Videos have quickly become the most engaging form of digital content, and whether you’re a traveler putting your footage out into the world, or a travel brand looking to expand your reach, there’s one platform you should be using:
IGTV, or Instagram TV, is a relatively new part of the Instagram experience, which allows you to post long-form, immersive video that isn’t limited to one minute, and when viewed, takes over your entire screen.
With over 1 billion Instagram users it’s incredibly powerful for making sure your travel videos are being seen. So in this article, we’re going to take a closer look at IGTV; what it is, how to use it, and tips on how to create the best videos to increase your reach.
Are Your Travel Videos Being Seen? Everything You Need to Know About IGTV
What is IGTV?
IGTV is a feature within the Instagram app, designed for watching videos up to 60 minutes long (though it’s also available as a separate standalone app).
It’s Instagram’s version of YouTube, which allows you to upload a mobile optimised video for Instagram users to watch.
Anyone on Instagram can set up their own channel, and this allows you to upload longer form videos than with stories (which are limited to 15 seconds per clip), and to publish edited videos, which you can’t do using Instagram Live.
The main difference between IGTV and Youtube is firstly the audience (you’re streaming to Instagram users vs Youtube users), the higher liklihood of your videos being found, via tabs like “for you”, “following”, and “popular”, and a video viewing experience which doesn’t currently have any ads.
However video for IGTV needs to be produced specifically with the platform in mind, as there are a number of peculiarities which make it unique from any other video channel online.
Instagram has specific guidelines when posting videos to IGTV, and for this reason, you can’t just grab videos you’ve posted on Facebook and Youtube and easily cross post. The content you create for IGTV needs to be formatted for the platform.
- Orientation. You can post vertical and horizontal videos, though vertical is the default format most use (and the format best optimised for mobile).
- Maximum video size. If your video is up to 15 minutes, it should be no more than 650 MB, up to 60 minutes — 3.6 GB.
- Video resolution. The best option is from 600 x 1067 to 1080 x 1920 pixels. The minimum frame rate is 30 frames per second.
- Video duration. The maximum length depends on the device from which you place the video. For videos uploaded from a smartphone — up to 15 minutes. From a computer — up to 60 minutes. The minimum duration is 1 minute.
- File format. The video must be in MP4 format.
- Aspect ratio. You can upload both vertical (9:16) and landscape (16:9).
- IGTV cover photo size. Recommended photo size — 420 x 654 pixels (jpg format). Aspect ratio — 1:1.55. And remember that Instagram doesn’t allow editing cover pic after posting. It is better to prepare it in advance.
Is It Worth Adding Videos To IGTV?
Whether it’s worthwhile posting your videos to IGTV will depend on what your goals are, but if your goals are to increase the reach of your content and have your brand seen, yes, it’s absolutely worth adding videos to IGTV.
The way that IGTV highlights content in feeds means that users don’t need to be following you to find your video, and you have the chance to stream to a buit-in audience of 1 billion Instagram users.
While not every Instagram user is currrently active on IGTV, based on how quickly Instagram Stories were embraced, we’re likely to see a quick rise in popularity of IGTV, maybe even to the point where it leaves YouTube behind.
Whether you have a personal brand that you’re wanting to grow, or a travel business where you’re wanting to sell actual products, 60% of marketers agree that video tends to drive more engagement.
To understand why your business or personal brand needs IGTV, let’s look at the pros and cons.
Pros of IGTV
- You can save Lives. The Live stream is a popular communication format on Instagram. Previously, users saved live broadcasts to replay in Stories for only 24 hours, after which they were automatically deleted. In 2020, it became possible to immediately save Lives to IGTV. Therefore, if you are streaming a presentation or review, users can easily watch it much later than in 24 hours.
- Longer videos. Your audience can stay on Instagram to view your long form content, and there’s no need to transfer them to the YouTube channel.
- Built-in analytics. You can see how your audience interacts with the video (views, likes, comments), how long they watch the video, at what moment they turn it off.
Cons of IGTV
- Navigation. You can search videos by authors’ names only and keywords from accounts descriptions, not by the titles and video descriptions (which would be logical).
- Specific video requirements. Difficulty can be for those who don’t know how to shoot and edit videos at all. IGTV has clear requirements for the video format and a certain presentation of the material. You can learn more about how to work with videos in the Movavi blog.
