Will the Threat of IGTV Cause YouTube to Step Up Its Game?

Will the Threat of IGTV Cause YouTube to Step Up Its Game?

It seemed to appear out of the out of nowhere, surprising creators, users, and even brands. One day you logged onto Instagram and noticed a new little TV icon at the top of your screen…and all of the sudden we had IGTV. Out of the blue, this new feature has influencers and marketers alike questioning its potential and wondering how it can benefit their business. So, what is Instagram’s goal with IGTV? Are they looking for this new development to stand out like nothing else or is Instagram looking to take on YouTube as some much needed competition in the industry?

Brands should be intrigued and excited about IGTV’s potential. Disagree? Think back to Instagram stories which took some time to warm up to, but have now become a necessity for nearly every influencer campaign. Stories’ only drawback is their 24 hour shelf life. On the other hand you have Instagram Live, where the limitation is the risk of live videos following FTC guidelines and putting full trust in the influencers to create content that can’t be pre-approved. Now that IGTV is here we seem to have the best of both worlds. IGTV will last longer than stories and it doesn’t have the risks imposed with Instagram Live. Another plus, longer form videos provide an opportunity for influencers to better connect with their audience. A lot of influencers can seem elusive to their audience when you only know them through images. But videos allows them to share more of their life and personality. And in terms of influencer marketing, IGTV could be a better way for them to explain or showcase products.

So how is IGTV going to benefit the Instagram community? Simply put, Instagram decided to have a place for users to create more engaging content. Videos can be up to an hour long, which is a significant increase from their previous one minute limit. The format is specifically made to be viewed on your phone and, like flipping on the TV, audiences can scroll through channels of creators they follow as well as a ‘Popular’ channel and a ‘For You’ channel. IGTV will thrive with companies such as Buzzfeed or Refinery29 as a space to upload their content since these are channels which are not reliant on any sort of ad revenue but rather reaching the largest audience they can. Another place IGTV will succeed is with “Instagram comedians,” which are a huge genre on the platform – these are pages with millions of followers that create comedy videos that would be too short to upload to YouTube. IGTV gives them a chance to create longer videos in a space where they already have huge audiences.

If IGTV’s goal is simply to allow users to create more engaging content and better connect with their audience, we predict this will be a successful addition to the platform. But, if they want to be seen as a serious competitor to YouTube and draw YouTube creators to the Instagram platform, their business model will need to change. One thing IGTV needs to consider is that most long form creators are going to continue making videos on YouTube, unless Instagram gives them a better reason to come over. Unlike with influencers on Instagram, YouTubers aren’t relying solely on sponsorships to make their income. They make their money passively, from ads that run before their videos. And, as every influencer knows, pitching to brands is a difficult way to make a living. If running ads before IGTV videos is something Instagram will consider, then a lot more YouTubers would consider coming on board. 

After Adpocalypse, many YouTubers were left seeking alternative sources of revenue since ads were being taken off their videos for seemingly no reason. And after several mishaps with influencers (ahem, Logan Paul), YouTube has made serious efforts to keep content within strict guidelines. However, these efforts have unfortunately caused the demonetization of small channels. Larger channels, like Philip DeFranco and H3H3, have been very vocal about their disapproval of certain YouTube regulations and have welcomed competition to YouTube that might cause the platform to step up its game when it comes to the way they treat their creators. 

YouTube knows that if Instagram truly wants to compete, they will make it happen. Just look at what happened to Snapchat after the introduction of Instagram Stories. And, YouTube is fearful. Where creators go, their audiences go, and where the audience goes, brands will go. Perhaps this is why it’s been speculated that they have tried to ensure their content creators’ loyalty by paying YouTubers up to six figures to upload their content to YouTube first before any other platform. But, will this be enough? Influencers want to be where they can find the most success. Their loyalty lies with their followers, not the platform they post on.

To get more perspective on the issue, we asked YouTuber and founder of collegeinfogeek.com, Thomas Frank, who has over one million subscribers, his thoughts on IGTV as a competitor to YouTube: “I absolutely see IGTV as a YouTube competitor…IGTV is fighting for the same thing YouTube is – the long-term attention of the largest possible user base. But they’re embracing their mobile-first roots and bringing something to the table that YouTube isn’t known for. I see it as a great thing for the industry, as competition is almost always a good thing for consumers.” 

