Instagram is a fast-growing platform, evolving from a simple online photo album to an engaging channel perfect for growing a community. At its most basic, it primarily gives your audience access to curated content made up of both photos and videos. But it’s really about so much more than that. While we’ve been allowed to post snackable videos on our feeds for quite some time now, Instagram rolled out IGTV and changed everything. Nowadays, brands rightfully wonder how to improve their IGTV engagement and continue growing and nurturing their audience.
IGTV Was Dubbed as “the Next Generation of Video”
It introduced itself as purely “mobile-first,” tending to the behavior of most of the app’s users. IGTV lets you craft content that is longer than a video post in your feed can be. You can upload a video that’s as long as one hour, offering major benefits that the alternative one-minute video can’t provide.
Your IGTV videos have their own dedicated tab in your profile and like other kinds of posts, they can show up in the explore feed. With all of these amazing opportunities for creative content and quality engagement, it does have one small setback: It can’t be boosted, yet. Maybe in the future, IG will enable us to run ads and get paid views and engagement. But for right now, it has to be hardworking organic engagement, plain and simple.
If you’re already employing IGTV or plan to in the future, how can you make the most of it?
Here’s how you can increase your IGTV engagement.
How to Increase Your IGTV Engagement
Since all traction for IGTV is still organic as of the moment, here are some tips to maximize those opportunities for likes and comments.
1. Content is King, Always
Quality, quality, quality. This always has been and always will be the name of the game.
Never sacrifice the quality of your IGTV videos for the sake of posting more often. One awesome video is far more effective than five mediocre ones. Really dive into what your audience is looking for. What are their hopes, goals, dreams, problems, pain points? Your videos should address these things in some capacity.
Look at it this way: Put yourself in their shoes. Make sure that you yourself would want to watch the video you’re putting out on IGTV. Does your audience have a reason to watch it until the end? Do they have a reason to stick around and engage with it afterward?
If you can’t satisfy these requirements, you might need to go back to the drawing board before you publish more content.
2. Go Vertical
Format plays a huge part as IGTV gives you an opportunity to maximize the mobile experience. Make sure your videos follow the official 9:16 aspect ratio so that your content will take up the entire mobile screen.
Yes, this likely means that you shouldn’t simply reuse old YouTube videos as IGTV content. If you want to maximize your IGTV engagement, then your content should be optimized for that specific purpose. It’s similar to how you wouldn’t (or at least, you shouldn’t) post something to your regular IG feed that doesn’t fit in neatly as a square.
3. Know Your Audience’s Attention Span
IGTV gives you an option to upload videos that span up to one hour. It can be both a pro and a con if you decide to maximize that function. Are there times when you could benefit from using the full 60 minutes? Absolutely. But that doesn’t always mean that this will be your best bet. It will depend on the kind of content you’re sharing but also on how long your target audience will be interested in sticking around.
You might find that 15 to 30 minutes is a safe length, or you might want to go as low as 10.
Can we tell you the best time length with certainty? Of course not, because that number is going to vary from brand to brand and from topic to topic. The best thing you can do is test it. Across time, post videos of different lengths and track them to see what’s getting more engagement. You might find that your audience loves 30-minute videos. Conversely, you might learn that seven minutes is the sweet spot. You won’t know until you try.
4. Involve Your Viewers for Higher IGTV Engagement
Find ways to make your content as engaging and as interactive as possible. You’re not talking to them. You’re talking with them.
Ask your followers questions, invite them to join a discussion, and give them an opportunity to share their thoughts. Get creative when it comes to giving them a reason to actually hit the like button, leave a comment, or even share your IGTV in their own IG Stories.
Remember, this isn’t all about you and your brand. It’s about getting people invested in your brand. If you don’t get their attention and give them a reason to stay and watch, then your video isn’t doing its job.
One popular move is to direct people to drop a comment in response to something that you cover in the IGTV video. Just be sure that you respond to every comment—yes, every single one! When IG sees this type of interaction, they give you major bonus points. Plus, your followers will love that you actually care about responding to them. It’s great for building relationships and encouraging brand loyalty.
Also bear in mind that this is an excellent opportunity to get feedback and insight from your audience and learn more about them. Use this chance to truly understand them. Ask them what they think of your videos, what they like and don’t like, and what they want to see in the future. IGTV can be a remarkable research tool when you use it properly.
5. Take Your Title to the Next Level
We’d never encourage clickbait, but a flat, boring, one-dimensional title isn’t going to cut it, either. You have to find ways to spice things up a bit.
Keep your title short but catchy. Entice people with something thought-provoking, mysterious, or packed with emotion. It should get them interested enough to click your IGTV video when they stumble upon it in the explore feed or when they’re browsing your profile.
For example, let’s say you’re posting a funny dog video. The video captures a dog bringing in a package from the delivery man. You consider making the title, “Dog brings packages in from delivery man!” But why give it all away without requiring people to click and watch?
Instead, think of something like, “You’ll never believe what this dog did when the delivery man showed up.” It’s intriguing and gives people a reason to click and watch. Be truthful, but don’t be afraid to tease people a little bit.
6. Let Your Audience Know Your Schedule
While having a content plan of your own, let your audience know when your IGTV videos will be released. Teasers will be of help as promotional materials in order to hype your followers and so that they’ll know what to look forward to and when. Keep your followers updated by plotting your teasers and telling them when your video will go live on IGTV before you publish them.
Similar to YouTube, people should trust that they can expect new, fresh, exciting content from you on a consistent basis. If you post infrequently, without any notice, and out of the blue, people will have no reason to visit your profile and check for new content. Engagement and traffic will suffer as a result.
7. Promote Your Vids
Your job isn’t done after publishing the video.
Give yourself and your brand some love by spreading the world. During the upload of an IGTV video, make sure to toggle on the button that allows you to share a preview snippet of the video to your Instagram feed. This will help grab the attention of more viewers and then lead them to watch the full video.
You should also take a moment to share the video to your IG Stories. Viewers can tap through to go to the full video and watch it there. Do this immediately after publishing the video so that you can start gathering more traffic to it right off the bat. Add in a “tap here” or “click here” sticker so that people know exactly what to do to watch it.
8. Go Multi-Platform to Drive IGTV Engagement
It’s never a bad idea to go multi-platform when your main objective is to have a high IGTV engagement for a specific type of content. Thus, you should promote your IGTV videos via Facebook posts or tweets. Create a Pinterest pin for them, talk about them in your blog posts, and send an email broadcast so that your subscribers know about it.
Be bold and create a multi-platform content plan and strategy—as long as all posts lead to the main video. And while IGTV videos can’t be boosted yet, you have an opportunity for a wider reach when crafting paid promotional posts on other platforms, like Facebook and Pinterest.
9. Always Marry Content With Analytics
What does the data tell you about your content? Do viewers like one type of IGTV video more than another? Is there a particular topic that they love learning about?
Follow the analytics. When you combine these insights with killer content, you’ve got a winning combination. You should always have fun with your content because when you do, your viewers will notice. Just don’t ignore what the data is telling you while you do so.
Also, make a point of split-testing, also known as A/B testing. This is a powerful way to really narrow down exactly what your audience wants and needs. Creativity is important, absolutely. But so are the numbers!
It feels like a lot—we know! But once you find your rhythm and get in the swing of things, you’ll see your IGTV engagement climb. These videos can be an incredible part of your overall digital marketing and content marketing strategy.
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