Instagram has been one of the most popular ways to engage with your audience over the past few years, and the ways that you can engage has been changing as well.
In recent times, especially during the stay-at-home era, Instagram Lives have become an increasingly popular tool for creators and brands of all sizes to utilize and connect with their audience.
In fact, it’s been shown that using IG Live increases engagement and interest from your consumers.
80% of users following brands would rather watch live video than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video to a brand’s social posts.
In this short guide, we’ll be discussing the top tips for getting the most out of your Instagram lives, before they happen, while they’re happening, and post-live video.
Why Use Instagram Live
Live video streams are not an entirely new concept for the internet. However, having the ability to immediately activate your existing audience on Instagram and bring them into a dedicated virtual chatroom is immensely powerful both for engagement and promotion.
The best part is, it doesn’t matter what you’re going live for.
Whether you’re simply having a conversation with your followers, talking about a new product, hosting a workshop, or a live Q&A session, IG Lives simplifies the process and lets you focus on the content.
Top 9 Tips for IG Live Success
- Determine your purpose for the video.
While the actual live discussion itself can (and should) be fluid and adaptable based on what your audience is interested in hearing, there should be a direction or purpose to the life going into it.
More than anything, this helps mentally prepare you for what you’re about to talk about and discuss and gives your audience a general expectation of what they’re about to watch as well.
Some potential ideas for Lives are as follows:
- Host a Q&A with your followers, let them ask the questions
- Announce a product or service launch
- Interview a follower using the ‘add a friend’ feature
- Explain how to use a product or a service
- Take your audience behind the scenes of your workspace, an event or a work-related trip
- Host a virtual sale or show
- Practice and Prepare.
Try to refrain from reading from a script or sounding too rehearsed. Do your best to be authentic and organic while talking, but still with a general direction in place.
More importantly, prepare for a live video stream. This can be as simple as making sure your filming area is clean, your camera and mic working properly, and your livestream will be recorded. Fortunately, Instagram has a built-in feature to record and save your live stream. You can turn this on by following the instructions below.
- Visit Instagram Story settings by hitting the gear icon in the top left corner of your stories screen. From this screen, you can toggle on (or off) the settings to: add your video to your Stories, allow sharing, save your video, and post automatically to Facebook Stories.
Additionally, from this setting screen, you have the option to only share the live video with specific followers if you’d like. This could be a fun way of delivering exclusive content to loyal customers or giveaway prizes.
- Promote your live stream in advance.
When it comes to promoting your live streams in advance, knowing your audience is everything.
Do they have a long attention span?
Do they usually engage more with scheduled events, or in the moment/spontaneous content?
Where else do they digest information or announcements from you? Email newsletter? Twitter?
These are the types of questions you should be asking to plan out your promotion strategy.
Depending on the purpose of the video and how many viewers you’re trying to bring in, usually, a few reminders across your social platforms in the day leading up to your life, and an hour/half hour before is sufficient.
- Pin your video’s title.
During the live itself, you’ll find people that join in throughout its duration.
Keep in mind, the vast majority of people won’t see your video from start to finish while it’s live, so it can be helpful to pin your video title to add context or ease confusion for anyone jumping in halfway through.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start your Live
- Go to the ‘pin comment’ feature and then type what you want the title of your video to be in the comments section of the Live Feed.
- Tap the comment to pin it
- Ask and answer questions! Use question sticker in your stories
One of the easiest ways to get your audience engaged and to bring more viewers in is to answer questions that you’ve previously asked in your IG stories.
This is a great way to prepare for a Q&A or to just get the opinions of your audience on whatever topics you’re interested in. To do so, simply use the “Question Sticker” while creating your story, and save the responses to go through while on your Live.
- Use the Add a friend feature to interview someone in your live video.
Want to interview a follower? Have a special guest to bring in?
Go for it!
Inviting people into your live streams, especially if it’s one of your followers or an unannounced special guest, is an effective and easy way to increase engagement and retention in your Lives.
- Share your Live with your Instagram Stories.
So, you finished your IG Live! Great work.
Now it’s time to make sure whoever wants to view it but wasn’t able to be there in the moment are able to. The easiest way to do this is to link to the saved recording of your video in your stories or save to a story highlight on your Instagram page so anyone can rewatch at any time.
- Follow up with DM’s
Chances are during your Live, there were some questions asked from your audience that you weren’t able to get to due to time or other constraints.
It’s important after each live stream to go through and check your DM’s to answer any remaining questions or comments from your audience that you didn’t have the chance to address at the moment. This is also a great way to incentive certain actions, like using a discount code or sharing a photo or video with their friends.
- Analyze Metrics
Lastly, take the time to analyze the metrics of your live videos to serve as a benchmark for future ones to come.
This not only helps you analyze the performance of the Live you just recorded, and lets you see if the goals that you set were met, but it also gives you a realistic expectation for future lives and can help you identify areas that you can improve in when it comes to promotion or the actual content of your Lives.
Video is the number one type of content consumers want to see from creators and brands on social media, according to engagement numbers. Live video, in particular, has the capability and power to drive more engagement, increased interaction from your audience, which leads to greater results when tied to a direct CTA or purpose.