Social Media

With a new feature launch from Instagram, we discuss the importance of long-form video and how to build it into your content strategy.

Last month, Instagram hit a massive one billion users – and celebrated with a shiny new feature called Instagram TV (IGTV). In the race of long-form content, Instagram has upped the game against the likes of YouTube. IGTV, with its vertical video and shiny integration into the Instagram app itself, as well as being a standalone app, is giving creative control to people all over the world.

YouTube is the king of video with more than 7 billion videos available out of 5 billion videos watched every day by more than 30 million users. That’s a lot of content! But how does this shiny feature from the brains of Instagram rival the likes of YouTube, Vimeo and Twitch?

What is IGTV?

Kevin Systrom, Co-founder and CEO of Instagram explained IGTV as a way to watch even more content, whenever you want.

Instagram has always been a place to connect with the people who inspire, educate and entertain you every day. IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video from your favourite Instagram creators, like LaurDIY posting her newest project or King Bach sharing his latest comedy skit.’’

The new feature appears on your home screen and alerts you when someone you are following posts a new video. It keeps you up-to-date and makes sure you don’t miss a thing from your favourite brands or creators, but expands the already varied features that Instagram has in-app. You can now see longer videos directly on your favourite creators’ Instagram profiles.


Why Should You Consider Long Form Video?

Long form video is basically video which is a little longer than typically found on its distribution channel. There isn’t an exact cut-off, but to give you an idea, the average video length on YouTube is 4 minutes 20 seconds. However, when it comes to vlogs, people prefer much longer videos – around the ten minute mark.

It also depends on where you want your users to see your video. Consumers are becoming more and more device-agnostic, so they expect high-quality content to be available no matter where they are, or what device they are watching on. That means phones, tablets and desktops should enable the viewer to consume your video content. IGTV currently isn’t available on desktops – because Instagram is a mobile app.

So, Why Should You Use It?

It’s a great way to tell stories and inspire people, and it’s a better way to engage your customers/audience with a big emphasis on the details of the story you are trying to tell. Typically, people drop off after the first ten seconds of watching a video. But you could argue that those people who stay are much more engaged and interested in consuming your content – and are more likely to follow a CTA at the end of it or become a repeat consumer. In fact, 46% of users act after viewing an ad. 

How Can You Use It as Part of Your Overall Strategy?

Integrating any form of video into your overarching digital marketing and social media strategy is recommended – but you need to do it in the right way. Long form video to outline your business’ mission by connecting to audiences is one way to win the hearts (and minds) of customers!

As long as you can provide great, high-quality content at a consistent rate, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have this content in your strategy.

Here are three things you need to do to make it successful: 

  • Make Sure You Plan Ahead: With any content, you need to ensure you have a balance of content that is planned in, as well as being reactive to your industry.
  • Enable Your Reach: Use hashtags to make sure people see the great stuff you are creating! In IGTV, you can select topics, which people can then search for.
  • Keep It Relevant: Making sure your content is in-line with your brand messaging is key. Keep it in your industry to ensure your audience stay interested.

Over to You

The future is in-app experiences. It will be interesting to see how brands and creators use this tool to further their connections with audiences worldwide. If you would like to learn more about how social or long-form video can work for you, please feel free to get in touch!

2 responses to “IGTV: The New Way to Experience Long Form Video Content”

  1. Delyth Scudamore says:

    Dear Ellie,

    I was just reading your article about IGTV and wanted to get in touch. I’m a drama executive who works in high-end television, a total dinosaur when it comes to social content and how to use it with our programming. I’m doing a bit of research into vertical videos and wondered if you’d let me pick your brains over coffee. It seems an exciting area to push new storytelling and I’d love to know more.

    Our company recently branched into TV, our first show being A Very English Scandal for BBC and Amazon. The film side is headed by two of the top producers in the UK, having made such hits as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, In Bruges and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

    Very best wishes,


    • Ellie Buckle Ellie Buckle says:

      Hey Delyth!

      I think IGTV is definitely a game changer for storytelling. After all – it’s what is at the route of marketing! How people consume content has changed at such a rapid pace over the past few years, that introductions of new platforms like IGTV, Facebook TV and even YouTube red are hugely on the rise. Platforms that were meant for one thing, are no expanding out to other niches – and why shouldn’t they? I think the really important thing is being able to identify where your audience wants to consume content – and so far IGTV has proved really popular for that. In particular with storytelling, and brand campaigns – CTA’s are really clear and the content is short and to the point. A match made in heaven if you ask me. If you are ever in Nottingham let me know – would love to have you over to the office for a coffee and a chat of how social is affecting the film industry!



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