Are IGTV Ads Around The Corner? What The Recent Uptick In IGTV Videos In Your Feed Means

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Instagram Is Promoting IGTV Videos In Its Main Feed To Boost Popularity Among Advertisers & Influencers—What It Means For IGTV Ads

What Is IGTV?

IGTV is Instagram’s foray into long-form, vertical video content on mobile.

Launching last summer, it is the first major update to the platform since Instagram Stories came about in 2016 and looks to move Instagram into a space long dominated by YouTube.

In the seemingly everlasting rivalry between Facebook and Google, IGTV represents a new attempt from the former to compete with YouTube and set up shop as an alternative destination for both businesses and creators in the $1.7B Instagram influencer marketing industry.

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IGTV is, of course, closely tied to the main Instagram platform—the same accounts are used across both formats and it can be accessed either through Instagram or via the standalone app. Instagram has also sought to assuage fears about IGTV’s struggles to attract eyes by featuring aspects of IGTV with the main app; primarily by having previews of IGTV videos appear in the main Instagram feed, causing views to subsequently skyrocket.

What Does IGTV Have To Offer That YouTube Doesn’t?

Why not just use YouTube? Well, in a bid to sufficiently differentiate itself from YouTube, IGTV is distinct in a few ways:

  • Vertical Format – IGTV content is vertical with an aspect ratio of 9:16—not horizontal like most video platforms.
  • Mobile First – IGTV focuses exclusively on the burgeoning mobile market—a lucrative opportunity for Instagram and marketers alike.
  • 15-Seconds To Hour Length – IGTV videos must be between 15 seconds and 10 minutes in length. Larger or verified accounts can record for up to 60 minutes—with the eventual intention of rolling this video length to all users—and creators aren’t limited to what kinds and formats of content they produce.

How Do Brands & Influencers Use Instagram TV?

IGTV Adds New Content Formats & Diversifies Instagram User Behavior

As far as IGTV’s relation to brands and influencers, the platform is positioned to take advantage of Instagram’s staggering base of 1 billion users. Creators have the opportunity to nurture their existing followerships, while brands will be similarly keen to invest in IGTV if established influencers see positive engagement.

In many ways, IGTV runs counter to the reasons people use Instagram—videos are longer and less digestible, content is highly edited, and the impromptu style of Stories that users find appealing is lacking.

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Assuming users start using it in increasing numbers, the investment in IGTV will pay off as there will be more incentive for brands and influencers to collaborate on the platform meaning IGTV ads will run abound.

IGTV Looks To Increase Reach & Audience Engagement

Increasing engagement with their existing audience and attracting new followers are obvious reasons that both influencers and brands will take to the new format.

IGTV Benefits For Creators

Influencers who have a following on Instagram may struggle to translate that popularity to the crowded YouTube space, so an Instagram-based, video-sharing platform can provide a launchpad for existing Instagram influencers looking to move into video content without starting from scratch.

 

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Welcome to the club! Request to follow @club404notfound and maybe… just maybe…. you’ll get in.

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This also provides a chance for influencers to carve out a new niche and expand the types of content they create, which can, in turn, allow them to diversify their brand partnerships and the sponsored content.

IGTV Benefits For Brands

Brands, meanwhile, will have the opportunity to reach their target audience in new ways and gain visibility among new audiences. Like Google, which has been encouraging longer-form videos on YouTube for years now, Instagram understands the marketing potential of longer content for developing the all-important positive influencer—and brand—connection. IGTV is just another avenue for brands to exercise their marketing muscles.

How Can Brands & Influencers Succeed With IGTV?

