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Everything You Need to Know About Using IGTV for Your Instagram Career

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Instagram is arguably the most influential social media today. The list of the names of people who have the status of an Instagramer, Influencer, or the so-called “IG-baddies” includes the biggest celebrities out there. The prestige that comes with getting big on Instagram is undeniable. On top of that, for an app that is completely free to download and sign up on, Instagram is one of the most effective ways to monetize even the things like your hobbies, let alone legit businesses. It gives you an unlimited number of potential customers, a large audience locally as well as globally, and exposure to great things you may have never come across otherwise.

Like other social media platforms, Instagram always tries to improve its services, layouts, and operating systems. The app gets updated frequently and each time it offers its users a number of new features that quickly become popular. If you are the OG Instagram user you probably remember the era of the time limit on your videos. Nowadays that is not an issue anymore. You can upload a minute-long video on your page, which is much more convenient than a fifteen seconds clip we had to deal with. However, if a minute is not enough time for the type of content you do, IGTV is the way.

 

What is IGTV?

IGTV is a video application Instagram uses that allows the users to upload lengthy videos on their channel. IGTV content can be seen separately on your personal page as well as on your main feed together with your pictures and other videos. Cooking channels, Instagramers that offer the audiences talk focused contents, tech review channels, fashion bloggers are some of the most avid users of IGTV services. Small and big businesses on Instagram use IGTV instead of Instagram Live because IGTV videos can be pre-recorded and edited before uploading it to the platform.

 

How does it work?

IGTV on Instagram has a preview option introduced quite recently that enables to get to know what the full video is about. This is a great way to attract your target audience. If you are confident about your content and the preview looks promising people will definitely want to find out more by watching the full video. Making the preview look interesting enough to make the audience want to engage in it further is not an issue either. Unlike Instagram Live you get to be in control of what how and when you want to show people.

 

Another great feature IGTV offers is the series feature. You can start your own little series by creating a playlist of video content about the topic of your choice. It could be something related to your usual content or something entirely new. Playlisting naturally organizes your content and makes them more interesting for your audience.

 

On top of everything else IGTV offers, the service is easy to navigate through and the team behind it is constantly trying to improve the technical side of the platform. IGTV has truly come a long way. For instance, in the beginning, IGTV offered only the vertical video format but they have introduced the horizontal one as well which made it easier to package your videos the way you want. The viewers seem to have found the feature enjoyable too.

 

How can it help you with your Instagram Career?

In conclusion, if your page is oriented towards similar content that needs lengthier videos than what a normal one-minute long Instagram video IGTV is for you. With the help of IGTV, you can build the community you need in order to grow and stabilize your Instagram career. Showcasing the products or services, the trendy how-to videos, educational or informational content all of it can be easily done by the implementation of IGTV content in the content you create. Being a part of your Insta feed, IGTV is a great way to attract attention and grow big on Instagram.

 

One more thing is that IGTV is not for all content creators therefore the platform is less competitive. That gives you a huge benefit of becoming the first one to grow the biggest audience and establish yourself as a household name. There are a number of ways to achieve this. For once, you definitely need to work on your content and come up with something original and interesting. But don’t rush into putting out the best content before you gain a considerable number of viewers. Get IGTV views first. Advice is to do a little research on the ways you could do this. There are options of getting organic or targeted views which will definitely result in the natural growth of your IGTV audience which automatically means the growth of your overall Instagram followers.


Source: Alex Brian. Alex is a blogger and business coach. He loves to write about business and help small businesses to grow their business online.

 

 

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International footballer Chris Smalling invests ‘six figure sum’ in Virtue Drinks, a global clean energy drink startup

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Rahi Daneshmand , founder of Virtue Drinks

ROMA AS and England National football star, Chris Smalling, has injected a six-figure sum into Virtue Drinks, a London-based brand that’s on a mission to clean up the energy drinks market. It’s the sixth ethical investment Smalling has made in the last year, demonstrating his determination to publicly support sustainable products.