How to Add Videos to IGTV?
There are three ways to add videos to IGTV:
- Instagram mobile app;
- Separate IGTV platform (download in the Play Market and App Store);
- The browser version of Instagram.
Let’s take a look at the most popular upload method — Instagram mobile app.
Uploading to IGTV via Instagram App
Click on the ‘Plus’ or ‘Create new’ → ‘IGTV video’ in the application panel and select a video longer than 1 minute on the device.
Then press the ‘Next’ button and proceed to the choice of a cover.
You can add a photo from the gallery. To do this, click the ‘Add from Gallery’ button and pick a suitable photo. Your cover can also be one of the video freeze frames.
It’s best to make a high-quality cover photo that reveals the essence of your video. If you don’t know how to use Photoshop, any online editor like Canva or Crello can help you create the cover.
After you have decided on the cover, click the ‘Next’ button. Here you are prompted to add a title, description of your video, and some hashtags.
The title should reflect the essence of the video in 5-7 words. Of course, this will be a USP (unique selling proposition) or call to action.
In the description, do a short video overview. If you don’t know what to write, just answer the question: ‘Why should your subscribers watch this?’
Pro tip: IGTV hashtags work the same way as for feed posts — navigating and increasing reach.
You can also uncheck ‘Post a Preview’ if you don’t want the video to appear on your profile and feed.
If you have more than one 15-minute video, combine them into a series. This option is available when uploading from a phone, choosing the ‘Add to Series’ function.
After that, you just need to click on the ‘Post to IGTV’ button and please your subscribers with fresh, relevant content.
What to Shoot?
It’s not just the technical requirements that are important for IGTV, your actual ideas are extremely important as well. Ultimatelty, nobody wants to watch boring content.
Here are some ideas for content which typically performs well:
Instructional videos. These can be specific videos with detailed descriptions and explanations. Or simple videos to music, where the master explains the technology.
Product intros / reviews. If you are a business owner, you can make short films about your brand’s goods or services. You can also upload real videos from your customers reviews. Don’t be afraid of experimenting.
Interviews. People enjoy watching other individuals’ reactions, behavior, and lives; that’s why such content is in great demand. And with interviews you can guide the conversation to keep it interesting and entertaining.
Funny videos. These videos will always be popular. You can come up with a script from scratch, or you can post a video from your daily life. Perhaps this is what will bring popularity to your Instagram.
Unique content. Create a unique rubric that relates to you, your life, your target audience, or your company. There are no limitations here. Post 60-minute, high-quality videos on numerous topics regularly, film your fictional series, the sky is the limit to your imagination.
Tips on How to Increase Reach
Attracting an audience to your IGTV channel won’t be an overnight success, or easy. It takes hard work, consistency, and high quality content. You can utilise some of the following tips:
➤ Plan out a content calendar for your videos and post them on a regular schedule to maintain consistency.
➤ Any link in the description of an IGTV video is clickable, so you can create traffic to any site. Just add a link to the video description, and it will open when clicked.
➤ Focus on creating high quality content. Be real.
➤ Maintain a dialogue with your audience. Users like and comment on your videos. Talk to fans, respond to their comments. They will appreciate that you give them attention.
➤ Publish original content that you share only here and nowhere else. In this case, your fans will simply have to follow your channel if they don’t want to miss interesting news.
➤ Use hashtags in your video descriptions if you want more Instagram reach. You can include hashtags in your IGTV video description, and the clip will appear in search results.
➤ Choose an eye catching cover photo for your video, and don’t forget to insert the intro for long videos. Briefly tell subscribers what the video is about. Don’t make the introduction too long; otherwise, the audience will lose interest.
➤ Don’t forget about subtitles. Statistically, most users watch videos without sound. Therefore, having subtitles will be your videos’ advantage.
➤ Add titles to your videos, especially if the cover image makes it difficult to understand what is at stake. Try to use 18-20 characters in the title.
Instagram TV isn’t as a complex platform as it might appear at first glance. The most significant point is not to ignore the technical requirements and to make sure it’s high quality content you’re uploading.
Moral of the story: If you want your travel videos to be seen, try your hand at IGTV!