Complete Guide to IGTV Dimensions & Best Practices You Need to Know
Let's talk about IGTV, Instagram's video hosting platform made to compete against the world's video giant YouTube. Should your business be posting on IGTV? Is it a worthwhile platform to focus on? And how do you optimize your videos for success? We’ll explore this all below.
When it comes to IGTV, there's still an air of mystery that makes some videos viral, and others grow slowly. As marketers continue to create content and utilize the platform, the same rules that governed YouTube seem to work on IGTV. IGTV exists for longer-form video content on Instagram. The content that performs best is content that offers viewers the most value.
Follow our guide on IGTV dimensions and best practices to help your IGTV channel achieve maximum success.
What is IGTV?
First of all, let’s get a quick understanding of what exactly IGTV is. IGTV works as a stand-alone app, and as a feature integrated into the main Instagram platform. The point of IGTV is to support longer form videos (up to 1 hour), which is much longer than the video allowed on the main Instagram platform.
IGTV has its own icon on the app. This is your channel, where all of your videos can be found. IGTV is specially designed for mobile viewing, which is why the Instagram dimensions are so important to consider. All videos are vertical on your screen. The vertical videos take up the entire screen while playing.
When navigating IGTV, viewers can choose between different categories to watch videos in. these include:
- For You
- Continue Watching
Why Should Brands be Invested in IGTV?
On average, people spend nearly 2.5 hours a day on social media. While Facebook remains the most popular social media site, Instagram is not far off. And when it comes to social media, video content is massive. This is one of the most popular ways social media users consume content these days.
Almost half of Gen Zers between the ages of 18 and 24 say they would consume their favorite shows through social media. More than one-third of both Millennials and Gen Xers between the ages of 25 and 54 would do the same.
Clearly, video marketing and IGTV is important for your brand to get right. This is why your IGTV video content needs to be optimized as best as possible.
Instagram has introduced IGTV previews on its main platform. These can be seen within stories, and within users’ main Instagram feeds. This has certainly helped to create more interest and curiosity around IGTV.
Let's discuss covering your IGTV bases, such as recommended dimensions, how to create a channel, eye-catching content ideas, the best brands on IGTV, and more.
Let's get started!
The Best IGTV Video Size & Dimensions
Like Instagram stories, IGTV uses vertical video formats to fit the viewer’s mobile screen. Instagram users expect this type of layout and dimension from brands. As soon as users enter the IGTV platform, videos start to play automatically.
Once your video is uploaded, you can only add a cover image, add sounds, or cut the video's length if it's under 10 minutes. So you edit your video before uploading it on the IGTV app. The important step is getting the frame or size of your video right, which means using the right IGTV dimensions.
To be fair, this can be subjective based on what you want to show, and if you plan to display an IGTV video preview on your feed, but we'll get into that soon.
First, ensure that your IGTV video file size is under the maximum file size of 650MB for videos less than 10 mins. For videos less than 60 mins, the video size should be 3.6GB maximum. A small IGTV video size is a must for better performance.
Your video should be in an MP4 format, or it won't be uploaded. Next, your IGTV video dimensions should be 1080 x 1920 pixels or an aspect ratio of 9:16. A ratio of 9:16 is the same size as the Instagram story dimensions.
These dimensions are perfect if you upload videos on the IGTV platform. When it comes to IGTV video previews on your feed, keep in mind that the video is cut down to a 4:5 aspect ratio. If it's important to show the entire video in your IGTV preview, below are the IGTV dimensions you should consider using:
Remember that once you follow these aspect ratio sizes, your video will be flawlessly uploaded without having to do any additional editing or work.
How to Create an IGTV Channel
Instagram supports a variety of different types of video. This includes Instagram reels, Instagram stories, and long-format videos. Longer-form video content is reserved for Instagram’s IGTV app. Instagram’s IGTV lets users post and explore different kinds of videos to use on their profiles.
You can upload and access videos on Instagram. You can also upload videos under 15 minutes as you would in a regular post, but for longer videos, the IGTV app itself will need to be downloaded and used.
