Can IGTV help a business to engage with and sell to an audience? 0 23

In 2020, video content remains a strong tool for marketing. IGTV continues to grow exponentially and is not showing signs of being replaced by other media formats any time soon. The pandemic has only further boosted social media usage in 2020 and Instagram’s determination to make its answer to YouTube work at all costs.

When Facebook first launched IGTV, in 2018, brands were reluctant to use it. The service would allow users to watch longer videos made for mobile devices directly through Instagram or through the stand-alone IGTV app. However, brands did not believe the new tool justified spending extra money and time in adapting content to a vertical format, as part of a marketing strategy.

To attract viewers and creators, Instagram has moved fast in the last few months.

Firstly, Instagram enabled users to share a 15-second preview of IGTV content to their feed. The aim of this was to lure audiences to check the rest of the content on IGTV. In May, the social platform announced that they would introduce ads and share IGTV revenue with influencers. And, to make sure the video segment of the platform would get a boost in content, Instagram introduced a feature allowing people to upload Instagram Lives directly to IGTV. This decision benefits those viewers who missed a Live and, by default, is helping Instagram to increase its IGTV content.

2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report shows that more than 50% of marketers are producing videos on YouTube and Facebook, with 38% of digital marketing professionals using Instagram Stories, and 26% using native Instagram videos like IGTV.

But the question that everyone is looking for an answer to is: Can IGTV help a business engage and sell to an audience?

Social media experts and business owners share their successful tips ahead of 2021. According to a study by Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT, networking and cybersecurity solutions, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic by next year. If IGTV hasn’t made its way into your content calendar, the right time to start doing it is now.

 

Subtitles are key for IGTV engagement

“We find that video content is king when it comes to engagement and IGTV has been an excellent add-on paired with an existing robust strategy. If it’s teachable, listable, informative, and a on brand IGTV can be an engagement powerhouse.

Keep in mind that subtitles are key! Over 85% of users view the video on social media with their sound off. You don’t want to put all of your efforts into crafting an amazing video, only to have people scroll right past it.

Unfortunately, for a few businesses, there is a lack of understanding around IGTV’s value. This can then translate into lower engagement and enthusiasm overall. On the flip side, however, clients who are in the health and beauty industry have benefitted from the extended engagement. Audiences are hungry, during this pandemic, for content that they can learn from.”

Kris Lal – CEO at content agency www.curatorsocial.com

Never stop making it better

“IGTV can help engage your existing audience and also help grow your audience further! IGTV takes some time to master and you want to ensure that your entire video runs smoothly. My best advice before implementing IGTV into your digital marketing strategy is to practice. Your audience wants concise and engaging information, not forced sales messages.”

Cali Saturn – Digital Marketing specialist at SEO agency www.direction.com

 

Add a call to action to promote your IGTV

“Yes, IGTV can help a business to engage and sell to an audience. Importantly, the aesthetic of the video content is important. Repurposing the video for use beyond IGTV is the key. Add a “Call to Action” on the short clips or snapshots on Instagram Stories. Additionally, start planning for the 15-second version of the content for Instagram’s new function – Instagram Reels.”

Bernie Wong – Founder at www.social-stand.com

 

Keep it genuine

“If you’re in the medical industry, like me, the material you post might be behind-the-scenes footage of specific medical procedures. Or, it might be basic talks about intimidating medical procedures. People also want to see genuine stuff. So, producing original content with audiences can allow you to create a successful IGTV channel with a devout audience.”

Dr. Vikram Tarugu – Gastroenterologist and medical professional at www.detoxofsouthflorida.com

 

Make the most out of your current followers

“Something to keep in mind is that IGTV works well when you already have a large enough audience. This is because it does not appear in hashtag rankings as well as posts do. So, depending on what your strategy is, IGTV can help boost existing follower engagement rates. IGTV promotes resharing or saving content to accounts. In comparison, posts usually promote a user to hit the like or comment buttons.”

Terry Tateossian – Founding Partner of full-service boutique agency www.socialfix.com

Use it as your permanent shop window

“IGTV can be very beneficial for business, particularly for selling products rather than services. With IGTV you’ll be able to describe the product in-depth. Show BTS footage and you can even have potential customers take a closer look at the material.”

Sharon Mills – Lead Publicist at public relations and partnerships agency www.bysbm.com

 

Grab viewers’ attention as fast as you can

“I use IGTV to promote our podcast, Entrepaidneur Sessions. We post highlights from our episode, which gets our viewers excited about watching a full episode.
It has worked. My super tip is to make sure that the content you post is engaging. If you can catch people’s attention in the first 30 seconds, the likelihood that they will watch the entire video, and take the recommended action you want them to take, is much higher.”

