This past summer, Instagram made a significant change to their video content guidelines to try and compete with YouTube. The latter has been dominant at attracting a younger demographic by giving them the ability to watch and create long-form video content.
That change comes in the form of IGTV (Instagram Television): a supplementary feature of Instagram that now houses video content as long as one hour. IGTV can be accessed both within the Instagram app and as a standalone downloadable app of it’s own.
Previously, Instagram users could only post videos that were one minute long or less, hindering the type of content that could be used to increase followings.
In a post on their blog, Instagram explained why they think their users are going to love IGTV:
We’ve made it simple. Just like turning on the TV, IGTV starts playing as soon as you open the app. You don’t have to search to start watching content from people you already follow on Instagram and others you might like based on your interests. You can swipe up to discover more — switch between “For You,” “Following,” “Popular” and “Continue Watching.” You can also like, comment and send videos to friends in Direct.
Whenever large social platforms implement new features or make significant changes, it’s likely that affiliate marketers who use those platforms as a traffic source will be affected in some way. Sometimes that impact is negative, sometimes it’s positive, and sometimes it’s basically inconsequential.
IGTV will likely only have a positive impact on affiliate marketers.
There’s two reasons why the introduction of IGTV is good news if you’re an affiliate:
1. Content Creation
If you already utilize one or more Instagram accounts as part of your affiliate marketing strategy, the ability to post longer videos provides you with new creative opportunities for the type of content you can provide your followers. Not being constricted to 60 second videos means you have no boundaries.
Here’s just a few content ideas you could utilize:
60 seconds isn’t a lot of time to explain something or instruct someone on how to do something. Longer video length will make how-to and instructional videos a feasible content strategy for your Instagram page.
Let’s say you operate a Instagram page with a large following that focuses on skincare products and you use it to promote offers. You can now create extended video reviews of products to help increase engagement, build your following, and obtain conversions.
Duplicating YouTube content
If you’ve been successful at using YouTube as part of your affiliate marketing strategy, you can transfer that content onto Instagram to try and find similar success.
2. Facebook Advertising
Of course, Instagram is a business and they didn’t just launch IGTV for fun.
Instagram’s long-term plan for IGTV is to eventually integrate it with Facebook advertising like they currently do with their traditional content.
Instagram can’t expect users to sit through ads when the video they want to watch is only 30 seconds itself. However, 3-minute videos? 10-minute videos? 30-minute videos? Those are long enough to warrant some advertising and you better believe that’s the endgame here.
If you currently use Facebook/Instagram ads as a traffic source, the introduction of new advertising options and potential targeting parameters could provide you with an entirely new marketing channel if it becomes available to everybody.
As video content continues to rise in popularity, platforms like YouTube and Instagram will find ways to capitalize. It’s then your job as an affiliate marketer to take advantage of that capitalization.