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Youtube vs IGTV: Where should your business be?

12th June 2020

Should you create content for Youtube or IGTV?

That’s the question you’ll be asking if your business is looking to invest more in video.

The good news is you’re on the right track. Video is one of the most-consumed content formats and compared to the millions of unread blogs that float around the web, there’s more room for video.

That’s why apps like Instagram are prioritizing video formats in their algorithm and developing standalone apps like IGTV.

Still need to convince your team to invest in video? Here are a couple of stats you can share with them.

  • 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.
  • 72% of people would rather watch a video than read to learn about a product or service.

So, Youtube vs IGTV. Which would we recommend?

Youtube needs no introduction. It’s the long-standing streaming giant and where most people go for video content.

Instagram released IGTV in June 2018 to help Instagram users create longer-form videos to connect with their users.

Youtube vs IGTV: Which is best for your business?

1-min Youtube vs IGTV

Youtube videos are easily shared. IGTV, not so much...

Uploading to Youtube is an easy way to share a video with your following, and the rest of the world.

Youtube videos can be embedded in other articles and blogs or shared across your social media platforms. Youtube has made it really easy to share video across a variety of formats in an effort to help these content formats go viral.

Because Youtube is the go-to app for video content, it’s not worried about Youtube content spreading around the web as embedded videos.

However, Instagram makes it more difficult to share videos. They want to keep all the good content on Instagram, so you stay there longer.

On Instagram, you can’t share Youtube videos either, which isn’t a coincidence. You need to upload the video directly or shoot it with the Instagram app.

We’d recommend shooting it on your regular phone so you can edit it in iMovie or any other simple editing software.

Videos on Instagram TV can also be shared through links, but it’s more difficult to embed & the auto-formatting sharing images don’t look as good.

You can copy a link to an IGTV video from your mobile, but it’s harder to share and view content via the web. Although it’s possible to share IGTV videos directly to a Facebook page, Youtube wins this one.

Youtube: 👍

IGTV: 👎

If your audience is already on Instagram

If your audience lives on Instagram, then why lead them to another platform when you share content?

Give more value to your audience in a space that’s convenient for them by uploading your video to IGTV.

IGTV videos appear in your feed, so you’ll easily get views from your following and continue to build your Instagram presence through social media marketing and IGTV content.

Youtube: 👎

IGTV: 👍

2-min Youtube vs IGTV

Is it searchable on Google?

If you’re looking to create content that’s searchable across the web, then Youtube is a better option.

Youtube videos are often suggested by Google at the top of the first page, but it’s also easy to discover new content by searching Youtube itself.

Instagram TV, on the other hand, is only accessible via Instagram, and won’t appear in search engine results.

It’s also pretty tough to search for video content within IGTV. You have to search for creators or hashtags, rather than videos on specific topics.

Youtube wins this one too...

Youtube: 👍

IGTV: 👎

Does the app have a good search feature?

The sky’s the limit on Youtube’s search.

That’s because the Youtube algorithm works in a similar way to Google’s. (Not a coincidence, Youtube is owned by Google!)

So like content on Google - which meets audience demand for keywords - Youtube prioritizes search results on its own platform that provide the best results for those specific keywords.

People are searching for a range of things on Youtube, you just need to meet that demand. Use VidIQ to identify search volumes to different terms.

Youtube: 👍

IGTV: 👎

IGTV is for bitesize content, Youtube is for longer videos

Videos posted to IGTV will need to be kept between 15 seconds and 10 minutes long. Only those with verified accounts can go beyond this, posting videos up to 60 minutes long.

By keeping things short, Instagram has effectively created a space for video content that puts less pressure on creators to pump out lengthy content and is more digestible for watchers.

If you want to have a bit more freedom and create longer content, then Youtube allows videos to be uploaded that are up to 11 hours long.

Yes, 11 hours.

We strongly believe that if your business can’t say something in less than 60 minutes, it will struggle to say it effectively in 11 hours.

Youtube: 👎

IGTV: 👍

3-min Youtube vs IGTV

IGTV is a bit more professional

Another plus point for IGTV is its use of vertical video (which is only increasing in popularity across social media platforms). While some Youtube videos can be viewed vertically, they are never quite as slick as in IGTV.

IGTV content also tends to be more professional and visually interesting compared to much of the content that lives on Youtube. That’s due to Instagram’s aesthetic. Its creators tend to care more about the visual qualities of their video.

The majority of IGTV’s content is vertical, although this recent update allows you to post in a landscape format.

Youtube: 👎

IGTV: 👍

Bonus tip: If you want your Youtube channel to look more professional, banner size is incredibly important. Check out this article from Kristen McCabe at G2 to find out why.

Youtube has more advanced analytics

If being able to view detailed and comprehensive statistics on how your video content is performing is important to you, then Youtube is for you.

IGTV does offer analytics but they don’t go into nearly as much detail as Youtube.