Jennifer Onwumere – Founder at Jen-gerbread Marketing

 

Repurpose content that appeals to your audience

“Generally speaking, Instagram is great for younger audiences and niches where rich visuals sell. You don’t necessarily have to create more content, you just have to focus on repurposing it accordingly, as businesses need to try to find ways to turn one piece of content into seven or eight pieces of content.

But you will need to know well your target audience to decide if it worth the extra work. Are they likely to consume IGTV?

The more you know your audience, the better you can decide what to do when it comes to creating content for IGTV – or any other feature – as part of your digital strategy.”

Jack Choros – CMO at content optimization agency www.ironmonk.com.

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Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, speaker and a Content Producer working with brands and publications in the UK and Latin America.

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How to use Instagram’s support small business sticker and Messenger Rooms 0 87

Last month Instagram added a “Support Small Business” sticker to Stories, allowing users to highlight their favourite small businesses – most of them, around the world, is currently closed due to COVID-19 lockdown measures and trading restrictions.

With the newsticker, anyone can mention a small business they are passionate about, specifically through giving their followers a preview of the account. When people use the sticker their story will be added to a shared Instagram story; so, their followers can see it, along with other businesses that people they follow are supporting.

This is a great way to help businesses reach new customers and stay connected to the people they serve.

Businesses and influencers can also use the sticker to support other entrepreneurs in their community but tagging and supporting each other.

Here are the five simple steps you need in order to start using the new “Support Small Business” sticker for Instagram Stories.

Step 1:

Open stories and choose a previously uploaded photo or video, or hit the ‘create’ option, which will give you a colour adjustable blank background to start your post from scratch

Step 2:

Tap the stickers icon and look for the Support Small Business sticker. It is the one featuring a small shopping bag with a heart on it, as an icon, and the words “Support Small Business.” Here is a snapshot of what it looks like:

Step 3:

Start typing the Instagram username of the business you want to support. Note: you can’t tag your own Instagram account while using the Support Small Business sticker.

Step 4:

As soon as you add the name of the business you want to shout out, the Support Small Business sticker will populate your Stories post with three recent images from the establishment’s Feed, as well as their Insta handle. You can tap the text area again to change the format to a handle-only mention if you prefer.

Step 5:

The business you tag will also receive a notification and can choose to repost the content to their own stories or send you a DM to say thanks.

 

Instagram has been busy lately. Besides the Support Small Business sticker, over the last couple of months, the Facebook-owned platform has released two other stickers for the lockdown period. Firstly, the “Stay Home” sticker seeks to encourage social isolating, and a “Thank You” sticker aims to show gratitude and respect for key workers.

The platform also launched its Instagram Live Donations and, since May, started allowing content created during its Live function to be automatically shared on IGTV after you end it (previously you had to download your Instagram Live or record your screen and, only then, start to upload it to the permanent IGTV before it vanished from your stories. And a bonus: Live video replays won’t include any likes or comments from your original live video, keeping it clean for those ones watching in the future.

And these are not all new developments.

Recently, the Facebook-owned platform announced its Messenger Rooms, a feature allowing users to create and join group calls of up to 50 people on the Instagram app.

Following the increased demand for video calls during the lockdown period, in several countries around the world, a free easy-to-create chat room with no time limits should hopefully help people cope with social distancing rules.

Once you create a Messenger Room, a direct link is made available and can be shared with those you want to connect with – and they don’t even need to have a Facebook or Instagram account, as everyone with a direct URL can join the conversation.

To create your very own Messenger Room on Instagram there are two main steps:

Step 1:

Open your Instagram Direct Messages tab and tap the video call icon in the top right corner.

  • Tip: at first, I couldn’t find the video icon to set up a room and thought I had an old version of the Instagram app. Upon updating it still didn’t work. I then imagined that being a very new feature, it potentially wasn’t available in my city yet and I would have to wait a few days to obtain access. Despite this though, I didn’t give up so easily, and, after switching from an Instagram Creator account to an Instagram Business account, the icon magically appeared! By the time you are reading this, hopefully, Instagram will have fixed this apparent bug.

Step 2:

Select Create a Room and invite your Instagram contacts or copy a direct link to your Room and share the link through other channels you prefer – Whatsapp, for example.

