9 August 2019
One year since launch and publishers remain skeptical about IGTV. The platform that dreamed of becoming the default for long-form video still underperforms in comparison with Facebook Video, Youtube, and other platforms that support mid and pre-roll ads. Unsurprisingly, publishers cite lack of monetisation options and lacklustre analytics as reasons why they are still hesitant to invest.
Despite a general reticence, many leading brands (inc. titans like Netflix, Nat Geo & Louis Vuitton) are choosing to create exclusive content for IGTV. These brands typically credit a commitment to Instagram in its entirety as justification for ongoing investment. The logic is that if a brand knows that its audience is most active on Instagram, it makes sense to experiment with and expand the range of content available on that platform. Time proved that integrating Instagram and IGTV videos through minute-long previews was a smart move, as Instagram’s Feed and Stories continue to provide the best way to remind followers about new episodes.
Consistency is also key. Shows that come out on the same day, week after week, demonstrably attract a loyal returning audience. On that note…
Another reason to invest time and money into IGTV is access to its younger demographic. Companies such as CNN have managed to successfully reach Gen Z viewers with content that’s relevant to them. Emerging US soccer star Megan Rapinoe’s interview with Anderson Cooper is an example. The Women’s National Soccer Team was widely celebrated on Instagram for the World Cup win, so it was a logical move to continue to deliver relevant content where people were excited to see it.
“There are moments like with Rapinoe last night where that’s a standout TV moment in a great interview that lends itself to IGTV because everyone is watching how these women are celebrating their victory. I think some of our best reporting and journalism is going to happen on TV and IGTV lets us bring our TV moments to the Gen Z audience” said Ashley Codianni, CNN’s executive producer of social and emerging media.
CNN are bullish on IGTV, and have developed a strategy to create content in direct partnership with popular Instagram personalities. Early data suggests that this is already proving successful with north of a million views on individual videos.
Another success story is Nike’s Dream Crazier campaign that passes the mic to athletes, giving them a platform to showcase their strength and commitment to Nike’s ideals. The numbers are small beer compared with Instagram proper, but encouraging, and indicative of potential.
It is becoming clear that the strategy of repurposing old content only works in the short term while competition on the platform is low.
Conversely, the right kind of experimentation can deliver amazing results. An engaging, personality-driven IGTV show can easily score over a million views and reach the volume and specificity of audience that traditional media would struggle with.
Companies focusing on IGTV have found that viewers prefer premium content to viral videos, making it more similar to Snap than Facebook. Using graphics, images and a host for shows are also proving effective tactics. They help videos feel more personal and relatable, and that works well with IGTV’s young audience.
Despite all the latest improvements, publishers are clamouring for more monetisation options and a more advanced analytics system. It feels like IGTV is moving in the right direction with slated changes such as the integration of business tools with Facebook’s Creator Studio.
Publishers remain hopeful about the future of IGTV, but have yet to figure out how to turn those eyeballs into big, bankable numbers.
At OK COOL we have found IGTV to be a fertile testing ground for small and mid sized brands. And because there’s less competition, it’s easier to help them to stand out and get some extra shine. This intimate and honest first episode in our mini-series for Brixton Market is a great example.
We all know that there are notably fewer brands with IGTV channels relative to the number of brands using Stories or posting regularly on their feed and it’s not yet clear what type of content is most effective for brands on IGTV. However, at OK COOL we believe that 2019’s experiments may yet prove to be next year’s successful new video content strategies.
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