Just when you thought you were settled into a rhythm with your online marketing channels, a whole new world of possibilities opened up: IGTV or Instagram TV. As I write this, it’s only been a few weeks, but it’s creating quite a stir!

IGTV for Artists

Instagram is a popular go-to choice for so many artists. I have fiddled with the app, but since I am not creating or sharing “objects”, it’s never seemed like an ideal place for me to hang out. As a content creator, I can’t complete with endless pictures of art, food, fashion, and travel pics. I recently added a graphic from my E’s of Selling Art Blog, but it felt kind of lame. I did that a bit more aggressively with Pinterest many moons ago, but it still didn’t feel like a good fit. But who doesn’t want to be a TV star?! LOL.

There are two ways to get to the TV channel. However you get there, you will need to create an actual channel to get started. You will see the Instagram icon with a squiggly line in your regular app or you can download the new IGTV app separately. I think the separate app is the way to go.

We are all going to be TV stars!

But in all seriousness, for everyone, this is great news. For me, it’s an opportunity for me to connect in a more “real” way and I am deeply interested. I am dusting off my video camera! Oh…no…wait! This is a very different format: vertical only.

Whaaaa? Vertical videos only? And to be clear, these are not live. These are created and then uploaded. Now, I know that some of you will just do it all on your phone, even the editing using whatever app you have access to, like iMovie.

But here’s more “News”: you can do everything on your computer, too. Which for me – who hates typing on a little screen on my phone – is the best news ever. Having the app on a big screen is great. Editing on a big screen is also easier.

Did I mention yet that there is no “live streaming”? Videos between 15 seconds and 10 minutes must be uploaded to your channel. (Big brands get up to an hour. Wonder what that will end up being?)

Back to the vertical only rule, there are some workarounds to get a horizontal video posted, but the app wants vertical. In fact, if you try to upload a video you recorded on your phone in “cinematic” form – horizontally recorded – IGTV will change it to vertical. I know, I know. Seems pretty harsh. But it’s also intuitively how so many of us view stuff on our phones and IGTV is fully embracing our instincts.

Many gurus are saying that keeping to the vertical is also a way of keeping the YouTuber businesses from just loading up everything under the sun. Instagram wants a fresh looking channel. Makes sense to me.

I know that many of you have great videos on your websites already. I know some of you have paid dearly for a professionally produced video that lives on your homepage and valiantly shares your story in a short introduction to your work. And I know that they are all horizontal. It’s possible to edit the screen size, but really… the ones I have seen don’t work all that well.

IGTV is a different channel with a different look, feel, and tone. Embrace it for what it is.

Keep in mind that your brand, you, your art, and your message need to play out differently in different contextual settings. Who is your audience already? Who have you been portraying up to this point? What have you been sharing? Your followers will want to find that same spirit in your videos on this channel. What has garnered you the most interactions in the past?

Trying to bring old content, especially if it’s not vertical, into IGTV may lose you some momentum.

But, what if…

A better approach is to treat this like the casual, quick, glimpse my world, sharing app that it has always been. What if you put up a quick few minutes sharing moments in your studio. How about a few moments showing you throwing a vase on your wheel? Maybe throw your dog his toy and talk about what a muse he is every day?

Or if you are teaching, you could do a quick intro to your online course; an intro to get people to your website or online course. What about a quick scan of a class hard at work? And then add a link for people to sign up.

You can now put in an embedded link in your description that the viewer can click on! You read that right. No more referring to “see my link in my profile.” Total game changer. YAY!

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! There are LIVE LINKS in the description for Instagram TV. You can now use this channel to channel your followers into places online that matter to your bottom line. Click To Tweet

Since this is a really new feature, you might want to mention that in your first minute or so of your video. But, wow…think about it! What an amazing opportunity. For those of you who have followed my blog for more than a few months, you know I totally believe in email marketing. So what if you post on IGTV the first sketches of the sculpture you are planning, the processing of the fallen tree, or the crazy bead show you are attending? And then you can have a live link to share the finished artwork on your website shopping cart or a landing page (that links to a shopping cart) that tells the rest of the story: dimensions, multiple angles for 3D work, and so forth.

And back to the very most important marketing opportunity: Always ASK for their emails. You can put a link in your IGTV description! (This is rocking my world! Give me a “Yes it is!” in the comments if it’s rocking your world, too.)

Make sure they get on your list with the enticement that they will be part of the VIP crew who is the first to see your newest art and have first dibs to buy.

Short and sweet

This will be one of the shortest articles I have posted in a while. Because I am going to be posting on IGTV just before I put out this post.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT: follow me on IGTV @mygoldenwords and watch my video. Then come back here and tell me what you think.

No… not what you think about my delivery or whatever… It’s the first one I am posting, so it’s gonna have plenty to improve on. I just want to know what you think about the BIG NEWS I share in the video. LOL… I think this is one of the wildest journeys I have set up in a while for you guys.

Enjoy the ride. And don’t be shocked at what a ghost town @mygoldenwords is at the moment. It will populate in the months to come now that I can really use it to communicate.