The next generation of social media is here, folks.

We’ve seen it already with Facebook’s new augmented reality platform.

And now we’re ushering in a new era on Instagram, too.  

On June 20, Instagram announced the launch of Instagram TV (IGTV).

IGTV is both a stand-alone app and integrated feature within the Instagram application.

It enables any user to become a “creator” and upload videos that can be shared, liked, and engaged with by other people on the platform.

For businesses, this is an exciting new way to reach their target audience on Instagram.

Instagram TV - IGTV announcement

Image source: https://instagram-press.com/

Though Instagram TV ads aren’t live yet, brands can still upload videos onto the platform.

Even better, creators can upload videos that are up to one hour long.

But wait: let’s go back to that point of no IGTV ads.

What makes this feature worthwhile for Instagram advertisers then?

Well, the possibilities that long-format mobile videos presents for greater brand awareness and engagement are endless.

Imagine being able to lead potential customers through a video on Instagram that takes them through your product and your story in a film-like format.

There’s no 30-second cutoff.

There’re no competing accounts appearing on their feed or on the screen at the same time to distract them.

We’re diving into what makes Instagram TV valuable for brands.

We’re also looking at how you can prepare for the inevitable monetization of this platform by launching an Instagram video ad strategy.

Get ready for Instagram TV because it’s about to be the secret to your highest ROI yet.

The Value of Instagram Video Ads in a Mobile-First World

June not only marked the release of IGTV, but also the month that Instagram reached 1 billion users.

Instagram TV - user growth

Image source: https://techcrunch.com/

 The fluctuation in user base will also be reflected in revenue.

eMarketer estimates Instagram’s ad revenue to increase from $4.10 billion in 2017 to $10.87 billion by 2019.

What else makes Instagram video advertising an appealing option?

Consider the following:

  • 60% of customers find new products on the platform
  • ⅓ of the Instagram Stories with the highest view count are from business accounts
  • Over 200 million users visit a brand’s profile daily

There’s no denying that advertising on Instagram is the place to reach an engaged, Millenial audience.

Instagram TV - mobile video growth

Image source: https://www.emarketer.com/

You also need to consider the rise of mobile video ads.

By 2021, it’s estimated that 78% of all mobile traffic will come from mobile video.

On Facebook alone, 500 million people watch a video daily.

And on Instagram, there’s been an 80% increase in time spent watching videos.

Clearly, this is a format people love.

Overall, video marketing has been shown to:

So now that the connection has been drawn between the value of Instagram and mobile video, how can you get your business ready for IGTV?

Launching Your IGTV Strategy

The Basics

Before getting started with Instagram TV, it’s important to understand the essentials of the platform.

First, who can create content?

The answer is: anyone!

Similar to YouTube, access to IGTV is free for everyone.

Those that upload content are termed “creators”, and they are also the channels.

Where can you access Instagram TV?

Currently, it’s accessible only in the app through an icon in the upper-right corner of the display.

Instagram TV - IGTV icon

Soon, though, Instagram will be launching a standalone IGTV app through the App Store and Google Play.

Finally, what’s the format?

All IGTV videos are vertical, unlike the landscape formats of YouTube and Facebook.

Most importantly, videos on this platform can be up to one hour long.

How to Get on the Platform Now

Even though you can’t officially run video ads on Instagram TV, you can still launch your brand on the platform.

IGTV represents an excellent opportunity for telling a more in-depth brand story.

Doing so lets you showcase more sides of your brand and engage with audiences on a deeper level.

Considering that 73% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video, Instagram TV can be your most valuable tool.

The long-form video is also great for creating a more cohesive brand identity.

A strong brand voice has been shown to boost revenue by 23% and increase brand recognition by 3-4X.

All you need to do to get started is sign into the IGTV section of the app.

Instagram TV - Screen #1

Then, click on the Settings icon and press “Create Channel”.

Instagram TV - screen #2

Instagram TV - screen #3

Go to your channel and click the “+” icon on the right-hand side.

Instagram TV - screen #4

Instagram TV - screen #5

Select a video from your Camera roll, then click ‘Next”.

Add a title and description (remember: keywords matter here!).

Add a cover photo, then post!

You can then track the performance of your IGTV video by pressing the “…” icon besides the engagement buttons on your video.

Here, you can “View Insights” like view count, comments, and audience retention.

Optimize Your Instagram TV Channel

There are a few best practices we already know to be true for IGTV.

One of them is the obvious: vertical videos only!

A 9:16 ratio is your best bet.

Another good idea is to keep a schedule for posting.

Similar to the regular Instagram app, the algorithm for the IGTV recommendation engine is thought to include how regular is the posting frequency.

Regarding the best length of a video, don’t fall into the trap of constantly posting hour-long videos.

Though an occasional long-format video is a good thing for brand awareness, your audience is still unlikely to have the willpower and attention span to watch the whole thing.

Ideally, post videos that are 2-3 minutes in length.

Finally, keep all content cohesively on-brand so that your Instagram TV presence complements the rest of your social media marketing strategy.

Like any other platform, IGTV does best when it works in tangent with the rest of your advertising campaign.

Instagram TV Ads are Coming

When advertising on Instagram TV is finally made available, make sure you’re ready.

Launching your IGTV channel now is an excellent place to start.

By the time video ads are unveiled on the platform, you’ll know what your audience likes to watch on your channel, the average retention rate, and how many people are already engaged.