I used to hate vertical video but now it’s official vertical video is here it’s being embraced, I submit.
IGTV from Instagram is the Instagram version of YouTube and it’s all about portrait or vertical video.
Because it’s a new network, you have time to be experimental, time to dominate the space before it gets too noisy. If you’ve been putting off video creation, this could be the excuse you need to get going.
Are you ready to learn how to use IGTV? This is your primer.Like any content or network if you want to know how to use IGTV you should spend time poking around and looking at what other people are doing.Click To Tweet
How to watch IGTV
Before you create, watch. Like any content or network if you want to know how to use IGTV you should spend time poking around and looking at what other people are doing. This will help you understand what is possible, what keeps you watching and what makes you swipe on to the next one.
To watch IGTV click the icon at the top of your Instagram feed.
Or follow my links below.
Here are a few of my favourite IGTV examples so far:
I challenge you to not want this ice cream after watching the tutorial. I mean, it has Pink Gin in it, it’s a no-brainer.
What I love about this IGTV is it was shot in the vertical format. Mandy has planned it and thought it out for vertical video. The captions are just enough to let us know what’s going on without the need of a voiceover.
For a millennial and youth-focused brand like Invisalign, it makes sense to embrace IGTV.
Video has always been a great way to share testimonials. When we see the face of the person speaking an endorsement in their own words we believe them.
This testimonial isn’t heavily edited, maybe trimmed at the beginning and end but it’s short and you feel a connection with the guy in the video.
Interestingly, they’ve also added subtitles, we’ll talk about that later on in this post
Talking of testimonials, you can’t beat a bunch of cute kids for a successful video. This looks highly produced, but it’s simple to shoot something similar. A good lighting setup and straight-forward editing brings together a series of clips keeping your viewers interested.
You’d expect a polished video from the BBC and that’s what you get. This would require time for shooting and editing but the result is great.
It looks like this was re-purposed from a horizontal video or shot with both horizontal and vertical in mind. (more on that later).
Meg Le Vu
What I like about this is that it’s a re-purposed square video but Meg has added some additional text to fill the vertical space.
How to use IGTV
Before you get started…
Are you feeling inspired? Then let’s get creating. But first, here’s some vital information.
What is the IGTV format?
Unverified accounts can upload videos up to 10 minutes long and over 15 seconds. Some verified users can upload videos of up to an hour long.
Instagram currently only accepts videos in the .mp4 or .mov format.
IGTV is all about vertical video but what ratio do you use? I’ve found that recording video on my iPhone produces a wider video than IGTV accepts which means the sides get cropped out.
The vertical video format for IGTV is 9×16.
To avoid the auto-cropping of videos on your phone you can use a vertical video editing tool to resize it before uploading.
Here are some tools you can use for editing vertical video.
It’s all about the top half
When you scroll through IGTV the bottom half of the screen is obscured by the browser. Only the top half of your video will be visible.
Bear this in mind when you are framing your video. If it’s a shot of a person make sure their face, or part of it will show in the top half of the video. If it’s an object or a landscape make sure whatever is in the top half of the frame is enticing enough for people to want to click and watch more.
Look at the camerawhen we shoot videos on our phones, we are often doing the virtual version of boob staring.Click To Tweet
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and they aren’t looking at you? Or at least the part of you they should be looking at, your face?
It’s distracting, they seem insincere or even rude. Yet when we shoot videos on our phones, we are often doing the virtual version of boob staring.
It’s harder than you think to look at the camera. As humans we are programmed to look at other humans. When we are shooting a video of ourselves on a phone, it’s almost impossible not to stare at that beautiful face on the screen rather than the camera.
To ensure you look at the camera:
Get a sticker and place it right next to the lens of your camera. This will remind you where to look. Once you have framed your shot stick a post it note over the screen. That way your face won’t distract you.
You can go live on Instagram, this is the place where it’s OK to be a bit rough around the edges. In fact, it’s the mistakes that make live so attractive. You get to see the raw, real person.
