Should Your Team Use IGTV?
There is no doubt that Instagram is one of the most popular marketing platforms for sports teams. Considering one out of every three Instagram users follows a sports account, you’d be foolish not to take advantage of this social media platform.
When you add to in the fact that video content is on the rise and the fact that Instagram is jumping on the video bandwagon with the latest release of IGTV, it’s easy to see why Instagram is worth considering.
In today’s post, we’ll take a look at what IGTV is, discuss its pros and cons, and show you sports brands that have successfully adopted IGTV in their marketing.
What is IGTV?
According to Instagram’s official description, “IGVT is long-form, vertical video channel” that caters to how people actually use their phone — in vertical mode. It’s a place where Instagram users can share vertical videos that are up to one hour long. You can access IGTV through Instagram’s main app as well as the official IGTV app.
How IGTV Works
Videos uploaded to IGTV have to be pre-recorded since the platform doesn’t support going live as of yet. According to Instagram’s official IGTV handbook, your video can be in 4K resolution and have the following dimensions:
- 720 x 1280
- 1080 x 1920
- 2160 x 3840 (4K)
Videos can be uploaded through the Instagram app, IGTV app, and online through instagram.com/tv/upload/.
Users can interact with your videos similarly to stories; they can click through to see videos by tapping the screen. IGTV posts can also be linked and shared in Instagram Stories and users can swipe up to see it.
Pros and Cons of IGTV
Now that we’ve covered what IGTV is and how it works, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using the platform.
IGTV has several advantages that make this new platform an attractive choice.
- Just like Instagram, IGTV is easy to use
- Allows you to upload your IGTV episodes to Facebook so you can easily share your IGTV with fans on Facebook and encourage them to check out your new IGTV channel
- Supports native portrait video so you can easily record video with your phone and upload it to IGTV
- Videos can be longer than 1 minute which means you can broadcast more of your game or interviews or other types of content
On the con side, there are a couple of pitfalls when it comes to using IGTV.
- While you can upload videos through the browser, there is no way to enjoy them on a bigger screen as a viewer
- If you’re recording videos using a traditional camera or in horizontal mode, editing them to fit the vertical format can be somewhat challenging
Is IGTV for You?
IGTV is still in its infancy but the platform is already getting adopted and used by famous brands and content creators all over the world. Sports teams are also joining the bandwagon and using the app to connect with their fans.
While the platform has its work cut out for it to reach their goal of replacing the standard TV, it’s clearly making big strides in going head to head with video giants such as YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion, and others.
Another point in favor of IGTV is that it’s not as saturated as other more mature video platforms so you might have an easier time connecting with your audience as well as reaching new fans.
All things considered, IGTV is worth trying out and seeing how your team’s marketing efforts pay off.
5 Sports Brands Using IGTV
Even though it’s still a young platform, IGTV is already being used by some of the larger sports teams and brands. Below are five examples that you can use as an inspiration as you start to brainstorm your IGTV strategy.
1. Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers features their team members with short videos averaging between 3-6 minutes in length. A great way to give fans a taste of what the players are like behind the scenes and establish a strong emotional connection.
2. Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee Bucks feature their team members but they also post moments from the game, team travel, and promotional material that highlights the team’s greatest moments.
3. LA Lakers
LA Lakers follows in the similar footsteps by highlighting team members. Team members share a brief bio and details about themselves which allows the fans to instantly connect to them.
Adidas’ brand spans quite a few channels on IGTV and their content is focused on highlighting athletes and regular people using their sportswear line as well as featuring their own products. They effectively use storytelling across all of their channels.
5. Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated doesn’t have a lot of content on their IGTV channel yet but the magazine is slowly catching up. Their videos are on the shorter side and offer brief insights and recaps of trending and popular sports news.
Four Tips for Using IGTV
Before we wrap up this article, here are a few tips that will help you get the most out of IGTV.
1. Shoot in Vertical Format
While it is possible to shoot a video using a traditional camera, editing a horizontal video to fit a vertical format will result in a video that clearly wasn’t meant to be watched in vertical mode. Your end video may appear grainy not to mention parts of the video will be cut off, resulting in poor viewer experience.
2. Hook Them Within First Three Seconds
Needless to say, you have a short amount of time to capture your viewer’s attention. According to research, most users swipe or click through to the next video on the first frame so it’s important to hook them into your content right from the start.
3. Keep in Mind the Fast Pace
Up until now, Instagram content (whether it’s stories or regular posts) were geared to be consumed on the go. As such, you have to keep in mind the fast-paced nature of the app and its users who are used to this type of content so ensure your videos accommodate for this. Show them content that corresponds to on-the-go lifestyle: your team on tour, behind the scenes videos, brief features, and similar.
4. Make Use of Analytics
Lastly, make sure to keep an eye on your analytics using the Insights tab. This will show you which content resonates with your audience and which content is not doing so well so you can improve your content over time.
Connect With Your Fans on IGTV
IGTV has several advantages that are beneficial for sports teams and brands. It’s a perfect opportunity to connect with your fans on a platform that is not yet too saturated where you have better chances of your content being discovered by new potential fans. Use this article to help you get started with IGTV and don’t forget to download our IGTV cheatsheet to have on hand.