Like any successful influencer marketing campaign, strong investment by top brands is key to unlocking the potential of IGTV. Teaming up with the right influencers to ensure a mutually beneficial partnership is just one aspect of cultivating a great IGTV influencer campaign. To succeed further, consider doing the following:

  • Dedicate more resources, more people, and more budget to creating impactful IGTV content. Despite IGTV’s bumpy start, it’s a promising platform. There may not be a better time to start focusing more on IGTV ads and influencer marketing.
  • Create unique and refreshing content to stand out from the crowd while other businesses haven’t caught on yet. IGTV ads are still in their infancy, so the ground is fertile to test out new ideas, especially when it comes to brand collaborations with influencers.
  • Focus on quality and engaging content that drives your target audiences to watch and interact with it. Make sure IGTV ads are consumable, interesting, and communicate with those most relevant to your brand. Influencers sponsored content on IGTV should maintain authenticity.
  • Experiment with length, style, and format to reach your audience, such as using it for announcements or linking Stories to IGTV content. As a relatively new platform for influencer marketing, the established norms that are present in regular Instagram ads and sponsored ads are not yet fully formed on IGTV.

Why Should Brands & Influencers Use Long-Form Vertical Video?

IGTV Mobile Viewership Will Increase

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With 75% of all worldwide video viewing on mobile, it’s no wonder that Instagram is pursuing a strictly mobile format for IGTV with vertical video. While marketers have been slow to adopt vertical video as a standard format for their content, there are more frequent signs that brands are embracing the change as users discover and consume video content on mobile devices.

IGTV Channels Go Beyond In-The-Moment

While Stories goes hand-in-hand with influencers offering their fans a slice-of-life perspective, IGTV is well-suited for branded content and influencer collaborations that go beyond unscripted content. The long-form nature of the platform enables brands to use creative and production resources to carefully craft and edit quality content for IGTV, such as how-to’s, tutorials, interviews, or anything else that lends itself well to long-form video content.

It also offers the ability to repurpose existing video content. If a brand or influencer has a video on their YouTube channel already, they can easily reformat it and publish on IGTV.

IGTV Enables Cross-Format Promotion

Better yet, brands and influencers can share IGTV videos in their Stories which viewers can then tap to view entirely in IGTV. IGTV videos can also be shared on Facebook Watch. The versatility of IGTV advertising is one of its biggest selling points. Ultimately, there’s no reason brands and influencers can’t make a second home on IGTV.

Examples Of Brands Using IGTV

Top brands on Instagram which command large followings, such as Louis Vuitton, Spotify, and National Geographic, have all begun producing vertical video and long-form IGTV content. These brands have been crafting content conducive to the new platform, pushing the boundaries of IGTV advertising potential.

Below we take a look at some major brands that have experimented with IGTV content:

Nordstrom

Nordstrom consistently publishes IGTV content often featuring snippets of fashion trends, designer interviews, or behind-the-scenes looks. You can find plenty of IGTV content in the brand’s main account feed indicated by the IGTV icon in the upper right of the thumbnail image.

Good Morning America

Good Morning America repurposed this from a broadcast interview to fit vertical mobile screens on IGTV. This a good example of a brand adjusting its 16:9 format content for the benefit of mobile users.

BuzzFeed

 

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Aria takes a break from any wild antics to recount his time spent at a Buddhist monastery in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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Some brands, like BuzzFeed, have made a more seamless transition from making vertical format videos on Snapchat to utilizing IGTV for much the same purpose.

Netflix

 

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for your viewing pleasure

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The streaming giant came straight out the gates with a video of Cole Sprouse eating a burger for one hour, garnering 1 million hits so far and creating a certified meme in the process. The extended length of IGTV videos has proved a useful tool for brands looking to try new and interesting ways of resonating with audiences.

NYX

 

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@makeupbycarrie_ shows us how to create a fierce neon skull two ways! ? #nyxcosmetics #nyxprofessionalmakeup

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Cosmetics brand NYX has used IGTV for tutorials to promote its brand, a natural extension of its regular feed uploads featuring the results of using its products—often in collaboration with influencers.

Examples Of Influencers Using IGTV

On the other side of the coin are influencers who have taken to IGTV with a different approach from brands. So far, it appears to serve as an extension of Stories—letting fans have an extended candid look into their lives. But it’s also an offshoot into more edited content, similar to what YouTubers create on their native platform.

