Live video is the new kid on the block, but it’s not going anywhere. According to Business Insider, Instagram’s Live usage hiked by 70% in 2020.
Instagram Live is a great way to connect with your audience and share live content. It’s a powerful tool that can be used in many different ways, from creating behind-the-scenes content, hosting giveaways and Q&A sessions, to hosting live interviews with influencers or experts.
But, how to go live on Instagram? And what makes Instagram live so appealing? Here in this post, we’ve covered everything you need to know to host a fantastic live!
Ready to get started? Let’s dig in!
How Can Instagram Live be Really Beneficial For Your Business?
If you are a business owner or a brand, Instagram can be a great place to promote your products and services. But in order to make the most out of it, you need to use the right tools and techniques. One such technique is Instagram Live.
But why does Instagram Live matter for your business? Well, here are the reasons:
1. Increases brand awareness
When you post videos on Instagram, they appear in the feeds of users who follow your account. However, when you go live on Instagram, your followers get notified about it in their feeds. This helps increase awareness about your brand among new audiences and existing ones.
Also, when you go live, a highlighted live streaming icon gets placed at the front of your followers’ Stories. This means every time they’ll open the app, your live video will be at the top of their feed. This will increase the chance of your brand visibility massively.
2. Increases engagement
When people see that you are going live on Instagram, they tend to tune into it because they feel like they will miss out on anything interesting happening there! This increases engagement which means more potential customers for your business.
During a live stream, you can engage with your audience directly and answer their questions in real-time. This will help your audience feel more connected with your business.
3. Establish Authenticity
Instagram is a visual-first platform, so live video gives you a chance to be more authentic, human, and engaging than ever before. When you’re live on Instagram, people can leave comments and ask questions in real-time. This allows you to answer their questions directly, which shows the honest and authentic side of your business.
You’ll be able to show off your personality through live video, which will build trust with your customers and help them see you as a person instead of just an image or logo on a website or social media account.
Because of all the advantages, IG live has already been adopted by brands ranging from big players like BuzzFeed, GoPro, and Tim Coppens to small businesses and startups.
How to Go Live on Instagram (Step-By-Step)
Step 1. Open the App
First, open the Instagram app and head to the + icon located at the top right corner of your screen. This will open a pop-up menu; from there, select the Live option.
Step 2. Add a Title
Now, to add a title to your Instagram Live, tap on the three horizontal lines icon located on the left side of your screen.
A blank space will appear on your screen, type your Live video’s title in that space and hit the “Add Title” button.
Step 3. Set Your Audience
You’ll notice an eye icon under the three horizontal lines sign, tap on the eye sign. It will open a menu called Broadcast audience.
From the menu, select the Public option and then tap on the Set Audience button to go live in front of your Instagram audience.
Pro Tip – If you’re worrying that you may face issues like poor lighting, low sound, or a connection problem during the IG Live, it’s best to do some practice before you go live.
You can use Instagram’s Practice Mode feature to practice your live in advance. All you have to do is tap on the eye icon, then select the Practice option from the Broadcast Audience menu. That’s it!
Step 4. Start the Live
Once you’ve set the audience and are ready to go live, simply select the Live icon located at the bottom of your camera screen to start your IG Live.
You’ll know you’re live when you see a box with live written on it appears at the top of your device. Also, a message will pop on your screen that goes. ‘You are now live!‘
Now, just wait for a few minutes for your audience to start joining the Live session.
Step 5. Leverage Instagram Live Features
While streaming a live video on Instagram, you can leverage different features to make your Live more fun and engaging. For example:
- You can start taking questions from your audience by tapping the speech bubble with a question mark icon located right at the bottom of your screen.
You can also share those questions with the rest of your viewers by tapping on the questions.
- Tapping the Mic icon, located at the top right corner of your screen, you can toggle your live’s audio on and off.
- Similarly, by tapping the video camera icon located right below the mic icon, you can toggle your video on and off.
- Right below the Video camera icon, you’ll get a button to change between your primary and secondary camera.
- If you want to put on your favorite filter during a live session, select the Sparkles icon located at the bottom of your screen. Once you click this icon, your saved IG filters will show up on your bottom screen.
- At the bottom of your mobile screen, you’ll see a person icon. Tap the icon to invite another Instagram user to co-host your live. You can invite up to 4 people on Instagram to co-host a live session.
- If you want to send a DM to a user about your Instagram live, press the paper plane icon.
- If one of your audience leaves a useful or engaging comment, make sure to pin it by pressing and holding it.
- You can even add a comment to your Instagram live by tapping on the Comment option.
- Have an image or video to share with your audience during the Live? Simply tap on the image icon located at the top-right corner of your screen. Then, select an image or video from your media library.
Using this feature, you can share infographics or presentations that might help your users learn something useful.
Step 6. End the Live Session
Once your Live session is over, tap the X or end icon located in the top right corner of your screen.
Then, Instagram will ask you, “Are you sure that you want to end your live video?”
Tap on the End Now button to confirm.
Here’s a heads up. Before going live, if you want to filter out abusive and troll comments on your IG live, be sure to hide comments in settings.
To do this, go to Settings > Privacy > Hidden Words > turn on Hide Comments. Follow these steps to filter out comments that have specific offensive phrases and words.
