What is IGTV and what will it mean for social media marketing?

Mon, 25/06/2018 - 18:20

In the world of fast-moving technology, apps have to keep up with consumer demands. This means that they have to update continually, bringing out new and exciting features to keep consumers interested and increase the number of people who download the app. This is exactly what Instagram has done. 

In early 2018, one of the many updates was the inbox simplification, which made it easier to receive and send messages which was followed by the sliding emoji scale which made stories more interactive for the audience. Now, Instagram has brought about IGTV (Instagram TV) which is available via Instagram and as a standalone app, which will allow creators to post videos of up to 60 minutes long. 

It has been touted as a competitor to YouTube, but this has yet to be seen. Any SEO agency in Cape Town should take note, as IGTV could provide unique opportunities to social media marketers. 

So, what exactly is IGTV?
According to the IGTV page this new feature is, “mobile first, simple and intuitive and focused on creators.” Simply put, it is a way for creators to post vertically oriented video to their profiles, much like their previous "Stories" or "Live feed" options allowed. However, the difference is that IGTV videos will be permanent. 

Creators using IGTV will be able to build and develop their own channel, hence the comparison to YouTube. This will allow creators stronger storytelling abilities and will also help them to build active and engaged audiences. 

A major feature is that creators have the ability to link out of the video to web pages or even to their Instagram profile. The link can be accessed by ‘swiping up’ during the video, a simple action that can bring in hundreds of conversions and leads for an SEO agency in Cape Town. 

The IGTV app is aimed at a younger audience, one that may not have grown up with TV the way many older people know it, but who spend their time browsing YouTube for content rather than flicking through channels on a remote. This opens the door for more social media marketers and digital marketing agencies to get on board, as there is now an easy way to reach the younger target audience that was once so elusive. 

What does this mean for social media marketing?
Social media marketing relies on audience engagement, which is what the new IGTV app promises in spades. For those clients who have their core audiences on Instagram, it is a unique opportunity to deepen relationships with customers and prospective customers. 

Below are just some of the ways that social media marketers and any digital marketing agency in Cape Town can use Instagram TV to their benefit. 

Content possibilities
Part and parcel of social media marketing is content creation and content marketing. While it is not clear if Instagram’s new app will include advertisements, it does offer the opportunity to test out the waters for brands that are interested in the marketing power of video.

While short videos that have been optimised using audience segmentation catch our interest, they might not have a lot of staying power in terms of consumer’s memory retention. Shorter formats do have their place in advertising, but IGTV allows creators, and thus brands, to build up campaigns that can connect with users on a deeper level and at a pace that is refreshing in a world of fast-paced, short-burst content. 

Mobile is becoming the first screen
For many years, the mobile screen has been considered second to that of the television screen, being used more as an entertainment device than something that marketers could tap into. This small screen has now become a powerful technological tool for both consumers and businesses. 

Since the inception of social media, however, mobile phones have become the new “first screen”, meaning that consumers now turn to their mobile phones for their news, entertainment and even online shopping.  In addition to this, more and more people are starting to prefer watching videos on their mobile phones, meaning that social media marketers can use IGTV to offer consumers unique content, and because mobile has become the "first screen", consumers will see this content almost as soon as it is made. 

Consumer behaviour is evolving
While Instagram has traditionally been geared towards short-form content, it has been shown that consumers can spend hours browsing through these short Stories that have been posted to the app. This means that their previous behaviour of preferring short bursts of content has evolved into preferring long-form content. 

Essentially, consumers have been “binge-watching” short-form content because their behaviour has evolved to a preference of longer videos. This means that the IGTV app has arrived at the right time and for the right market. Social media marketers can utilise this new behaviour by creating a channel for each of their brands and posting videos to Instagram. Those who follow the brand will be alerted to the new video and will be able to watch it instantly. 

What does the future hold?
While the new IGTV app has brought with it immense opportunities for social media marketing, there are still some unanswered questions that marketers have. Such as, will ads be allowed and if so, how will payments work for creator channels? Social media marketers can leverage IGTV to interact more with their clients’ audiences, adapting their content to be longer and more “untouched” like other content creators.  

There are other questions to consider, such as whether or not it will remain mobile-only as a platform and if Google will index the IGTV videos. For any digital marketing agency in Cape Town, this new app is an exciting step forward to better customer engagement. 

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