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Instagram Live: Tips, Benefits, and How to Get Started

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As the internet gradually becomes audio-visual, video is the chief engaging content type anywhere on the web.

According to Cisco, 82% of global internet traffic in 2022 came from either video streaming or video downloads.

And 2023 is projected to be even better. No wonder Youtube, a video search engine, is the world’s most-used website after Google.

Today, video streaming accounts for nearly two-thirds of all downstream internet traffic at a staggering 65%, and 52% of live video streamers do so on social media, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram Live.

One of the basics of using Instagram for marketing is knowing how to use Instagram Live.

In this guide, we’ll dissect every aspect of Instagram live, from its basics and benefits to the tips to light up your Instagram live session.

Getting Started With Instagram Live: The Basics

Instagram Live was introduced in late 2016 to allow businesses and creators to broadcast live videos to their followers.

This feature works within Instagram stories but rather than sharing pre-recorded videos or photos that disappear after 24 hours, typical of stories.

You can get online and engage your audience in real time.

By 2022, Instagram Live became the best platform for live videos, coming second only to Facebook.

And despite being the 4th most used social platform, Instagram has the highest organic engagement rate—10 times greater than Facebook, 54 times greater than Pinterest, and 84 times greater than Twitter.

With over 500 million active users daily, going live on Instagram is one one the best ways to connect with your audience in a direct and unscripted format.

If you are still doubting if Instagram live is the best way to go for your marketing, here are 5 Instagram Live video statistics that may get you off the fence;

  1. 80% of users would rather watch a brand’s live video than read their blog. (Source: Vimeo Livestream)
  2. More than 100 million people watch an Instagram Live video each day.
  3. About 13% of live video viewers stream Instagram live sessions over other social media platforms.
  4. Generation Z is the most prominent user of Instagram Live since they’re the largest group of social media users.
  5. Instagram Live video is the third most engaging content on Instagram, with 37% engagement rates.

How to Go Live on Instagram Step by Step

Going live on Instagram is pretty straightforward.

Once you have a personal or professional Instagram account, and a smartphone, it is a matter of taps to start a real-time conversation with your audience. Here are the step:

Open the Instagram app on your phone and click on the profile photo at the bottom right corner.

On your profile page, click the +sign next to the menu icon at the top right corner.

You’ll see a list of content types you can create on Instagram. Select Live from the list.

Next, Instagram will open your device camera, and you can simply click on the Go live button at the center to start your broadcast. That’s all.

You are now live on Instagram.

While that’s incredibly easy, before you go live on Instagram, there are some key settings you need to be familiar with to make your Instagram Live stream better.

We’ll cover them later in this guide.

What Happens When You Go Live on Instagram

There are over 200 million businesses on Instagram, all jousting for people’s attention.

You need to up your Instagram marketing tactic to win this battle of the eyeballs. Going live on Instagram is a reliable way to thrive on Instagram.

More than in-feed videos and as an alternative to Instagram reels and stories, live broadcast is the most interactive video feature on Instagram, as you can rub minds with followers and get on-the-spot feedback straight from the people that matter most to your business.

Below, we look at some marketing advantages Instagram Live broadcasts can give your business.

Instagram Live Videos Connect Better

While responding to your audience’s comments, questions, and indirect messages is, without a doubt, a good practice for growing your Instagram page and building loyalty, nothing beats conversing with your audience in real time.

That’s what Instagram Live gives you- the ability to connect with your audience on a more personal level.

Thus, Instagram live is an excellent option for any creator or business interested in having more than just a massive number of followers but a highly engaged community ready to rave and rock to your business tunes.

More so, Live content humanizes your brand as people can see the face behind your business.

And since you can’t edit this video before your followers see it, they feel more authentic, fostering a deep sense of trust and loyalty.

Instagram Bumps up Live Videos to Spot #1 in Stories

If you need a shortcut to get your brand to the top of your followers’ feed, Instagram live content  is your best and most reliable shot.

Instagram live works as part of Instagram stories displayed at the top of the users’ feeds. But millions of creators, brands, and businesses share stories on Instagram daily.

Hence, it’s somewhat difficult for your content to make it to one of the available visible spots. That’s where IG live comes in.

Once you go live on Instagram, Instagram bumps your Livestream to spot #1 on followers’ story feeds with a Live caption icon. So, there’s no missing it for your followers.

Instagram Sends Notifications to Followers When You Go Live

Another great benefit of using Instagram live is that your followers receive push notifications on their devices, alerting them that you are now on a live broadcast (provided they haven’t disabled notifications).

