In the age of social media, influencers and brands are putting more focus on delivering real-time content. Instagram live is a highly effective channel for such a strategy.

This feature offers a plethora of opportunities. For one, it’s perfect for driving new followers. Additionally, it also boosts engagement as well as help brands reach their online marketing goals.

However, starting a live Instagram video can be challenging. Instagram Live isn’t like Stories where you can publish pre-recorded videos or content. With this feature, there are no retakes.

But don’t be discouraged!

This will help you offer your audience with authentic content that can’t be duplicated.

In this post, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide to starting a live Instagram video. Plus, we made a list of how to use Instagram Live like a pro!

But First, What Is Instagram Live?

Instagram Live was released on the platform in November 2016. It’s a feature where users can broadcast video to followers and engage with them in real time. It can last for up to an hour. So if you’re thinking of utilizing this feature, make it count!

Instagram Live

Say, for example, a brand starts a live Instagram video. Followers can send comments and questions during the stream. This creates a sense of intimacy between users and followers which builds trust and loyalty.

Will followers be notified when an account goes live?

Yes. A notification will be sent to followers when you go live. This way, they can tune in and engage with you during the live stream.

Instagram live notification

Note: An automatic notification is sent only when the user enabled their notification.

Before the update, Instagram Live videos disappear as soon as the broadcast is over. Fast forward to 2019, users now have the option to share a replay of it.

Aside from real-time streaming, what other features does Instagram Live have?

  • Save a replay of the video
  • Real-time interaction with the audience
  • Pin selected comments on top of the video

Still not sure if starting a live Instagram video is worth it?

Why You Should Utilize Instagram Live

According to a survey, 80% of consumers prefer to watch live video from a brand than reading a blog. 82% prefer live streaming from a brand to social posts.

Infographic grabbed from Livestream

These are incredible numbers. And no wonder why! Instagram live, for instance, is an excellent channel to reach wider audiences. Here are a few more benefits:

Increased Engagement

As previously mentioned, when you go live, followers can send comments and ask questions. You can interact with your audience in real time. For instance, you can immediately address client issues. Or host discussions with your followers.

With Live Stories, you can also see how many people are joining or dropping out. You can gauge how well your broadcast is doing. Additionally, since viewers can send comments, you’ll get direct feedback.

This real-time connection is essential in establishing an online and offline presence.

Build Customer Relationship

With Instagram live, you can connect with your audience in a more authentic channel. It requires face-to-face interaction. For this reason, it builds trust between you and your audience.

It’s as close as brands and customers can get to an in-person interaction.

In fact, according to a survey, 67% of people who watched a live stream purchased a ticket to a similar event. That’s the power of live content!

Promote Transparency

Live Stories allows you to share real-time content with the audience. With that said, things might not go as you planned. There’s no room for editing or cutting out scenes. But don’t fret!

Use this vulnerability to your advantage. Let your target audience see the raw, unfiltered version of your brand. In doing so, you humanize your business.

Establish Brand Identity

When starting a live Instagram video, you need to figure out what to publish. With that said, play to your strengths. Use this feature to establish your brand identity. Demonstrate your individuality.

For instance, you can show behind-the-scenes of your company. In doing so, your audience and potential followers will know what you are about.

Cost-Effective Method Of Producing Unique Content

Starting a live Instagram video is quite easy. You don’t need professional equipment or studio access. In fact, some influencers go Live while on the street, doing their night time skin care routine, and so on. You just need a fun and creative concept.

Save, Share, Repurpose Videos

With the recent update, you can now save and repost Instagram live videos. In doing so, you’ll have additional content for your account. Plus, this will also lengthen the life of your videos.

Of course, you can also make your IG live exclusive by making it ephemeral. Meaning, it’ll disappear as soon as the broadcast ends. This strategy creates a sense of urgency with your audience – a great strategy in boosting engagement.

Ready To Go Live?

How To Go Live On Instagram: Starting A Video

There are two ways:

  1. Tap the camera icon located at the top left corner of the screen.
  2. Swipe right from your home screen
How To Go Live On Instagram
How To Go Live On Instagram

In doing so, you’ll open your Stories section. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a few options:

  • Boomerang: Perfect for creating a looping video. Think of it like a gif
  • Rewind: Your videos will play in reverse
  • Hands-free: Record a 15-sec video without holding down the button
  • Normal: Regular photo or Video

Choose the “Live” option and then tap “Go Live”. It’s that easy!

You’ll see the number of viewers at the top of the screen. The comments will appear at the bottom.

To add a comment, simply tap the “Comment” section.

To end the Instagram live video, tap the End in the top right corner. Select End Live Video to confirm.

How To Go Live On Instagram: Moderating Comments

You won’t be able to control how the audience will react to your live stream. However, you can moderate the comment section. In doing so, other viewers’ experience won’t be disrupted.

Before starting a live Instagram video, go to your profile. Tap Settings.

How To Go Live On Instagram: Moderate Comments

Select Privacy and Security. From there, tap the Comment Controls.

How To Go Live On Instagram: Moderate Comments

Turn on the Hide Offensive Comments options. You can also hide specific keywords, phrases, or emojis.

