They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and according to Forrester Research, one minute of video is worth 1.8 MILLION words. Apparently, that still isn’t enough for Instagram...
Earlier this week, Instagram announced a game-changing development, the launch of IGTV, a platform that allows users to post videos up to an hour in length, far surpassing its previously set 1-minute limit. IGTV is accessible from the Instagram app itself and an independent IGTV app will be available for download over the coming weeks as well. Having graduated with a FILM/MEDIA degree, the evolution of video in social media marketing is particularly fascinating to me, so this development really intrigued me for a few reasons.
IGTV vs. YouTube
IGTV comes in against YouTube, a powerhouse of a competitor owned by Google. Available in over 88 countries, YouTube is considered the second largest search engine, and the third most visited site, following Google and Facebook. While YouTube may have the reputation, IGTV has some favorable differences.
As a mobile based app, IGTV video will be formatted in the same way mobile users tend to hold their phones: vertically. This is big deal, as all other major video players have embraced the horizontal film culture, a format taught to be “correct” to those of us with a film and media education.
Coming from roots of vertical Instagram and Snapchat “stories”, this easily consumable media is likely to be widely embraced by millennial audiences. It could even become the go-to source for sharing and consuming media in general.
It will be hard for companies to re-purpose any previously existing horizontal video into a vertical format for IGTV, without losing quality or content near the edges. This suggests that all content created for IGTV will be entirely new material, and not redistributed to other sites that don’t embrace the vertical format.
Ad Free! (for now)
With no word of how monetizing this platform will come into play, banner ads and pre-roll video are more than likely, the app currently has no ads-- a major selling point. YouTube has gotten around this complaint by offering a paid membership with YouTubeRed, but users will obviously see the appeal in switching to a platform that gives them no ads for free.
This changes the Instagram advertising landscape as well, an already popular platform for consumers and businesses advertising through Facebook’s ad manager. While previously this would consist of an infographic, picture, or a 1-minute video, it’s not out of the question to think that promoted video content on the regular feed will be longer now.
Video can also be uploaded from the desktop web-version for the first time ever, instead of a mobile device, which is helpful for people who are editing lengthy videos on their computer.
IGTV's Impact on Marketers
IGTV will function through a series of “channels”, including ‘“For You”, ‘Following”, “Popular”, and “Continue Watching”. You can “follow” your friends (every user is considered a channel), like, comment, and share videos the same way you would in Instagram originally.
So will your prospects really be looking for you here? The concept of channels lends itself to be industry specific. For example, if someone is looking for marketing ideas, they may find a series of videos in a marketing channel that includes one from Trailblaze.
If you’re currently investing your ad dollars in television, it isn’t crazy to consider putting that budget towards online video instead; in fact, by 2021 mobile video will account for 78% of mobile data traffic, and already people are watching more digital video than they are television.
By posting videos online you have a more flexible advertising budget if you choose to promote them, or you can simply have them exist on platform for free. Production costs are likely to be cut as well, as most professional video cameras aren’t ideal for vertical video, and phone camera quality is increasing more and more each year.
A B2B Goldmine
If you’re concerned that video is more for the B2C market than B2B, think again. WeCapture reports that 59% of executives prefer video over text, and Forbes tells us that 75% of those executives are watching videos while they’re working.
There’s countless pieces of data proving that video marketing provides the best ROI out of every type of content marketing, and yet it remains underutilized by many businesses.
So what are you waiting for?
Will you let your company take the plunge and be a front-runner in the ever-evolving digital video landscape? At Trailblaze, we can’t wait to get filming, so keep an eye out! No matter your industry, the type of content you can create is endless.