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!