Established in 2016, the multi-award winning brand, Virtue Drinks, creates clean energy drinks which are all natural, with zero sugar or calories. They have two ranges available globally, Virtue Clean Energy and Virtue Yerba Mate, exporting to leading retailers in 30 countries.

Smalling says: “Virtue has shaken up the industry and made a brilliant product that changes the game. I’m excited to be part of the journey. Why would you drink unhealthy energy drinks when Virtue exists?”.

COVID-19 has accelerated a global trend toward healthy living, with consumers rethinking their eating and drinking habits. More people are scrutinising product ingredients, shifting from sugary or artificial energy drinks, with high amounts of synthetic caffeine, to clean alternatives.

London born entrepreneur, Rahi Daneshmand, launched Virtue Drinks in 2016, after looking for a clean energy drink himself. Having avoided energy drinks post-university, whilst constantly trying to find ways to improve his energy levels, he felt there’d be a lot of people also looking for a natural pick-me-up, with zero sugar or calories.

Daneshmand says: “We have very high aspirations, with plans to bring Virtue to every store where you might find traditional energy drink brands. Each can of Virtue gives customers the same amount of natural caffeine as the leading energy drink or coffee, without any sacrifice on taste and none of the artificial chemicals.”

Source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2021/01/international-footballer-chris-smalling-invests-six-figure-sum-in-virtue-drinks-a-global-clean-energy-drink-startup/

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British low-alcohol spirits startup CleanCo lands €7.8 million to promote ‘hangover-free drinking’ internationally

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British premium low-alcohol spirits startup, CleanCo, has secured around €7.8 million in funding as investors and consumers reveal an insatiable thirst for hangover-free drinking. The latest investment takes the total now raised by the business to around €10.2 million.

The company within the “nolo” (no- or low- alcohol) category received the cash injection from existing and new gold-stamped investors including: Ursula Burns, board member of Uber and former board member of Diageo, and Stonebridge PLC, a digital-first consumer brand investment firm set up by DTC entrepreneur James Cox, who shall also advise the company on its future growth plans.

Providing people with a healthier alternative to traditional tipples, CleanCo has cultivated a loyal ‘sober-curious’ following of over 50,000 customers in just 15 months with its authentic taste and ‘cheeky-luxe’ positioning.

Recording +580% uplift in sales since the start of ‘Dry January 2021’ and +1419% YoY, the low-abv spirits business founded by TV personality and entrepreneur, Spencer Matthews  with the support of ex-director of the Gin Guild, Justin Hicklin, who acts as Chairmain. CleanCo uses traditional distilling methods to create low-alcohol spirits, and entered the market in November 2019 with CleanGin, followed by CleanRum in May 2020, both at 1.2% ABV. 

The fresh funds raised in its latest financing push will support the brand’s international expansion, including plans to launch a number of significant new markets in H1 2021. The new funds will also allow for ‘significant’ marketing investment in the UK to increase brand awareness. 

“Nobody wakes up saying “I wish I drank more last night,” explained co-founder Matthews, who has been sober since 2018. “Anyone can have a good reason to avoid or reduce their intake of alcohol. After a sub-par 2020, many of us will start 2021 with a sore head, coupled with fresh resolve and ambition to change destructive habits. We want more drinkers to be aware that there are choices when it comes to drinking high- or low-strength alcohol. At CleanCo, we’re offering an easy transition with quality and credible replacements – without compromising on taste or social experience.”

The UK producer of spirits has also just released its first ready-to-drink, canned cocktail range, featuring 0.5% ABV twists on classic serves. CleanRum & Cola is made using traditional Jamaican rum techniques and is said to deliver undertones of caramel and cayenne pepper, paired with ‘premium cola’. Meanwhile, CleanGin & Tonic offers a ‘crisp botanical blend’ of juniper, grapefruit, cardamom, mint, ginger and cinnamon. The London-headquartered company also plans to release a vodka later this year.