Here are a few Instagram influencers who have found success with IGTV video content:

Lele Pons

 

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Lele and her mom plate some sweet pancakes, but whose recipe will reign supreme and become a family tradition?

A post shared by Lele Pons (@lelepons) on

A former Vine star and YouTube influencer, Pons has used to IGTV for behind-the-scenes content and, primarily, a comedy cooking show which wouldn’t be out of place on YouTube. This is the sort of content Instagram will want to encourage from influencers to challenge its rival.

Chiara Ferragni

 

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An Italian fashion designer, Ferragni has an Instagram following of over 16 million and used IGTV to give her fans a view of her personal life through vlogs.

King Bach

 

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Prank Wars and I had Amanda’s car towed!!

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Internet personality and comedian King Bach uses his IGTV feed to upload comedic skits and pranks—typically filmed on a cell phone—which have so far garnered millions of views.

Hannah Stocking

 

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I explain the four different types of hair dye, using a visual example to help show how they work and just how permanent each type is.

A post shared by Hannah Stocking (@hannahstocking) on

Another online comedian, Stocking frequently uploads episodes of her comedy show onto the platform. The production quality is high and slickly edited—again, it would be right at home on YouTube.

Why Have Instagram Users Been Slow To Adopt IGTV?

Unlike Stories, which caught on like wildfire back in 2016, IGTV has had a much harder time getting off the ground. Long-form video on Instagram is still in its early stages, and many creators appear reluctant to start pouring time into the platform.

IGTV Requires More Creative Energy

IGTV content takes longer to shoot and edit than a simple photo or 15-second Story. Influencers seem happy to watch from afar as the new format finds its place in the video-sharing market.

YouTube Commands The Online Video Arena

In addition, the space that YouTube occupies in the video-streaming space is so dominant that it will take time for Instagram’s vision of a vertical long-form platform to take hold with creators and tempt them over.

Instagram Is Patiently Confident In IGTV

Instagram doesn’t seem too concerned with the apparent lack of progress, instead assuming a patient approach to the platform and treating it like any other startup for the time being. They’re placing their bets on its popularity increasing as more users become familiar with IGTV and the kind of content that engages its audiences.

What IGTV Monetization Options Exist For Instagram Influencers?

IGTV Doesn’t Support Native Advertising—Yet

The lack of IGTV advertising options limits marketing options for brands. For creators, Instagram doesn’t pay for content made by influencers, so financial incentives may be slim.

 

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Today I got to model with my fav brand

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It is, however, early days for IGTV ads, and there’s no doubt that further down the line, Instagram will begin exploring options to monetize the platform. Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has said that ads on the network are a ‘very reasonable place to end up.’ IGTV ads seem to be a matter of when—not if.

Implications For Influencer Marketing

IGTV Is A Darkhorse

IGTV hasn’t made waves the way Instagram or Stories have, yet Instagram appears comfortable with the low-key approach. Without users fully migrating over to the new format, it has prompted IGTV’s closer integration with the main platform.

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To their credit, this move has more users interested, and brands and creators have been experimenting with different content formats—episodic uploads have proven to be very popular among audiences.

IGTV Will Mature With Time

As more influencers and brands use IGTV and learn what content works with fans and what doesn’t, a clearer landscape of the platform will take form and allow marketers to better realize and take advantage of sponsorship opportunities.

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With Instagram supporting IGTV for the long haul, it appears that patience is key. As viewing figures rise, more content diversifies, and ads are implemented, the expectation will be that brands can begin running IGTV ads while influencers can leverage sponsorship opportunities and monetize their content.

Interested In IGTV Opportunities?

While IGTV works out the kinks, don’t shy away from experimenting with your own IGTV strategy. If Instagram is new territory for your brand, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to Instagram influencer marketing. You’ll find pro tips on how to leverage Instagram features and steps to honing your Instagram influencer marketing strategy so that you can get the most out of the platform.