If you're using the latest version of Instagram, you've probably noticed the small TV icon in the top right corner of your homepage. That's where the social media platform's relatively new IGTV feature lives.

Users are able to watch videos from people they follow, and they can upload their own IGTV content. Users can also view IGTV through the standalone app they can download.

With its release of IGTV, Instagram is tapping deeper into the rise of video content, and brands and marketers have taken notice. The new platform is a great place for content creators who want to use longer-form videos. Major brands, including Netflix, Chipotle, and Nike, have taken advantage of it, publishing content for their IGTV channels.

You can upload videos on IGTV directly through mobile or desktop. Most accounts are allowed to publish videos that are 15 seconds to 10 minutes long, but larger and verified accounts can upload videos up to 60 minutes long if done via desktop.

Videos are divided into sections based on a user's interests, accounts they follow, popular videos, and videos they can continue watching. Users have the option to search for individual creators and channels, but they aren't able to search for content on a specific topic.

Brands now have the opportunity to dominate long-form vertical video content in a space that's less flooded with content from competitors. Therefore, content will be more easily visible and accessible to their followers. Brands that take advantage of this in-depth viewing experience now can become an early pioneer and reap the benefits.

So, if you want to elevate your social media video efforts, here are a few ideas that can help your brand best harness the power of IGTV.

1. Be creative and targeted

The content you post on IGTV won't be shown to the public or a mass of people. People who follow you are the only ones who can see your videos, so you're catering to a target audience.

Make sure you understand who your core following consist of so you can best create content that resonates with them. Apply this understanding to create authentic content that connects with your audience.

This is your opportunity to get creative and innovative with your ideas for video content.

2. Make a good first impression

IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app or through its tab on Instagram. That means you must grab your viewers' attention quickly so they don't swipe past it! Add an attention-grabbing intro to your video, and if you have text make sure you give people enough time to read it.

If you make a great first impression, users will continuously come back to watch your videos.

3. Use links and CTAs

You can add any URL in your video descriptions to be a clickable link for viewers—a good way to get traffic to your site or any other link you want your audience to go to.

Include a CTA in the videos themselves so users know to swipe up to see the description that holds the link. Entice them to want to learn more and take action!

4. Partner with influencers

Instagram is relying heavily on content creators to push out IGTV, and it's specifically targeting heavy-hitter influencers to create content for it.

A good way to propel your IGTV strategy and bring more attention to your content is to partner with social media influencers who appeal to your audience. By working with the right influencers for your brand, you can successfully increase brand awareness and draw a bigger following.

5. Record vertical videos

Instagram encourages creators to create brand-new content, not published on any other platform.

Videos are traditionally filmed horizontally; IGTV, though, displays videos in vertical form, so you might as well start creating fresh content dedicated solely to IGTV. That means recording videos vertically, so they aren't a headache to adjust during the editing process and they provide the best viewing experience for viewers.

6. Figure out the type of content you want to publish

There are so many types of video content you can create. Here's a list of just a few:

  • Behind-the-scenes vlogs: Some people love vlogs and peeks into people's personal and daily lives. Offer a raw and uncut look into your brand, and showcase your team and leaders in your organization. Doing that opens the door for your viewers to connect with your brand on a deeper level!
  • How-to tutorials: Some online viewers love tutorials and educational content. From beauty to cooking to DIY to work hacks—the opportunities for topics are endless here.
  • Industry news: Use IGTV to share and discuss trends, and establish yourself as an influencer in your industry.
  • Interviews/Q&A sessions: Hold interviews with influencers or people on your team. Have your followers send in questions they'd like to be answered; that's a great way to drive engagement.
  • Product launches: Show your followers an exclusive sneak peek at a new product, tool, or service you're launching.
  • Repurposed content: If you can adjust the format of previously published videos to fit the vertical format and still deliver a great experience, consider repurposing popular videos you've already created.
  • Series: Do you have a list of similar, cohesive topics to discuss and share? Consider creating a video series. Assign each topic to a separate video that can tell a story that connects with other videos in the series.
  • Webinars: Use IGTV to promote or share webinars you've held or any future ones you plan to hold.

7. Track your performance

No campaign should go without being tracked and measured, regardless of the channel or platform. Since IGTV is fairly new, you'll want to gauge how your content is performing so you can improve your efforts early on.

Users can like and comment on your videos on IGTV. Fortunately, you're able to see how your videos are performing directly within the app. For instance, you're able to see how much engagement you're getting and what your audience retention rate is.

Don't go in blind; take advantage of those insights to drive the most value out of your social media video strategy.

* * *

If IGTV succeeds, it could be the platform for brands and content creators wishing to elevate their Instagram or overall social media video strategy. It's a great way for brands to use their current follower base on Instagram to launch a new video strategy without having to build a completely new following.

With a strategic plan in place, IGTV could be exactly what your brand needs to take your social media video strategy to the next level.

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Why and How You Should Use Instagram's IGTV to Improve Your Social Media Video Strategy

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image of Alice Oh

Alice Oh is a digital marketing specialist at marketing recruiting firm MarketPro.

LinkedIn: Alice Oh