Depending on how much you need to know, IGTV may give you enough of a picture for you to learn to improve. Often high-level engagement stats are all you need to spot trends.

Otherwise, Youtube will show you the nitty-gritty of what you want to know about how audiences engage with your videos. And with the help of tools like VidIQ, you’re able to see how well your videos perform on Youtube search.

Youtube: 👍

IGTV: 👎

4-min Youtube vs IGTV

So, is IGTV better than Youtube?

There’s no definitive answer here, but we’re leaning towards Youtube.

Youtube has more functionality, a bigger audience, and there are more opportunities for your videos - and your business - to get discovered by new audiences.

But the app you go for will ultimately depend on where you think your audience is, and which platform you think shows off your product or service best.

And for many businesses, that means they’ll post to both IGTV and Youtube. That’s why we’ve written a quick guide for those looking to use the same content across Youtube video and IGTV.

How to post a Youtube video to IGTV

You can’t post a Youtube video directly to IGTV, but there is a way to post your Youtube-hosted videos onto IGTV.

First of all, you need access to the video file itself. You might already have this, or you might need to get it from your business’s Youtube channel.

You can see where to download the video when you open Youtube Studio to edit your video and hit the menu on the right, clicking ‘Download’.

5-min Youtube vs IGTV

When you’ve downloaded the file, you can upload it directly to IGTV.

However, you need to make sure the clip is less than ten minutes long, or it’s going to be too long for IGTV. We’d recommend keeping the video below five minutes so people are most likely to engage with the whole thing.

Instagram is a fast format, and people are going to move on quickly if they’re bored.

How to upload Youtube videos to IGTV

So you’ve got your raw video file.

Unfortunately, you can’t send your Youtube video straight to IGTV. However, you can upload your video directly from the Instagram app and IGTV app.

Here’s how.

  1. Tap the plus in the top right of the screen and choose your video. This is likely to be an mp4 or a mov file. If you use other formats, you may need to use a video converter, like these ones.
  2. Choose whether you want to share a short video (less than 60 seconds) or a long video (longer than 60 seconds).
  3. Choose a cover image from your Camera Roll or your Gallery
  4. Add a description and title
  5. Choose whether you want to add it to a series
  6. Choose whether you post your video to your feed or share your video to a Facebook page.

6-min Youtube vs IGTV

It’s a bit simpler to share a video if you do it straight from the IGTV app.

You just tap the square at the bottom left and hold the record button to record a button on the app.

For a full guide to posting to IGTV, take a look at Instagram’s help doc.

Youtube to IGTV converter

We couldn’t find any simple Youtube to IGTV converter tech that converts the aspect ratios of your Youtube videos as videos for Instagram.

Here’s the preferred aspect ratio for Youtube

  • 1920 x 1080
  • 16:9

Here’s the preferred aspect ratio for IGTV

  • 1080 x 1920
  • 9:16

Both Instagram and IGTV technically work with each others’ preferred aspect ratios, they just don’t look as good on the feed.

However, you are able to change the aspect ratio of your video manually with Keynote & other presentation software tools.

It’s quite a lengthy process to get your Youtube-to-IGTV templates set up, but you’ll save a lot of time in the long run.

We found this video from Louise Henry on how to convert your videos from Youtube to IGTV really helpful.

Unfortunately, you can’t send videos directly to IGTV because it’s part of what we call a ‘walled garden’.

That basically means that all content posted on Instagram is only supported on Instagram. For example, you can’t embed your IGTV video on Facebook.

Instagram does this to keep users on IGTV.

However, there are some examples of creators just repurposing the content from Youtube straight to Instagram. For example, Gary Vaynerchuk simply uploads the same video to Youtube and IGTV without changing the aspect ratios.

Instead, he asks users to rotate their phone at the beginning of the video to view the video horizontally.

7-min Youtube vs IGTV

Youtube and IGTV: Our content creation process.

Here’s how we’d recommend you create and format videos for Youtube and IGTV.

First of all, create your video for Youtube. That means you should shoot your video in landscape, with an aspect ratio of 16:9. But, if you can, fit your portrait image as you’d like it to appear within that frame.

Here’s what we mean. In this example, we can see a landscape shot, but cropping this into a portrait video doesn’t take anything away from the clip.

The video works well for IGTV because you can quickly change the video to portrait. Here’s what the video looks like when we change it to a 9:16 ratio, which works best for IGTV.

8-min Youtube vs IGTV

Remember to use Louise Henry’s technique to change the video’s aspect ratio. When you’ve done this a couple of times you’ll be able to do it in minutes.

Then you can add the video directly to IGTV. Using these steps from Instagram.

If Instagram is important to your business, we’d really recommend creating videos for Youtube first, then repurposing them for IGTV even if you’re not already live on Youtube.

So in reality, it doesn’t have to be a choice between Youtube and IGTV. With a little forward thought, you can use the same content across both formats.

Curious about Snapchat? Check out our blog on Snapchat vs Instagram.


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