It’s been just over 2 months now since Instagram unveiled their new feature, Instagram TV. This has been the biggest update the platform has seen since it’s introduction of Stories – a feature that has since taken over Snapchat altogether. So we’ve had a little bit of time to see how people are going to use this feature.

Just How Are Nonprofits Using Instagram TV?

While it’s still very new, and most nonprofit’s haven’t even played around with IGTV yet, it has a very promising future based on the action it is seeing.

As an example, charity:water was one of the first nonprofit brands to jump on the platform, perhaps even with some help from Instagram themselves with how fast it was. They offered a type of digital storytelling that’s often lacking from most profiles. It was a combination of a vlog and a highly produced video series. They provided a sequence of events, chronicling one of their staff member’s trips overseas to see a water project. While they may have only been a couple of minutes each, they provided a snippet of a larger story. This is similar to what people have done with Instagram Stories, however, this is far more emotionally compelling when going beyond the 15 seconds format.

Charity:water’s take on IGTV was to take a professionally shot video (which they’re obviously known for) and turn it into a vertical style video that was a couple of minutes long. This is actually a lot more production than most nonprofits will have time for or is even really expected. Which we’ll discuss later.

The second example came from The Orchid Foundation. They create videos that are much less “produced”. You don’t get words flying across the scene, multiple camera angles and fancy transitions. Their videos are recorded from a phone (which is actually ideal because you can easily make sure your subject is actually on the screen as opposed to using a DSLR and then cropping it.

So if you want you can just repurpose some of your old videos into Instagram TV by cropping, or simply rotating it sideways so people have to turn their phone. But the application is designed to be vertical, and it’s always best if you create your video with the platform in mind from the beginning.

What’s Next for Nonprofits on Instagram TV?

There are so many possibilities for this application. I’m so excited to see what nonprofits are going to do with this to help spread their message and the stories of people they touch. Here are a few ways I see this technology being applied to nonprofits:

  • A weekly interview with a different staff member about why they’re passionate about the cause
  • A series of videos following behind-the-scenes of a campaign or preparation for a big event
  • Educational content, just as The Orchid Foundation gives people a snippet of content from what their mentees experience.
  • Q&A sessions for your audience (not live, but you can answer previous questions)

Why is IGTV Your Perfect Solution to Nonprofit Video Marketing?

There is one great aspect to IGTV for nonprofits, especially if you’ve been too intimidated to create video content. It’s casual.

Yes, there are nonprofits creating a highly produced video on this platform. They spend time and money to get professional videographers, editors, and graphics. But they’ve been doing this all along on other platforms, and are just translating or repurposing it elsewhere. HOWEVER, the expectation is that it is raw, uncut, video, recorded straight from your phone.

This means all you need is a smartphone and something to say to get started. Or if you don’t have something to say, show or interview someone who does have something to say. You don’t’ have to be afraid of people taking this video seriously if it’s just casual, because the expectation is that it won’t be polished or perfect.

And of course, if you’re still scared to get into IGTV, start out with Stories. Stories are even shorter, more casual, and relaxed.

This changes the way nonprofits can present themselves online because they don’t have to create the extremely emotional, amazing cinematography YouTube videos that go viral. The purpose of IGTV isn’t to go viral, it’s to consistently show up with something to say that a targeted group of people will be excited to interact with and follow.

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