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  • Writer's pictureKarissa McEneff

IGTV: Top tips to own your strategy for 2020

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

Welcome to the first post on my new digital marketing blog!

Huge thanks to everyone who has supported me with the launch of my website.

I'll start by telling you a little bit about my background..

Since graduating from a Marketing degree in 2015 I have been immersed in the non-stop world of digital and social media, working on ground breaking campaigns for Ticketmaster, Fleadh Cheoil, Ideal Home Show and most recently as Digital Marketing Manager at CLIFF Group, the only Irish hotel group to hold three Michelin stars in 2019.

I've learnt so much over the past few years and I've decided to share all my top digital tips on this blog. You can also follow Karissa Digital on Instagram here.

Let's get started on today's topic - Instagram's IGTV.

Video killed the radio star.. video is taking over!

User holding phone using IGTV app
Photo credit: prykhodov/123rf

IGTV stands for Instagram TV and was launched in June 2018. This platform is designed for sharing long form videos of up to 10 minutes in length. IGTV videos are uploaded via a separate app.

Screenshot of IGTV app on smartphone

Take a look at an IGTV video I created for my food Instagram page, Blue Cheese Dip below.

The good news is that IGTV is still developing. Instagram has approximately 500 million active users per day and the average user is spending 53 minutes per day on IGTV (Social Bakers, December 2019). These numbers are sure to rise in 2020 as more and more accounts expand into IGTV. This is a platform that is not yet oversaturated with advertising and marketing as it has not been monetised in the same way as YouTube, so this is your time to be a step ahead of the rest and own your IGTV strategy for 2020..

How to create an IGTV account

First you'll need to download the IGTV app on your smartphone. Click here for the iOS version or here for the Android version.

Pivot, Pivottt..

Originally Instagram introduced IGTV as a vertical video platform, showing content in Instagram stories size of 1080x1920px (aspect ratio of 9:16).

Now you can also upload videos in horizontal format. This is useful for YouTube-style videos designed to be viewed as landscape. The user can either view the video on a vertical screen or turn their phone sideways for full screen mode.

Below is an example of horizontal video on the left (which can be watched full screen when the phone is turned sideways) and vertical on the right.

Examples of horizontal versus vertical video format on IGTV
Photo credit:

Keep in mind that the preview of the video will still show as a vertical thumbnail so you will need to create a separate cover image as usual. The dimensions of this image should be 492 x 762 pixels.

Keep it short and sweet

IGTV allows you to upload videos that are up to 10 minutes in duration but industry experts recommend keeping your videos between 2 and 5 minutes long to prevent your audience from losing interest. Users with larger accounts or verified accounts can upload videos of up to 60 minutes in duration, which can be uploaded using desktop. (I will go into this in more detail in a separate blog post. Instagram have recently made a lot of changes and it is now possible to manage an Instagram account almost solely from a desktop.)

Use hashtags to get more video views

There are a few steps to take in order to get your video in front of your target audience. Be sure to include detailed info and hashtags in the description section when uploading your video in the IGTV app. You can also include clickable website links in the description. Unlike in Instagram feed posts this feature is available to all accounts regardless of how many followers you have. Use it to your advantage!

Take a look at this example below 🍴

Screenshot of IGTV description and hashtags

Learn from the insights

Instagram recently upgraded the insights on IGTV videos. Here you can check the analytics on your videos to determine the type of content that your audience are engaging with. Pay particular attention to the audience retention graph.

I'm a huge fan of IGTV videos and I think this will be a noticeable area of growth for 2020. This platform allows brands to showcase their personality, while grabbing the attention of their engaged followers. Currently Facebook and Instagram are optimising for video, and this is also evident with the rise of Tik Tok. Users want to see video content and it is vital that you have a video strategy for 2020. You can create fun and engaging videos from your smartphone - you don't need a professional camera or to hire an expensive videographer.

Research what your competitors are doing on IGTV by checking their Instagram profiles for the IGTV tab as in the image below.

Screenshot of IGTV profile

That's it for this blog post. Check out my next post where I'll give my advice on the six letter word all digital marketers are talking about.. TIKTOK.

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