Mobile video might be the new YouTube. By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of all mobile data traffic, or even more if Instagram TV is successful. Though there’s no way to monetize content on IGTV just yet, brands are hopping on the trend, hoping to connect with followers in a new way.
Despite the fact that Instagram generates 59% of all social media interactions by big box brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box, few have embraced the platform’s newest feature. However, those that have are doing so in multiple different ways.
While some brands including West Elm and HomeGoods have focused on short DIYs and room makeovers that last a minute or less, Ashley Furniture experimented with longer, behind-the-scenes looks at interviews with different musicians at its non-profit festival Ashley for the Arts. Outdoor wear brand REI went the series route, broadcasting a mini-show called Summer: The Long Way South based on four friends who take a two-week trip through the Baja Coast.
Another way big box brands make the most of the new feature is with Swipe Up to IGTV, which allows users to swipe up from a brand’s Instagram Story straight to its IGTV channel. Since this addition permits a brand to carry over its Instagram following to its IGTV following, it marks a crucial point of distinction as opposed to other watching platforms, like YouTube or Snapchat, which require brands to build separate audiences from scratch.
Traditionally, Instagram favors visually compelling lifestyle and product content, so brands that succeed here will likely do well on IGTV as well. For example, REI earns nearly 20% of all interactions with big box brands by leaning heavily on user-generated content of the great outdoors. HomeGoods also earns significant engagement with re-grammed user images and influencer posts from designers.
Content is always key. In the case of both Instagram and IGTV, this could not be more true. Because the platform-within-a-platform pulls from the original Instagram following, if a brand wants to make it on the small screen, a good place to start might be its own grid.