Instagram raised the stakes in content marketing when it introduced its IGTV video platform in June. IGTV, which gives users up to 60 minutes to tell stories in a vertical format, offers marketers an exciting mobile-first medium to engage consumers. Instagram, which has 1 billion active users, launched IGTV to build on the success of Instagram Stories, which boasts an audience of 400 million daily users. The challenge for brands is to create compelling content that is engaging, on brand, and effective in drawing new customers to their product or service.

In the weeks following IGTV’s introduction, several national consumer brands have used the platform to introduce a wide range of content. Netflix published an hour-long video showing actor Cole Sprouse of its streamed TV series Riverdale seductively eating a cheeseburger. The quirky video has received 676,000 views and almost 5,000 comments. Chipotle, which has 575,000 followers, took a more product-centric approach and produced “What’s for lunch?,” a one-minute-long video depicting a man removing a seemingly endless array of the chain’s menu offerings out of a Chipotle bag. The video has received more than 13,000 views to date. 

The success of Netflix and Chipotle’s IGTV videos owes much to the fact that both companies published content produced specifically for the platform. Their videos follow Instagram’s golden rule: Be mobile first, keep it simple and produce quality content.

The need for quality cannot be overstated. Branded content coexists on IGTV with a never-ending parade of exercise videos, acts of derring-do, and dancing women from around the world. The platform lacks the capability of sorting content by category so users need to do a lot of swiping to find a brand’s content. To cut through the clutter, companies must produce original content that grabs the public’s attention and maintains it with messaging that is true to their brand.

To this end, marketers should follow certain guidelines for producing compelling video content that achieves the dual goals of attracting attention and producing conversions:


1. Stay native to the platform.  Shoot content with a vertical layout already in mind. Taking existing footage shot for a horizontal screen and cropping it to fit on IGTV will diminish the impact of your message.

2. Use a host. In today’s age of influencers, viewers are more likely to engage with content presented by a personable brand ambassador than by footage that lacks the human touch.

3. First impressions matter. The first few seconds of your video are the most important. They will determine whether or not the viewer will stick around for your entire story.

4. Keep it moving. Fast paced videos, quick cuts, and movement will keep the viewers engaged.

5. Use text. Most people will start watching your video on mute so be sure to overlay your footage with text that sets the scene for the viewer as soon as it begins.

6. Stay on brand. Keep content in line with your brand guidelines regardless of how creative you get in grabbing viewers’ attention.


Little more than a month after its debut, IGTV is quickly becoming a crowded space. Marketers who act now can follow these tips to create content marketing that is creative, attention-getting and builds brand loyalty in the long run.


This branded content can include activations such as:

  • Corporate Sponsorship Videos;

  • Event Recap Reels;

  • Official Company Announcements, and

  • Educational Series, including product demonstrations.


Tune in to the future of video marketing.