To create an IGTV channel, start by downloading the IGTV app and login with your account's credentials so that the app syncs with your account. This allows you to upload video to IGTV, watch, and share your IGTV videos instantly.
It's that simple.
How to Upload to IGTV from a Desktop Computer?
Instagram also allows you to upload your IGTV videos via desktop. This makes it easier to upload longer videos with over 10 minutes of content. When you create videos for IGTV, they will probably be edited on your computer. This makes it much easier to upload to IGTV after the video editing process.
IGTV enables you to access the same features you would see in the app but from the comfort of the Instagram desktop version. This only works if you've uploaded at least one video on IGTV. If not, then you'll have to use the app itself.
If you already uploaded a video in the past, go to your account on the desktop version of Instagram. Then click the IGTV where your videos are kept, and you should see a blue "Upload" button.
From there, upload your video, add your title, video description, cover image, and more. You can watch your video upload in real-time, and voila, you're done.
Instagram's IGTV vs. YouTube?
When it comes to IGTV and YouTube, marketers need to find the best platform for reaching their audience, improving ROI, and boosting brand awareness. No, IGTV is certainly not as popular as YouTube. However, it's still a great platform that offers its own unique possibilities. IGTV offers its own special space for niche content.
In my opinion, it boils down to the fact that IGTV doesn't have a high shelf life, lifelong engagement, or the loyalty that YouTube does. YouTube is certainly a more popular channel to watch videos on, with many features and channels that viewers love. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t reach valuable viewers through IGTV. I believe the two have a place in the world of video, and brands should utilize both of these tools.
IGTV has its advantages as it can be accessed via an Instagram feed, it's relatively new and growing, so much of its video marketing potential is still untapped for creators and marketers alike.
However, YouTube has more advanced analytics, sharing options, and its reach isn't limited to the possibility that a user has to be following or interested in your content. Rather your content is sought out and selected!
Not to mention YouTube has far more SEO advantages when compared to IGTV. Don't believe me? When you type in Google, you'll see YouTube videos come up as answers or answers to your problem, where IGTV videos are nowhere to be seen - well, yet.
YouTube is far ahead of the video marketing game. While IGTV may have its own unique appeal, it still doesn't have the driving power YouTube has developed for years. However, it’s important to incorporate various platforms, like IGTV, TikTok, reels, YouTube, and more when creating your overall video marketing strategy.
Whether you agree or not, take a look at this detailed video on IGTV VS. YouTube? — The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
4 Best IGTV Practices to Follow
Here are some of the best IGTV practices you should be using right now to help your channel look more professional while increasing engagement.
1. Always Have a Cover Photo
When users scroll through your IGTV channel, your cover image should grab their attention or entice them to click on your video. Without a cover image, your video might look unprofessional, or users might have to read the title or description to get context (which feels like work). Make it easy for people to read, click, and watch your feed of IGTV videos with the help of a cover image.
2. Post Consistently
One timeless tip is that posting content consistently on Instagram is crucial to your IGTV success. Brands spoil followers, they hate to admit it, but they thrive on consistency. The more consistent you are with your IGTV videos, the more users will look out for your content to watch, share, and engage with it regularly.
3. Create Content That Followers Want to See
This sounds like a no-brainer, but your IGTV, like your YouTube channel, will show you what topics and content your followers want to see from you. It also pushes you to experiment with ideas, layouts, and structures to increase your views. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how good your IGTV videos are if no one is watching your posts.
4. Use On-Screen Text on Videos
Did you know that there is a rising trend within video marketing that shouldn't be ignored? Silent videos. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest allow users to turn off audio from video. To add context to your video, add on-screen text on your videos, this will enable persons scrolling through to get a glimpse without turning on the sound. Consider this while doing your video editing.
5 Best Tools to Create Amazing IGTV Videos
When you create an IGTV channel, you will need to have the right tools available to help you achieve proper video dimensions, create cover images, and more. Here are some of the most important Instagram tool options for you to use behind the scenes.