IGTV is different. It’s for pre-made edited videos like YouTube. Your uploads should be polished, not perfect but polished. This could be as simple as trimming the beginning and end or you could do a full edit.
Here are some tools that will help you edit your IGTV videos on your smartphone.
How to subtitle your IGTV videos
YouTube and Facebook allow you to add captions or subtitles to your videos making them more accessible. It also means people don’t need to switch on the sound to watch.
There is no option for this in IGTV yet but you can burn subtitles into your video before you upload using Kapwing.
Kapwing is a free tool that lets you add captions to an existing video. You can choose the font, colour and size. The only downside is you have to do the typing yourself.
If you want to save yourself that time use a service like Rev to do the transcription for you, get them to send it as a .srt file and then then copy upload it into Kapwing.
Rev charge $1 per minute to subscribe and Kapwing is free to use unless you want to remove their watermark. They charge $6 per video or $20 per month to do this.
Editing tools like Camtasia also allow you to burn captions to a video.
Uploading video to IGTV
Instagram have made it simple to get started with IGTV, you don’t need to set anything up, you can do it straight from your Instagram account. When you upload your first video, you create a ‘Channel’ for your future videos and an icon will appear at the top of your profile page next to your highlights.
How to upload to IGTV from the web
You can upload your videos to IGTV from the web or from mobile. I prefer desktop as I can type with my keyboard.
Here’s how to do it:
- From your profile page click ‘IGTV’ just above your main feed.
- Click ‘Upload’
- Drag and drop or click the + icon to upload a video from your computer.
- Add a thumbnail image. You can only do this at the upload stage, there is no option to edit your thumbnail later
- Give your image a title and description
**TIP** You can add a clickable link to your description.
How to upload to IGTV from mobile
- From Instagram click the IGTV logo at the top of the screen
- Click your profile picture above the browse carousel
- Click +
- Choose a video to upload from your phone
- Click next
- Upload a thumbnail, just like on desktop you can’t edit this later.
- Give it a title and description.
I’ve found that the ‘Share to Facebook page’ option is only available when I upload from mobile.
How to share your IGTV video
If you’ve uploaded your video to IGTV, and no one sees it, does it exist?
To increase the chances of getting it seen, I recommend clicking that ‘Share to Facebook page’ button when you upload. I did this with my first video and it got far more views than the others.
Once you have done this, you can also embed it on your website. You’ll find the embed code under the three dots above the video on your Facebook page.
You can also add a ‘Swipe up’ link from your Instagram story to your IGTV, even if you don’t have 10,000 followers.
And you can grab the link to your video and share it elsewhere.
Click the three dots at the bottom of your video and click ‘Copy link’ in the pop-up menu.There are lots of ways you can re-purpose a horizontal or square video for IGTV, good bad and not too ugly ways.Click To Tweet
Re-purposing videos for IGTV
There are lots of ways you can re-purpose a horizontal or square video for IGTV, good bad and not too ugly ways.
Re-edit an existing video for vertical. Ensure that the subject of each shot remains in the frame.
This is the most time consuming way to re-purpose but it will look slick.
You could also re-edit an Instagram Live, chopping out all the Live elements.
2. Shoot with vertical in mind
If you are creating a video for both vertical and horizontal use shoot it so that the subject is always at the centre of frame. That way it’s quick to crop it to vertical and you’ll won’t lose the message.
Use a full width video with bars at the top and bottom.
Some grammers I admire have been doing this and you know what. It doesn’t work. I can hardly see what they are doing on screen. I hope they stop soon.
There are apps that will help you do this but… Just don’t.
The not so ugly
Square video with added elements.
Using your full-width horizontal video with bars at the top and the bottom is a no-no so why do I say square done the same way is OK?
It’s easier for the viewer to consume. The square format takes up more of the screen and you could use the remaining space for more visuals or for your subtitles.
The Diptic app for iPhone or Android makes creating video collages like this simple.
Now you know how to use IGTV it’s time to get creating. You can experiment with these tips and see what works for you.
IGTV may be a new network but even if it doesn’t last, you can be sure that vertical video is here to stay.
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