Since acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram has grown more than five times the size of competing photo app Snapchat but they haven’t stopped there. With 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is now coming after YouTube with new app and add on feature IGTV but what can this do for your music promotion?
What Is IGTV?
Instagram has introduced the new app for long-form video called IGTV, which exists as a tab within Instagram but also as an additional app. On IGTV, videos can go as long as ten minutes, compared to the one-minute limit that Instagram always had. For creators with larger audiences, they can post up to 60-minute videos but all pre-recorded content, although they’ve hinted at live videos being introduced in the future.
Unlike the main Instagram app which shows videos via stories at the top of your page, or one-minute maximum videos throughout your feed, IGTV videos appear as a series of thumbnails at the bottom of a creator’s page. You simply tap on the thumbnail and the video will go full screen. On the lower left-hand corner of each video, there are three icons that are the same as you’ve always had on Instagram: a heart, a comment bubble and a share tool.
IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app, trying to have a similar feel to watching the TV. You can start by watching people you follow on Instagram but there are options to discover more with ‘Following You’, ‘Following’, ‘Popular’ and ‘Continue Watching’.
Who Is Using It?
Instagram hopes the platform with be used by all of its active users, but popular creators are already playing around with it, such as the Kardashians. Not just major creators are using the platform either as publishers like National Geographic, who have more than 88 million Instagram followers, have already started uploading to IGTV.
How Do I Upload to It?
Open up the IGTV app or if you’re on the Instagram app, click the IGTV logo on the top right of your feed. Click your profile picture, which appears to the right of Search IGTV. It’ll then take you through a number of steps and tips on how to make your channel. Once that’s done, head to your home page where you can upload content by clicking the plus button.
Unlike Instagram, IGTV doesn’t let you actually make the content on the app so you have to upload pre-recorded videos from your camera roll. The file size is up to 3.6GB as an MP4 so you can upload fairly large, good quality footage. Another thing that IGTV offers, which Instagram doesn’t, is the ability to upload via a computer.
YouTube VS IGTV
The major differences between YouTube and IGTV are the formatting itself, with YouTube running horizontally and IGTV vertically, with the aim for it to be more accessible on mobile.
IGTV doesn’t have any ads just yet, however YouTube pays its users via the ads. However, Instagram have commented that they’ll be hoping to introduce adverts to the app once they’ve gauged the initial reaction from users.
Unlike YouTube, Instagram hasn’t announced any form of monetisation just yet, but it is inevitable that IGTV monetisation will be an upcoming feature which could also include ad revenue share.
How to Use IGTV to Promote Your Music
Now for the important part, how can you use IGTV to promote your music?
Tech experts are estimating IGTV to be a dominate player in the social media industry, meaning if you as an artist jump on this before others, you’ll be ahead of the game. The longer vertical video gives you the opportunity to get closer to your audience and be discovered by new users every day.
Firstly, it’s another platform to share your music video, meaning you have a whole new audience viewing it that never would have before. Don’t worry about it generating views away from your YouTube video because it’s not about figures at the end of the day, it’s about how many people you’re impacting with that release and who will come back for more.
With major influencers already using this brand-new platform, this gives musicians the opportunity to use these influencers to their advantage. Just like YouTube, these IGTV high follower users will need music for their videos as 60 minutes of visual with background music will be much stronger than a silent 60-minute video. Approach these IGTV users with your music, offering your track for them to use in the background of their video.
Just like YouTube, you can create a completely new audience compared to your Facebook and Twitter fans. With the ability to create video as long as 60 minutes, you can be creative with your videos, following the 3 simple types of content rule: entertaining, educating and documenting.
Entertaining your potential and current fanbase is always stronger with video so IGTV is giving you a fantastic opportunity to entertain. Achieve this by showing off the personalities in the band, with content such as tour diaries.
Everyone wants to learn something new and if you can provide that then there’s a huge opportunity there for you to increase fans and loyalty. Use video to talk to your audience about something you know, and they may not. For example, you may play an obscure instrument that not many people play, so teach your audience some real simple tips on how to play it.
By teaching you also end up improving your own skills as well as working out just how much you know, meaning you can always fill in the gaps that are missing in the future. You can even run an IGTV video on what you’ve learnt recently as staying humble is more likely to draw in an audience than seeing yourself as superior and separating yourself from them.
Everyone loves to follow a story so document your band’s story no matter what stage you may be at. As IGTV is pre-recorded, this gives you the opportunity to plan out your content, creating a storyboard of how you will document your story from day one. You can do this at any time and any place so if you’re in the studio start recording or even if the whole band is sat together in the pub, start filming some footage to edit together for IGTV and gradually people will start to follow your journey.
By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile traffic so be among the first artists to lead the future of video.