IGTV or YouTube: Which is Better for Your Business?

IGTV is the newest kid on the block.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Let’s get you up to speed…

IGTV was launched by Instagram in 2018 as a separate platform which allows users to upload video content. It can be used separately or in conjunction with Instagram, making the integration between platforms seamless for its users.

As a potential rival to YouTube, it’s important to understand which platform is more beneficial to your business.

So, IGTV or YouTube? Which is best for brand content?

Let the battle commence.


How IGTV Works

IGTV enables viewers to watch vertical videos over 60 seconds long. Video content can be viewed via your Instagram account or by uploading to the IGTV app.


You can create videos up to an hour-long, making them longer than Instagram Stories. However, unlike Stories, which are deleted after 24 hours, IGTV videos stay published until deleted.

Video content is shown to those who follow you on Instagram, meaning a user doesn’t need to search for your account on IGTV to find your videos.

The IGTV app has channels – you can use your Instagram account to start uploading videos, or sign up for a new channel via the IGTV app or website.


You can also share a preview of your video (up to one minute long) on your Instagram account, allowing users to discover your IGTV channel.

Additionally, you can share your video content to Facebook, giving you an extra promotion.

Viewers are able to like and comment on your IGTV videos, similar to your Instagram posts. 

IGTV video specifications:

  • 650mb maximum file size (up to 10 minutes video)
  • 3.5gb maximum file size (up to one hour video)
  • 30 frames per second (minimum)
  • Minimum resolution of 720px
  • 9:16 vertical aspect ratio
  • MP4 format
  • 420px X 654px cover photo (this cannot be edited after being uploaded)


How IGTV Can Work for Your Business

Despite still being relatively new, the opportunity to share your content with your Instagram followers means you can continue to enhance brand awareness and sales via video content.

Over 500 million users log into their Instagram account daily, so your video content may potentially reach millions. 

By 2021, it is predicted that video content will make up 78% of mobile data traffic. Being one of IGTV’s newest users could bring increased traffic to your business social profile and website.

As with Instagram, you can still use hashtags with IGTV. Currently, there is no search function for hashtags on IGTV, but Instagram is thought to be working on a solution.

However, posting your IGTV videos on your Instagram feed allows Instagram users to find your video content. IGTV content shows on your feed with an IGTV logo in the top right-hand corner:


Using relevant hashtags within your niche (placed in the IGTV video description) will allow your video to be displayed when users search for the hashtag.

IGTV is a place to provide longer video content to your audience – save shorter videos for your Instagram Stories.

So, what type of content should you post? Some ideas include:

  •         Behind the scenes at your brand
  •         Q&A session
  •         Tutorials
  •         Create a series
  •         Tips and tricks
  •         Showcase a new product
  •         Show how to use one of your products/services

Adding a new platform into your content marketing strategy may seem overwhelming, but you can easily repurpose your content rather than creating it completely from scratch.

Additionally, you don’t need to invest in expensive filming equipment, especially if your business is on a tight budget. As IGTV videos are designed to be filmed vertically, they can easily be filmed on a smartphone. 


Brands Using IGTV

@ElleUK uses behind the scenes content to form a deeper connection with their fans. Behind the scenes content can make your business seem more authentic and makes you stand out from your competition.

It’s important to showcase varying angles of your brand on social media, rather than simply using it as a platform to promote your products.


@JCrew uses style hacks to showcase their products. This type of content not only promotes products, but it demonstrates how a product can be used.

In the case of J Crew, a video on “3 ways to wear a summer dress” helps to solve the problem of styling fashion items in hot weather, while attempting to increase sales.



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How YouTube Works

YouTube needs no introduction. Since its launch in 2005, the video-sharing service now reaches more Americans ages 18-35 than any TV network

Additionally, it works in 80 different languages, meaning it reaches 95% of the internet. 

Anyone can create and upload a YouTube video. Users can watch online or download the YouTube app and watch content on their mobile phone.

Videos can be embedded into a website or social media, and users can share videos via buttons on the video page. They can also like or dislike a video, and leave comments.


