I’M ON TV!—INSTAGRAM’S NEWEST FEATURE
Instagram TV provides platform for longer video content
Is your agency marketing via Instagram? We’ve explored how Instagram can be a powerful platform for agencies in terms of increasing brand awareness, enhancing the customer experience, and gaining general marketing exposure for your agency. Today we’ll talk about Instagram’s new feature called Instagram TV.
What is Instagram TV? Instagram generally restricts video uploads to 15 seconds for stories and 60 seconds for videos that you post to your agency’s Instagram page. Now Instagram TV lets you upload videos that are up to an hour long. Instagram TV can be used directly through the Instagram app, or you can download the Instagram TV app—a platform just for video hosting.
Instagram unrolled this feature to celebrate the fact that its platform now has over 1 billion users (meaning your agency certainly should be using Instagram if you’re not already). Instagram is not your everyday video hosting platform, like YouTube or others. This platform is designed with the smartphone in mind: videos are recorded, uploaded and viewed vertically so they fit your phone’s screen without your having to rotate it.
The sky is the limit, and your content creativity can be unleashed through Instagram TV.
Like when you turn on your television, videos start playing as soon as you open the Instagram TV app on your phone. Instead of searching for content that would be appealing to you as an individual user, Instagram uses likes, follows and searches from your Instagram content to tailor content and deliver it to you. To keep you on the app, Instagram lets you follow users after you finish their videos, search for popular users, or continue watching if you’re on a profile you like. You also can like, comment, and send videos to other users directly from the app.
Another way that Instagram TV is like an actual television is that content is separated into channels. Each creator, or user profile, is considered a “channel” within the app. When your agency starts using Instagram TV, you’ll have your own channel for your online audiences to follow. Instagram is a place where you can connect with other users, educate customers and clients, and even provide entertainment or inspiration to your viewers; Instagram TV is a huge extension of that platform.
For our content creators out there: Instagram TV files are MP4 videos. They have a 9:16 ratio, uploads can be up to 3.6 GB, and the video thumbnail or cover image must be saved as a JPEG file. Currently no advertising options are available—such as Facebook’s boost feature—but sit tight; I’m sure they’re on the way.
What does Instagram TV mean for you?
Each social media network generates expectations on the part of its users. For instance, Twitter users know that the half-life of a Tweet is mere seconds, and text posts have a better chance of being engaged. Facebook users are more inclined to share personal stories or photo albums of their friends and family. When people log onto Instagram, they expect to see nothing but visual content, like Pinterest.
When consumers go online to watch a video on a Facebook page or YouTube channel, they aren’t expecting lengthy content. In fact, on these platforms, the longer the video, the less user engagement can be expected. If a user sees a minute-long video, he or she likely will stick around to watch. Two minutes could be considered pushing it; and let’s face it, if your video is closer to ten minutes long, you’ve already lost them.
Instagram TV has set new expectations for consumers, which means they’ll probably be willing to stick around if your agency has longer video content that you’d like to showcase. This is great for vlogging, podcasting, showcasing clients with virtual tours, answering frequently asked insurance questions, and much more. The sky is the limit, and your content creativity can be unleashed through Instagram TV.
On top of this, Instagram TV allows you to connect with an entire new audience. These folks won’t be the same as your Instagram followers; and if you have an established presence on other social media platforms, you can leverage your followers by encouraging them to check out your new Instagram TV profile. If you have a new product you’d like to launch, this is the perfect place to showcase it. Additionally, if you want to do a behind the scenes shoot in your agency, this is great opportunity to share it. The possibilities for content are endless.
My question to agents: How will your agency use Instagram TV to connect online with your prospects and clients to enhance the customer experience? Because this is a brand-new platform, our agency still has some testing and experimenting to do, and we want to know how you’re planning to take advantage of this technology. If you think you have a great idea for using Instagram TV in your agency, shoot me an email because I’d love to hear about it.
Chris Paradiso is president of Paradiso Financial & Insurance Services, headquartered in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. His agency won PIA National’s Excellence in Social Media Award in 2013. He also heads up Paradiso Presents, LLC, which provides social media consulting, seminars and workshops to help agencies thrive in the online marketing world. Contact Chris via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.