To join a video call that you’ve been invited to, select Join Room; then, when prompted as to whether you want to open the room in the Messenger app, simply select Confirm.

Staying Creative during the Coronavirus outbreak 0 137

Tough times often require creative ways to get through it, as all tested solutions may no longer apply. Welcome to 2020.

For those working with content, travel, and events, the recent movement restrictions imposed in several countries around the world are forcing people to discover new ways of staying creative, useful, sane and, in some cases, still getting paid even when the world seems to have come to a standstill.

Monica Stott – Travel blogger

Shifting focus

“All of my trips have been canceled or postponed. I had one skiing trip to France, one trip within the UK, and one trip to Portugal. As I can’t plan anything at the moment, because I don’t know when we will be traveling again, over the next few months, I’m planning on focusing on family lifestyle, which is the secondary niche for my blog. I may end up losing some followers who aren’t interested in children, but no travel content is being read at the moment.”

Monica Stott – Travel blogger – www.thetravelhack.com

Israel Cassol – Model and Digital Influencer

Recycling content

“Due to our quarantine in London, I have been doing lots of housework and cooking that usually would be looked after by our regular cleaner. I have been posting content on the same days as I always have done. However, to maintain regularity whilst I can’t go out, I dig into photos and content previously left out and recycle and use them now. Revisiting content you left behind, forgotten in your laptop’s folders, can also be an amazing therapy as a way of remembering good times when we all took for granted the freedom of coming and going to create unforgettable moments.”

Israel Cassol – Model and Digital Influencer – www.instagram.com/israel.cassol

Kenneth Surat – Designer and Travel Blogger

Learning DIY

“Even as a travel content creator, I have always been a fan of ‘do it yourself’ carpentry.

The challenge is when you run out of materials as all hardware shops have been closed in my city. I’ve heard of people that are making their own face masks, using fabrics that allow them to wash it over and over again. Although it is only a very basic barrier against Covid-19, it keeps people busy when there is very little to do.”

Kenneth Surat – Travel Blogger – www.kennethsurat.com

 

May King Tsang – Professional Live Tweeter, Social Media Correspondent

Working with virtual events

“The current pandemic has given me an opportunity to think creatively! Before it, I would go to events, and I’d create an instant buzz for them by generating live social media posts, real-time content featuring event organisers, speakers, and attendees. After asking myself if I could keep that same level of excitement virtually, one of my clients turned his face-to-face 1-day conference into a virtual one, because of Covid-19, and I jumped on the opportunity to help. As a result, after creating 13 Facebook posts, 19 LinkedIn pieces of content, and over 700 tweets – which combined reach was over 4 Million accounts – I can see some of these posts still gaining likes and comments today. I am now reaching out to more face-to-face conferences who are shifting towards conducting their conference virtually, as I am still able to create my FOMO content. It is different from face-to-face events, but I can still make an impact with my work nevertheless.”

May King Tsang – Social Media Correspondent – www.twitter.com/MayKingTea

Other ways to keep creative indoors

Photo: Bench Accounting

Create a production calendar

Many content creators and marketeers already have a publishing calendar. Now, it is time to get efficient when it comes to bulk creation.

Start by confirming which platform works best for you. Then, double-check engagement to see what your audience reacts well to and create even better-related posts in the near future.

 

Discover indoor photo-worthy things

By now, you are probably getting used to the idea that shooting outdoors may yet take a while. Studios that I often work at, in London, have suspended their activities and sent out emails canceling photoshoots. It hasn’t stopped me creating imagery, though.

When it comes to content, you can still do wonderful things without setting foot outside your home. Look for old books, corners with good natural lights, unusual shapes. Don’t underestimate your kitchen worktop or any drawers around your home that haven’t been opened in a while – you will be surprised how many gems can be found when you are actively looking for it.

 

Stock up on production

When it comes to your own image bank, you should have the same approach. Many people have to toilet rolls in times of pandemics: stock it up. Reserve a set of hours, once a week, to create content that you can leverage later in the month, be it blog entry, clever content copy, or photography.

 

Make research a habit

Good content doesn’t magically fall from the sky. You can be an excellent photographer or a seasoned copywriter, and, still, some days, you will find yourself struggling to get your creative juices flowing. Create a ‘brainstorm’ folder in your PC to save ideas, chats, prints, and random notes of things that catch your attention, online and offline. Then reserve some time to create quality content about them, even if you haven’t been commissioned for a specific topic. Add to your folder a list of relevant hashtags and topics that are making headlines, as well as things that keep people talking.

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