And, of course, they’d get the inner rush to come and check you out, unlike other pre-recorded videos, which might get buried in the sea of other content.

This feature guarantees more views for your content.

Instagram Live Triggers Urgency

Human beings are innate procrastinators. If you can do something later and achieve the same result as now, you’ll likely leave it for later. That’s who we are. Your followers are wired the same way.

One content type that wins over this is Instagram Live broadcast. Instagram live broadcast triggers a psychological situation called FOMO ( fear of missing out) in your audience.

Once they see you are on a live broadcast either by push notification, on the story feed, or via email, they want to know what you are up to.

It’s left to you to make it worth their while. Soon, we’ll look at some tips to get the most out of your Instagram Livestream.

Instagram Live Content Can be Repurposed

You have two options once your live session ends. You can discard or save it in your Live archive.

If you save it, you can repurpose the content to other forms, including reels, stories, and images. You can make infographics out of it or break it into smaller in-feed videos.

And with the right hashtags and promotion strategies, you can use these contents to reach new audiences who aren’t your existing followers.

You can also share access to let followers who missed the live session watch the replay.

Now that you understand what Instagram Live broadcasts can do for your business. Let’s look at some Instagram live broadcast ideas you can start with.

7 Instagram Live Broadcast Ideas You Can Use Right Away

Whether you are a content creator, a small business owner, or a brand, Instagram Live can be a great tool to promote your products and services.

If you are unsure how to start, below are 7 ways to use Instagram Live to supercharge your Instagram growth.

  1. Go Behind the Scenes
  2. Interviews and Collaborations
  3. Host Q&A Sessions
  4. Announcements or Product Launch/Demo
  5. Celebrations
  6. Host Workshops and Tutorials
  7. Answer FAQs

1. Go Behind the Scenes

Your audience is interested in knowing what life’s like at the other end for the brands and creators they follow.

A study by Livestream found that 87% of people prefer to watch more videos online if it’s meant more behind-the-scenes content.

Showing people the raw side of your business processes makes your brand more relatable and underlines your business authenticity.

So give your viewers a tour of your office, production facility, operations, and how your products are made.

2. Interviews and Collaborations

Hosting interviews and collaborations on Instagram Live can boost engagement and help you reach new audiences.

Teaming up with another brand, influencer, or expert in your industry gives your followers unique insights and perspectives they may not have access to otherwise.

When planning an interview or collaboration on Instagram Live, choosing a partner that aligns with your brand’s values and target audience is essential.

Go after influencers or experts with a similar target audience and complementary brand values.

3. Host Q&A Sessions

Alone or with other industry experts, allowing your followers to get answers to the questions they’ve been dying to ask you is what everyone in your audience looks forward to. Instagram Live is a perfect platform to host such events.

You can turn it into AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions if you’re enthusiastic. Instagrammers love this especially.

Make your audience feel heard by going online and soliciting questions on a particular topic in your niche or industry. That way, you’ll build strong relationships with your audience.

4. Announcements or Product Launch/Demo

Got some good news to share or some new product to introduce to the world? You can unveil them on Instagram Live.

Hosting a live stream can help generate excitement and buzz around your announcement, new products, or major updates about your business.

Let people see your products in action with a live demo. That’s especially useful for products that are difficult to explain or require a visual demonstration.

You can also use this opportunity to offer exclusive discounts or promotions to your audience to drive engagement further.

5. Celebrations

Whether it’s a milestone like an anniversary or a successful project or partnership, celebrating your successes on Instagram Live can be a great way to engage your audience and make them feel like they’re part of your brand’s journey.

Consider hosting a celebratory stream and giving viewers a sneak peek of how you achieved your latest feats.

Live celebration is a great way to amplify your brand’s values and culture as you highlight the important people and events to your business.

6. Host Workshops and Tutorials

Another business-moving way to use Instagram live is to share knowledge with your audience. You can do this by hosting a virtual workshop, tutorial, or webinar.

Listen to your audience to find topics that interest them, their pains, and their utmost concerns.

Once you find a knowledge gap, assemble resources and host a session to teach them.

7. Answer FAQs

Instead of posting lengthy captions or responding to your followers’ messages individually, you can use Instagram live broadcasts to answer frequently asked questions about your brand and products.

Doing so demonstrates your brand’s dedication and responsiveness to audience queries, which makes for a better customer experience and drives engagement and business growth.

