Over the last week, Instagram dropped a new small yet significant new feature for its Live broadcasts. The platform announced that users can now save their Instagram Live videos to IGTV and in IGTV series (top tip: have an IGTV cover handy, as there is no option to save it as draft, so it’s a one-time opportunity).
Instagram said the process means users won’t be able to edit live videos before sharing it to IGTV. Additionally, any likes or comments from the original video won’t be included in Live video replays, and the number of viewers of the Live video will start again once shared to IGTV.
Small updates like this one show me that there is a growing interest and demand for a feature like IGTV. As IGTV competition is getting fiercer and fiercer, what can make or break your efforts will be strategy really.
I often quote Benjamin Franklin and his “fail to plan, plan to fail” within reason. My secret weapon to a great way to create continuity to tap into one of the latest features of IGTV is to look into creating a Series.
The Series option can help you better brand their content and encourage return viewing by giving their series a dedicated label, along with an on-screen tab that viewers can tap to get notifications of new episodes.
As we launched our own IGTV series 5 weeks ago, we have learned a lot along the way – and I have seen loads of brands including Urban Outfitters’ Home short series “UO at home with”.
How can you create a successful IGTV series for yourself? Here are the key 4-steps to keep in mind.
Step one: find a goal for your IGTV series
There may be a misconception that a Series has to be ongoing, yet just like anything, you may find that a time-limited series could work really well with a campaign launch or seasonal campaigns.
As an example, we have recently seen with people being at home, brands resorting to IGTV series whilst putting a lot of their marketing campaigns on hold.
For most, IGTV is a great tool for brand awareness and bringing a more relatable edge to any brand.
Yet, IGTV has also got a few elements that help brands drive traffic outside on the platform. IGTV links are clickable on laptop and IGTV app, which adds a new way for audiences to interact with the videos and get traffic through.
As we shaped the idea of the Good Feed, we had to get clear on the goal of the videos. For us, it was a way to establish our expertise within our field, as well as create a more personal connection with our followers.
Step two: find a theme and structure
What content should you create for your series? Whenever possible, make it unique, yet keep it simple.
- Create ad hoc content showcasing your expertise
- Series of interviews or Q&As
- Repurpose content from other platforms
- Repurpose live content
Shorter is better, as most videos tend to get only viewed for up to 5 minutes.
Most videos will see a dip in views from 5 minutes onwards. It took us a long time to make our videos shorter, as we had to nail the content balance and the scripts first.
Ideally, you want to storyboard your series to get a clear idea of what needs to be prepared ahead of time. Will you have a specific cover image? Or intro/outro? Do you need to script your videos? Do I need equipment?
Our IGTV series is, well, a news show for creatives and online businesses. For the Good Feed, we started by writing down the full script and then cutting it as I personally read through each and every piece of news to make it less press-release like and more, well human.
Step three: create a schedule
Create an “appointment to view” when it comes to series so that you can build expectation with your followers. This does not mean you will have to test and assess frequency, day of the week and time (I find morning works best for us, gives us more time throughout the day to promote the series.
As a handy tool, you can use countdown stickers for reminders in your stories. Not many people know you can click on the series name on Instagram to get a list of all of the episodes and request to be notified when a new one comes out!
Case study: the Good Feed comes out on Tuesdays, so we make sure we share a countdown sticker on the Mondays ahead of each new episode. As we’ll be easing our schedule post-lockdown (going from weekly to bi-monthly) we’ll still keep a consistent appointment on Tuesday mornings, just every other week.
Step four: cross-promote efficiently
When a new episode of our series is out, I always make sure I also share on other social accounts, using a short snippet of my videos. I also love to do a roundup every month with the episodes from the past 4 weeks.
With Instagram announcing monetization options on IGTV, this new feature could allow creators to expand their IGTV content portfolio and encourage more people to utilise the platform, with the potential to eventually earn revenue via the content.
Another way to repurpose from IGTV is to repurpose some of our top news on TikTok, which is a fun, and efficient way to get content out in an almost native way (we also throw some TikTok only videos in our content mix, but since most of our IGTV videos are built on 15 to 30 second blocks, it works perfectly.
The benefits of an IGTV series
An IGTV series creates consistency and helps any brand when it comes to kick-starting a video strategy on a budget. I do believe there is massive power in taking the time to craft an IGTV series (at a pace and frequency that works for you). Oh, and while you are at it, check the Good Feed and let us know what you think!
Just getting started with IGTV? Check our guide here.
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My name is Fab Giovanetti and I am a writer, author, marketing consultant, founder of the Creative Impact Group and professional troublemaker. I help people grow their online audience and monetise their content and unleash their potentials as creatives.