Content Types

How brands can use IGTV, with examples

By December 8, 2019 February 3rd, 2020 No Comments

IGTV has been around for a while now but the uptake has been slow. However, the tide appears to be turning as more people and brands are consuming and making content for IGTV. As Instagram’s answer to YouTube, marketers should pay attention as the platform draws more content creators away from its competitors.

With traction growing, it’s a good time to dip your toes into the IGTV world. And really, it makes sense to reach people on a platform they are already spending their time on and where your brand already has an established audience.

What to remember when creating your IGTV strategy

IGTV is obviously optimised for phone viewing and as such content is best created in vertical format in a ratio of 16:9. The IGTV gods have recently allowed horizontal videos on to the platform too, but who has time to turn their phones around these days? Vertical viewing also encourages videos to be uploaded straight from your phone, so think understated editing and maximum authenticity.

IGTV videos are long-form, which can range between 15 seconds all the way up to 10 minutes. Bigger platforms even have the option to extend to 60 minutes, not that they should. Use the analytics available on the platform to experiment with your video lengths and find that sweet spot. Hint: it is usually between 3-5 minutes, you’ll want to at least hit the one-minute mark so you can promote it on your feed and make that minute count to draw in the views.

While IGTV has a standalone app, you can just post and view IGTV videos straight from your Instagram app. Once it is loaded I recommend pushing it to your feed and sharing a teaser on your Instagram stories. To get even greater exposure and create further brand awareness, you can also use hashtags and share it to Facebook Watch.

When brainstorming content ideas keep your audience as your core focus: appeal to them, and them only. Choose the right content for your audience and stick with it, don’t try to do everything. And if you do go for it be consistent, give your watchers something to regularly look forward to.

So what can you use IGTV for?


Share exclusive content

Sharing content exclusive to your IGTV followers is a great way to build an engaged and dedicated audience. This will incentivise them to tune in and keep them coming back for more.

Vanity Fair is a clear leader when it comes to this kind of content. Using the pull of celebrity status their IGTV videos give you an exclusive insight into celeb lives and their careers.


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#VFHollywood cover Star Jennifer Lopez shares her tips for delivering an authentic Bronx accent.

A post shared by Vanity Fair (@vanityfair) on

Show behind-the-scenes action of your product or service

Your product or service is great, now it is time to show off the story behind it. Displaying what you have to offer in a video format from start to finish will capture your audience and help them to gain an insight into the value.

Brands such as Mimco are using this method to showcase their jewellery from the design process all the way to the finished product.


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A post shared by MIMCO (@_mimco) on

Give VIP access

Putting on an event? Something fun happening in the office? Why not take your IGTV fans along for the ride. This helps you further develop your relationship with the audience and make them really feel a part of your brand.

Fashion brands such as Aje have been using this one a lot when it comes to creating waves around their fashion shows. From castings all the way to runway day they take you along for the ride to a usually very exclusive event.


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A post shared by Aje. (@_aje_) on

Tell stories

You know here at TCD we love to tell stories, so of course I highly recommend you do the same in IGTV format. Again, build that connection. Tell stories that align to your brand, what you’re about, who you are and who you serve. Hello customer reviews and success stories.

The Dodo are experts at storytelling, and when the subject matter is cute animals it’s hard not to be drawn in. Even if your target is of the human kind, their account will give you epic storytelling inspo.

Show off your expertise

The time for thought leadership is now. Use all that knowledge and expertise you have and put it to good use. This can be in the form of interviews, Q&As or discussions on topics you are passionate and knowledgeable about.

The Economist has nailed this one and you’re guaranteed to learn something by watching any of their IGTV videos.

Give tutorials

How can people use your product/service? Is it complex? Does it have other secret talents? Answer your customers’ questions before they even have to ask and do it all in one place with quick and simple tutorials. This will probably avoid you trying to explain in words something that is much easier shown and yes, say goodbye to repetitive questions.

Makeup brands are the winners in this space and Benefit has taken the crown. Not only do they do makeup tutorials, they centre them around new product launches to show off exactly what the new products do and how they can be used. Their IGTV feed is heavily sprinkled with celebrities and influencers, which definitely doesn’t hurt either. But this extends to so many types of businesses – builders, accountants, chefs, graphic designers, the list goes on.


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Watch as @carobiparada transforms her brows using our 2-in-1 multitasking pencil & powder, #benefitbrowstyler!

A post shared by Benefit Cosmetics US (@benefitcosmetics) on

Create IGTV series

This feature is only a recent rollout, but allows brands to categorise their videos into series. It’s currently only available on the IGTV app, but I’m sure it will come across to the OG Instagram app soon.

Whatever method you choose, aim for binge-worthy content. Netflix is a prime example of this, when they launched their IGTV they did it with Cole Sprouse, eating a burger, for one hour. Yes, you read that right. Yes, the video does have over 1 million views. And yes, I may have watched the whole thing. What can I say, Netflix knows what their audience wants and they’ve given it to them.

Brands are always looking to add value and gain additional touchpoints so, why not make IGTV apart of that. Implement the above strategies, choose your method and get cracking.

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