Dealing with long-form content has always been a challenge for social channels. If we look at the major social platforms – Facebook or Instagram, their numbers clearly reveal that their audience is engaging more with short-form content – mainly because of the attention spans are relatively lower when accessing social media and also because the mood on these channels is more social and hence people are inclined to watch entertaining content than brand content.
But Instagram redefined long-form content with the launch of its IGTV, allowing videos of up to 1 hr, opening new gateways for marketers who were restricted previously to major channels like Youtube. Before IGTV rolled out, Instagram only allowed long videos in its live format while in-feed videos were restricted to around 60 seconds.
The platform has helped infuse a visual appeal into the long content. Additionally, since the feature employs vertical videos, the scope of engagement is immense. Remember that Youtube has also committed to the vertical format in its ads.
Vertical videos are shown to perform 9x better than horizontal ones, says a survey conducted by Snapchat. So combine that power with the Instagram appeal, IGTV has definitely paved the way for a new success story in Instagram’s chapter.
Here is how brands are using IGTV to reinvent their long-form content:
With the recent changes in the search engine algorithms that give a boost to visual content, when you put a “how-to” query in the search engines, it is highly likely that you will come across a video as your answer. People love how-to’s that answer their query and help them understand something visually.
When you look over to social channels, IGTV has made it possible for people to look for their solutions by subscribing to channels serving similar content. A great example of this is the tutorial format wherein brands can serve information and make it accessible for everyone under one space.
Quick sneak peeks work great as trailers. In fact, they can be a great bait for attracting a new audience. But IGTV lets you extend this sneak peek into full-fledged behind-the-scenes videos making it easier for brands to make their viewers a part of their story.
With a dedicated IGTV space, brands can showcase their creativity in their behind-the-scenes approach. For instance, some subscription box companies are using it to give the audience a tour of the packings, unboxings etc.
3) Commentary and Interviews
Commentary style is similar to the podcast format, the difference being that the listeners become viewers since they are now able to associate a face with your brand, meaning that your long-form content (here podcasts) can now have a visual dimension. IGTV, with scope for longer videos, has made it easier for brands to have their own space where they can discuss things that cover more than their brand stories. This could mean anything from talking about sports to entertainment to politics. Or you can even place interview clips talking about industry trends, like these:
Individual social influencers are making the most of Instagram’s IGTV while for brands, this process of embracing the format is slower. As more and more companies from different industries look towards IGTV, we hope we will get to see a lot more diversity in the way they distribute their long-form content.
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