At an official event earlier this week, Instagram announced the release of Instagram TV, a new tool for long-form video that’s poised to go head-to-head with YouTube for viewer attention. Here’s more about what it is, how it works and how to use Instagram TV in your real estate marketing.
Should Real Estate Agents Start Using Instagram TV Instead of YouTube?
Instagram was very clear about what’s driving its decision to support long-form video – it’s trying to appeal to a younger generation of consumers who are increasingly watching video on mobile devices. As we explored in a recent blog post, young people are quickly dumping Facebook in particular, in favor of more visual media.
Within the past few days, Instagram officially reached the 1 billion user mark. That’s stratospheric growth for a business that’s only been around since 2010, and a testament to how the public has embraced it. With growth like that, Instagram is definitely a platform you want to spend some of your branding and marketing efforts on, and Instagram TV provides a new way to do it.
Time will tell, but as a real estate agent, if you’re already using Instagram for your business, you may find it easier to simply post most if not all of your videos there instead of on a separate app like YouTube. Just keep in mind that the vertical-only format may be different than you’re used to.
“It’s mobile first, it’s simple and it’s quality.” – Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom
What’s Different About Instagram TV?
First of all, don’t confuse the new Instagram TV with Instagram Stories.
Instagram Stories reside in little bubbles at the top of your feed, are limited to just 15 seconds and disappear after 24 hours. They’re meant to be short and sweet and are great for sharing casual experiences or tips. Due to their shorter length, Instagram Stories often required users to string together multiple recordings, causing them to cut off and appear jumpy. Not the best user experience.
While you can currently post videos in your regular Instagram feed, they’re limited to 60 seconds. Instagram TV, however, allows for up to 10 minutes of video (60 minutes for larger accounts). You can also add clickable on-screen descriptions.
At least for now, videos that you post to Instagram TV must be prerecorded, but Instagram product manager Ashley Yuki has said that live video is something the company will be looking at in the future.
How Does Instagram TV Work?
If you don’t already see the Instagram TV icon at the top of your feed, all you need to do is either update your Instagram app, or download the stand-alone IGTV app, which is currently available in the App Store and on Google Play.
Tap the IGTV icon and a video will begin to play, with additional videos appearing as rectangular thumbnails at the bottom of the screen. Once you tap on one, it will switch the video to full-screen.
To create your own IGTV video, you just record it on your phone (remember that it’s meant to be in vertical format) and then simply upload it from your camera roll as follows:
- Step One: Click the IGTV button
- Step Two: Click your personal icon
- Step Three: Click the plus sign
- Step Four: Once you choose the video you want to post you can add a title and description, and choose whether you want it to also be shared to your FB page
- Step Five: Simply click “post”
How to Use Instagram TV for Real Estate Marketing
First, take some time to explore this new tool. People are jumping on it fast, so you’ll no doubt find content from people you currently follow and more that you’ll want to follow. It’s easy to use and full of inspiration.
Embrace the longer format for its ability to tell a story. Use it to create compelling content that people will want to watch and share.
Remember that as a real estate agent, your number-one goal with any social medium is to use it as a way for customers to get to know, like and trust you. You want people to feel like they already know you and there’s no easier way than with video. With that in mind:
- Show what it’s like to work with you – record yourself out at a home inspection or handing over the keys to first-time buyers
- Tell your behind-the-scenes story – show yourself out in the community, in the car or touring open houses
- Interview local community members – sit down with local business owners, interview the mayor or local school teachers
- Tour your community – show what it’s like to live there. Hit the parks, beaches and annual events. Profile neighborhoods. Highlight the menu at a local restaurant
- Record a walk-through of your newest listing – add the address as the title of the video and information about it in the description
- Share your expertise – Offer tips on choosing the right neighborhood, understanding the escrow process or explore the cost of renting vs buying
Instagram TV also allows users to send links to videos in a direct message on Instagram, so encourage people to share your content. If you’re producing interesting, valuable content, this will build your following and in turn, grow your real estate business.
Instagram has announced Instagram TV, a new tool that allows users to post prerecorded, vertical videos of up to 10 minutes in length. It’s easy to use and a great way to create valuable content that will help grow your business. Take some time to explore it today and create a customized plan for using Instagram TV in your real estate marketing.