Instagram TV, or IGTV, was introduced back in June of 2018. About a year later, it’s still largely in the experimental phase for users. This means two important things for social media managers and marketers:
- Unlike more established Instagram features, it’s not yet clear what type of content is most effective for brands on IGTV.
- There are fewer brands with IGTV channels compared to the number of brands using Stories or posting regularly on their feed.
IGTV is fertile ground for testing, and because there’s less competition, it’s easier for brands to stand out. This means that IGTV is an ideal platform for small and mid-sized brands to leverage so they can connect with followers and get some extra attention.
From animation to raw footage to breathtakingly beautiful videos, the possibilities for IGTV are endless. You can really dig in and get creative with your video ideas.
But where do you start? Does your IGTV content have to be super-produced like television? What if you don’t have the budget for that kind of content?
As you’ll see, there are plenty of brands out there doing great things with their IGTV content without breaking the bank. In this post, we’re sharing nine of the best IGTV marketing ideas to steal from both big and small brands.
Here’s What We’ll Cover
First, what is IGTV?
IGTV is a separate section on the Instagram app where users can choose to create a channel (like on YouTube) and share longer videos than you can on posts or Stories. IGTV content can be up to 10 minutes long for regular business accounts, and up to one hour long for verified accounts.
You can upload vertical videos or horizontal videos, and according to Instagram, the IGTV dimensions are 9:16 for vertical content and 16:9 for horizontal content. Your videos also must have at least a 720-pixel resolution.
You can upload most videos directly from your smartphone. However, if your videos are longer than ten minutes (or they’re professionally shot and not stored on your phone), upload them from your computer. Fortunately, it’s easy.
How to upload IGTV videos from a computer
- Go to Instagram.com on your internet browser and log in to your account
- Go to your profile and click the IGTV tab
- Click the “Upload” button to choose a video from your computer files to upload
- When it’s finished uploading, Instagram will prompt you to share a preview of the video to your feed if you want, but otherwise, that’s it!
IGTV content ideas to steal from big & small brands
Curious about how IGTV is being put to work? Let’s look at a few different examples to add to your IGTV content ideas bank.
Fun & simple IGTV content from Kvell Collective
Kvell Collective is a creative studio and influencer collective that, among other things, creates and sells animated stickers to put on your social media photos and videos.
They’ve been using IGTV to announce each new line of stickers, and their videos are incredibly fun, yet simple: their animated sticker moving to an upbeat song against a bright, solid-color background.
This type of content works because it’s genuinely entertaining to watch, plus it’s very on-brand for Kvell. Not to mention, it’s a way to directly advertise their new line of stickers, which is a smart IGTV marketing idea.
Raw, user-generated IGTV content from Honest Company
Honest Company is a natural beauty and baby products brand founded by actor Jessica Alba. They’ve created an IGTV series that follows the stories of four women who found out they are unexpectedly – and delightedly – pregnant.
Honest Company cut-together IGTV videos of short content filmed by the women themselves. Most of the content consists of video selfies or videos shot on a smartphone by one of the women’s friends. Then Honest Company has taken the footage and edited them together to create a compelling mini-documentary IGTV series. The series’ raw feeling immediately relates to their customer base of women and mothers seeking real, “honest” products. A clever IGTV marketing idea for accounts wanting to build stronger connections with their audiences.
Educational IGTV videos from Bulletproof
Bulletproof is a food, drink and supplements brand for high performance. You might know them by their flagship product, Bulletproof coffee. Many of their customers are people in the biohacking community, which means they care a great deal about the emerging science behind the ingredients and recipes.
Bulletproof has launched an IGTV series of educational videos that explain their ingredients and some of the more technical terms used in their products in a colorful and engaging way. Many of their IGTV videos have animation and a narrator, but you could easily apply this concept in a low-budget way by creating well-designed slideshows.
