Instagram has officially released IGTV and the big debate is: IGTV vs YouTube? Which platform is better?
In this article, I’m going to discuss my initial observations from using IGTV and how it stacks up against the likes of YouTube.
Plus, I voiced my first impressions about IGTV in a Facebook Live stream, so make sure to check it out.
IGTV vs Youtube which one should you choose? I break things down with lots of examples in the written article below. But also, watch the vid! 🙂
WHAT IS IGTV?
IGTV is a modern, mobile video experience that Instagram has introduced to the masses.
What makes it unique is that it’s vertical, portrait style long-form video, so the goal is for IGTV to become the vertical version of YouTube.
By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic, so it looks like Instagram is betting big on mobile video with the launch of IGTV.
What’s also great about IGTV is that you can upload videos via mobile AND desktop.
Now, while most accounts can only publish up to 10 minutes on mobile, the same doesn’t apply for desktop.
NINJA TIP: If you upload videos to your desktop and have at least 10K followers, you can publish up to 60 minutes, compared to only 10 on most accounts with mobile.
PROS OF IGTV
The fact that the platform primarily focuses on vertical video means that you can literally just pop out your mobile phone, hit record and create a quick video and upload it to IGTV.
Shooting a video with your mobile device means you don’t need as much graphics and edits and bells and whistles compared to a more polished platform like YouTube.
As of right now, IGTV looks like a platform for more raw, natural, unedited videos that can be used as a vehicle to show the behind-the-scenes of your personality and your expertise to your audience.
Many influencers on the platform right now are just shooting videos in their car or walking down the street and discussing a topic in their niche.
This all makes for a more natural, more personable connection that you can establish with your audience.
Or better yet, it now gives you fewer excuses as to why you can’t create content to build your brand.
Just look as IGTV as a recorded FaceTime or Whatsapp video chat that you’re having with one of your friends.
FOUR IGTV HACKS YOU CAN START USING RIGHT NOW
1 | LINKS + HASHTAGS IN DESCRIPTION BOX
IGTV allows you to have a description box just like YouTube and you can add a clickable link to direct your audience outside of the platform.
The clickable link is a huge feature for most avid IG users because you can’t add clickable links in your captions in your IG posts.
Therefore, you can add a link to direct your audience to your website or even an opt-in freebie and make sure to use a bit.ly link to track and see if you are converting IGTV viewers into new email subscribers.
You can also add hashtags to your IGTV video as well!
I forgot to add hashtags to my first video and you can’t go back and make changes to your description (an IGTV con right now by the way), so don’t judge me.
But okay, back to the hashtags.
Adding hashtags to your IGTV video, allows the video to be found in search which allows even more ways for people on the platform to find your videos.
Make sure to add hashtags, and lots of them but not over the max 30.
2 | CALLS-TO-ACTIONS
For many of you that are going to start making videos on IGTV but have never made a video for YouTube, it’s important to give calls-to-actions in your videos to let them your audience know what steps you would like them to take next.
Some example calls-to-actions can be:
“Like and leave a comment.”
“Click the link in the description to grab a free ebook.”
“What do you think about [insert topic], let me know in the comments below.”
NINJA TIP: Make sure to give most of your calls-to-actions early on in the video, especially if you have a link to a resource in the description. Let your audience know from the jump what’s in it for them if they watch this video. Also, it’s important to keep your audience engaged and informed at the beginning so you can increase your audience retention rates.
KEYWORDS IN NAME IN IG PROFILE
One of the ways to increase your chances of your IGTV videos being found in search is by making sure you have proper keywords in your IG profile name.
Now, I’m not talking about your IG handle (Ex. @nadineliverpool), I’m talking about the actual name in your profile.
The name in your profile is searchable on Instagram, so it’s important that you add keywords related to your niche. Examples like fitness, copywriting, business, makeup, etc.
Having keywords in your IG profile name makes it easier for people to find your channel in IGTV search.
You can also find other IG users within the same niche who have created their own channels.