Canva allows you to create IGTV, and Instagram story covers with ease. You can create your IGTV cover from scratch or by choosing one of their thousands of templates. This is a valuable free tool to help you create all kinds of graphic features.
Adobe is great for editing videos. You can preset your IGTV dimensions, format your videos, add text, music and easily export your videos in the recommended file size for your upload. Whether you're new to video editing or a seasoned content creator, Adobe Premiere Pro is always a good pick.
Wave is to video editing what Canva is to graphics - an easy-to-use online tool. You can upload, edit, and create IGTV videos in minutes online. Keep your videos organized and reuse them for every step of the customer journey. Users love this easy tool. You could even use it to edit and format your stories, reels, and more.
If you need a video editing app on the go, to give you access to professional editing tools, Inshot does it all. You can resize your videos, add music, and download files in 1080 video quality to match your file source. This app is available in the Apple or Android store.
Snappa is another online graphic tool that allows you to create, store, and share Instagram graphics. Snappa allows you to edit videos as well! This is a great tool to format and edit your videos, stories, and Instagram posts. So if you're looking for a platform that does it all, you might want to consider using Snappa.
5 IGTV Video Ideas for Your Channel
Creating content for your IGTV video doesn't have to be a constant struggle. In fact, if you start with these five IGTV video ideas, you're sure to strike gold!
Keep in mind that you'll have to play around to find what type of content resonates with your viewers best, so keep an open mind to the kind of video ideas that you can try in the future.
1. Product Introductions: Use IGTV to showcase or provide seamless product introductions to your followers. Whether this is a new product or a bestseller, use video to bring attention to its best features and details.
2. Behind the Scenes: Give your followers a sneak peek of what goes on behind your products, projects, and day-to-day activities. Viewers love being connected to a brand, as it helps to boost customer loyalty. Consider using a BTS as your next IGTV video content idea. Viewers always connect well with this.
3. FAQs: You can use IGTV as an extension of your customer service arm to educate and inform users of your new features, answer commonly asked questions, and more. This helps you optimize your Instagram profile to improve your customer's journey with video marketing.
4. Tutorials/DIYs: Next to FAQs, you can use your IGTV for step-by-step tutorials to educate your followers on how to use your products after they're ordered or are considering a purchase. This is an excellent video marketing tactic, as it can work with existing or prospective customers. You can use your tutorial video to show just how valuable your product can actually be in real life.
5. Celebration or Special Highlights: IGTV is also a great place to create videos that highlight special and current moments that are happening within your company or relates to your shoppers. Just like Instagram stories, IGTV videos offer an excellent opportunity to really connect with your followers and provide a face to your brand. These types of videos are great for this.
10 Amazing Brands Dominating IGTV Right Now
Looking for some Instagram TV inspiration? Some brands have figured out the secrets to IGTV to use the platform to reach a bigger audience. Here's a list of some brands that have been using Instagram TV to the fullest:
Adding IGTV to your Instagram marketing strategy is a must for this growing platform. As video marketing continues to rise in popularity and ROI, becoming a reliable staple in the digital marketing world, it's up to you to stay current using these tools.
Remember that with every Instagram feature, like IGTV, there's a learning curve you'll have to overcome. But once you do, you'll begin to see a rise in following, community and engagement.
If you need more help with your Instagram marketing, don't worry, we've got you covered. Check out our detailed guides and tips on Instagram marketing you can try today:
- How to Market on Instagram: 30 Ideas, Tips & Examples
- 25 Awesome Instagram Reels Ideas for Small Businesses
- The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Marketing for Retailers and Brands
- How to Create a Winning Instagram Marketing Strategy
- 12 Best Instagram Story Apps to Create Amazing Content
- How These Brands are Using Instagram Story Ads in Creative Ways
- 15 Low-Cost Alternatives to Paid Advertising
- How to Use TikTok for eCommerce Marketing
- How to Use TikTok Ads
- How to Use the Instagram Swipe Up Feature