Low-key style and relevant IGTV partnerships from Sweetgreen
Fast-casual salad restaurant Sweetgreen has launched a series called MarketWatch, where they film a well-known person in the health food space giving a tour of one of their favorite farmer’s markets.
The IGTV videos are well-edited but still come off feeling like a video you could have shot with a friend using your smartphone. This is particularly empowering if you’re on the hunt for IGTV content ideas that are easy to create. The series is fun to watch and super relevant to the Sweetgreen ethos of clean and fresh produce, plus educational.
There’s no need for high-tech gadgets to do a series like this. Plus, your brand gets the added benefit of having your IGTV content shared with your featured guest’s audience.
Community story highlights from SoulCycle
SoulCycle is a spin-class fitness giant that doubles as an intimate neighborhood community. They’ve injected their IGTV channel with exactly this spirit. Their video series, “Soul People are the Best People,” features interviews with members about their personal struggles and how SoulCycle helped them overcome it.
The professionally produced series feels intimate and honest because of the emotional elements. If your brand is built around an idea of community, highlight some of your customers’ stories and further that mission through IGTV.
IGTV how-tos from West Elm
Interior design retail store West Elm has used their IGTV channel to share helpful how-to videos related to your home. For example, they have videos related to caring for your indoor plants and others that show you how to overcome common design challenges.
They’ve done a great job of making the IGTV videos succinct, with every moment containing a piece of valuable information. They’ve also optimized their videos for silent viewing by including captions of the narrations.
If there’s something you think your brand could teach your customers, a video how-to on IGTV can be a powerful educational medium.
Luxury home tours from the Serhant Team
The Serhant Team is a real estate firm run by one of the stars of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, Ryan Serhant. They use their IGTV channel to showcase professional, full home tours of their listings, headed up by the charismatic Ryan.
IGTV is perfect for full-length tours, because you actually have the time to showcase everything. Plus, many people already follow a lot of accounts for drool-worthy images of luxury and well-designed spaces, priming them for this type of content.
You don’t have to be a real estate firm to take advantage of this concept, either. Use IGTV to do tours of your company’s awesome office. Or if you’re in the hospitality, interior design, or construction industry, an interesting IGTV content idea is showcasing tours of your finished projects.
Repurposed television commercials from Tiffany & Co.
Iconic jewellery company Tiffany & Co. has been using its IGTV channels to post their amazing television commercials to reach new audiences who may not watch television.
While Instagram posts and Stories are too short-form for this, IGTV is made for full-length, beautiful videos. If your brand has already dished out the money for television commercials, you can re-format them for IGTV content and get double the use.
An exploration of your company’s mission or identity from Arc’teryx
Outdoor gear and clothing brand Arc’teryx has created a beautiful video series that digs deeper into who they are as a company, exploring their overarching purpose and what drives the products they create. So far, episodes include a deeper look at the principles behind the design of their products and their material sourcing.
While their videos are extremely professionally done (and, frankly, jaw-dropping), this concept can still be applied to your brand even if you don’t have a big budget or the manpower to replicate the Arc’teryx style. Use IGTV to tell the story behind your mission or company identity, maybe even via a simple but compelling interview with the founder.
Go deeper with content ideas for IGTV
Our biggest takeaway from these IGTV marketing ideas for your brand is to do what suits you. All while enriching your audience’s lives. One of the biggest advantages that IGTV offers brands on Instagram? The opportunity to go deeper and longer with content.
Before IGTV, Instagram content was shorter. And while that can be helpful for capturing the short attention spans of users, it left little room for concepts that took a little longer to explain in a visual format.
If you have a brand with a complex product or an exciting backstory, IGTV is an excellent place to stop dumbing-down and start going deeper.
But even if you don’t fall into those categories, as we’ve seen in the examples above, IGTV finally offers all brands a chance to be creative with slower-paced, story-driven content.
Curious about using IGTV for your brand?
Use these content ideas for IGTV to create your own powerful IGTV channel, or share this post with your marketing team for your next IGTV brainstorming session.