There is a big land grab going on in the influencer world. The influencers are all staking their claim on IGTV, the new hour-long video format introduced by Instagram last week.
In case you missed, Instagram announced in a rare press conference the launch of their new video-centric platform. As a result of Instagram placing such a large emphasis on the new app, influencers are following suit. Almost overnight, we began to see influencers edit their Instagram bios to list themselves as IGTV creators.
What IGTV Means for the Influencer Marketing Industry
Since the platform is only a week old, there's currently no revenue share for the creators. But this really shouldn't be a surprise to marketers. YouTube did it this way, and other channels that follow are going to as well. The first priority is to get the channel working, get people watching, and get people engaged. Once you've built up a following, then comes the time for implementing advertising and revenue share opportunities for brands.
However, there is still a downside for marketers working with influencers on this new app. Data isn't as easily accessible, so we're not yet able to capture insights on who is seeing what content yet. There's no API open, so the only way to get data is for the influencers themselves to screenshot their analytics and send that to the brand or agency.
There's also limited sharing capabilities. The app appears to be mobile-only, and while we were able to get one link to work on one desktop computer, the same link did not work on another desktop computer. So it seems IGTV is sort of a silo, a subset, within Instagram. It's also necessary to understand that since the app is mobile only, creators are really focusing on vertical video, which is increasingly important with Snap and with some other platforms.
In my opinion, the land rush makes a lot of sense. We saw early influencers on YouTube become among the biggest. We saw early influencers in Vine become among the biggest. Now there's a significant new platform, and again, influencers are going to race in and hopefully become among the biggest.
Moving forward, there are still a few ongoing questions from a marketing standpoint. For example, what is the video content quality going to look like? So far, most of what's been uploaded in the last five days or so to IGTV has been content people already had. Not everything is verticle, or originally created for vertical viewing, so it's really hard to tell how good the content on this channel will be. It's something that all marketers should be keeping an eye on, especially when seeking influencer partners.
Finally, since the app is so new, we don't know who's using it. What are their ages? What are their demos? What are their interests? Right now, we have none of that data.
All that said, I would advise using some of your experimental marketing budget to run multiple influencer tests with IGTV. As more users continue to interact with the app, more data will be released. One thing is for sure, we'll definitely be keeping an eye on the progress Instagram makes.