Instagram has over one billion monthly active users, all looking for easily consumable content. A 2021 survey showed video viewership reached 92% of internet users worldwide, with Live Streams taking the 4th highest place in popularity. Video content is king of the internet!
There are no retakes on Instagram Live – so preparation is everything!
Here are our top 3 tips for hosting next-level Instagram Lives that drive real value for your brand:
Hype Up Your Instagram Live in Advance
Regularly and strategically promoting an upcoming Instagram Live can make all of the difference when it comes to securing those all important views!
You can now schedule an Instagram Live up to 90 days in advance, which is great for building hype and creating more of an "event" out of your upcoming broadcast.
Tell your audience what they can expect in the live broadcast, and invite them to share any questions they have in the comments. This can help your followers feel more engaged, and ultimately more likely to tune in.
Consider Your Lighting and Location
Planning the location and lighting for your Instagram Live can have a huge impact on how professional your broadcast looks.
Consider how the backdrop of your Instagram Live supports your brand’s message.
In terms of lighting, natural light is always the most affordable (and often the best) option.
Have a Clear Content Plan
One of the best ways to plan your live stream is to think of it as having a beginning, middle, and an end — or more specifically, an introduction, focal point, and conclusion — and making a note of the most important messages to get across during the broadcast.
It’s also a good idea to consider what could go wrong in a “worst case scenario.” For example, if your live broadcast relies on viewers’ questions, have a backup plan in case you don’t receive any. This could be a list of questions that you’ve gathered earlier from Instagram Stories, or an alternate talking point.
How to Use Instagram Live
Now that you understand the potential of this marketing tool, let’s take an in-depth look at how to use Instagram Live.
First thing’s first:
Step 1: Set a Schedule
Like many things in life, consistency is key.
To reach more people and build strong relationships with your audience, you need to go live regularly. The best way to do this is to set a schedule and stick to it.
For example, if you plan to go live every Thursday at 7 pm, you can promote this weekly event to your audience. Then, in time, your more engaged followers will look forward to each Instagram Live video.
Step 2: Identify Your Goal
To get the most out of your Instagram Live videos, it’s important to know exactly why you’re doing them. Perhaps you want to strengthen customer relations, grow your following, increase email signups, or boost sales of a specific product.
And although you might like to do all of those things, it’s best to prioritize one per broadcast. That way, every part of your Instagram Live stream will be aligned with achieving your goal.
Step 3: Promote Your Stream
Don’t just go live and hope people show up. Instead, whip up some excitement beforehand.
This can be as simple as posting on your other social media accounts or sending an email to your list about your upcoming Instagram Live stream.
Step 4: Configure Your Instagram Story Settings
Before you go live, you’ll want to check your Instagram Story settings. To do this, tap the settings gear icon at the top-left of the screen.
The first setting allows you to hide your Stories from specific people, and underneath, you can choose who can reply to your Story.
As a business, you’ll want to make sure that replies can be sent by everyone, as this will allow you to better interact with your audience.
Next, Instagram lets you automatically save your Stories to your camera roll or your Instagram archive.
If you don’t want to use up valuable phone space, just turn on the archive feature and you’ll be able to view your Stories in the archive when they disappear after 24 hours.
The last feature allows you to automatically share Instagram Stories to your Facebook Business page.
Take advantage of this opportunity to engage your Facebook followers without having to create more content on Facebook Stories.
Instagram Live stream ideas for business
1. Influencer collaborations
Instagram Live is a perfect platform for these collaborations. With the Add a guest and Live Room features, you can bring influencers on for interviews, Q&A sessions with your viewers, or a friendly chat.
If you’re planning to feature more than one influencer in your broadcast, use the Live Rooms feature. You will be able to invite up to three influencers to share the screen with you.
2. Go live at an event
Stream your industry events, ceremonies, or conferences you’re attending. People love getting an inside look at industry parties from someone in the inner circle.
If you’re planning on streaming your next event, then use FOMO. Fear of missing out can be a powerful tool. People will want to watch and keep up with what’s going on in real-time so as not to miss any exciting moments. Hype up your Live stream event beforehand!
And be sure to post a recap video after the fact. You can download your Live stream, edit it as you like, then repost it to your feed.
3. Host a tutorial, workshop, or class
Teach a workshop or class, or host a tutorial on content you’re associated with. Your audience will have the chance to ask you questions about what you do, what you offer, or what you’re selling.
Engage your audience and make them feel heard with a Live Q&A.
Simply hop onto Instagram Live and solicit questions from your audience. If you’re not getting a lot of questions, ask your audience to post some. If you’re feeling brave, turn it into an AMA (Ask Me Anything).
5. Product unboxing
If you’re launching a new product, host a Live product unboxing and show your followers what they’re getting.
6. Talk to a happy customer
You don’t need to talk to an industry thought leader or influencer to help boost your brand. Chatting with customers about how much they love your products or services is an effective way to engage your audience. Plus, it’s much less expensive than hiring influencers.
And since Instagram gives you the option to save the video after you’re done, you can keep it on your Instagram profile as a video testimonial. Double win!
Instagram Live is a fantastic tool to reach and engage your audience in a compelling and intimate way.
And with live video becoming a larger part of people’s daily communications, getting to grips with this powerful medium now is certain to pay dividends in the future.
For best results:
- Plan ahead of time. Make sure you know what you hope to achieve, what call to action you’ll promote, and what format you’ll use.
- Make sure to promote your Instagram Live stream before and after the event.
- Finally, have fun and don’t worry too much about making mistakes – remember, it’s live!
Don’t feel the pressure of perfection, and instead opt for clarity of message; and approachability.
Go for it, Tiger!
Book a free consultation with our Instagram Expert to find out how we can help your business grow.