Recently, Instagram debuted IGTV, its long-form video hub, which many are saying challenges YouTube. As with any major feature launch, brands and influencers are still navigating how to leverage the new tool — but as they become more adept, we’ll start to see the incremental layers of additional brand-influencer partnerships making their way onto the channel.
The best influencer marketing programs should leverage creators across multiple platforms, wherever they have proven the ability to create compelling content and built significant audiences. Let’s take a look at how to take advantage of Instagram’s latest feature and how it compares to YouTube.
Long-form content: IGTV vs. YouTube
The first thing users will notice when comparing the two platforms is screen orientation. IGTV uses a vertical layout, a stark contrast to YouTube’s widescreen approach. The vertical layout is mobile-oriented, and challenges the concept that you need a digital single-lens reflex camera to create high-quality video content.
This may lead to less pressure to create “professional-grade” video content — pressure that has created a barrier for YouTube in the creator community, though YouTube has made strides to support creators in this regard.
This more casual element of IGTV provides a unique opportunity for brands to interact with consumers on the platform without looking overly promotional.
For example, one influencer said she sees IGTV as a “place to capture [herself] in an unedited, candid fashion.” She also tells us it provides a nice contrast to her main Instagram page, as these kinds of raw clips balance out the beautifully edited videos, pictures and content she’s always sharing.
Balancing two video platforms
Brands and influencers can use YouTube and IGTV in a complementary fashion. For historical YouTube content creators, IGTV may be a great platform for shorter versions of longer vlog content, which may be a better fit on an established YouTube channel.
IGTV is also a great place for casual content like unboxings or quick demo videos, as well as longer on-the-go videos taken directly from a phone. While Instagram has the benefit of offering these easy-to-use mobile filming options, YouTube still wins out when it comes to high-definition videos, strong long-term SEO value, metrics and community commenting — benefits not easily replicated on IGTV.
How IGTV can fit into your feed
Nearly every current influencer collaboration is leveraging Instagram for content creation. With this new offering, it’s essential that brands and influencers integrate IGTV along with static posts, stories, highlights, etc. Users can utilize static posts to announce new IGTV videos, or stories to provide a 15-second tease. IGTV videos also create a new Highlight appearing under the user’s bio, providing another way to promote the video inside the platform.
Content creators are already jumping to take advantage of the creative possibilities IGTV provides, and by leveraging it in conjunction with platforms like YouTube, influencers and marketers can engage a wider audience with long-form video content.