The future of IGTV is up in the air. For now, brands will stay curious as influencers continue to experiment with its true potential. There is no question that this new feature will be something to keep an eye on when it comes to influencer marketing. But, to be a giant in the space of long form video, Instagram will need to make efforts to make their business model closer to that of YouTube. As for now, it appears IGTV is a great space to upload extra content, behind the scenes, etc. The question is, will this be enough to keep IGTV relevant?



MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.

How to Get an A+ on Your Back-to-School Influencer Campaign

How to Get an A+ on Your Back-to-School Influencer Campaign

Kids see them and recoil in horror; parents see them and rejoice. They are back-to-school advertisements, and at this time of year, they are impossible to escape. Billboards, magazines, television commercials — anywhere you look, back-to-school brands are eager to get your attention. But smarter brands have already figured out that social media is the way to go and activating influencers can better connect you to that younger generation that ignores other media. Even parents are being swayed on social media through lifestyle influencers and mommy bloggers about what brands are the best for their kids. But simply having a back-to-school influencer campaign is not enough anymore. Because most of your competitors have already made the move to social, it’s getting harder for you to stand out. The time has come to go above and beyond. Here are some things to know in order to get an A+ on your back-to-school influencer marketing campaign.

Be Ahead of the Game

In order to stand out, you have to start early. Begin activating your influencer campaign at the end of the previous school year. Having influencers start posting for you around May or June gives you time to seed your messaging. This approach will make you money when your brand ambassadors post — the message will already be fresh in the minds of your consumers (as long as you overlap social audiences). Creating longer running campaigns and a year-round strategy can help drive more impact than simply running one campaign in July or August. This will also help you understand what works and doesn’t work, and when your busy season does come, you will bring in more conversions. Having this visibility into your audience data will allow you to not only get more engagement, but better engagement.

It’s More Than Just School Supplies

When we think of back-to-school, what comes to mind? Binders, folders, pens, pencils? It’s true, those are back to school items but back-to-school means more than just simple school supplies. As you saw before, for many this is a time of starting over and facing new challenges. The chaos of summer is ending and this is a time to get your lives back in order. Many sports are starting, lunches need to be made, and parents are looking for healthy, quick meals to cook. Not to mention that summer growth spurt and the need to impress fellow classmates are just a couple of reasons for a new wardrobe. And speaking of fellow classmates, the start of school means the start of germs and cold season. Time to stock up on sick supplies, too! Parents are thinking beyond blue folders and assorted highlighters when prepping for back-to-school.

Don’t Forget About College

School is more than just K-12. Fall also means college is beginning. It is more than just a new school year with first-year students furnishing their own place, cooking their own meals, and learning to be independent. Laptops, furniture, kitchen supplies, etc. are all important necessities at the forefront of college students’ minds. And transitioning to college is more than just buying things. For many it is a scary time in life, which is why many brands and influencers dedicate their time to blogging about college life, what to expect, and how to cope. We put together a list of some of our favorite millennials for back to college campaigns which includes fashionistas, tech experts, how to study and organize, and even those discussing mental health.

Think Beyond Moms

Mom bloggers seem to be the go-to when having influencers post about going back to school. And it makes sense, since they know what is best for their kids and they are the target demographic that is going to purchase these supplies. But the times are changing and there are other influencers that can speak for your brand. Stay-at-home dads are growing every year, as are dad influencers. Consider leveraging fathers to promote your brand. Not only is it smart, but it can help you stand out. If you need help looking past mom bloggers, take a look at one of our past articles to better help you find the perfect influencer for your brand.   


As you can see, purposeful influencer marketing strategies offer more leverage for back-to-school than the usual marketing tactics. Get ahead of the game, start thinking outside the box, and make sure your dollars are allocated for the most success. Back-to-school comes around once a year so it’s crucial you come out on top with both a strong and successful influencer marketing campaign.



MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.