Video: The new king of social media marketing

On June 20th, 2018, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom announced the social network would be launching Instagram TV (IGTV), a long-form video app that’s also accessible within Instagram. It will be rolling out to global users on Android and iPhone devices adding to the array of social media services being delivered within the Facebook ecosystem.

The rising influence of social media has forced systematic changes in the way businesses market themselves. Equally, social media marketing has raised concerns surrounding the costs of content creation, challenges of tracking ROI, and authenticity of the number of followers. These are issues Facebook has taken very seriously. The social media giant has been proactively adjusting and tweaking their algorithms over the last few months.

At least, for now, video content has become a haven for marketers. The nature of video means there has to be an actual person(s) watching for a set period of time to be counted as a view by Instagrams algorithms. This provides marketers with the tools needed to track the actual number of views their paid ads/influencer collaborations are receiving, therefore, making it easier to quantify value.

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COLLABORATIONS AS A TOOL.

“It’s time for video to move forward, and evolve,” said Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom onstage at the unveiling of IGTV. “IGTV is for watching long-from videos from your favorite creators” this signals the continued championing of independent creators over brands and businesses by Facebook. Instagram TV is focusing its platform around digital celebrities that made their name on mobile rather than more traditional publishers and TV studios that might come off too structured and polished. With this approach, IGTV will directly compete with YouTube, where people purposefully come to watch specific videos from their specific creators. This makes collaborations with influencers and other digital VIP’s a great strategy for brands in search of rapid growth.

IGTV will also let creators develop Instagram Channels full of their different videos that audiences can subscribe to. Creators will be able to place links in the description area of their videos to drive traffic to external websites, streamlining the collaboration process between influencers and partner brands.

 

“Brands should aim to have a fluent crossover of traffic between their websites and social pages of influencers they collaborate with”

 

This is also good for individual creators as videos will offer a link-out option so creators can drive traffic to their other social presences, helping their followers crossover to their Twitter pages, websites, or e-commerce stores. This feature brings real value to the marketplace on both ends. Instagram is also planning to offer direct monetization, potentially including advertising revenue shares similar to that of YouTube.

 

Facebook also launched its Brand Collabs Manager that helps businesses find creators to sponsor. That could help IGTV influencers earn money through product promotions or sponsored posts. Brands will be able to discover leading influencers without the complication of scouring the web, Facebook brands collab manager allows marketers to simply input a category then Facebook collabs manager will present a custom list of appropriate influencers. Whether Facebook will charge an additional subscription fee is yet to be seen.

 

VIDEO BY THE NUMBERS

The challenges of producing video content will mean creators and influencers with this skill will be more valuable and slightly more expensive than others, however, the potential returns are significant. Supporting data provided by Inc.com claims that video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019, combined with the 2017 report published by Forrester claims that adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%. We’ve seen the effects video has had on the e-commerce sector where 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions and 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.

Those numbers just scratch the surface. 2019 will be “year of the video” and IGTV is one of the major contributors to this changing landscape.

But before brands jump into IGTV and video marketing, it will be important to build a social video strategy or if brands already have a social video strategy, they’ll need to figure out how IGTV fits into it. With a built-in audience as large as YouTube, IGTV will certainly be hard to ignore.

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TYPE OF CONTENT

it’s obvious that educational, how-to content is well suited to long-form video content on YouTube. Perhaps there’s space for brands to deliver similar content on IGTV, in-house or with an influencer. As with other video platforms, behind-the-scenes and Q&A type content also performs well. National Geographic, Instagram’s largest non-celebrity brand, uses video to take their followers to exciting locations like the top of a mountain or deep in the jungle. With the announcement of IGTV National Geographic has added an episode of “One Strange Rock”, a TV show narrated by Will Smith for NatGeo TV. each episode will be 47 minutes long, IGTV provides a unique opportunity for brands and creators to engage audiences. There are other brands with unique approaches to IGTV.

The Klog

The Klog is creating skincare tips and how-to content to IGTV, with higher quality videos edited to feel like a “tv show” format adding a soundtrack and voice-overs to make the video appear professional.

What’s Gaby Cooking?

Gabby the home cook and food blogger is turning her Instagram Stories and traditional WordPress blog into polished, how-to recipe videos fit for TV and her audience is “eating it up”

Man Repeller

The fashion blog began on IGTV with a behind-the-scenes series called “A Week in the Life of Man Repeller HQ,” giving fans a look at what it’s like to work for the company. The video isn’t polished or had too much editing done showing just how flexible you can be on IGTV.

 

REMEMBER!

Audiences can be diverse and range from age, gender, sex and psychographic, understanding the style of content that will resonate with your audience will dictate how your brand should approach the video content strategy. Also understanding the various devices in which video content is consumed will determine the production and delivery phase.

IGTV was created with a mobile-first audience in mind, unlike YouTube (where videos are often played on desktop and always horizontal, similar to TV).  IGTV videos are vertical. Video length is 15 seconds to 60 minutes giving brands new layers to engage with their audience (The full 60 minutes is currently only available to larger accounts or verified accounts. Everyone else has a limit of 10 minutes, meaning brands have to deliver quality content and account for every minute they have; Creators can add “swipe up” call-to-action on videos so it's important to have a goal and understand what your brand wants to achieve with its video strategy, whether it is to increase web traffic, brand awareness or promote a single product, each goal will require a different strategy and approach. Added features have given consumers more “voting power”, now users can like or comment on videos, or send videos to friends in Direct messages; It is estimated that 92% of people who consume mobile videos share them with other people. This is higher than the share rate of any other types of content. Data analytics company Simply Measured discovered that video is shared 1,200% more than both links and text combined giving greater opportunity for brands and creators to go viral.

 

SUMMARY

Based on its historic growth trajectory that has seen Instagram adding 100 million users every four months, and its announcement of 800 million in September 2017, it’s possible that Instagram will announce it’s hit 1 billion monthly users, this underlines the sheer influence the company has. IGTV could create a new behaviour pattern for users who are bored with their friends’ content, or looking for something to watch in between and brands should adjust to this new norm. IGTV provides an opportunity for brands to expand the barriers of e-Commerce, consumer engagement and online marketing.

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