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The Benefits of IGTV and Instagram Live for your Poetry

Do you ever feel like you’re in a rut when it comes to how you promote your work on social media or how you connect and engage with your followers? I’ve been there too, more times than I can count. Changing algorithms and evolving aesthetic expectations can be enough to make your head spin. 


Luckily, Instagram gives us lots of options to integrate into our online presence, such as IGTV and Instagram Live. These two features each have unique benefits that allow users to better connect with their followers and promote their individual brands. 




IGTV has been around for a while now, but it has recently started gaining popularity, as it gives people more time and freedom in which to share their content. Instagram only allows standard videos to be one minute long, but on IGTV, videos can range from one minute to one hour! This allows you to provide your followers with more content, and it eliminates the pressure of a strict time limit. Concerned that people won’t see your video because it’s on IGTV instead of in an Instagram post? No worries! You can post a clip for people to preview straight from your feed that will take them to the IGTV video. For more information on how to upload videos and use the IGTV feature, check out this help page from Instagram that answers some frequently asked questions. 


I love the idea of incorporating IGTV into your online strategy because it gives you a chance to provide a variety of engaging content. For poets, IGTV can be used to host poetry readings or share reviews. You can conduct interviews with other writers or discuss how current events are shaping modern poetry. You can even share writing tutorials, tips, or poetry prompts to get your audience excited about writing. There are so many great opportunities here to expand your reach and broaden your horizons. You can prepare your videos ahead of time and upload them to the IGTV app or through Instagram directly. You may even decide to add content on a more regular basis, making a mini-series or a weekly update. It’s up to you how and what you choose to share. 


Instagram Live 


The Instagram Live feature is another great tool for writers, as it allows you to connect on a more personal level with your readers. Personally, I love it when writers “go live” because I enjoy the authentic and unscripted nature of it. It is a huge benefit to audience members because they get the chance to ask questions, make comments, and interact in real time with the writer. It’s a special experience for everyone because it is a more relaxed atmosphere and allows for real conversations and new opportunities to engage with one another. 


Using Instagram Live is a great idea for an up and coming poet. It allows you to get to know your followers better, and it gives you a chance to get more comfortable with using your platform as a whole. I know that the thought of going live can be nerve-wracking and overwhelming. It is definitely outside of most of our comfort zones, but you’ll likely find that the benefits outweigh the costs as you get the chance to talk to people you wouldn’t have otherwise spoken to and connect with people in a new and exciting way. 


Need some ideas on where to start? Make a post about when you plan to go live, and let your readers chime in with topic ideas. You can also host a Q&A or take the opportunity to read a new piece you’ve been working on. It can even be a laid back, informal time to discuss some updates about your poetry journey. 


Another cool feature: You can go live with another person! This could be a great way to break the ice if you are nervous about doing a video alone. Invite another poet along for the ride, and allow them to bring their unique personality and insight to the conversation. It’s okay if you’re nervous. It might take a few times to get the jitters out, but you may find it to be one of your favorite new ways to talk with your readers. 


The platform for poetry continues to grow and evolve, and we are finding more ways to connect, create, and come together as a community every day. If you’ve never used IGTV or Instagram Live, I recommend that you research both options and consider whether they could be helpful for your social media engagement. These tools can really breathe new life into your page and help you get excited again about sharing and promoting your work with others. 


If you already use IGTV or Instagram Live, which one is your favorite, and why? Have you noticed a difference in your social media following and engagement since using them? Let us know!