3 | HORIZONTAL VIDEOS ON IGTV
Now yes, while IGTV’s goal is to be the place for vertical, long-form video, there is a way to still upload horizontal videos to the platform.
In your editor on your computer, you just have to change the settings of the video to 1080px x 1920px in order for it to fit the vertical frame that is required for IGTV.
NINJA TIP: To create a custom background for the video, create a 1080px x 1920px image in Canva and leave some space in the middle for the video to fit.
And these are some examples of how other influencers are using horizontal/vertical video for IGTV.
This is a great option if you already have a library of landscape/horizontal videos that you’ve already created and you want to repurpose them for IGTV.
At the end of the day, who really wants to go back and recreate a whole bunch of videos on topics you’ve already done just for the vertical format. Definitely not me. #TeamProductive
In terms of your content creation strategy, you can use IGTV as a place to repurpose your videos from other platforms but also create raw videos from your mobile cphone to also have a more personal, behind-the-scenes discussion with your audience.
CONS OF IGTV
IGTV is still fairly new so there’s always going to be a lot of kinks here and there but I think the biggest con so far when it comes to IGTV is the search functionality.
With YouTube being a search engine you can literally search for anything and you can find a video for it on the platform.
If you were to search, How to Lose Weight on YouTube a bunch of related search results would pop up.
Compared to IGTV, when you search the same thing it will say “no channels found.”
Therefore, on IGTV you can’t search for headlines or long-tail keywords via a question, it can only be keywords that someone has listed in their IG profile name.
That is a huge thing in terms of gaining viewership and traction for your videos outside of the followers that you already have on the platform.
But with YouTube being the second largest search engine in the world and being owned by Google which is the largest search engine world, they know a thing or two or a million things about effective search practices.
IGTV still has some tweaking to do.
EDITING VERTICAL VIDEOS CAN BE CHALLENGING
For us creative humans out there, when it comes to content creation we always want to make sure our content is of high-quality.
When it comes to editing and increasing the production value of your IGTV videos, most people would rather edit their videos on their laptop or desktop — a screen that is large and landscape, compared to editing on a tiny screen on your phone.
What I’ve found so far is that a 10-minute IG video is about one gigabyte and transferring that video to your Google cloud drive, to then download the video to your computer, and edit in Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere to then export the new edited vid to your computer, to then upload it to IGTV, takes. a. whole. lot. of. time (But if you use a Mac and an iPhone, you can use Airdrop).
Alternatively, you can shoot the video with a DSLR and transfer the footage from your SD card to your computer and complete the same steps. You’ll save about a good 30-45 minutes and the videos will look like the horizontal videos shown in the examples above.
To avoid all the headache of transferring and uploading and downloading and extra editing just to make your videos look different, it seems like many content creators are just shooting raw, unedited videos for the IGTV platform which looks like to be the most hassle-free process to take.
FINAL VERDICT: IGTV VS YOUTUBE?
Now, it comes down to my final decision when it comes to the IGTV vs YouTube debate.
And honestly, I think you should use both.
IGTV can be a place where you can create more raw, natural, and short-form behind-the-scenes types of videos, whereas YouTube, is the place for more produced, polished, long-form content.
When creating content for your IGTV channel you can discuss personal stories or your experiences or inspiration, compared to skills-based videos that you can create for YouTube.
And if you’re too lazy to create even more content for IGTV, then just repurpose your YouTube videos and use the landscape examples shown above.
Hope this article helped you gain some new ideas about how you can use the new IGTV platform and how it differs from YouTube.
Will you be using IGTV and what kinds of content do you plan to create? Let me know in the comments below and check out my IGTV channel right here.
Nadine is a former television broadcaster turned digital marketing strategist and educator. The Trinidadian-Canadian teaches content creators, entrepreneurs, and side-hustle bosses how to market and monetize their skills online. When Nadine isn’t helping high achievers build their brands, you can find her reading a book or jamming to the latest DJ Private Ryan soca mix.