How IGTV and Instagram Can Complement Complex Content
Edward de Bono, the father of Lateral Thinking, once said, “Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.”
If you're like most companies in the tech arena, you've put your focus on written content in the form of blogs, product sheets, e-books, etc.
Written-form content will always be essential, and each format has an audience and a place within your content marketing strategy. What's important is to continually review your content marketing strategy and see what channels your brand may be missing out on.
Think of an ariel view of the Arc de Triomphe (in Paris) with its avenues all converging to the center. Now, see those avenues as content channels opening up to your brand. Perhaps not all of them will fit your brand (now), but you'll want to leave the route at least open. B2B marketing is continually evolving, and channels you felt didn't match your brand may just be where your future customers are.
It always goes back to the simple question, who are you trying to reach and where are they hanging out (in the digital world).
The key to each piece of content should always start with the engagement factor. What are you trying to do, what is the objective, who is your target audience and how do you want your audience to interact?
We'll assume you have the above mapped out. And, you're ready to explore (or build on) a new content channel for your brand. You've probably heard of Instagram. Maybe you're using the platform for your own personal interest, or your company is dabbling in it but not sure what direction to take.
Perhaps, like a lot of B2B brands, where Instagram and IGTV could fit within your content strategy, you're a bit doubtful. Well, you're not alone.
Instagram has been around since 2010 and steadily growing ever since.
According to Statista, in June of 2019 Instagram hit the milestone of one billion monthly users. That's 1,000,000,000. Or, in other words, almost an eighth of the world's 7,6 billion people (and counting) are on Instagram.
You could say, Facebook made a brilliant acquisition back in 2012.
Indicators show there is no slowing down on the user growth projected for the photo- and video-sharing platform. And, with the on-going focus on offerings tailored to businesses, it's clear that Facebook sees this segment as instrumental in Instagram's future growth.
Putting it lightly, Instagram is growing up, and not just a social platform for teens.
In June of 2018, Instagram launched IGTV, which runs as an app or within Instagram. The company sees it as a complement to Stories, as it is built around mobile-only, long-form video content (10 to 60 minutes) in a vertical-only format. (A Story is limited to 15 seconds and last only 24 hours.)
In terms of stats on brands using the channel to reach their audience, here are figures (provided by Instagram) which show its strength in the B2B arena:
25 million business profiles worldwide
60% of users say they discover new brands on the platform
200 Million+ Instagrammers visit at least one Business Profile daily
1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses
By 2021, mobile video will account for 78% of total mobile data traffic
Okay, so you're already either on the platform or ready to jump in.
Now, like all brands, you have to do the hard work to see how you can develop content specifically for the platform and which appeals to an audience within a photo/video context.
And, with the addition of IGTV, there is a wealth of opportunities available to B2B brands:
Build deeper connections and affinity with prospects, clients, and influencers ;
Visually tell your story, and not just your 'what' but your 'why' ;
Share success stories in a visually, compelling way.
Get the best of talent by showing your workplace and what makes it a stellar place to work.
Create a community with employees and letting them be a part of the story (and feel good about where they work).
"As B2B marketing evolves, companies will need to embrace
Here are examples of B2B companies using Instagram and IGTV to tell their story, well. And, they all use it as a complement to traditional B2B channels (website, blog posts, Twitter, etc.)
If you're in marketing, Hubspot is a good source for their blog posts on a variety of topics. I have to admit it's my first stop. What I liked about Hubspot's usage of IGTV is their way of taking topics typically covered in a blog post and putting them in video format. It's an excellent way to meet an audience in their zone while providing valuable information. (Not everyone is reading blog posts but is still interested in the topics covered.) It is also a great way to show the folks in Hubspot. You get to meet them in a very engaging way.
As a former IBMer, I liked how they told the story of Mombo, an employee working in Cloud computing. He doesn't fit what you'd think of as a traditional IBM employee (Mombo is not wearing the blue suit, white shirt combo). The company leverages IGTV to profile their products, people and culture. They succeed in showing a different side of IBM, and the company demystifies complex subjects, such as AI.
These folks clearly know the power of social. Listening to their CEO talk about their values project, you get a clear sense of the work culture and how their customers are highly valued. Who wouldn't want to do business with them? Using IGTV, the viewer goes inside and experiences the behind the scenes work of its employees. It's not beautifully shot video, and that's the point. It's the content. It's telling the story in a simple, but visually captivating way.
Using video and visual storytelling the brand builds engagement which they couldn't do using traditional, written content on their website.
It is hard to make a complex product, and its potential wonders come to life. Using Instagram and IGTV, Intel clearly nails it. The beautifully shot video, combined with visual storytelling, the viewer is swept into the world of VR and its powers (thanks to their COREi9). Anyone who's worked in high-tech comms knows that making a CPU interesting is hard.
Not all brands will have vast sums of money needed to make beautiful, film-quality video content like IBM and Intel (for example), but brands need to remember that it is the story that counts the most.
If you have a compelling story, but not a huge production budget, don't let that stop your brand. User-created, video-content works too. With a small budget, your brand can leverage the storytelling power of long-format video content, to complement your traditional channels.
Give it a try.