9 Tips for Making Incredible Instagram Live Videos

1. Set Realistic Goals

You won’t start a journey without a destination, don’t go live on Instagram without setting a goal. What are you trying to achieve?

Just as you set goals for your blog post and every other digital content, Instagram live is no exception. Setting realistic goals is the first step toward a successful Instagram live video.

The best way to go about goals is to set SMART goals, i.e., specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals.

Always set performance metrics to benchmark the result of your Live video. You want to set a goal that’s within reach.

Getting 2,000 more followers from your first Instagram live broadcast is an unachievable feat if you have less than that follower counts.

Aiming at that guarantees anything but success. Instead, set realistic and achievable goals.

Once your goals are intact, as you progress, you can check to see if your Instagram live content supports them and generates the desired outcome.

2. Take Time to Plan

While a goal is the destination of your journey, your content plan is the roadmap to get there.

You need to outline how your video will flow and pen down the point you want to touch during your broadcast with a time estimate.

This structure will give your program direction and clarity. It also makes it easy for you and your audience to be on the same page throughout the broadcast.

The goal of your video will determine the format you embrace.

For instance, if your live stream is a Q&A session, you can jot down the questions you want to answer and hint at the answers.

Make an outline that covers all the key points you want to mention. No matter how vast you are on the topic, niche, or industry, don’t get tempted to hop on Instagram live without a plan.

Else, you’ll get yourself in an endless loop of “ehms” and unnecessary pauses, which may cause your viewers to lose interest.

While Instagram Live may have a less formal appeal, keeping it focused and not straying off point is still crucial.

A good practice is to divide your broadcast into three sections, beginning, middle, and end.

The beginning will be the introductory part of your content. The middle is where you hit the crux of the matter and spend the most time, while the end is where you round it up with a summary or CTA.

3. Prepare and Practice in Advance

You may have your SMART goals and content outlines detailed out yet fumble on your live stream. It’s likely to happen if you do not practice, especially if it’s your first time.

It pays to prepare and practice before going live behind the camera.

Here are some preparation tips you’d find helpful;

  • Select a spot in your home or office where there’s no distraction.
  • Use a distraction-free background and make sure the camera angle is okay.
  • To make sure your video looks its best, stay in a well-lit part of the room or office. A space with natural lighting, close to the window, should do.
  • Check out your audio device to ensure it’s working as expected.

Once you have all the above, you can test-run with the Instagram Practice Mode feature.

Go to your Instagram live screen and tap the eye icon on the corner of your screen. You’ll see two options, Public and Practice. Toggle on Practice and start testing.

This feature shows you how Live stream will appear to your audience. Now you can test your live set-up in advance.

You don’t want to become tongue-tied in the middle of a live broadcast. There’s no undo button! That’s why you need to practice.

Go through the points you outline and start practicing to get used to the process before it commences. Identify areas of improvement and work on them before your event day.

4. Promote Your Instagram Live Broadcast  Beforehand

It doesn’t matter how stunning your delivery is if no one is witnessing it. As with other in-person events, you have to market to your audience and give them a compelling reason to attend.

Once you’ve decided on a topic and time, you should promote your broadcast as much as possible. Here are some promotion strategies you can use;

  • Create detailed Instagram story graphics that capture your broadcasts’ what, when, where, and why, and publish them in the days leading to your event.
  • With the Instagram Live schedule feature, you can schedule your Instagram Live in advance of up to 90 days. This feature helps you to hype your live broadcast. The exciting part is that you can share reminders and countdown to your Instagram stories and field directly.
  • Promote your live event on other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and YouTube to increase your reach.
  • If you’ve built an email list, you can market your Live broadcast to your subscribers. And if you have a website, let visitors know you have an upcoming event.

In all, make sure you target the right audience. You can use the same promotional material for different channels.

Just make sure they are optimized for each. Canva is an excellent tool for creating and resizing the same visual elements for several social media channels.

You don’t want to be the only one at your own events.

And there’s no shortcut to getting all the important views on your live content. Your audience can only be as rewarding as the effort you put into promoting your event.

5. Go Live at The Right Time

One of the most effective ways to make more people tune in to watch your Live broadcast is by going live when they are most active.

And how can you know the best time? It’s simple. You can use the native Insights tool to uncover when your followers are most active on Instagram. Here’s how;

Open the Instagram app, go to your Profile, tap Insights, and click on Total followers.

The insight page will open. There, you’ll see data about your followers’ activities. Scroll down the page until you reach the most active times section.

On this page, you’ll find the most active time for days of the week and hours of the day.

