When you say ‘video’, one of the first words that comes to mind is YouTube. The world as we know it just wouldn’t be the same without the video platform. But with IGTV’s long-form videos on the rise, YouTube now faces some fierce competition. Instagram, with its 500 million active daily users, is a centralized content marketing machine that shows no sign of stopping. Logically, content creators are wondering which platform is best for them to post on.
After reading this blogpost, you’ll be able to make an informed decision!
At first sight, there are the obvious differences. While YouTube offers horizontal viewing and videos up to 11 hours, Instagram is the first platform to offer long-form vertical videos up to 10 minutes (or 1 hour if you’re verified). This makes YouTube perfect for longer, informative videos and Instagram ideal for scrollable, accessible and digestible content.
Of course, there are some more important things to take into consideration.
Shareability & discoverability
As a creator, you want your content to thrive. Meaning: you want it to be liked, shared and seen by many.
On Instagram, that’s a problem. Instagram wants you to stay on Instagram. As a result you can’t share IGTV anywhere else, which really reduces your prospects and chances of being seen and discovered. The best Instagram can do is bump you up to the Explore page if your video does really well. But that’s the limit.
You could always use hashtags of course, but even then the danger exists that your post gets swallowed up in the stream of daily content – or worse, that you get shadowbanned.
YouTube, however, is owned by Google, so you best believe their SEO techniques – and thus discoverability – are outstanding. On top of that, they allow sharing and embedding pretty much anywhere. Finally, viewers don’t even need an account to get access to their content. This makes them a powerhouse for visibility and shareability.
At present time IGTV is not monetized, meaning there are no ads and no ways for businesses to make money in this ‘traditional’ way. Instagram is presumably working on this though, so ads are predicted to be a big part of IGTV pretty soon. At that point, those who have already built a strong presence and audience will reap the results: they’ll be able to make more money in an instant.
YouTube has been advertising its videos for years, in fact, the so-called ‘ad revenue’ has even made multiple creators full-on millionaires. Just one popular video can make you a looot of money. And did you know that you can already monetize a video when you have about 1000 followers?
The biggest goal for any creator online these days is to grow and nurture a solid community around them. How you can interact with your audience is another important factor to consider in choosing a platform.
It isn’t YouTube’s most well-known feature, but they have really been expanding the possibilities of their Community tab (again, available when you hit 1000 followers). It kind of works like a timeline and you can use it in creative ways to promote your content. The Community tab is a great centralized way to interact with your YouTube audience. Other than that, you can of course engage with your viewers in the video’s comments.
When it comes to community building though, Instagram wins. In Stories alone, you can host Q&A’s, make quizzes, do polls, ask questions… You can also host lives (alone or with other creators), react to comments, include CTA’s… In short: Instagram is amazing for building a strong community because you get the chance to provide your followers with lots of diversified content. They can really get to know you.
It all depends on your goals. As stated above, both platforms have their own strengths for posting video content. If after reading this post, you’re clearly inclined to one of the two, then follow your instinct. If you’re still in doubt: why not do both?
There’s little chance that IGTV will ever be able to replace YouTube. The latter is just too much of a powerhouse to do that, and IGTV is too exclusive to Instagram. But if done right, they can really complement each other. For example: if you post a whole full-length tutorial on YouTube, you can make a fun shortened IGTV version for Instagram as a sort of advertisement for it.
So why not try it out and have fun with it?
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