For years, many people have been building their businesses and brands on Instagram, thus helping Instagram develop its business. Undoubtedly, the video and photo-sharing service has gladly helped users to monetize their followings. But, the majority of the engagements hugely happened off the platform.
Influencers and renowned figures set up revenue sharing to recommend specific products or make deals with businesses and brands to create sponsored posts. Unlike video platforms like Twitch and YouTube, Instagram (up until May 2020) has never put its content creators on the payroll.
In May 2020, Instagram announced two new ways that creators can make money on its platform. Either through badges for Instagram Live or through ads on IGTV. According to Justin Osofsky (Instagram’s COO), Instagram will be sharing 55% of ad revenue generated with content creators on its platform.
The updates from Instagram is a step forward and a major transformation that’ll make it possible for creators to earn money directly and grow their business on Instagram.
In the words of Jim Squires (VP business and media),
“creators are such an essential part of the platform, and Instagram is continually looking for ways to make it possible for creators to turn their passion into livings on Instagram.”
Read on to discover everything you need to know about IGTV ads and what it means for creators and businesses
Introducing IGTV Ads
The launch of IGTV ads is big news for Instagram. Even though IGTV was launched in 2018, this is the first time creators will earn money directly from the platform. Earlier on, Instagram introduced the Shopping from Creators features, which allow influencers and creators to tag brand products in their posts. The addition of IGTV ads will make Instagram a full-fledged money-making platform for creators and influencers.
According to Instagram, the IGTV ads will only appear whenever a user has decided to watch an IGTV video by clicking the preview button in their feed. The ads are optimized for mobile phones and will last up to 15 seconds long.
After the launch of IGTV ads, it was only accessible by a select group of advertisers and partners in the US. Although, Instagram has plans to expand it globally. Famous creators like Salice Rose and Avani Gregg were among the selected persons to test out IGTV ads.
In a bid to ensure that the final result of IGTV ads works well for advertisers, creators and users, Instagram announced in one of their press releases that they’ll continue to try out several IGTV ads options, like the ability to skip.
Why IGTV ads?
IGTV has become a powerful place for creators to pilot new projects, connect more deeply with their fans, and share their talents and lives. The release of IGTV ads makes it even more interesting because it’ll allow creators to earn money from the content they produce.
When asked why they released Instagram tv ads, Justin mentioned that the lack of revenue kept exceptional creators from IGTV format. He believes that when Instagram begins to share revenue with creators, many top creators would be enticed to dabble in IGTV.
Such creators will create great content and also bring their larger follower communities to Instagram. Eventually, there’ll be an enhanced engagement, which will result in more revenue and advertising potential.
Furthermore, it’s good to note that the Instagram affiliate marketing model is pretty the same as YouTube’s model. So, Instagram might likely use this strategy to win over some of YouTube’s loyal audience. In the long-standing rivalry between Google and Facebook, IGTV ads could even be their competitive advantage.
Even at that, IGTV ads still have several battles to win.
For instance, it’s not the first to go mobile-optimized or long-form. Snapchat’s Snap Originals also hosts episodic, condensed content in the form of vertical videos. This format has gained tremendous momentum and would serve as significant competition to IGTV.
The only thing that differentiates Snap Originals from IGTV is the video duration – Snap Originals allows five-minutes-long videos while IGTV supports 15 to 30 minutes long videos. Even though this suggests more ad opportunities for Instagram, Snapchat has a loyal fan base and the first-move advantage.
What Creators & Influencers should know about Instagram TV Ads
The news about Instagram sharing revenue with creators was broken 18 months after the release of IGTV. By offering a reliable stream of income to creators, Instagram hopes to inspire unique and high-quality content.
The Instagram paid creator program is expected to work in the same manner as Facebook Watch – where the ads are shown in between videos of at least three-minutes duration.
Instagram is yet to fully release the IGTV ads program globally. However, it’s good to note that before creators can be qualified for IGTV ads, Instagram will have to vet them rigorously.
