How to Start Creating Videos for IGTV

Learn some production tips for making vertical videos and how to use this new channel to your advantage.

August 28, 2018

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Trevor Holmes


IGTV. No, it doesn’t stand for “iguanas going to Vegas.” It’s Instagram Television. That’s right, TV on your phone! This year, Instagram launched IGTV, a new app-within-an-app that allows users to upload and watch videos that are up to an hour long. In the past, users could only upload 1-minute videos, but this change means that anyone — not just big celebrities — can upload creative, long-form content to the app.

Plain and simple, IGTV is a video platform made specifically for vertical video. If you’re a marketer or social media user, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about IGTV lately. In this post, we’re going to talk all about what it is, how it works, and how to get started making video on this brand new platform. Let’s go!

What is IGTV?

With IGTV, you can watch content from your favorite Instagrammers directly within the native Instagram app, as well as on the separate, IGTV app. Kevin Systrom, Instagram’s CEO, said they “ … made it a dedicated app so you can tap on it and enjoy video without all the distraction.”

So what does this update mean for you as a business? Chances are, you’re already using the classic Instagram app in some way to promote your business, but you may not be creating vertical content yet. If you want to get ahead of the game, vertical video is a great place to start.

“Chances are, you’re already using the classic Instagram app in some way to promote your business, but you may not be creating vertical content yet.”

Vertical video is a trend that started to take off with Instagram Stories back in 2016, and we’ve seen it grow ever since. Just look around … video is everywhere! And people are spending more and more time watching videos on their phones.

What types of videos are supported?

From the looks of it, IGTV is Instagram’s shot at taking on YouTube — except it’s all about vertical video. And while you can technically upload traditional, 16:9 horizontal video, it’s not really the best experience for your viewers.

Right out of the gate, IGTV supports up to 4k in vertical videos that are at least 15 seconds long, and that run up to 10 minutes for most accounts (the full-hour hasn’t rolled out to everyone yet). This means that the size here is exactly the same as Instagram Stories, with a 9:16 aspect ratio. Anyone who has an Instagram account can create their own IGTV channel and start making and sharing long-form content!

What types of videos should you share?

If you’re already making video content for your Instagram Stories or Highlights, you’re in luck! You actually don’t have to make super high-quality videos in order to upload to IGTV. As far as production quality goes, think of it as leveling up your Instagram Stories.

“As far as production quality goes, think of it as leveling up your Instagram Stories.”

So, if you’re just starting out, shoot with your phone and then use a video editor to cut together a quick edit. It doesn’t have to be perfect — think of a simple concept for your content and then make a quick script. Your first IGTV video could be filmed and edited in under 2 hours, which is pretty sweet!

And as with all brand new social media platforms, the results aren’t really in yet on what types of content are super successful here, so don’t be afraid to try out new some ideas and experiment. Make videos for this platform in your own style and tone of voice, and see what resonates with your audience.

Tips for making IGTV content

It’s time! You’re ready to shoot a video for IGTV. Here are some down and dirty tips to help you get started.

  • Shoot with your native camera app, not the Instagram app. You’ll have more control over the quality of the shot and can let the camera roll between takes to keep things efficient.
  • Footage too shaky? Get a smartphone mount! It lets you clip into any tripod to keep that footage locked in and steady.
  • Use the Voice Memo app as a microphone. This is a great way to record voice overs or get better audio if you’re far away from your subject.
  • Airdrop your videos to your computer for editing. This is a super fast way to get all your files over from your phone at once
  • Edit on a video editor. If you’re already editing video for your business and have access to editors like Premiere or Final Cut, use them! However, keep in mind that free video editors like iMovie don’t support editing vertical video yet.

If you’re looking for even more production tips for vertical video, check out this video we made all about leveling up your Instagram Stories. And don’t forget, always shoot vertically!

Bonus marketing benefits

The great thing about making content for IGTV, is that it seamlessly links up with your Instagram account. You’ll see a new little icon on your profile once you’ve published your first piece of content, and followers can get straight to your channel from there to watch the rest of your content.

“The great thing about making content for IGTV, is that it seamlessly links up with your Instagram account.”

Already have a following on Instagram? Use IGTV and your Instagram stories together. Once you’ve published a new IGTV video, it’ll show up in the IGTV app and will let your followers know on Instagram.

Take it one step further and use your Instagram Stories to promote your newly made IGTV content. When you create a new story, you’ll now see you have an opportunity to link to an existing IGTV video. Followers who view your story can swipe up to watch right from within your story!

This is a great way to promote new IGTV content you publish and get eyes on your channel. So now that you have a firm grasp on the basics of this new channel, you’re ready to dive into the world of vertical video. Have you made an IGTV video for your business yet? Share it with us in the comments, we’d love to check it out!

See you on the ’gram!

August 28, 2018

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Trevor Holmes


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