For Social Media Creators
July 06, 2021

The Essential Guide to Making IGTV Videos

By Jessica Peterson 11 min read

Highlights

  • IGTV video is Instagram’s in-app answer to YouTube, where any user can create a channel and share videos from 1 minute up to an hour long
  • There are multiple ways to cross-promote your content since Facebook owns Instagram and has made it seamless to post from one to the other
  • Use IGTV skillfully and regularly, use the right IGTV dimensions, IGTV thumbnail size, and export settings and watch your audience grow

Instagram has several features creators can use to grow their following and promote their brand. IGTV is a great way to do all that. In this post, you'll learn what IGTV is, why you should use IGTV in your video marketing strategy and how to make IGTV videos. we will also teach you how to upload them to IGTV and what you can do to perfect marketing them.

What is IGTV exactly?

Launched in June 2018, IGTV video is Instagram’s in-app answer to YouTube, where any user can create a channel and share videos from one minute up to an hour long. IGTV videos are displayed in a separate tab on a user’s profile, just like Instagram Reels. However, these mobile-optimized videos are generally longer format than Posts or Reels and tend to be serial or episodic, such as travel vlogs or how-to videos.

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It’s also a great place to post your Instagram Live videos for those who missed it.

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Once you learn how to make IGTV videos, we will teach you how to upload them to IGTV and what you can do to perfectly market them.

How to market IGTV videos

The great thing about Instagram is its connectivity. You have multiple ways to cross-promote your content since Facebook owns Instagram and has made it seamless to post from one to the other. 

Even promoting your IGTV videos from within Instagram is easy. Content creators often use Stories to alert followers of a new IGTV video or series launch. Reels could be used the same way, as sort of a trailer or commercial to promote your IGTV video. The point is that social media videos should be cross-promoted on all your channels, and IGTV video is no exception. 

Do not expect your followers to see everything you post. Instead, make sure to alert them in multiple ways with creativity. For example, use Stories to get feedback on your IGTV videos by asking questions, doing polls and inviting followers to comment. You could even use Instagram Live to do a Q&A about your latest IGTV video.

You should also consider cross-promotion with other users and channels. For example, many popular Instagrammers work hard to be featured on bigger profiles. Reach out both through direct messaging and to relevant corporate email addresses. Use LinkedIn to search for social media managers and marketing people who might be interested in your content, especially if it features their products or aligns with their key messages. Keep your correspondence brief and professional and include impressive stats and demographics, as well as links to content you think could be featured on their channels.

Effectively use hashtags by researching trending tags or simply seeing what works for similar Instrammers (yes, your competition!). 

Already have a bunch of YouTube videos? Find out how to share YouTube videos on Instagram.

How to upload IGTV videos via the mobile app

Step 1: Open the Instagram app and tap on the ‘plus sign (+)’ in the top right corner of your profile page. Select the ‘IGTV Video’ option.

step 1 in uploading video to igtv

Step 2: Select the video you want to upload to IGTV. When the video is displayed, hit the ‘Next’ button.

Step 3: Scroll through the video timeline to select a cover image or upload one by tapping ‘Add from Camera Roll’ (iPhone) or ‘Add from Gallery’ (Android). Then tap ‘Next.’

Step 4: Add title and description. Preview the post of your video to the Instagram feed. You can add the video to a series, edit the profile cover and make the video visible on Facebook. Advanced settings include adding a paid partnership level and auto-generating captions. 

Step 5: Next, tap the ‘Post to IGTV’ button.

How to upload IGTV videos from a desktop

Instagram requires that you have uploaded one IGTV video via the app before you can do it from a desktop. Pay attention to Instagram video format requirements for the best quality upload.

Step 1: Navigate to the IGTV tab on your profile page. Click ‘Upload.’ Your IGTV video length must be between 1 and 60 minutes. IGTV dimensions can be landscape or portrait, and the IGTV video size must be less than 3.6 GB.

Step 2: Click the plus sign to upload your IGTV video.

Step 3: Type a title and description.

Step 4: Upload the cover, which must be a JPG or PNG file. The minimum recommended IGTV thumbnail size is 492 x 762 pixels.

Step 5: Choose whether or not you want a preview and auto-generated captions.

Step 6: Click ‘Save Draft’ or ‘Post.’

how to post igtv video from desktop

How to make an IGTV series

First, you’ll need to brainstorm a theme for the series. For example, is it a how-to series featuring some DIY projects you’ve mastered? Are you a comedian with a recurring character? Or a musician who posts behind-the-scenes videos from rehearsals, music video shoots or performances? Are you a host who interviews interesting characters? Any and all of these are great themes for an IGTV series.

Pay attention to the branding you use for each video in your series. Hire a designer to create a logo (something that looks good on mobile), come up with a catchy title and be consistent. You’ll find a formula that works, but don’t underestimate what trial and error does for research purposes.

And now to the actual steps of creating a video within an IGTV series: 

Step 1: To add your video to a series, you’ll need to create one first. Tap ‘New Series,’ enter a series name, then tap ‘Create.’ To finish, tap ‘Done’ in the top right.

create new igtv series

Step 2: If you want to show a preview of your video in Feed and on your profile, tap ‘Post a preview.’ Previews will automatically be the first 15 seconds of your video. 

Step 3: Tap ‘Edit Preview’ to adjust your preview (you only have this option if your video is vertical 9:16. If your video is 16:9 or landscape, it will show in full.

add igtv series name and preview

Step 4: Tap ‘Save’ in the top right.

Step 5: Next, tap the ‘Post to IGTV’ button. And voila! Your first IGTV video is uploaded, and you now have a series channel.

In conclusion

IGTV is a useful tool for content creators to promote their videos and brands. Now you know how to use IGTV to grow your audience and how to post on IGTV. Remember to use IGTV to post videos that truly warrant a longer run time (from 1 minute to 60). Use it skillfully and regularly, use the right IGTV dimensions, IGTV thumbnail size and export settings, be sure to check your Insights to see what followers are most engaged with and remember to have fun!

 

About Jessica

Jessica Peterson is a travel and documentary filmmaker with a background in journalism and marketing. She has 20 years of experience producing content in 114 cities and 25 countries. In 2016, she directed and produced her own documentary about her then-home of Guam. Working under the name Global Girl Travels, her clients include CNN, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Matador Network, and Tastemade.

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