On June 20, 2018, Instagram launched its biggest feature since Instagram Stories yet: IGTV. Months in, many brands are still looking for cool IGTV examples to inspire them to jump on Instagram’s newest channel. But does it make sense to focus on that channel at all?
There are, of course, both perks and corks of the IGTV format, which you need to consider before investing your time.
The downfall of IGTV is essentially just one: you need substantially more production time for it in comparison to creating traditional feed posts or, say, Stories. The perks, however, are multiple: with IGTV you can successfully re-engage your existing audience, attract new followers (by being recommended), and create a channel that, unlike Stories, doesn’t disappear after 24 hours.
If you still can’t decide whether IGTV is for you, this article will help you draw some inspiration from 8 brands that found a creative way to incorporate IGTV into their Instagram marketing strategy.
8 IGTV Examples From Brands
To Inspire Your IGTV Strategy
1. Mini-trailers to front-page news, like BBC News
Essentially speaking, BBC News treats IGTV like their mini-YouTube channel. From fighting against receding hairlines, to reporting on Lady Gaga’s acting debut, you can find literally everything on the BBC’s IGTV channel. Each and every video is essentially a trailer-cover to one of the stories covered by the BBC. There are consistent CTAs at the end of every video to encourage people to partake in the conversation and engage with the content published and, most importantly, share it around:
In comparison to their YouTube, the IGTV videos are significantly shorter — and also cover different topics that do not overlap with their YouTube. A smart move to keep their audience subscribed to BOTH of their channels!
2. Repurpose your content, like Gary Vee
Repurposing content is ultimately the easiest IGTV examples that your business can follow. It really is the simplest strategy.
If you struggle to create new content for IGTV, follow the practice of Gary Vaynerchuk, who is repurposing everything he’s ever made. His famous #AskGaryVee show, in which Gary talks about social trends, the future of Snapchat, various business tactics, etc., is literally everywhere, from Youtube, to podcast, and now to IGTV.
His audience, thus, has an opportunity to keep up to date with everything he does no matter which channel they prefer. Indeed: if you’re already on Instagram, and don’t want to move anywhere else to get that update — why should you?
Mr Vee keeps it simple (for himself, at least) and posts horizontal IGTV videos, warning the viewers to rotate the phone before they start watching. Couldn’t be an easier way to do IGTV!
3. Show backstage sneak peeks, like Elle UK
As more and more users (in fact, 200+ million every day) turn to Instagram to search for businesses, it becomes crucial to show your brand from all angles, in order to establish that point of difference, an angle of authenticity, that makes you different from your competitors. Going backstage and offering behind-the-scenes sneak peeks is a perfect way to do that.
Looking for examples?
Check out Elle UK.
They’re doing a great job at keeping their brand honest and transparent, forming a deeper connection and genuine interest from their subscribers. It’s important to remember that your brand is on Instagram to build relationships with your audience, not just to promote your business!
4. Stay on top of your brand, like Vox
Short. Educational. Branding on point.
This is how you could describe literally every IGTV video published by Vox, an international media outlet, with 155K Instagram followers, that “explains the news with charts, maps, and photos”. Vox’ bright yellow brand color and the collage-like visual style is strongly present both in their feed, their IGTV channel, website, newsletters — you name it.
5. Be bold and unpredictable, like Netflix
Entertainment is this one thing Netflix is a big pro at. The brand loves to get people talking, so IGTV was a perfect opportunity to encourage them to do that.
In honor of Instagram’s new video feature, Netflix published a 1 full-hour video of Cole Sprouse eating a burger. No, it’s not a joke. And yes, the video went viral: almost a million views and 6.6K comments.
Now, Cole Sprouse is one of lead actors in Riverdale, a popular TV series streamed on Netflix. Instead of launching a simple trailer to promote the series, Netflix used humor to get people to talk about it. Smart move, as Netflix’s attempt to appeal to a young, digital audience has clearly worked.
That doesn’t stop Netflix from also posting behind-the-scenes interviews, new series promos, trailers, and more — which all together creates a great content mix to rely their audience engagement strategy on.
6. Be consistent, like 60 Second Docs
60 Second Docs’ IGTV for business channel features short, 1-minute documentaries about all kinds of things: paper airplanes, skunks, wigs, graffiti, and wildlife DJs. These 1-minute videos are seriously addictive, as they’re oh so easy to binge-watch. 60 Second Docs makes sure their IGTV videos are easy to consume, adding subtitles to all of their vids, allowing to watch them even with the sound off. No excuse for not watching!
Posting short, snackable content on IGTV has clearly proven to be a sweet spot, as some of the 60 Second Docs videos have up to 369K views. This is another reminder of how important it is to a) know your audience, and b) understand the type of video length they’re comfortable interacting with. Make it too short, and you won’t be able to engage them. Make it too long, and you may lose their interest and see them swipe away to the next channel. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to deciding that — just trial and error.
7. Create a separate IGTV aesthetic, like The Lily News
Abiding to your own Instagram theme is one of the rules to play by on Instagram. It is one of the best ways to attract your target audience and get more followers on Instagram. However, as the IG feed and IGTV are basically two channels in one, you can play around that fact by creating a different aesthetic for each.
The Lily News does a great job at that.
On their IGTV channel, The Lily News is featuring the “Unfiltered” interviews with YouTubers that share intimate details about their lives that none of their followers “ever heard before”. Interestingly, all of the IGTV videos of this account are exclusively black and white:
However you decide to build your IGTV aesthetic, make sure it’s consistent throughout your videos. Your viewers should be able to instantly recognize “whom” they’ve tuned into, when browsing through the IGTV videos. That’s Tip Number One you can learn from The Lily News.
Another tip from the brand is: cross-promote as much as you can. Every time The Lily News has a new IGTV video, they make an announcement in the feed with a clear CTA to check it out:
8. Show off your own products, like Sephora
Last but not least in the list of our IGTV examples is Sephora.
This multinational chain of beauty stores showcases their products in a variety of different formats, be it easy step-by-step beauty tutorials, or backstage tips, or beauty moguls sharing their beauty secrets in an interview. This is a great way to show off their new products, give the audience an opportunity to really get to know their products inside out, and, ultimately, encourage more sales.
Additionally, Sephora posts educational beauty tutorials that don’t feature any products whatsoever — but instead, strive to position the brand as a trusted, unbiased beauty advisor that it is always safe to rely on.
The IGTV opportunities are endless, really. What’s clear is that it’s a great channel for presenting your brand from a different angle, as well as engaging your existing audience and attracting the new one. It’s about time to press that “record” button and start uploading your first IGTV video. The question remains: what is YOURS going to be about?