How To Go Live On Instagram: Moderate Comments

Of course, you can also disable comments during the broadcast. As soon as you go live, tap the wheel icon. Select turn off commenting.

How To Go Live On Instagram: Moderate Comments

If the whole point of your Instagram Live is to engage with the audience, this isn’t recommended.

How To Go Live On Instagram: Pinning a Comment

Pinning a comment will keep it on top so your viewers can easily read it.

Take a look at this example from Sephora’s Instagram Live. They pinned the comment describing what the stream was all about.

Instagram Live pinned comment

To pin a comment, simply tap and hold a comment.

How To Go Live On Instagram: Saving Live Videos

When your live stream is over, you have the option to save it. Simply tap Save at the top right corner of the screen.

How To Go Live On Instagram: Saving Live Videos

The Share option is found at the bottom.

Ways To Use Instagram Live To Grow Your Brand

Take your marketing strategy to the next level with Live Stories. Although Instagram Live is about real-time connection, it pays to have a plan.

In doing so, you can fully utilize it to your advantage. Here are a few strategies:

Launch A New Product

Traditional Instagram promotion is still in vogue. However, more and more brands are using Live Stories to further amp up interest.

And why not?

It’s an excellent channel to hype your audience. Starting a live Instagram video for your product launch creates a sense of urgency. That’s because users don’t know when it’ll end. They’ll have to stream the whole thing so they won’t miss out!

Secondly, it’s also an excellent platform to talk about your product. How to use it, where they can get it, etc.

Take this example from Paula’s Choice Instagram Live. They talked about their newest line of skincare products in detail.

Instagram Live

Tip: If you have a new product, set a launch time. Start a live Instagram video at least 15 minutes beforehand to create buzz.

Demonstrate How To Use A Product

Users devour how-to content. It attracts a lot of attention. For instance, you can create a short broadcast. Your audience can simply join and watch your stream.

Another option is to create longer content. This allows you to talk about your product in detail. Its benefits, the different ways to use it, etc.

Remember, with Live Stories, you can’t cut and edit scenes. Additionally, you can’t film from different angles. This feature forces you to go through with the video in spite of unexpected issues that might come up.

Take this Instagram Live by Wishtrend as an example. In the middle of streaming, Eunice Cho, the host, got distracted by her phone. It turned on by its own because of Siri. She handled it perfectly well by laughing and explaining to the audience.

Don’t be intimidated by Instagram Live. Your audience doesn’t expect perfection. Just make sure to provide your audience with valuable info. Plus, a thorough understanding of your product is a huge plus!

Host A Flash Sale or Giveaway

Contest and giveaways are perfect for quickly getting engagements and followers. Who doesn’t like free stuff, right?

But you can take it to the next level. How?

Start a live Instagram video and promise viewers a limited-time-only giveaway! For instance, you can giveaway promo codes at the end of the broadcast. This is one of the easiest ways to increase engagement.

You can also run a flash sale on your Instagram live. If what you’re offering is enticing enough, you’ll immediately see results.

Here’s a tip: Create a discount code and have viewers use it to buy your products. Make sure that the discount code is only valid for a limited time. It’ll encourage viewers to buy your products.

But before you go live, clearly set the rules. Aside from putting things in order, these rules can also be used to gain more traction for your Instagram live.

Here are some sample contest guidelines:

  • The viewer needs to tag friends in the live comments
  • If you’re asking a question, have the viewer post their answer on the comment section
  • The viewer needs to stick around till the end of the broadcast
  • When announcing the winner, they should be present on the live stream.

Live Question and Answer

Instagram Live is a wonderful platform to connect with your audience. One way to do so is by hosting a Q&A.

Utilize real-time commenting! Encourage viewers to send their questions. It can be about your products, service, or your company. This strategy is perfect for when you’re hosting a takeover!

This strategy allows you to engage directly with your audience. Let them know that your brand takes their concerns seriously. This will make your brand more human and easily approachable.

Make sure that your comments are turned on!

Live Stories also have a feature called “Live Request” where users can join a live video chat. This means you can interact with your audience face-to-face!

Live Request sample

This feature creates a more intimate and personalized experience for each viewer.

In Conclusion

Your main goal with Live Stories is to reach as many audiences as possible. Let users know about your upcoming Live video. Here are a few important details to include:

• When are you going live?
• What will it be about?
• Who’s joining you?
• Why they shouldn’t miss it.

If you’re starting a live Instagram video with a guest, have them promote it in their channel as well.

Instagram Live

For example, you’re using Instagram Live to launch a product. Start posting teaser Stories or feed content a few days before going live. Generate as much buzz as you can. In doing so, it’ll attract more viewers.

Most importantly, be engaging! Utilize the real-time connection generated by this feature.

Energetically interact with your audience. Create fun and casual atmosphere. Lastly, check your comments frequently.

For instance, if a viewer asks a question, answer it the best way you can. Pose questions to encourage viewers to participate.

You now have an idea of how to leverage Instagram Live for your brand.

So, what are you waiting for?

Use the tips above as a guide and start using Live Stories for your business!