IGTV vs Youtube: Six Tips to Choose the Right Video Platform for You

Most content marketers and business owners seem to ask a common question when it comes to video marketing.

Which platform should I upload my videos to: IGTV or YouTube?

When compared to YouTube's long-standing years of dominating the video marketing industry, IGTV is the new kid on the block. Yet since Instagram announced that IGTV previews would now appear in the regular Instagram feed, along with videos being shared to Instagram profiles, views have increased by ~300-1000%, proving that IGTV's popularity is still steadily growing.

Both Youtube and IGTV make great contenders for your video content. So when it all boils down to it, do you place all bets on YouTube or IGTV?

Today, we're going to put these two social media video platforms to the test, IGTV versus Youtube, and share six tips to help you choose the right social media video platform for you.


1. IGTV vs. YouTube: Dimensions & Layout

When it comes to dimensions and layout for IGTV and YouTube, they tend to differ drastically. IGTV is a social media platform where vertical videos tend to thrive. Your IGTV video dimensions should be 1080 x 1920 pixels or an aspect ratio of 9:16, which is the same size as the Instagram story dimensions.

YouTube dimensions are more on the horizontal aspect, where the preferred aspect ratio for Youtube is 1920 pixels x 1080 pixels or a ratio of 16:9. Youtube has a wider dimension because it calls for long-form videos and visuals with more to show, which is why it's easily compared to TV or a broadcast. In contrast, IGTV is explicitly made for bitesize content for mobile phones.

Why does dimension have such a large play in how you should consider choosing between IGTV or YouTube?

Based on the space (or dimensions), you're given limits or allowed to use space for content’s creativity. More space means more content. Less space means finding better ways to make the most of it.

Since IGTV is made for vertical, it calls for tight shots and close-ups. Being too wordy or filled with text isn't feasible for content creators. With YouTube, you have more space to add tiny details. longer shots and more cutaways. Depending on what your video content's goal is, one or both could work just fine.

Keep in mind that despite the dimensions YouTube allows you to upload videos that can go up to 10 hours, whereas IGTV stops at 1 hour, however, they are working on removing that IGTV time limit in the future.

2. IGTV vs. YouTube: Analytics and Insights

Video analytics help us to know what's working and what needs improvement. Compared to IGTV, Youtube has more advanced analytics.

IGTV analytics only show you how many views and likes your IGTV video has gotten. It doesn't show you statistics, view time, or how your engagement developed over time. However, insights are almost instant and can be seen fully over the first three days as engagement is rapid, but it has a short shelf life.

YouTube analytics is made with content creators and bloodthirst analytic marketers in mind, as opposed to IGTV, which is only made for sharing content rather than analyzing it in depth.

With YouTube Analytics, you get an in-depth view of your video's success from start to finish. YouTube engagement comes in waves despite its longer shelf-life. You'll get individual and group analytics on videos published on your channel like:

  • Watch Time
  • Impressions Click-Through Rate
  • Average View Duration
  • Audience Retention
  • Re-Watches
  • Engagement
  • And more.

3. IGTV vs. YouTube: SEO & Discover

When it comes to SEO, YouTube takes the cake in the video content realm. Since Google owns YouTube, it's SEO algorithm works very similarly. For example, when you type an inquiry on Google, you'll now see video options pop-up on Google's first page.

YouTube videos can be embedded and found outside its platform and shared around various online mediums. Youtube allows you to add up to 30 keywords to your video, not to mention rewarding and ranking videos with the most views or popular accounts.

Even if you aren't subscribed, you can effortlessly find videos to fit your needs.

IGTV however, is static and sucks on Instagram's app. You can mainly find IGTV videos well, on IGTV or Instagram.

When it comes to SEO and search, you only have two places: the explore page and an Instagram account. If you're not following an Instagram account, you won't see IGTV videos unless you go out of your way to search for them.

Hashtags can be added, but without your viewers following your account or going viral instantly, your video will be lost in a sea of IGTV content.

4. IGTV vs. YouTube: Engagement & Ads

When it comes to engagement, you'll likely find that your IGTV video will have higher social engagement numbers (likes, comments, shares), but the YouTube video will rack up more views and likes on a more extended journey because of its long shelf life.

IGTV ads have begun showing up in IGTV from a select group of partners and advertisers in the US with plans to continue expanding globally. But mainly with test partners and will become the norm as it continues to grow.

On the other hand, Spiel Creative found that when choosing what to watch, whether a video relates to a viewer's interests is 3x more important to people than whether it has a famous actor.

Not mention YouTube is the second most-preferred platform for watching video on TV screens among 18 to 34 year olds, after Netflix. YouTube wins on watch time.

Making YouTube the most-preferred platform that has ads for watching video on TV screens.

5. IGTV vs. YouTube: Influencer Marketing

When it comes to influencer marketing on both IGTV and YouTube, it's pretty much fair game.

Believe it or not, YouTube was one of the first social media platforms to host and connect influencers to brands before "influencer" became an official term in marketing.

Instagram itself has turned into the influencer marketing hub as well with added features and tools for brands to work directly with influencers.

Both platforms have tapped into micro and macro-influencer marketing, users are now accustomed to seeing brand collaborate and join forces regularly.

The only downside is that once again, Youtube's content shelf life has a longer life span, making it better, in the long run. However, IGTV has created tracking and partnership tools that easily help both the brand and influencer see results and sync efforts. Both IGTV and Youtube have pros and cons even on the playing field.

To get started on influencer marketing on your preferred platform, check out these guides below:

6. IGTV vs. YouTube: Social Shopping

When it comes to social selling, IGTV is ahead of the curve. Social selling is the art of allowing customers to shop directly on a social media platform without leaving to a third-party platform or website.

Youtube doesn't have shoppable features, mainly because they are a video platform first before and foremost. Youtube mainly provides ads for brands. What it lacks for social commerce, it makes up for eCommerce.

Since Facebook owns Instagram, so it should come as no surprise. IGTV now has shoppable tags that creators can use when uploading videos to their IGTV channels.

IGTV vs. YouTube Summary: The Choice is Yours

IGTV vs. YouTube, you can put the two social media platforms together, look them up and down and read every professional's list of pros and cons. But at the end of the day, it's your choice.

What are your social media goals, and what do you want to accomplish with your video content?

Don't forget, you can choose to use both YouTube and IGTV to give your content a creative space. Instead of figuring out which platform is best for your business, IGTV vs. Youtube. Instead, experiment with both platforms and see which one fits your business needs best.

So which social media platform are you going to choose to help your business grow online?

Whether you pick IGTV or YouTube, here are some detailed Wishpond guides to help you along the way so you can make the most out of your video content:

Written by Victoria Taylor

Victoria is a Marketing Generalist at Wishpond specializing in all things digital marketing and social media marketing. In love with blogging and Taco Tuesdays. Follow her on Twitter @vicknwsbest.