The eligibility terms and conditions will most likely be the same as Facebook’s content monetization terms. Below are some things to take note of when creating content on IGTV:
- Your content should either be original or appropriately accredited.
- Your content shouldn’t be clickbait but genuine. Also, don’t use sensationalism to grab people’s attention on Instagram.
- Your content shouldn’t be violent or sexual. Also, don’t use suggestive language or profanity.
- Don’t post about objectionable activities.
- Your content shouldn’t be hateful or discriminatory towards a specific community. Also, avoid posting content that relates to debatable topics like politics and social issues.
If you fulfill the conditions outlined above, Instagram will likely allow you to post IGTV content. Once your content begins to gain massive attention, you can attract advertisers and make some money from IGTV ads.
IGTV can also be a great starting point for new influencers. This is because they’re tons of influencers on Instagram Stories already and as a new influencer, you can make your presence felt by creating awesome IGTV videos. Hopefully, if the videos attract advertisers, you can start to earn money at the early stage of your career.
Sounds impressive, right?
What Marketers & Brands should know about Instagram TV Ads
As a marketer or brand, here are some reasons you should pay more attention to Instagram tv ads:
- 90% of Instagram users follow businesses and brands on the platform
- By 2022, it’s predicted that Instagram will have over 989 million monthly active users
- Given that YouTube is already populated with video content, it’s much easier to be recognized in the online video space by creating videos on IGTV
- 9% of B2B marketers and 16% of B2C marketers consider Instagram to be their most preferred social media platform for advertising
Advertising on IGTV allows you to reach out to several types of audiences. Since IGTV videos are more well-groomed, the chances are that those with sophisticated tastes might also find it appealing.
Additionally, the influencer base on Instagram is massively growing at an unprecedented rate, and a lot of users use the platform to view content from influencers when making purchase decisions. Statistics have even shown that the number of sponsored posts on Instagram is likely to rise above 6 billion this year.
If you work with the right set of influencers when hosting your IGTV ads, you can boost sales, engagement, and visibility in a single campaign.
How to Get the Most from IGTV Ads
Content creators and brands need to collaborate to make IGTV ads work in their favor. For instance, brands will have to overcome the fear of having low views on their videos, and creators will have to dedicate extra effort and time to create engaging and great videos. It should be a mutually-beneficial working relationship.
Despite these odds, there are some best practices that you can leverage to unlock the potentials of IGTV ads.
The exact specifications for IGTV ads aren’t yet revealed. However, they should likely have the same specs as the IGTV videos specs outlined below:
- The recommended format for videos is MP4
- The minimum video resolution is 720px
- Horizontal videos should have an aspect ratio of 16:9 while vertical videos should have an aspect ratio of 9:16
- Video length should be between 15 minutes and 60 minutes
- The dimensions of your cover photo should be 420:654 pixels
- The minimum frame rate for your videos should be 30 frames per second
- Videos less than 10 minutes long shouldn’t exceed 650 MB and videos less than 60 minutes long shouldn’t exceed 3.6 GB
IGTV ads are still in their infancy, and you’re not restrained to only the specifications outlined above. You have the flexibility to try out new ideas. For instance, you can use high-quality visuals and compelling ad copy to make your ads more engaging. You can also add a clear call to action that prompts your audience to interact with your ad.
Instagram has made it evident that the introduction of IGTV ads is meant to supplement the way creators earn money and not replace the existing ecosystem of brand ambassadorships or sponsored deals.
The initiative of Instagram paying IGTV creators can motivate creators to post their best work on Instagram, whether it’s a beauty routine, a workout class, or a peek inside their homes.
Instagram will undoubtedly attract more creators onto its platform with this new feature, and one of the best ways to stand out as a creator is by creating unique and exceptional content.
What are your thoughts about IGTV ads? How do you think brands, marketers, and creators can leverage IGTV ads? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.