Go through this data to find your followers’ peak activity time. And that’s when to go live on the Instagram broadcast.

If you want more granular information about your followers’ Instagram activities, check out social media analytics tools like Buffer and Hootsuite.

6. Check Your Instagram Live Camera Settings

On Instagram live view mode view, click on the Gear Icon at the top left corner before hitting the Go live button to open your controls.

You’ll see Settings to Hide Live From a specific set of people and Disable/Enable saving Live to archive.

Also, you can use the Camera tools to select which side of your screen you want the camera toolbar to appear on.

Use the three-dot icons on the left side to give a title to your Instagram live.

Select your broadcast audience, either private or public, to schedule your live program in Advance.

When you are done with your settings, click the Go live button at the bottom, and voila, you are on.

Once your live broadcast start, there are other features you’ll see to make your broadcast more interesting. We’ll look at that next.

7. Engage Attendees with Instagram Live Features

Once you go Live on Instagram, you can access amazing features to make your broadcast highly engaging.

Let’s see what you have at your fingertips;

  • Questions: Your audience can submit questions during the broadcast, and you can share these questions on your screen by clicking on the question mark bubble icon.
  • Send: You can send a direct message to people about your Instagram live. If you notice someone vouched to attend but is not in, you can tap the paper plane icon and then select their account to notify them.
  • Bring in a Guest: Invite another person to co-host Instagram live. Simply tap the human icon on the right-hand side of your screen and select the account.  Once the person joins as a co-host, you’ll appear in the Live stream on a split-screen.
  • Face filters: Filters are great add-ons to entertain your audience. Want to put on a different look on your Live broadcast? Apply Filters. There’s an abundance of them, from the hair colorizer to puppy head and facial hair. You’ll find what works for you.
  • Comments: You can turn comments on/off on your live stream.  You can also input words and pin them to the top of the feed. Simply tap and hold the comment icon to do it.
  • Share screen: You can also share videos or images on your broadcast screen using the picture icon at the top right corner.

What’s more? There are other features you can play with there. But don’t use them for the sake of it. Whatever doesn’t support your brand value and goals, let it be.

8.Repurpose Your Instagram Live Content

Once you finish your Instagram live broadcast, you’ll need to hit the End button. But the story doesn’t have to end there.

You can do more with your Instagram Live content once you save it.

You can:

  • Share a replay of your live broadcast to your Instagram story. People who miss the event can still see the content later.
  • Share on other platforms like Facebook and YouTube with your followers on these platforms.
  • Turn the content into a blog post and infographics.
  • Use it for social media posts by extracting the punchy parts or snippets of it.

It doesn’t end here. You have to be creative and think of different ways to get your content in front of as many people as possible.

9. Track Your Instagram Live Performance

After your live broadcast, the next thing to do is study your metrics. You’ll do this from your end and your audience’s end.

You have to list all that went well and what you could have done better. That will give you an insight into how to prepare and improve on this performance in your next live stream.

Likewise, you have to understand how your live event performs. Instagram Live analytics is a great tool you can embrace for this exercise. With it, you’ll see the account reached, the total number of people who viewed your Live broadcast, and the peak concurrent view counts.

You’ll also see the number of comments and shares your content receives. Use these data to compare other Live Stream performances.

You may notice a trend in what content type, time, duration, or format drives the most engagement over time. If It’s your first broadcast, you will learn one or two things to improve your next broadcast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Anyone Go Live on Instagram?

Yes. There’s no special requirement to use Instagram Live, no follower limit, or criteria.

Once you have an Instagram account, personal or business, you can go live on Instagram right away.

Does Instagram Live Save?

If you click the Live Archive button after ending your Live broadcast, Instagram will save your video in the Live Archive.

You can access this video by navigating to your profile page, tapping the video under your bio, and clicking on the Live reposted videos.

How can I start an Instagram Live Room?

Live room on Instagram allows for up to three co-hosts. To set up a live room for your live broadcast, tap the room icon next to the live request icon.

Next, locate the name of your guest and hit the Invite button. You can add all three people at once or one at a time.

Wrapping up

On an internet that’s fast evolving into an audio-visual space, there may not be a better weapon to capture the attention of netizens than videos. Instagram Live is a powerful marketing tool to succeed in this space.

What you have on your hand is a goldmine of helpful information that will help you become a gamemaster in no time.

We’ve covered everything you need to get started with Instagram Live. We also put the searchlight on some of its great features.

We hope you find this detailed guide helpful. If you need further assistance on Instagram Live, drop us a line in the comment section below.

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