Last month, Instagram made waves by announcing its newest feature to the social networking platform: IGTV. The social network’s new long-form video platform rivals YouTube and has been quickly adopted by brands and influencers around the globe. Users are able to post video content up to an hour in length with most brands opting for videos that are ten minutes or less. After testing the new platform for nearly a month, we are sharing our tips for how brands can effectively use IGTV.

Katharine Longo is the social media manager at The James Agency.

What it is

IGTV is a video platform within the popular social networking app, Instagram. Located within the app itself or through its own standalone app, brands and influencers are now able to upload and create long-form videos for their followers to enjoy. Unlike YouTube or Facebook Watch, IGTV is designed specifically for mobile. This means all videos are uploaded vertically, so creators can essentially record content via their smartphone and upload directly to the platform.

How to use it

1. Post relevant content: This may seem obvious, but brands should upload content that is relevant to their audience. If you are a beauty blogger, try uploading a skincare tutorial; if you are a podcaster, use IGTV to upload your newest episode. The options are endless, but at the end of the day, your target audience should be driving the type of content you are sharing.

2. Think IG stories, but longer: If you are having a difficult time getting started, start with the content you are already sharing. IGTV is essentially a long-form version of Instagram Stories. So, if you are sharing multiple stories at once, try condensing them into one IGTV video.

3. Share important information: There are a couple of different ways brands can go about sharing content, and again, it mostly depends on what your audience wants to see. For example, if you are a marketing focused company, share breaking industry news and how this may affect your audience. No matter what your niche is, you want to be a resource for your followers so they keep coming back for more.

4. Don’t overthink it: Ultimately, you want your content to be natural, relevant and relatable. Don’t worry about creating overly polished videos with professional equipment. Leave that for YouTube. The beauty of Instagram has always been the fact that you can literally pick up your smartphone, capture a moment and share it with the world, and that same concept should be applied to IGTV.

Looking ahead

While there currently aren’t “commercials” or advertising placements on IGTV, we can only expect Instagram to allow brands to place pre-roll and in-stream ads for videos uploaded to the platform in the future. Since the platform is so new, there is a great deal of unexplored opportunity for brands to capitalize on and reach new audiences.


Katharine Longo is the social media manager at The James Agency.