In 2010 Instagram debuted as a simple platform to share photos. The platform grew to allow 15 second, and later on one minute, video clips. In 2016 the mobile application launched their “Stories” feature, which was met with some controversy. The feature is almost identical to what Snapchat, another picture based social platform, has within its application. While the new feature lacked creativity, it proved to be a smart move for Instagram. Within eight months, the number of users posting stories surpassed that of Snapchat.
Now Instagram is seemingly going after YouTube with their latest update, IGTV. Users can create a channel where they can upload long form videos. Whereas in the past the max they could upload was one minute on their feed, now most users can publish videos up to ten minutes in length and those with large followings can post up to hour long videos. Adding more video options is a smart move since a new study by Cisco reported that by 2019 video will represent 80% of all web traffic.
“IGTV is the platform that vertical video creators have been hoping for ever since we started making Snapchat and Instagram Stories. It allows our longer-form content to be viewed the way that we’ve always wanted it—as a high-quality experience with no rough edits. I’ve become passionate about longer form video creation and storytelling, so IGTV is very much a breath of fresh air,” influencer Mike Platco tells RampUP.
The long form video being integrated into Instagram gives live event marketers an interesting opportunity. Rather than needing to utilize another platform in order to publish videos longer than one minute, marketers can take advantage of the social following they already have on Instagram. This makes the application even more beneficial since users can purchase tickets to an event directly through an event's Instagram page, by using the recently added “Buy Tickets” button.
What Is IGTV?
The new feature on Instagram allows users to post a long form video onto their “channel”. This is separate from a user's profile or story. It can also be accessed by a stand alone application. Unlike other video platforms, all content is viewed vertically with the ideal size ratio being 9:16. In line with normal Instagram posts, IGTV also allows users to explore various channels pretty easily, giving an event more opportunities to capture a new audience.
“I had already been drawn to the vertical look and feel from using my phone every day. I love that this platform glorifies that. Aside from everything being catered towards 16:9, everything I post on IGTV is very visual, more so than my YouTube and the videos themselves are much shorter. YouTube and IGTV are still very different worlds in terms of audience, content and opportunity,” Nash Grier told Digiday.
IGTV For Event Marketing
Long form videos can be leveraged in several ways to market a live event. Before the big day, marketers can utilize IGTV to craft engaging and unique content. Videos can be professionally edited or spontaneously shot on the spot adding a more personal feel to them. Since this platform is new, sky’s the limit when it comes to style. Let your team’s creativity thrive in any environment whether it be a fancy promotion video using drones or a quick behind the scenes tour of the venue. Another intriguing series can be a set of interviews with artists or speakers that are set to perform at the event. Introductions from event organizers or key players can also give the audience an inside look into the brains behind the operation. Educational videos that details what to bring, what not to bring, how to check-in, hours of operation, and other needed information can be extremely useful for attendees. This not only can help build anticipation but it can also help to clear up any questions that guests may have.
Partnering with influencers is another great way to take advantage of IGTV. Influencers can either create videos on their channel or ones that can be posted to the event's channel. By bringing in outside collaborators, the event page not only can get unique content but can also expand its reach by taking advantage of other page's audiences. It is also a big help if an event has an influencer relation team that focuses on this kind of marketing so that the marketing team can focus on other content creation.
After the event IGTV can be a great place to post testimonial videos from attendees, highlights from the event, or a full blown recap video. The long form video represents an opportunity for an event to tell a story rather than just post a few quick highlights. Recap videos are a great way for those who attended to reflect on all the fun they had and for those who did not to think about going next year. It is also advantageous to post an after movie when announcing next years dates or when tickets are about to go on sale.
Since the feature is still relatively new, it is unclear just how popular IGTV will be. One thing is definite, it represents an opportunity for live events to add unique and creative content to their marketing strategy. The long form vertical videos are easier for users to view on their phone making the content more accessible. Live events can post interviews, behind the scenes, information, and other types of videos on their channel. Utilizing influencers is another way to engage with potential attendees on IGTV. With over a billion monthly active users, Instagram is a worthy platform to focus on. The new addition of IGTV demonstrates that the platform is forward looking and live event organizers should take advantage of it.