Software

How to optimize your creative content for IGTV

Instagram boasts a gazillion users and viewers. Some creative artists hope to leverage these eyeballs as part of their marketing strategy via IGTV. Here are some tips to consider.

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Image: Ant Pruitt

Instagram continues to garner more attention from the masses as it adds new features quite regularly. Now, it's taken this a step further with the announcement of IGTV, which is aimed at luring serious content creators. IGTV is a new service that allows video content creators to upload videos longer than the typical 60-second duration or 15-second duration for Instagram "stories." Video creators can upload videos up to 10-minutes long. Let's take a look at ways to better optimize this feature for your work and self promotion.

Video format settings

Instagram is (in)famous for its use of the vertical video orientation. Sure, this is based on the primary way users hold their mobile devices, but I cringe at the thought of vertical video in a lot of instances, as it typically means someone is having to scale down typical horizontal orientation video to "fit" the vertical orientation. This leads to a loss of content in the original framing or stretching of the pixel, which reduces quality. Here's how you get over this new hurdle.

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Image: Ant Pruitt

First, you can begin by filming in vertical orientation. It's pretty easy to film this way with your smartphone, but it will definitely take a mental adjustment to turn your mirrorless or DSLR camera to film in the vertical orientation. I've filmed with my DSLR vertically. If you have a ball head on your tripod, it's even easier to film this way. Video framerate has to be a minimum of 30 frames per second or higher.

SEE: Getting started with drone photography (free TechRepublic PDF)

Second, if you can't film vertically or want to convert existing footage, you can still utilize IGTV. Just create a sequence in your video editing software that complies with IGTV. I use Premiere Pro to set up different frame sizes for my sequences from HD to UHD to 4K and now I set up an IGTV template that has the correct settings. Make sure your sizing is set to 540 pixels wide and 960 pixels vertically. Now I know that pixel count sounds low. It's okay. If you are shooting in HD format or higher, your scaled down footage will easily work within the IGTV frame size. The key is the aspect ratio being 9:16 instead of 16:9. Once the sequence has been created, just scale your footage to fit. Your video quality will look a lot better in the 540x960 resolution container versus the 1080x1920.

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Image: Ant Pruitt

After you've gone through your color correction and added effects for your video, just export it and pass the file over to your mobile device. You can use a cloud sync service such as Google Drive or even Apple AirDrop to get the file over to your device. Finally, upload the file to your IGTV channel via the mobile app and let it run across the airways. Pretty easy, right?

Your thoughts

Have you jumped on the IGTV train? I'm on the fence about the service, and I don't know if the content I create is ideal for my Instagram audience. When I do shoot for IGTV, I try to share more of a behind-the-scenes view of my content creation process, since most of my videos and vlogs are long-form and a better fit for my YouTube audience. What are your thoughts on IGTV? Share your opinions with fellow TechRepublic members and be sure to tag me on Twitter with your videos.

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About Ant Pruitt

Ant Pruitt is an IT Support Professional with a passion for showing the non-geek how great technology can be. He writes for a variety of tech publications and hosts his own podcast. Ant is also an avid photographer and weight lifter.

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