In our last blog we discussed how to utilize live video in a company’s marketing mix. Live broadcasting allows for real-time company and customer interaction on social media’s most popular platforms.

It may also seem a little scary for a company, especially one who hasn’t done much video creation in the past, to jump into live streaming. So let’s talk about another option companies should consider, thanks to Instagram’s new platform launch over the summer.

In June, Instagram introduced IGTV, a new platform that allows companies to upload their phone-captured, long-form (as in up to an hour) videos for their followers to watch. This comes five years after the launch of video on Instagram, which only allows for one-minute videos that disappear after 24 hours. Now, while your photos stay in your newsfeeds, your videos will remain on Instagram Stories and IGTV.

Here’s a few other Instagram statistics that demonstrate the value of this social media platform:

  • One billion users globally
  • More than 500 million Instagram users utilize their accounts daily
  • More than 8 million of U.S. businesses are on Instagram
  • 80% of users follow one or more businesses on Instagram
  • The most active age ranges for account users on Instagram are 18-34, with 35-44 in a close second.

These statistics help marketers understand the rise of video content, and as Instagram even notes — every year more people are watching digital video than TV. So they designed IGTV as a new app for watching long-form, vertical video. Vertical being an important component because by 2021 mobile video will account for 78 percent of total mobile data traffic. While mobile means you can watch on the go, IGTV is like turning the TV on at home, it starts playing as soon as you open the app.

As a company you are the creator and the channel. With IGTV followers can tune in to you by accessing your channel from the app at any time. The app is built for the way everyone uses their phones vertical and full screen, and also offers special features such as links in video descriptions and the ability to swipe up from Stories, without follower count requirements. So this gives businesses an opportunity to reach their current followers, but also have others find them and influencers based on their interests.

Followers can watch your longer videos, which companies can create around product launches, demonstrations, customer or employee interviews, etc. right off their phone. The app provides the ability for the video to be edited and then uploaded. Just like YouTube, marketers should create a keyword-rich title and description to help others find the videos. Add hashtags too, as they work the same way as in the Instagram app. Remember, you’re probably like most users on Instagram and do not have a verified account, meaning keep the video to 10 minutes as that will initially be your maximum amount of minutes.

Okay it’s time to be creative and create a little more polished video than a regular Instagram post. It’s worth determining if you can strategize content that can be used like episodes, similar to a how a TV series works. Even a behind-the-scenes video that establishes your brand is valuable. IGTV is going to be worth the time, effort, and resources.