Virtually touring a home is an essential part of the business now, so IGTV is a worthy place to focus video efforts. Here are a few tips to help you gain traction.

October is Luxury Month on Inman. Inman Handbooks offer deep dives on luxury marketing and agent branding, luxury staging, referrals, and more. We’re thinking about what luxury means now, examining how the pandemic is reshaping the needs of luxury buyers, and talking to top luxury agents, all month long.

IGTV is a relatively new phenomenon on Instagram that has rapidly grown in popularity. Agents are now embracing it as a great way to give viewers an in-depth look at their listings from a safe distance. 

We first started posting IGTV videos on our corporate account, @TheAgencyRE, in September 2019, and viewers have been growing steadily over the past year from an average of 5,000 per video up to 27,000. 

We also see leads coming in that translate to sales due to these videos that essentially function as a home showing. They allow for more airtime than the regular one-minute time limit a static Instagram post allows. 

Virtually touring a home is an essential part of the business now, and we did start posting more IGTV in March this year. We now see the value of posting up to five or more videos each week. 

Here are six tips and best practices for being successful with IGTV videos.

1. Focus on crafting content

Crafting quality content is vital when it comes to IGTV videos. There is so much choice available to the audience; you have to give them something they want to watch that’ll entice them to keep following you, so they don’t miss a post. 

Always keep in mind, the first three seconds are the most important to grab a viewers’ attention, so put your best foot forward right from the get-go. 

When starting, there will be an experimentation phase with what your viewers will respond to best. 

We determined that vertical agent property tours were the pieces that resonated best with our audience, and we strive to feature as many agents in different areas to show a vast array of locations, styles and properties.

2. Test your content

We tested the content on our @TheAgencyRE Instagram account to make sure that we were giving our viewers precisely what they wanted. One of our main objectives was to determine if videos featuring an agent would perform better than a property tour sans agent. 

In doing so, we learned that our videos with agents outperformed the regular property video by 165 percent. We have also discovered that it is best to film in vertical format as horizontal videos do not perform as well.

3. Pay attention to video length

Once you have your content dialed in, keep your video lengths uniform and between 2-5 minutes each. It’s always hard to wrap the best parts of a gorgeous home up in a short space of time, but you want to give your audience the trailer and not the whole movie, so they take the next steps in contacting you to learn more.

4. Increase your views by cross-posting

When you are posting your IGTV video, always select the “Post a Preview” option. Choosing that option will post the IGTV to your grid and help to increase your views.

5. Select a thumbnail

At The Agency, we’ve recently started using thumbnail images of the agents featured in the video. This move has given life to our profile and helps to show the personality of the brand. 

In the past, posting images of people would always underperform, and our engagement would suffer. However, by using the thumbnails of agents for our IGTV videos, we can get the best of both worlds, and our engagement does not suffer. The thumbnails don’t show in a users’ feed when they are scrolling, but at the same time, our profile grid now features our agents whom we love. 

Keep in mind that you can upload an image for the thumbnail; it does not have to be from the video.

6. Add the finishing touches, and post

Once posted, share your IGTV to your Instagram story. Posting will also lead to more views. Don’t forget to add the swipe up link to your IGTV when you do this if your account is eligible. We also create teaser videos that we share to our story and then add the swipe up link to IGTV with a call to action to watch the full video.

Another way we promote our IGTV videos is to include them in our blog posts. See here for our blog posts with homes tours led by David Parnes and Eric Haskell.

If you follow these above tips and best practices, you will see success with your IGTV strategy. And don’t forget to have fun. The best part about being able to share longer videos on Instagram is to show the audience your personality.

Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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