Three Ways to Use Instagram’s IGTV for Your Brand Strategy

Last week, Instagram announced two significant milestones: the social channel reached 1 billion monthly users and it rolled out a platform called IGTV, a mobile-first, YouTube-esq, social experience curated to longer, vertical videos. It’s Instagram’s way of bringing brands closer to audiences and allowing people to discover them.

For the brand communicator, it’s more content to create. We’re in the story-tizing era, and 1 billion users are busy sharing their lives visually. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of mobile data traffic. Now is the time for your brand to capitalize on a familiar platform that’s added a twist.

As IGTV was released only days ago, my thoughts here are preliminary. Nobody is a certified expert on IGTV at this point. Second, be forewarned about the name itself; as Facebook Live is not TV, neither is IGTV the equivalent of TV.

With those caveats, here are three content ideas to integrate the new IGTV platform into your next campaign:

Boost Your Employee Engagement

As we know, employees are the backbone of brands. They make your products, sell your services and are on the front line talking to your consumers. So why shouldn’t you focus on their story? You could use IGTV to showcase the great people, executives or thought leaders important to your cause. Introduce them to your audience, ask them questions from the comments, conduct a Vlog (video blog) about their life or highlight a career achievement.

Have some fun. Share stories of your brand's team on a college recruitment trip or highlight that great VR experience at CES. You want to place your messages where audiences can organically find them and trust them. I believe IGTV is a channel to enhance employee impact.

Share News and Trends

Is your brand an industry leader? Do you share news on Twitter, Facebook and other owned channels? Share what is new in a branded IGTV show. Report your news and announcements to an audience that retains information better when it’s heard from a source. Establish a face of your brand to share updates, or take it one step further by having a special guest appear on your IGTV channel. Let the special guest make the announcement.

Did you know National Geographic is the top brand on Instagram with 89 million followers? During the launch event of IGTV, National Geographic announced it would become one of the first media companies to offer long-form content on Instagram, and it ran the final, one-hour episode of its TV series, “One Strange Rock,” on IGTV. National Geographic targeted its largest digital audience to utilize the new storytelling element of IGTV. How can your brand disrupt this online space to tell its story?

Create a Video Series

Can you categorize your videos into different series? Does your brand offer several products? Is it promoting different campaigns, or trying to establish new values? Use IGTV to regulate long-form videos normally found on YouTube to a new home.

If your brand has a podcast, think about creating a studio series and film an episode of your next podcast exclusively for IGTV. Is your brand in the food or technology space? Create a video tutorial series of your latest recipe or unveil and test a novel gadget.

We’re not reinventing the wheel, but repurposing content for the vertical-channel. You can upload up to 60 minutes of video to IGTV, but I recommend not more than 10 minutes when starting.

Ultimately, your goal for a video series should be to guide your ideal customers to take action. Bell manufactures commercial and military helicopter aircraft. Its strategy is to create a video series introducing each aircraft, its main mission subsets. The  goal is to direct the audience to online landing pages to receive additional product information.

David Wolpert is social media manager at Bell. Follow him at: @dfwolpert