“Our concept is absolutely in line with market trends, as people look to change their drinking habits and as health conscious consumers consider their options,” said Justin Hicklin, Chairman of CleanCo.

To create low or no alcohol beverages, manufacturers often replace the alcohol with sugar, but to reduce the sugar and retain full flavour is challenging, and unique to CleanCo, in a closely guarded and developing process, which Hicklin reveals only as a “multiplicity of distillations.”

Source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2021/01/british-low-alcohol-spirits-startup-cleanco-lands-e7-8-million-to-promote-hangover-free-drinking-internationally/

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Munich-based HR scaleup Personio lands €103.5 million Series D funding and a €1.4 billion valuation

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Munich-based Personio, the all-in-one HR platform, today announces approx. €103.5 million of new and preemptive Series D funding in an investment round that values the business at around €1.4 billion.

The new funding will accelerate further the scaleup’s international expansion, supporting its ambition of becoming Europe’s leading HR platform for SMEs. It follows a strong year of growth for the business in 2020, which saw it double revenues despite adverse market conditions.

Founded in 2015, Personio offers an all-in-one HR software for small- and medium-sized companies with 10 to 2,000 employees. Its mission is to make HR processes as transparent and efficient as possible so human resources team members can focus on the most valuable assets in the company: the people. Personio’s software includes human resources, recruiting and payroll and supports all core HR processes every business needs to do. Personio is already helping more than 3,000 SMEs across Europe unlock their productive potential by digitizing and automating their people operations.

The latest funding was led by existing investor Index Ventures, which has previously supported high-profile software companies including Slack, Dropbox and Zendesk to their IPO. All of Personio’s other existing investors – Accel, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Northzone, Global Founders Capital and Picus – participated in this latest funding round.

They have also been joined by Meritech, which has a long-standing track record of backing highly successful SaaS companies, including Salesforce, where they were the first outside investor, as well as recent high-flyers Datadog, Snowflake and UiPath.

The funding round comes only twelve months after the business received around €67.6 million Series C funding, in a round led by Accel. The new capital will enable Personio to increase its expansion across Europe and focus on the further development of its cloud-based software, as it builds Europe’s leading HR operating system for recruiting, personnel administration and payroll for small and medium-sized companies.

Personio’s plans for the coming year include further enhancing the product’s core capabilities, launching the Personio Marketplace with new integrations in Q1, continuing fast growth across Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and doubling down its investments in markets that the business entered in 2020 such as Spain, the UK and Ireland, the Nordics and Benelux. In 2021 it will also enter new markets, including France and Italy. In additional, it planes to double its international headcount from 500 to 1000 by the end of 2021, across its four offices in Munich (HQ), Madrid, London and Dublin, where its new international sales and engineering hub has been established.

While the funding also provides the option for further acquisitions, such as the purchase of Rollbox in 2019, there are currently no M&A activities planned and the focus remains on continued strong organic growth.

Hanno Renner, co-founder and CEO of Personio commented: “While the past year has proven difficult for many industries and businesses, it has at the same time accelerated the digitization of small and mid-sized businesses. It has also showcased the important role of HR teams, especially while so many of us continue to work remotely. We are grateful for a strong year in which we could grow to serve over 3,000 European SMEs. By further expanding our platform, we’ll continue to support our customers in tackling their current challenges and beyond.”

“This preemptive investment comes earlier than we had anticipated, as we’re still well funded from our previous round in January 2020. Such strong interest and support from our investors demonstrates not only the value of Personio’s offering, but also the huge potential the business has for further development and growth in the future. We are only scratching the surface of the market potential.”