YouTube allows users to find video content via trending topics, categories, keywords, etc. Users can watch a video then and there, save it for later, or create a playlist. 

YouTube creators can monetize their video content by showing advertisements during their videos. The top ten YouTube stars alone earned 42% more revenue in 2018

While YouTube is free for both creators and audience members to use, YouTube has recently expanded their platforms to include YouTube Premium, which delivers ad-free viewing for a subscription fee.

However, YouTube Live is still free to use and allows creators to show ‘live’ content to their audience.


How YouTube Can Work for Your Business

YouTube works on both desktop and mobile, so your audience can consume content at home, work, or on the go.

YouTube allows you to optimize your video content for increased views. It’s important as a business to research your competition, as well as perform keyword research to find the best keywords for your business.

You can also use hashtags to make your video content more searchable. Ideally, up to 15 relevant hashtags should be used in each video.

YouTube is highly flexible for businesses in that you can translate your content into various languages, schedule your videos, separate your videos into playlists, and pay for YouTube advertising.

YouTube advertising enables you to promote your channel via skippable and non-skippable adverts, display ads, overlay ads, bumper ads, and sponsored cards. 

These methods can increase brand awareness by enhancing subscribers and views to your channel.


Brands Using YouTube

One brand killing it on YouTube is Lego. Lego has over 7 million subscribers, and nearly twice as many views as other brands using YouTube. 

Lego uses multiple language channels and regularly works with fans to create content.

Lego uses a range of content, including touching upon news-worthy topics, such as the anniversary of the moon landing:


A mixture of educational content, fun videos, and demonstrations of their products helps Lego to connect with their audience on a deeper level.


Three Main Differences Between IGTV and YouTube

If you’re wondering which platform is best for you, there is no right or wrong answer!

IGTV is an effective way to complement your Instagram account, especially if you already have a significant number of followers.

If you’re starting from scratch, YouTube may be a better option.


1) SEO

Currently, IGTV has limited search engine use and visibility, unlike YouTube which allows you to optimize your videos for search.

IGTV video content is missing from search engine results, but that doesn’t mean that won’t change. It’s possible that SEO will be a priority for Instagram further down the line.

IGTV is also ad-free at present, meaning viewers can watch videos without being disrupted by adverts. This may appeal to viewers, but again, this could change with time.

If SEO is a large part of your marketing strategy, YouTube may be a better fit for your business. 

After all, videos published on the platform are able to rank highly in Google search results.

For example, a Google search of ‘make a cake demo’ brings up YouTube videos as its top results:


2) Usability

The vertical format of IGTV enhances the user experience on mobile. Close-up videos and fast content work particularly well on IGTV, especially when creating visuals for products like food:


One downside to IGTV is that it allows users to browse content quickly by swiping, so if your content doesn’t immediately grab a viewer, they may easily swipe off.


3) Content

YouTube works well for longer content. The average video length on YouTube is 4 minutes 20 seconds, with the use of SEO and titles drawing viewers’ attention.

While YouTube videos may not seem as visually impressive as those on IGTV, high-quality content is what YouTube values.

Additionally, YouTube offers more advanced analytics than IGTV, helping you to determine which type of content is or isn’t working:


One problem with IGTV is that it automatically subscribes people to your channel from Instagram, making your videos seem more popular than they may actually be.


The Best of Both Worlds

If you’re thinking of publishing videos on IGTV, make them complement your main account. Your videos should be attention-grabbing and straight to the point to keep your audience engaged.

If you have a large Instagram following, IGTV can effectively work well with your current account. Using a mixture of content types can help to create a deeper connection with your audience while increasing brand awareness.

If you’re a small business wanting to enhance brand awareness, YouTube is ideal for now. Your videos have the opportunity to show up in organic search, helping to boost conversions and leads.

However, as IGTV is still in its infancy, it’s unwise to dismiss it just yet. Instagram has a way of tailoring its products to improve user experience. In time, IGTV may be the perfect place for small businesses to create content.

For now, consider the benefits and restrictions of each platform before you add them to your content marketing strategy.


Have you created content on IGTV or YouTube for your business or brand? Which one is your favorite? Comment below!

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