How to Post Your Instagram Live as IGTV video
If you spend hours downloading, saving, or screen recording your Instagram live only to get a failed to upload notification, we have good news.
Instagram now lets you post your Insta live to IGTV without downloading or screen recording your video. Once your live video comes to an end, you can post it to IGTV to ensure it stays on your feed longer than 24 hours. Here’s how:
Step 1. After ending the live, you’ll notice a screen with three options –
- Share to IGTV
- Download video
- Delete video
Step 2. Tap on the Share to IGTV option.
Step 3. Next, Instagram will ask you to add a Cover to your live video. Select a cover.
Step 4. Now, the IGTV fields will appear in front of your screen. Add your video title and description.
Step 5. With optional IGTV fields, you can share the video on Facebook if you like. Also, you can tag a business partner, view a preview, or edit your live video using the new IGTV fields options.
Step 6. Now that you’re ready to share the live, tap on Post in the upper right corner of your screen.
And that’s it!
5 Tips For Hosting Engaging Instagram Live Streams
When you’re ready to get started with Instagram Live, there are a few things you should consider first:
Define a goal or purpose for your live stream
You need to define a goal before creating an Instagram live video to make the most impact possible. The purpose or goal of your live stream should be something that you want to achieve or communicate.
Is it because you want to educate your followers about something? Or maybe you want to share some information about new products or services? Define what it is exactly that you want your audience to walk away with after viewing your live streaming video.
Make sure the goals or purpose of your live stream are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, and Time-bound (SMART). For example, a specific goal to do a live stream can be “Get 10+ people to check out your new product” or “Gain 50+ followers at the end of the live.”
Engage with your audience and answer their questions
Instagram Live is a great way to connect with your audience and build relationships. Using live, you can connect with your audience from anywhere and learn more about them through questions and comments.
Instagram Live is an excellent tool for brands to start a personal conversation with their customers. It can help you show the real face behind a brand.
Here are some ways you can engage with your audience and answer their questions during live streaming:
During a live, people often share their thoughts and questions in real-time. So, while streaming, make sure to read all the comments. Before reading a comment, make sure to call out the name of your audience. This will give your audience a sense of recognition from your brand.
A few days before going live, you can encourage your audience to ask questions by posting Instagram’s question sticker in the Stories. And later, you can answer those questions during a live Q & A session. This will help you host an interactive Instagram live session.
To host an engaging live session, instead of simply interacting, give your audience a tour of your working space and your company’s behind-the-scenes looks.
Be funny and add humor in your live sessions
To make your Instagram Live stand out from the crowd, you need to include some humor or entertaining elements. After all, people use Instagram to have fun and hang out with friends. So, don’t treat the platform just as a marketing channel.
While hosting a live, have fun conversations, share a funny story, crack jokes, and make fun of yourself. If you enjoy yourself while streaming live, undoubtedly, your viewers will too!
The best way to add humor to your Instagram live sessions is to be yourself. A lot of people try too hard to be funny, and it comes across as forced or awkward. Instead, just be yourself and let the humor come naturally.
Invite guests to your live
One of the best ways to make your Instagram Live stream more interesting is by inviting guests to it.
You can invite them as guests to your live video so they can answer questions from viewers or talk about their experience with your products or services. This will help you boost brand awareness and get more followers.
While inviting guests to your live show, make sure their audience base matches your target audience. Collaborating with influencers, brands, or thought leaders on your niche can help you attract more people to your businesses and Instagram page.
To invite guests to your live stream, you can use Instagram’s Live Rooms feature. It’s a relatively new (Introduced in Marc, 2021) feature of Instagram that allows you to add up to 3 people. Previously, you could on;y invite one person to co-host the live,
To start a Live Room, follow these steps:
- First, follow the same steps to host a regular Instagram live (mentioned earlier).
- After going live, tap the Rooms icon located at the bottom of your screen.
- Tap Invite to invite more people as your guests.
Notify Your Followers About The Live Stream in Advance
In 2021, Instagram introduced a new feature to schedule lives. This scheduling feature will help you promote your session in advance by notifying your followers about the live stream.
With this feature, you can schedule IG lives almost 90 days in advance. And to use this feature, all you need to do is:
- Tap on the calendar icon located on the left side corner of your screen.
- Then, add the title of your live.
- Next, set the date and time of your live by tapping the Start Time option. Once you’ve selected the time, press Done.
- Next, press the Schedule Live Video button to schedule in advance.
- Then a screen will appear on your screen that says, “Your live video has been scheduled.” in this page, tap on the Share as Post button to allow Instagram to create a post with the details of the start time and title of the upcoming live.
- Next, select a post you’d like to share with your audience and add a filter.
- Lastly, add a caption and tap the tick button at the top to share your post with a reminder.
You can also use the countdown clock filter to notify more people on Instagram and increase the number of viewers. If you add the countdown filter to Stories, your audience can decide whether they’d like to receive a notification about your live.
There is no doubt that businesses are using Instagram lives as a separate marketing tool that can help build trust and rapport with customers. IG lives provide you an opportunity to connect with your prospect and engage with customers in the most personal way.
And if you want to use Instagram live to its fullest potential, don’t miss our step-by-step guide on how to go live on Instagram. Also, check out our five proven tips to become a successful host on Instagram’s Live and help your brand capture a larger audience.