Martin Mignot, Partner at Index Ventures and Personio Board Member said: “SMEs are the backbone of the European economy, employing 100 million people across the continent, but it is also a sector that has been neglected by software companies focused predominantly on large enterprises. Personio changes that, having created a set of powerful tools tailored to address the needs of small businesses. Under the leadership of the company’s co-founder Hanno Renner, Personio has quickly become one of the most impactful and impressive businesses in Europe, and we’re thrilled to be working with him and the team as they scale and respond to rising demand for their products.”

Alex Clayton, General Partner at Meritech Capital and Personio’s newest Board Member said: “We have had the pleasure of working with some of the most successful SaaS companies in the world, and given Personio’s success over the past five years and the immense market potential, we strongly believe in Personio’s ability to build an equally successful and impactful business. After many great discussions with Hanno over recent years, we are now excited to be joining the journey.”

The latest valuation places Personio among the most valuable private software companies in Europe as it joins the likes of UiPath, Revolut, Deliveroo or Klarna in the ranks of European startups with a valuation of more than $1 billion – the ‘unicorns’.

Source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2021/01/munich-based-hr-scaleup-personio-lands-e103-5-million-series-d-funding-and-a-e1-4-billion-valuation/

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Mental health startup Spill raises €2.2 million to help companies emotionally support their employees over Slack

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Spill, a British startup that provides remote mental health support for companies through the workplace messaging tool ‘Slack’, today announces that it has raised €2.2 million in a seed round led by Ada Ventures. 

The rising demand for employee mental health support in 2020 drove rapid growth for Spill last year. After its founding in 2017 and relaunch in January 2020, Spill has grown from 0 to 100+ paying companies in less than 12 months, and counts Typeform, Bulb and Depop as clients.

New research by Spill and Censuswide found that 38% of tech sector workers have considered therapy for the first time this year. The data also indicates that the need for psychological support may be greater for startups: 44% of those at smaller companies (10-99 people) considered therapy for the first time this year, compared to 31% in larger companies (100+ people). More than 1 in 4 (26%) tech workers also felt their company had failed to provide adequate mental health support in the last year.

Previously a message-based therapy app for iOS and Android, Spill relaunched in January this year to provide all-in-one mental health support through Slack. Employees at companies signed up to Spill can book a video session with a qualified therapist in just three clicks. Alternatively, they can message a therapist and receive a considered reply by the next day, or browse mental health tools and content, all through Slack.

Spill employs over 30 therapists around the UK, who work remotely over video, phone or message. All are registered with the BACP, NCS, or an equivalent professional body, have at least 200 hours’ clinical experience, and a minimum three-year relevant degree. Among users who did a course of six therapy sessions, Spill was more effective at reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety than either NHS therapy or a course of antidepressants.

The fresh funds were raised from Ada Ventures, with partner Francesca Warner joining the Spill board, along with Seedcamp and the government’s Future Fund initiative. Spill will use the money to develop proactive tools that help to create a more psychologically considerate workplace, moving from mental health treatment towards prevention. The raise follows a pre-seed investment in 2019 led by Passion Capital.

Calvin Benton, Founder at Spill, said: “The events of the past year have made workplace mental health issues front of mind for many, but these are problems which have long needed solving. It’s vital that, in today’s knowledge-driven economy, workers have access to high-quality mental health support that’s barrier-free, stigma-free, and free at the point of use. And that’s exactly what Spill will be able to deliver dramatically more of with the help of this latest funding round, led by Ada Ventures. We’re excited to help more companies create environments where people feel secure, engaged, and fundamentally understood — which is not only the humane thing to do for the team, but it’s the smart thing to do for the business. ”

Francesca Warner, Founding Partner at Ada Ventures, said: “We’ve been looking to invest in a company tackling the mental health crisis our society faces for some time. We’ve struggled to find products that are accessible, affordable, effective, and used regularly. Spill’s product is all of these things. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to invest in this exceptional team and look forward to the product being available to millions of people in the years to come.”

Source: https://www.eu-startups.com/2021/01/mental-health-startup-spill-raises-e2-2-million-to-help-companies-emotionally-support-their-employees-over-slack/

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