Instagram TV: The New Social Tool Waiting to Help Boost Your Business - MCM

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July 5, 2018 Carl Winter

Instagram TV: The New Social Tool Waiting to Help Boost Your Business

Instagram TV has dropped! The social media launch of the year is a brand-new tool waiting to be moulded to your digital marketing needs, but where to begin? We know that new-fangled ways of promoting your brand can be intimidating, even to the savviest internet user, especially when the tool is such unchartered territory. But don’t fret, we’re here to walk you through what could be a powerful tool for your business, with ideas to try out and handy tips to get you started. Let’s dive in!

What are you going on about?

Not sure what Instagram TV is? As it was only released a few weeks ago, you are not alone. The app is the latest release from image sharing giant Instagram. It has been called their challenge to YouTube, and, as it is still shiny and new, marketing elves across the world are holding their breath waiting to find out what it will develop into. Here, however, are a few key facts that we can be sure of: 

–       For the first time on Instagram you can upload videos up to an hour long (the minimum being 15 seconds), although currently only verified and larger accounts can have videos longer than 10 minutes. Before now, Instagram would only allow videos up to a minute long, and that was on your feed, not a separate app.
–       Video requirements:
o   Size: 9:16
o   Format: MP4
o   Can be up to 3.6GB in size
o   Must be in portrait mode (so it’s easiest to record footage on your smartphone)

 The most exciting part of this launch is its unknown factor. There are very few times in this digital age where a platform is launched with an established audience (1 million people have already downloaded it from the GooglePlay store alone) with so little content that there is a big opportunity to create genuinely unique and original content, establishing yourself as a leading and pioneering user of the app. Furthermore, as it is yet to become overly saturated with content (like YouTube is), there is a higher chance you will be discovered by a large audience. So, download it (its free!), and have a play.

Setting Up:

Instagram TV (IGTV) is super user friendly. There is a separate app for it (called IGTV) but you can also access it from the main Instagram App. The upload system is the same, no matter the application, and it is really easy to link the new app with your Instagram account! Once you’re logged in, you have to create a channel. The process takes seconds, and here’s how you do it:

How to Set Up an Instagram TV (IGTV) Account

 Upload a Video:

Uploading a video couldn’t be easier. You can do it from the home screen, if you’re using the IGTV app, or click the icon in the top right-hand corner if you’re accessing it from Instagram:

How to upload a video to Instagram TV (IGTV)


The Home Page:

As already stated, the interface is very user friendly, but for those of you who are unsure, here are what the different tabs on the homepage mean and look like:


A guide to Instagram TV (IGTV)'s home page


You can also search for videos from the home page, just click the magnifying glass.

To get rid of the menu bar and view the video in full screen, tap the screen above the search bar. From here you can like, comment and share videos, swipe to go to the next video, or tap to skip forward a bit.

To get back to the home page, just click ‘browse’ or swipe up (the video will continue playing in the background).


Full Screen View of Instagram TV (IGTV)Full Screen Video on Instagram TV

(Source: Olivia Cowley IGTV)

But how can this help my business?

As it’s in its early days, there is no established, tried and tested way businesses are using the app. Whilst in-video advertising is likely to appear in the future, there is currently no way to have your business’s adverts placed within the videos. However, with 1 million people having already downloaded the IGTV app, on top of the 1 billion people who have downloaded Instagram (and that’s just on Android!) there are plenty of customers waiting to discover your business. Therefore, take this rare opportunity of having a brand-new app, with no established format or unofficial rules, to play around with any ideas that come to mind, and see what audience you are able to attract. To start you off, and get your creative juices flowing, here are just a few video ideas you could implement into your social media strategy:

Product Features

If you have a newly released product out, film an in-depth video showing how to use it.

You could also feature established products, to remind customers of their existence, maybe even showing how to use them in a novel way to attract interest from a wider range of people.


Create a video series, forming an audience that will return to your channel week after week (increasing audience interaction with your channel and Instagram page). This series could take many forms, including:

–       A news show about your industry – market yourselves as industry experts and the place to come for the most up to date information.

–       A spoof game-show based around the office, so people can get to know the staff.

–       Advice on topics to do with your industry.

–       Tutorials on how to use software you use (break it up into sections of the application, showing how to use a different section each week).

–       Interview staff members.

Behind the Scenes

Give a tour of the office or production line. Give a sneak peak into the production process or into a particular project, explaining what happens at each stage. People love seeing how things work and what goes into making something.

Hype up upcoming projects/products

Have a product launching soon? Post trailers, sneak peaks of ad campaigns etc.

You could also show the highlight reel of a product launch event.

Distribute content

Have a video already on your Instagram Stories or YouTube channel? Maybe you have a live show you want to treasure forever (currently they are only viewable for 24 hours after they finish). Upload it to IGTV too, increasing the number of people likely to view it.

For more advice on video production, click here.

Publicise your Content

So, you have beautiful videos uploaded to your IGTV account, but no-one’s viewing them. Don’t fret! Whist people are still discovering this app and working out how to use it, you can’t expect the views to flood in from the off. Therefore, advertising its existence is more important than ever. Tell people on all of your other social media channels that there is exclusive content on your IGTV account (be sure to explain how to find it whilst the app is still new). Share the first 5 seconds, with a call-to-action to view the full video on your IGTV account, to get people hooked (this would work especially well on your Insta-stories). If it is a video version of a blog post, be sure to link to it from your blog. Mention product demos on the relevant product post on your insta-feed. You can also upload videos simultaneously to Facebook Watch to share your content with a wider audience, with minimal effort on your part. The IGTV-world is your oyster.

Now you have all the information you need, and more, about how to make the most of this exciting new tool, go out and Insta-TV to your heart’s content!

For further help with your social media strategy, be sure to contact MCM Net today.