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10 tips for your Instagram LIVE
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the girl takes a live video

Although Instagram is best known as a platform to share your most beautiful photographs, video is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the popular platform. With the launch of IG Live in 2016 and IG TV in 2018, the platform (and its users) are embracing both ephemeral and long-form video.

A bit of history

Back in 2016 Instagram launched ‘Stories’: temporary pictures and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Stories quickly became a way for users to move away from the heavy-curated, rose-tinted view of life that had become the norm for many accounts, and into a more authentic way to connect with followers. Stories became the fun and chatty side that had been missing from Instagram. Later that year Instagram released Instagram Live: a way to stream live video for up to 60 minutes to your followers. As more and more users have found, Instagram Live can be a great tool to chat to your audience, really connect with them, and reinforce the relationship between you and your customers

Currently, on Instagram, Live videos are given #1 priority in people’s feeds. So if you’re looking for a way to get noticed in spite of Instagram’s recent drop in organic reach, look no further.

Why Instagram Live?

Instagram Live is an effective channel for reaching your audience in an exciting and interactive way.

Using Instagram Live can:

  • Increase Visibility: With Instagram’s new algorithm, your content may not always get the attention it deserves. Instagram Live increases your visibility as it sends push notifications to anyone and everyone who follows your account. 
  • Increase Engagement: Imagine having your questions answered directly from your favorite Instagram influencer, celebrity, or even brand? Instagram Live increases engagement by bringing followers closer to your real-life.
  • Build Relationships: Whether you’re using Instagram Live for answering questions, revealing parts of your life, or for just chatting with your followers, each time you appear on a Live story your audience is building their relationship with you.
  • Develop Brand Identity: This relationship turns into a brand identity. Instagram Live can help your brand develop its identity and share it with the Instagram community.

Instagram Live is looking pretty great right about now.   In order to get the most of Instagram Live’s benefits, we’ve created a list of 10 tips that will increase your visibility, engagement, positive relationships, and brand identity.

Before – How to prepare for your first Instagram Live

Tip 1: Determine your purpose for the video.

If you are going to speak directly to your audience via Instagram Live, you want a good reason to ask them to tune in. Despite the short lifespan of live videos, it’s important to identify a goal for each time you go on air. Here are some popular reasons to host an IG Live:

  • Announce a product or service launch
  • Explain how to use a product or a service
  • Host a Q&A with your audience
  • Interview someone using the ‘add a friend’ feature
  • Take your audience behind the scenes of your workspace, an event or a work-related trip

Whatever reason you have for hosting your live stream, think about the desired action you want your audience to take, and remind them of it throughout the video.
Identify which metrics you will use to track whether or not the live stream was successful.

Tip 2: Practice and Prepare.

Your videos shouldn’t be overly scripted or rehearsed, but it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place. Ahead of your live stream, create a loose script and run through what you want to say. This will reduce the chances of mistakes while you’re live. It’s also good to have an idea of how long you will be live.

Once you’ve practiced your script a few times, take test videos and look for areas to improve the audience’s experience. When reviewing your test videos, ask yourself questions such as:

  • Is the background distracting?
  • Is your audio clear?
  • Is your camera steady?
  • Is your video well lit?

Tip 3: Promote your live stream in advance.

Once you’ve decided on a date, time and topic for your Instagram Live, let your followers know about it in advance. This way they can set the time aside and make sure to tune in. Instagram Stories is an excellent platform to use for pre-live promotion because the audience is already accustomed to seeing your brand on their Stories. We also recommend using all of your other platforms to build buzz for the live stream. Email can be particularly useful, especially if you include an ‘add to calendar’ option for readers.

Tip 4: Embrace the ephemeral nature of IG Live.

Make sure to discuss the limited time nature of the video and any exclusive offers that will be available both ahead of time and throughout your live stream. Capitalize on your audience’s FOMO – make them feel like they can’t afford to miss out on the live stream. Consider offering a limited time only coupon code or making a big announcement during the video to encourage your audience to tune in when you are live

During – How to look professional and captivate your audience

Tip 5: Pin your video’s title.

It is very likely that your audience will grow as your video progresses. You can give those who join in late some context by pinning the ‘title’ of your Live broadcast. To pin a title, follow these instructions:

Tip 6: Remind viewers why they are watching.

Whether you’re building up to a product reveal or simply giving a tutorial, remind your audience why they should keep watching. This tactic helps to keep viewers watching until the end of the broadcast. 

Tip 7: Add a question sticker.

When you post the questions sticker to your Instagram story, people can tap the sticker in your story and type a question to ask you. You can then answer the questions you receive during a live Q&A with your followers. This interactive feature is perfect for a Q&A live stream, explaining the features of a product or service, or interviews.

After – How to make the most of your Instagram Live experience

Tip 8: Save your live video

When the Live broadcast is finished, simply tap the ‘save’ button and it will be exported to your Library. Saving your video will give you the opportunity to re-watch and take note of what you liked and didn’t like for your next video. 

Tip 9: Write down metrics

Keep track of how many people were tuned in and interacting on your Live broadcast.  Writing down your metrics will allow you to see which Live videos received more engagement.

Tip 10: Create a post-live Instagram post or story

Just like you created a post to announce your Live broadcast, create a post that summarizes what happened during the Live video. This is for those loyal followers who just couldn’t make it to the Live broadcast.  And don”t forget to follow up with viewers that sent you a direct message. 

All of these ideas add value to your online presence and give your potential customers a reason to keep showing up and connecting with you. You’ll soon start to see greater engagement, and find that taking a little time out of your day to share your message on a regular basis. If you have questions or doubts about how to go live on Instagram, contact us and book one of our training sessions.

Head of Communications, Word+Pixel