How To Make Your IGTV Channel Look Great

IGTV.jpg

It’s been a week since Instagram announced IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video. Instead of Instagram’s previous one-minute limit; creators will now be able to upload videos up to one hour in length.

You’ve probably noticed the little TV icon in the top right corner of your Instagram home screen. Simply click it to start watching videos, or download the standalone app to start watching your favorite content.

At the IGTV live event last week, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, “There are no ads in IGTV but it’s obviously a very reasonable place for them to end up.”

Despite not having a way to monetize yet, all the major creators and brands were experimenting with IGTV during the first week.

The content, so far, hasn’t been that exciting. Some creators have done a great job, like Lele Pons with her new show Cooking With Lele, but most are either reposting their Instagram Stories or posting old YouTube videos, which look terrible on IGTV.

You guys are better than that, so I’m going to give you some tips to help make your IGTV channel look amazing:

  • Don’t Just Repost Your Instagram Story: An Instagram Story is meant to go away after 24 hours. IGTV content is going to live on your channel, so post quality videos.
  • Shoot Vertical Video: This should be obvious, but I was looking through some channels today and several just posted old YouTube videos, which are horizontal. Stick with the Instagram Stories dimensions of 1080 by 1920 pixels, or an aspect ratio of 9:16.
  • Create Great Looking Videos: Don’t upload poor quality videos that were shot on your phone. Save that for your Instagram Stories. Step it up if you want your channel to stand out. Just because you can shoot video your phone, doesn’t mean that you should.
  • Keep It Short: A two to three minute video does best on YouTube, in my experience. I believe the same will hold true for IGTV. It’s hard to keep someone’s attention for 30 or 40 minutes. So, unless you are a master cinematographer or have an intoxicating personality, keep it to two to five minutes.
  • Create A Show: Engagement goes way up when a video is part of a series. People are more likely to subscribe, because they want to see the next episode. You can try scripted shows, tutorials, reality shows, or even a game show.
  • Have A Posting Schedule: Photographer Bryant Eslava, who’s worked with everyone from Nash Grier and Cameron Dallas, to brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Instagram, suggests posting on a consistent basis. “Let your followers know that you're going to start posting IGTV videos at a certain time every week, and make sure that you stick to the schedule. Think of it as a TV show. They don’t miss episodes because they got busy.”
  • Add Some Special Effects:  Eslava also suggests adding some special effects to make your video stand out. “Some good examples are the ads that brands run in between Instagram Stories. They add text, graphics and pop ups to make the videos shine."
  • Tease Your Video: Finally, don’t forget to promote your video. Make little teaser clips in your Instagram Stories, and tell your followers that they can see the full video on your IGTV channel.

Connect with me  on Instagram and Twitter.

It’s been a week since Instagram announced IGTV, a new app for watching long-form, vertical video. Instead of Instagram’s previous one-minute limit; creators will now be able to upload videos up to one hour in length.

You’ve probably noticed the little TV icon in the top right corner of your Instagram home screen. Simply click it to start watching videos, or download the standalone app to start watching your favorite content.

At the IGTV live event last week, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said, “There are no ads in IGTV but it’s obviously a very reasonable place for them to end up.”

Despite not having a way to monetize yet, all the major creators and brands were experimenting with IGTV during the first week.

The content, so far, hasn’t been that exciting. Some creators have done a great job, like Lele Pons with her new show Cooking With Lele, but most are either reposting their Instagram Stories or posting old YouTube videos, which look terrible on IGTV.

You guys are better than that, so I’m going to give you some tips to help make your IGTV channel look amazing:

  • Don’t Just Repost Your Instagram Story: An Instagram Story is meant to go away after 24 hours. IGTV content is going to live on your channel, so post quality videos.
  • Shoot Vertical Video: This should be obvious, but I was looking through some channels today and several just posted old YouTube videos, which are horizontal. Stick with the Instagram Stories dimensions of 1080 by 1920 pixels, or an aspect ratio of 9:16.
  • Create Great Looking Videos: Don’t upload poor quality videos that were shot on your phone. Save that for your Instagram Stories. Step it up if you want your channel to stand out. Just because you can shoot video your phone, doesn’t mean that you should.
  • Keep It Short: A two to three minute video does best on YouTube, in my experience. I believe the same will hold true for IGTV. It’s hard to keep someone’s attention for 30 or 40 minutes. So, unless you are a master cinematographer or have an intoxicating personality, keep it to two to five minutes.
  • Create A Show: Engagement goes way up when a video is part of a series. People are more likely to subscribe, because they want to see the next episode. You can try scripted shows, tutorials, reality shows, or even a game show.
  • Have A Posting Schedule: Photographer Bryant Eslava, who’s worked with everyone from Nash Grier and Cameron Dallas, to brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Instagram, suggests posting on a consistent basis. “Let your followers know that you're going to start posting IGTV videos at a certain time every week, and make sure that you stick to the schedule. Think of it as a TV show. They don’t miss episodes because they got busy.”
  • Add Some Special Effects:  Eslava also suggests adding some special effects to make your video stand out. “Some good examples are the ads that brands run in between Instagram Stories. They add text, graphics and pop ups to make the videos shine."
  • Tease Your Video: Finally, don’t forget to promote your video. Make little teaser clips in your Instagram Stories, and tell your followers that they can see the full video on your IGTV channel.

Connect with me  on Instagram and Twitter.

Social MediaTom Ward