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IGTV is the latest and greatest feature offered on Instagram, and it’s shaking up the vlogging industry, to say the least. Think of IGTV as Instagram’s integrated version of YouTube. Initially, the platform only allowed fifteen second videos to be posted onto your main feed. That was followed by an app update that enabled one minute videos to be posted. Instagram didn’t stop here, though. To further compete with YouTube, Instagram took it one step further and created an entirely separate part of their app that’s dedicated to videos up to fifteen minutes long. Their new video platform has sort of found a home in between Snapchat’s super quick videos and YouTube’s super long ones.

Lots of people started using IGTV immediately, recognizing it for the marketing and growth opportunity it was. You can find anything from makeup tutorials to cooking videos and shopping hauls. The biggest setback about IGTV? The crop. IGTV is build for vertical videos, and vertical videos only. The app doesn’t allow you to turn your phone sideways and watch the video in the horizontal format used by YouTube. So, essentially, if you wanted to create a travel vlog, for example, you would have to film everything twice if you wanted to share on both video platforms; once with your phone, so that it fits the long and narrow ratio of the screen, and again in horizontal format for YouTube. We’ve personally had problems with this, ourselves. Our video content is scattered between IGTV and YouTube, with different content on each of the platforms. I mean, ideally we’d like to let all of our followers across all of the platforms we engage on to have access to the same content, but hey, maybe Instagram will come around.

With that little rundown on IGTV, we’ll dive right into our IGTV tips and tricks to help you guys master this new video platform.

Tip #1:  Shoot vertical

As we just mentioned above, IGTV only supports vertical videos that take up the entire phone screen. Yes, theoretically, you could use a combination of various apps and screen records to create something that allowed your horizontal video to be posted to IGTV, but the platform just isn’t made for that. So, no matter what you do to get your horizontal video onto IGTV, it’s going to be a makeshift, not-so-professional looking version. Because of this, it’s best to use your iPhone in vertical format or switch your digital camera to vertical if you’re planning on posting to IGTV.

Tip #2: Watch the Time

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched an IGTV that just cut out mid-video. Fifteen minutes is all you get with IGTV and it abruptly cuts off your video after that point. When filming and/or editing, be sure to keep a close eye on the time so that you can fit your entire video into one upload. A makeup tutorial isn’t so helpful with the video cuts out after only half of your face is done.

We also personally don’t love when people split up their IGTV videos into two posts. It just seems to defeat the point of using IGTV, which is meant for shorter videos. If it’s physically impossible for your to keep it to one video, we personally think that content is better suited for YouTube, which is meant to handle longer videos.

Tip #3:  Cross-Promote Your Content

IGTV is great for a number of reasons, all of which are pretty much marketing and growth related. If you’re a content creator, blogger, photographer, or really anyone looking to use Instagram to boost your personal brand or business, you should be using IGTV. Look at it as another way to reach your current and potential audiences, another way you can promote your personal brand, products, services, whatever it may be.

It isn’t always easy to get people to watch your video content, but if you have a presence on multiple social media platforms, it becomes much easier through the process of cross-promoting your content. If you have a decent following on your Instagram, but are new to IGTV, it’s super simple to use your IG Stories or your regular feed posts to let your followers know that you have new IGTV video content up and to check it out. IG Stories also makes it super simple to share one of your IGTV posts through a swipe up feature. Similarly, if you have a successful blog with a lot of readership, but can’t seem to get people to head to your IGTV, or Instagram, in general, write a blog post or send out an email to your subscribers talking about your IGTV and link back to your Instagram page.

Growing and marketing yourself is a serious hustle. You have to be your own marketer, your own promoter, your own biggest fan, so be sure to advertise or bring awareness to your new content any chance you might get, across any platforms you might have engagement on.

Tip #4:  Definitely Carry Your Brand Throughout Your Videos

As an influencer, blogger or social media persona, you really have to think of yourself as a business. I’m sure you’ve all taken a business class in school before. What’s one of the things they harp on the most? Branding, strategy and a consistent message. We’ve been seeing lots of bloggers post IGTV videos with no branding, no sight of their blog logo, nothing, and that’s fine, but from a business standpoint, it’s better to keep your brand consistent.

This is pretty easy to do and even easier to carry throughout your future video content. We personally used a combination of photoshop and powerpoint animations to create the intros to our videos, but overall, the intro is super simple to do. It’s a cool marble background that fits our personal aesthetic that fades out to our blog logo. It’s about 2 seconds long in the beginning and at the end of our videos and even though it seems like a simple, pointless thing to do, it carries our branding across all of our content. Your brand is your value, never forget that.

Also, just another quick thing. In the outro part of our video, we include our Instagram handle, our blog website address and our twitter username. Super simple and really quick to add into a video, but it makes all the difference when it comes to directing people to your other social media pages (aka the magic word, cross promoting).

Tip #5:  Understand How To Edit Your Videos for IGTV

IGTV is a little tricky to master when it comes to editing. You have to be fully aware of what type of video you’re going for before you go into editing. For example, if you’re trying to film a clothing haul from your recent shopping trip, it’s definitely doable in the fifteen minute time frame, so filming straight through is a viable option. However, there are tons of other IGTV content options that aren’t that easy to fit into the quick fifteen minutes that IGTV allows. For example, it’s really important to understand how to edit a makeup tutorial for IGTV because it’s honestly pretty different from editing for YouTube, where you have a seemingly endless amount of time.

Whether you’re using iMovie on a Mac, QuickTime editor on a PC, or some other video editing software, when editing for IGTV, be sure to familiarize yourself with how to speed up certain parts of the film, and also how to cut out any unnecessary film. In the grand scheme of video editing, fifteen minutes goes by really quickly, so learning how to speed up certain parts of a video can be invaluable. To continue on with the makeup tutorial example, you can use video editing software to speed up the part of your makeup tutorial where you’re applying your mascara for five minutes to cut it down to five seconds. This ends up saving more time for the important parts of the tutorial that your viewers will find more helpful.

I’ve also heard IGTV users suggest adding subtitles to videos with important talking points, or for example, adding titles to show users watching your travel vlog which cities you’re filming from. Just like with Instagram stories, your viewers might not have their sound turned on, so adding context clues with titles/subtitles can help your viewers not only understand your content more clearly, but also be more engaged when viewing it.

As a closing note to these IGTV Tips and Tricks, we want to remind you that you’re limitless in terms of the content you can create and the inspirational power behind a platform like Instagram. Never limit your video content in terms of what you can and cannot do with IGTV; get as creative as you can possibly be. Happy editing, everyone! We hope to catch some of your IGTV videos on Instagram soon, and stay tuned for more IGTV tips on the Wolf Blog!