By: Iris Matulevich, Creative Team
We’ve been hearing about live video for a while now - first on platforms like Facebook and Youtube and now even on apps like TikTok. And while it feels like everyone and their sister is going live these days, it’s still under-utilized by brands big and small.
Instagram Live video is a useful tool to get in front of your audience and introduce yourself and your brand. Not only does live video get placed at the top of the stories list, your followers get notified when you go live - drawing interested users in automatically.
“That sounds so easy! Let’s go live right now!” Not so fast. If not executed properly, a live video can be a waste of time - and a waste of time is a waste of money. Here’s how to go live with a purpose and use this feature to build your business.
1. Decide Why You’re Going Live
Just because you can go live doesn’t mean you should. Instagram Live is raw and in the moment - it’s not polished or pristine. If you’re looking to debut your crisp new brand video or go on a long, one-sided rant, live video is not the place.
On the other hand, there are situations where going live is the perfect platform:
Start by determining your goal for your live presentation and make sure the format fits the goal you’re hoping to achieve. Then you’re ready to move to step two!
2. Schedule and Announce Your Video
Woah there, cowboy. Once you’ve decided to go live, you don’t want to just pop on right away. Let your followers know when you’re going live, what you’ll be covering, and how they can join you if they aren’t able to watch in real time (more on that later).
Be clear about what will be covered: if you’re doing a webinar, outline the key points of your presentation so followers know what to expect and why they should tune in. If you’re doing a Q&A session, collect questions beforehand so you have a list to start answering when you kick off your video. If you’re starting a weekly BTS video series, remind your users every week that they can find you on live at 7pm. You don’t want this to be a sneak attack, you want it to be a planned offensive.
Lastly, utilize your resources! Send out an email at the scheduled time to remind people you’re live right now. Use the countdown sticker in your stories so followers can get notified when your video is about to start. You want as many people to know you’ll be live as possible, so share it across as many platforms you can to spread the word.
3. Find Your Space
Instagram Lives don’t have to be perfect - but it helps to have a professional viewing experience. Find a quiet place with a non-distracting background and let your coworkers know not to disturb you. Set up some type of tripod for your phone or tablet so you’re not shakily holding a phone for ten minutes - even a stack of books or tall water bottle can do the trick. Keep the camera at eye level and in portrait mode, not landscape. And don’t forget to make sure all the guests on your live fit inside the picture!
4. Watch That Comment Section
Okay, you’re ready to go live. Prepare your talking points, take a deep breath, and press the button to begin. Now what?
Instagram will notify users that you’re broadcasting, and they’ll be able to hop on the feed. Give people a little time to show up to the feed - and use this time to post a pinned comment. You want viewers to know who you are and what you’re doing so they care enough to stay. This is also a great place for a call to action asking your users for engagement. For example, if I was announcing a product launch on live, I’d type “Iris here showing off our spring collection launching tomorrow! Ask me any questions!” into the comment box - then press and hold the comment until the option to pin it comes up. This will keep your comment front and center during the broadcast to inform your viewers what’s happening no matter when they join.
You’re not done with the comment section quite yet. As you broadcast, watch for questions as they come in from viewers and answer them on the spot. This is live video, not IGTV - so say hi, interact, and engage in real time. They can hear you! If you’re doing a presentation-style live, it can help to designate a coworker to answer questions in the comments as they roll in - but you can easily do this on your own. As users hop on, remind them you’re open to questions and feedback as you stream. And if there aren’t many questions popping up, let them know your DMs are always open after the video to expand the conversation!
5. Wrap It Up
We know you have some brilliant insight to share, but nobody wants to hang out on Instagram live for 90 minutes. Get in, drop your knowledge bombs, and get out - provide value to your viewers as succinctly and efficiently as you can. This will increase the likelihood that users stay on your feed and rewatch the recording later.
Speaking of recording... when you’ve said your goodbyes and ended your live, you’ll be prompted to save your video and post it to stories. Do both! The video will be available in your stories for 24 hours after posting (it’s good to let your followers know this if they missed it). Then, after it expires, you can publish the saved video to IGTV, Facebook, Twitter, your newsletter, or anywhere else it might provide value. You worked hard on your content, don’t let it die in the depths of your camera roll!
With these steps you can use Instagram live to your advantage with little hassle. Remember to show up authentically, be your badass self, and share your brilliance with the world. The more you go live, the more comfortable you’ll get, I promise!
copyright 2021 Wheelie, LLC.
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