpose some of your other video content. Here, you’d want to optimize the footage to be watched vertically.

The “Cool Factor.”

Many studies have shown that people love video. In fact, the average consumer watches five or more videos per day. At the same time, consumers spend a ton of time on social media. When you combine the social media and video aspects of IGTV, you have one cool tool. After all, you’ll be meeting people where they hang out. Watching IGTV is a great way to unwind after work, or even before bed. Plus, Instagram gives you enough time flexibility that you can easily say everything in one video.

It’s Easy to Share

One of the drawbacks of YouTube is that users have a hard time sharing content elsewhere. In fact, sharing generally requires copying the URL and pasting it into the other social media website. Because of this, YouTube is one of the few places from which you have to do more than click a button to share content. On the other hand, IGTV is easy to share. Use the same buttons as you would for other types of Instagram posts, or use the link. Either way, this ease of use boosts distribution.

The Basics of How to Use IGTV

Instagram TV is different from both Instagram Live and YouTube. Unlike IG live, IGTV posts are available on the website until you take them down. For that reason, it’s an excellent way to post explainer videos and executive interviews. However, the platform has a lot more rules than YouTube. Here are some basics on using IGTV for your business.

Keep It Short

For non-verified users, there is a time limitation between 15 seconds and 10 minutes. In other words, keep it short and sweet. If you’re making a basic product tutorial, however, this is probably enough. As a bonus, you’ll be making videos that mostly conform to the consumer’s overall attention span. Especially if the video is going to be viewed on a cell phone, there are data limits and the overall screen size to consider.

However, if you’re going to get your Instagram account verified, you’ll have a whole hour to say it. We wouldn’t recommend doing a whole bunch of hour-long videos, but the longer format can come in handy. For instance, you might want to post an in-depth interview or the highlights of your latest launch party.

Watch Your Formatting

With Instagram, you have to keep that file size under 3.6 GB at upload. By video standards, this is relatively small. To compensate, you’ll want to refrain from using high definition formats; experts agree that MP4 is the best choice. It needs to be easily viewable on a smartphone, with a 16:9 ratio and .JPG thumbnail. In other words, IGTV has relatively strict guidelines for the files they accept. With that said, these are the kinds of videos that typically get recorded on a smartphone.

Repurposing? Great idea!

If you can reformat some of your other footage to fit the guidelines, you can post it on IGTV. Because of the vertical orientation, you’d want to crop the footage carefully. Alternately, consider having your staff take alternative footage with a smartphone when filming for other platforms. In this case, you won’t have to do much editing.

Advice on How to Create a Successful IGTV Series

Keep in mind, IGTV videos don’t have to be standalone content. Rather, you can release content in a series of videos. If you don’t have a verified account, this is one way to get around the ten-minute limit. Alternatively, release the larger work in pieces overtime to keep people coming back for more. Expand on a point or make announcements in installments. Either way, you’re looking for greater engagement. Here are some series of ideas.


One option is to do a series of employee testimonials. If you’re trying to show people how socially responsible your brand is, use an IGTV series to show how well you treat employees. For instance, maybe a member of your staff had a severe health concern, and the corporate insurance saw them through (with appropriate medical leave, of course). Or, have someone talk about that time you went the extra mile. With the current racial tensions in America, you could consider doing a series of happy employees of color. Showcasing how your company has helped out during the pandemic is another winning suggestion. Whatever you choose, publish them a day or week apart, and publicize when the next episode comes out.

Project Ideas

Many products can be used in a variety of projects. For instance, there’s more than one way to use a can of house paint. Home decorating is a hot topic, and if you sell things that can be used for this, you might do a project idea series. One day, you might talk about picking the right color of the paint. Then, discuss how to use painter’s tape properly. Sell sewing supplies? Do a series that includes curtains one day, and tablecloths the next. This category is limited only by your imagination.


For products that have few creative uses, consider a how-to series. Most brands have a variety of SKUs, and you can demonstrate the use of each. This allow you to present the information in a format that isn’t simply written. If you have people who don’t read well or prefer this format, they’ll be all ears.

Why You Should Leverage Influencers for Igtv

Influencer marketing is absolutely everywhere. However, Instagram is one of the more popular hangouts for influencers because so many want to become an Instagram influencer today. Given the ease of content creation, this isn’t surprising. Here are some other reasons to find Instagram influencers and collaborate with them to create IGTV content.

Their Audience Becomes Yours

Any time you leverage the power of influencer marketing, you’re borrowing the influencer’s audience. Influencers tag themselves or cross-post the content on their Instagram accounts. Then, people who follow them can see what you’re all about, too.

Increase Engagement

People like to listen to people more than they listen to brands. When an influencer collaborates with your brand for an IGTV post, there are plenty of people who will watch it just to see what the influencer has to say. Or, they might watch and see how an influencer puts your product to use. If they think the content is useful, they’re more likely to engage.

Build Trust

There’s no advertisement like social proof. Influencers earn their position by being trustworthy sources for industry information. This is true whether they promote consumer goods, commercial products, or some type of services. By having an influencer help you with the footage, you’ll take advantage of their audience’s trust.

Relaxed man using a smart phone at home -DepositPhotos

Selina Wilson

Selina Wilson

Read Full Bio