All You Need to Know About Instagram Live

January 07, 2019

They say that the best way to gain loyal followers on social media is to engage, and Instagram Live allows you to do just that. With this live broadcast feature, you’re not only able to interact with your existing followers but attract new ones as well. This is what makes Instagram Live an excellent tool for brands who want to connect with their audience in a spontaneous and personal way.

Advantages of Going Live on Instagram

What makes Instagram Live better than posting a recorded video on Instagram Stories is the real time interaction that you are able to have with your audience, who can use the comments field to say hi, ask questions, and send their reactions which you can respond to. Your viewers are not limited to your followers and people you invite, as other Instagram users can also find top live videos on the Explore tab, so you can expand your reach and improve your searchability.

Reports show that live videos are more appealing to brand audiences. In fact, 80% prefer to watch live videos from a brand than to read a blog and 82% would rather watch live videos than to look at social media posts. With 1 billion Instagram users worldwide, imagine how much of your target market you can reach by going hosting a live session on Instagram.

How to Start a Live Video

It’s quite easy! Start by tapping the camera icon at the top left of your Instagram feed or your profile photo just below it. You can also swipe right. Next, choose the “Live” option then click the “Start Live Video” button. There will be a three-second countdown after which you can begin your live broadcast and continue streaming up to one hour.

Tips for Hosting a Successful Broadcast

Have a Plan

Think about what you want to achieve from your live broadcast and plan your content. It should be something that your audience can only acquire from your live video, such as a product reveal, giveaway announcement, or Q&A session, so that your viewers will be motivated to tune in. It would be good to create an outline, if you plan to be live for 30 minutes or longer. Keep in mind that there is a one-hour limit for Instagram Live videos, so if you are planning to cover several topics, having an outline would help ensure that everything you want to talk about is discussed.

Promote Your Live Session

Promoting your live session in advance will help you to get the most number of viewers, so announce this on your Instagram Stories, publish a post on all of your social media accounts, and even send an email to your mailing list. At the least, you would have to let your followers know about your live broadcast about one week prior to your scheduled broadcast, then send out a reminder post the day before, and another one an hour before you go live. Add relevant hashtags to optimize your reach.

Record a Test Video

If you have never done a live session before, it would be a good idea to record a test video to ensure the sound and quality of your video. Choose a spot that is quiet to maximize the sound quality and is visually pleasing, with a simple background that won’t distract your viewers. Once you have found a nice location for your broadcast, you can start filming your test video. After recording, check the lighting and the sound quality in the video. If you appear too bright or too dark in the test video, you might have to adjust the lighting or find another area. If you are unable to hear your voice well, practice speaking a bit louder, to ensure that your audience is able to get your message loud and clear. Also pay attention to your body language. Make sure that you appear confident and relaxed at the same time, so your viewers will be enticed to keep watching your live session.

Interact with Your Viewers

Remember that your main goal for going live on Instagram is to engage with your audience and build a connection with them. Don’t just perform a monologue, and make sure that you acknowledge your viewers’ comments and respond to some (if not all) of their questions and remarks. You can even initiate the conversation by asking them for feedback.

Reward Your Viewers

The best way to motivate your Instagram followers to tune in to your live sessions is to reward them. You can give them a special coupon code, a link to your free e-book, or randomly pick from your audience and send them samples of your products. Let your followers know what’s in store for them when you promote your live session in advance. And tell your viewers during your broadcast that there will be more to be excited about in your next live video. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how much audience you’ll have.

What to Do Post-Broadcast

Let’s face it. Not all of your loyal followers will be able to tune in to your live session, even if you have promoted this long before your broadcast schedule. They could be busy with work or school, have prior commitments, or are from a different time zone. But that doesn’t mean that you will just let them miss all the fun. If you have announced something important in your live session, you can let all of your followers know about it through a post or an Instagram story. It would also be good to remind them to turn on push notifications so that they don’t miss your next live session.

Going live on Instagram is a fun and exciting way to grow your followers and build a stronger connection with your tribe. So, if you haven’t used this feature yet, you might want to start planning for your first broadcast. Be sure to take note of these tips and enjoy your time with your Instagram audience!

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