IGTV is taking off, allowing marketers to engage new audiences with video content. But what are the mistakes you should avoid?
Video marketing is perhaps the best type of online marketing currently available to brands, influencers, and other active internet users. What could be more effective than video marketing though? Maybe video marketing combined with social media, which is what Instagram's IGTV feature is.
Here are the five most common IGTV marketing mistakes that both brands and influencers make and how you can avoid them.
The future of IGTV
First, let's talk about the future of IGTV. Why is it so important? For starters, IGTV is the reason Instagram is now a major competitor to both Snapchat and YouTube. In fact, it has already beat Snapchat at its own game, but YouTube is still the most popular video platform.
IGTV doesn't have a monetization feature yet, which sets it apart from, once again, YouTube. This means that viewers will not be annoyed by the constant pop-up and mid-video ads. On the other hand, this also means you won't be able to earn anything (just yet, at least) but there is always a fair chance that Instagram will introduce a monetization feature for IGTV.
There is a demand for long videos with valuable information meaning that IGTV videos will always have an audience. Take National Geographic as an example. The channel uploaded a 48-minute video to IGTV on its official account - it got over a million views and over a thousand comments.
But enough about the benefits of IGTV; let's talk about the biggest mistakes you can do when using this feature for marketing.
1. Misunderstanding your audience
The biggest mistake you can make is to forget about who your audience is. Despite the fact that most people know that Instagram is primarily a social media platform used by teens and yonger generations, many brands still forget this simple fact.
In order to be successful on Instagram, the target audience for your product or service should be under 35 years of age. Otherwise, you probably won't find the customers you are looking for. In addition to that, most teenagers from Gen Z and Y believe that Facebook, which owns Instagram, is old-school and are abandoning the platform.
Since IGTV is a feature on Instagram, most of your viewers will be of the corresponding age. This means that you will have to make your videos suitable for the appropriate audience instead of aiming them solely at older generations.
For instance, Louis Vuitton uploaded a video of its fashion show for the Men's Spring and Summer 2019 collection. This video is notorious for being very aesthetically pleasing while appealing to its audience and sticking to the peculiar format at the same time.
But what can you do if your product or service is not interesting for this audience? In this scenario, you have two options:
- Choose a different platform: Unfortunately, you might have to forget about Instagram and choose something different. If you already decided on this platform, then it may be a bit harder for you to say goodbye to it, but this may be your only choice in some cases.
- Optimize the product/service for this audience: Even though it sounds simple, it may be quite complicated depending on what your brand focuses on. Making your product or service appealing to Instagram users is quite possible, and there is a big chance you will succeed if you go this way.
2. Forgetting about a schedule
Just as with any other form of content, posting to IGTV must be a regular practice rather than something you do once in a blue moon. Having a schedule is important if you want to increase your follower base and get your content noticed.
all social media platforms are highly competitive environments that you will have to try to "survive" in. Your posts can be easily forgotten or lost in a sea of other similar posts. If you don't post, your followers will find someone else, someone better who posts regularly.
Take Buzzfeed, for example. It doesn't stray too much from its usual style and tone of videos on other social media platforms and makes sure to post regularly, keeping users engaged and interested.
The recommended frequency for usual Instagram posts is one or two times per day, but IGTV is obviously different. Ideally, you would have to post in a frequency that you can keep up with. So, if you know that you can upload one video every week, then do just that - but make sure you stick with this schedule.
Along with deciding on the number of videos per week, think of when you will be uploading them. Most people are usually more active online in the evenings and during the weekends. Logically, a great idea would be to upload to IGTV in the evening or even on a Sunday afternoon in order to make the most of people's browsing habits.
3. Losing focus
Another common mistake Instagram users make when using IGTV is losing focus. This can be as simple as forgetting to post regularly or as big as having no set topics that you post about. For example, you made three videos in one month about makeup, travel, and food respectively, meaning your channel has no focus.
You need to ensure that your videos follow a trend, whether this is a style or topic. For example, Warby Parker, an eyewear brand, uploads interviews to IGTV. These interviews are taken from all kinds of influential people, but what they have in common is the focus on glasses and the Warby Parker brand.
Just as with any kind of marketing, you must have a clear aim in mind when setting up your IGTV marketing strategy. You must know what do you want to gain and decide what you will be posting about depending on this goal. Otherwise, all your efforts may be in vain.
4. Improper formatting
One of the biggest differences between YouTube and Instagram's IGTV is that the latter requires vertical videos. However, many seem to forget about this and attempt to upload videos in the format you usually see on YouTube.
The vertical format can limit your options in terms of what you can show in your videos, but it can also open the doors to many new possibilities. For instance, many Instagram users are already used to the Stories feature, which, as you probably know, allows vertical images and videos.
When creating videos for IGTV, keep this peculiarity in mind and format them appropriately. If you film your videos, use a special format or simply film them with a smartphone. If you create animated videos, preset the dimensions beforehand.
5. Overlooking the basics
Last but not least, a lot of IGTV users seem to forget about the simple basics. Here are some things that you should keep in mind when publishing your video with this Instagram feature:
- Title: Unlike usual Instagram posts, you need to title your IGTV videos. Make sure that the title is catchy, concise, and reflects the topic of your video.
- Cover image: Unsurprisingly, some people are not even aware that you can add a cover image to your IGTV videos. Always design a cover image for your videos, but don't make it too crowded with stickers or phrases.
- Hashtags: You can and should add hashtags to your IGTV videos. The ideal number of tags to use is between five and seven, but this isn't a hard and fast rule. As long as you don't go overboard and use to many or fail ti use them at all, you should be on your way to success.
- Call to action: How can anyone possibly forget about this? It turns out, that it is quite possible. Include a call to action at the end of your videos to prompt viewers to do something, whether this is leave a comment, follow you, or share your video.
All in all, you must definitely include IGTV into your digital marketing strategy. Remember about the most popular mistakes and try to avoid them like the plague. Instead, use the ideas recommended in this article.