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YouTube vs. IGTV: Which Platform is Right for Your Brand?

YouTube vs. IGTV: Which Platform is Right for Your Brand?

Video viewers are set to exceed 200 million this year, driving the spend for video advertising to over $100 billion by 2023. By 2020 online videos will constitute more than 80% of all internet traffic. There are two platforms to consider: YouTube and IGTV (the standalone vertical video application owned by Instagram). So, which platform is the best? Not surprising, it all depends on your message and the audience you are delivering it to.

Let’s do a deep dive into both platforms with the intent of figuring out the right one for your business.


With 500+ million hours of videos currently watched on this medium every day, there are definite strengths to it. Here are the top five:

  • Strong, global name recognition
  • Efficiently addresses safety concerns when reported
  • Google searchable if keywords are inserted
  • Successful format for longer content
  • Great for organizations with a strategic video playbook

The primary weakness is its desktop focused platform.

IGTV by Instagram

Instagram has one billion users presently, making it a very real YouTube contender. IGTV is ideal for: 

  • Small businesses with limited or no brand exposure
  • Those organizations who want to experiment with different brand messages
  • Companies trying to reach a younger audience
  • Organizations already engaging influencers
  • Businesses that are or plan to shift their TV advertising dollars to mobile

Ways to Use Video for Success

In addition to this comparison, here are a few ways enterprise organizations are using video to their advantage.

Shoppable Videos: These videos feature products or services that use embedded links to enable viewers to click and purchase those products instantly without leaving the video.

According to research from Forbes, shoppers are three times more likely to buy a product with this type of integration over those with no link or a standard link to a shopping cart.

Mobile Viewing: In a test with well established brands of Slim Jim, David Seeds and Orville Redenbacher, mobile click-through rates were 77% higher on mobile devices over desktop.

Partnering: Cotton Incorporated teamed up with Bloomingdale. Giorgio Armani developed campaigns with Macy’s, Sephora and Ulta Beauty. Lyft is integrated into Hulu’s Runaways series. In each case, click-through rates were higher than standalone company campaigns.

Which Platform is Right for You?

You want YouTube if:

  1. Your organization currently has a YouTube channel and you post to it regularly
  2. The videos on this channel are maximized for search
  3. Content is technical and/or long in nature.
  4. Video is part of your ongoing marketing playbook

You want IGTV if:

  1. You own a small business with little to no market exposure
  2. The organization doesn’t have a video strategy but wants to experiment with one
  3. You are trying to connect with Gen Y and Z users
  4. The company already has an influencer base or is willing to pay for one

Lastly, determine how you can integrate shoppable videos into your marketing. With the holiday season upon us, this is the perfect time to test and measure results. Remember to optimize video to the younger, mobile audience. Look for partnerships where you can maximize your viewing potential. An example might be looping your video campaign on branded cell phone charging stations at a trade show where your organization is a major sponsor.

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