According to Instagram, "by 2021 mobile video experiences will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic." Additionally, Instagram reveals that younger consumers are "spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals" (re: TRUST). So... why does this matter? Well, if you're not creating video content in 2021, you're missing a MAJOR opportunity to engage with a huge demographic of conscious consumers. And if THAT statement feels oh so intimidating, don't panic. The next generation of video has arrived and it's MADE for amateurs like us to be able to use AND make an impact with. And, with greater discoverability through the standalone IGTV app and Instagram pushing video content in its algorithm, even us amateurs have a solid chance of being seen. So, if you're ready to hop on the video hyperloop (that's new-age talk for "train"), we've created a step-by-step guide to strategizing for and creating your own IGTV and Reels. So, read through this post, take a deep breath, hit "record", and have some fun!
Ready to get started? Here's how to create an IGTV for your business.
Step 1: Strategize
Before you hit "record", get clear on the intention behind using IGTV. This is your video content strategy. This will likely look slightly different than the strategy you use for your static Instagram posts because it is a completely different user experience. A few questions to consider:
If you’re not sure where to start, look to similar brands or accounts to see how they’re utilizing IGTV. Pull some of your favorite ideas but make them unique to your brand and message.
Step 2: Set a Design Aesthetic
Likely this will be the same as your Instagram feed in terms of color palette and visual aesthetic. Ideally your audience will already know who’s IGTV they’re watching without having to look at the username. This kind of brand recognition builds trust with your audience making you the go-to/expert of the topic they follow you for.
Here are some things to consider when setting your design aesthetic for IGTV:
IGTV Content Ideas
Quick Facts About IGTV
Step 4: Create
With your strategy set, you are ready to create and share. Here is the step by step process to creating your first IGTV:
Here are some examples of a few companies successfully using IGTV to speak to their audience:
Wildling Beauty uses IGTV to share how their products help alleviate pain points through a number of different series like "tension and stress relief" and "soften lines and wrinkles".
The North Face shares interview-style IGTVs along with videos that shed light on their philanthropic efforts.
Visit the USA highlights swoon-worthy destinations across the US with a mixture of captivating travel videos.
Instagram’s explore page is exploding with Reel content making it a surefire way to reach your target audience. Unlike the longer format IGTV’s, Reels are quick, digestible 15-30 second videos often set to music. Like IGTV, Reels has its own tab on your profile which will appear when you publish your first video. Reels are highly shareable because users can share them to their story, explore page, and have the option of sharing them directly to their profile.
Even more advantageous for brands working to be discovered, Reels has its own explore page which you can find on your regular explore page at the very top. They are also dispersed throughout the explore page, giving your Reel a higher chance of visibility!
That brings us to the 'ol algorithm. While there hasn’t been any official statement about the Reels algorithm, it feels different than regular static posts. From our experiments with it, it is likely influenced by who you follow, the kind of content you interact with on a daily basis, and your geographic location.
When deciding on what lane you want to be in when it comes to Reels, which will likely differ from IGTV simply based on the time constraint of a Reel, Music can be a super fun way to experiment. Take a look at the other videos that users have created using the same audio as you. For example, if you want to create a Reel and put it to ‘Dreams’ by Fleetwood Mac, see what other users are doing with that song and perhaps you can jump on a fun new trend!
Step 1: Strategize
Similar to IGTV, strategize what kind of content you want to be known for on Reels. With your strategy, you will be able to make sure you never miss an opportunity to connect with your audience, especially on a viral trend. Viral trends are usually synonymous with specific songs, so take a peek at the trending song options Instagram provides you with and consider planning out some content using a viral song or two.
Step 2: Set a Design Aesthetic
Just like with your static posts, and your IGTV, and your website, and your newsletter, etc. etc. - brand cohesiveness counts! So find your aesthetic, and thread it throughout all of your digital content, including your Reels.
Step 3: Plan and schedule your Reels
Like IGTV, seasonality and current trends are very important to consider when planning and scheduling your Reels. With Reels, trends are key! With its shorter format, Reels are meant to be fun, less serious and more inspirational in comparison to longer form IGTVs.
New trends are popping up every day in the digital world so consider leaving some wiggle room for thumb stopping content in your editorial calendar. Allow your Reels calendar to be more flexible in comparison to your static posts and IGTVs so that you can adopt trends more fluidly.
We recommend using Reels as an extension of your brand to reach a larger audience. Plus, the great thing about Reels is you don’t need any fancy equipment to create entertaining videos- all you need is your iPhone and a little creativity.
With the chance of landing on the explore page being greater because Instagram is pushing video content, perhaps you consider using Reels as a means to an end. Share exclusive content while still pushing users to the link in your bio or providing them with an exclusive discount code.
Step 4: Create
You can create your first Reel either through the Instagram stories menu (appears the bottom when you create a story) or through the plus sign found at the top of your profile. Here is the breakdown:
Here are some examples of companies successfully using IGTV to speak to their audience:
Good Jane shares Reels to share relatable humor that speaks to their target audience.
Visit Norway uses Reels to share quick clips of its breathtaking landscapes to elicit the travel bug in viewers who will hopefully add this destination to their bucket list.
Instagram is constantly expanding the space for users to share content. With all the latest additions trending toward video content, we highly recommend brands find a way to participate. We hope our guide provides you the encouragement to give it a try! Let us know how it goes.
I am a marketing professional with a passion for wellness and community.