Thinking about going live on Instagram? Want to know how to get more viewers and what technologies to use?
This article provides four tips for planning, promoting, and broadcasting your next Instagram Live.
Why use live streaming on Instagram
One of the fastest ways to build relationships with your Instagram followers is through video streaming. Live events give viewers the opportunity to interact with you, get answers to their questions in real time, and perceive everything that happens as the events unfold. A survey by New York Magazine and Livestream (a software company owned by Vimeo) found that 80% of respondents preferred watching live video from a brand rather than reading a blog.
Instagram has one of the most valuable and active audiences online, and here are some reasons why:
When you go live on Instagram, your stream will be at the top of the Stories tab queue for the entire duration of the broadcast, giving you visibility and priority among your followers.
Saved Instagram Live videos are segmented separately from Saved Stories, so when a user browses a story, they can easily find the recorded live streams. This functionality also applies to dedicated Instagram Stories.
Due to the mandatory observance of social distance, even famous TV presenters choose Instagram Live to create their content. Here’s an example of how Oprah uses the two-person interview feature to make a culinary release with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver:
Chances are your audience is smaller than Oprah Winfrey’s, so you need a plan for maximum engagement. While Instagram’s capabilities allow you to go live from anywhere with just the click of a button, keep in mind that a significant portion of your audience will be watching the recorded video, not the live stream. So structure your live the same way you do with regular video content.
Now let’s figure out how to plan and run a successful live broadcast.
# 1: Tips on how to improve your Instagram Live
With scheduling, you can use more opportunities to engage users in your broadcast. Follow these tips to improve your live stream.
Create a class account
If you are new to Instagram Live video, you may feel a little strange if you click on the Go Live button.
A great way to deal with the excitement is to create a fake Instagram account. An alternate account will allow you to rehearse as much as you want, adjust lighting or sound settings until you are happy with your result. Save your training broadcasts by clicking the download button in the upper left corner when the video ends.
Prepare your phone for broadcast
Remember to put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode for any live streaming from your phone. If you receive a phone call during your video, your broadcast will be interrupted, and as a result, you are likely to lose viewers.
Place the phone on a stable surface, or if you will be moving around during live broadcast, find a simple phone tripod. When recording with a tripod, phone shake is reduced by 50% or more. Even the most common entry-level tripod will do this.
Tidy up your presentation
Once you’ve launched a live stream, the last thing you want to do is deal with technical issues or fiddle with unfamiliar buttons. Check out all the components of the Instagram Live interface in advance.
For example, you can prepare a slide presentation and switch between shooting it and your face using the camera switch button during the presentation. You will be more flexible during these transitions and concurrent interactions.
If you will be using video streaming to drive traffic, prepare a link to go to your profile so that users can follow it and stay on the Instagram platform.
Live streams of two people are becoming more and more popular on Instagram. If you decide to try this option, remember that you will first need to go live, make your guest viewer, and invite them to join the broadcast.
Improve your technology
Here are some ways to update the technology to improve your Instagram feed.
Boost your internet connection
If you are indoors and have rather unstable Wi-Fi, you can connect your device directly to the router and establish an Ethernet connection. You will need an adapter for this. For iOS devices, use Lightning-to-Ethernet. For Android – USB Micro B-to-Ethernet adapter.
Keep in mind that video streaming can drain your device quickly. If you plan on streaming for a longer time, consider plugging in a dongle that allows you to connect to the Lightning-to-Ethernet network and to a power source. For my iOS devices, I use an entry-level device that also has a USB port.
Free yourself with the Lavalier microphone
Usually, during video streaming, your device acts as a microphone. But what if you want to move around while streaming or showcase something from a distance or in a noisy place?
Perhaps you are a yoga teacher and want to show the audience a master class. Since you physically need to be a few feet away from the device, a wireless lavalier microphone is the best solution.
Lavalier microphones are an investment. Whether you plan to broadcast, do video content, or do interviews regularly, a quality wireless microphone will take your sound to the next level. I am using a RØDE wireless production kit and an SC7 adapter cable. Samson also has a more economical option.
If you choose this audio option or another external microphone for your broadcast, remember that your adapter will also need a port to output audio. I invested in a Belkin adapter as I found cheaper adapters shorted quickly.
Setting up your microphone can take a while, but if you want Instagram to benefit you in the form of brand and sales interest, you’ll quickly get up to speed with the connection process. You will also love the sense of freedom that professional technology provides.
# 2: Create an incentive for people to want to visit your stream
An eternal problem that every Instagram marketer should feel is audience procrastination. Why should users come and watch the broadcast right now and not later? This question is especially relevant when using Instagram Live video. Elements of the game and interaction with the audience live will help to attract and retain viewers.
Here are some ways to make your stream more relevant:
- Live Q&A. If you are an expert in a certain area and can freely answer questions from viewers live, then this is the option to use for interacting with the audience. This kind of content allows for dialogue and will be more effective than others.
- Deficiency Effect . Consider creating an offer or invitation with a limited number of seats. You can offer help to the first five people to send you a direct message, or create a coupon code with a limited number of use cases available.
- Disappearing incentives . The deficit can also be achieved through a time window. Offer people something that has a deadline. This option will be more useful for getting conversions from viewers who are watching the broadcast recording.
When you go live for the first time, you will see a notification from Instagram informing your subscribers that you have started a video broadcast. It is worth remembering that during this time you are already on the air, and others can see your recording.
Rather than just waiting for the audience to start your presentation, proceed as planned and respond to audience comments as needed. Make sure you have a planned interaction so your audience isn’t distracted.
Invite people to comment or indicate their comfort, interest, or awareness of certain topics. This will allow you to receive live feedback from viewers and actually find out about their impression of you.
Plan your broadcast times to periodically respond to viewer comments throughout the video. It is important to show viewers that their opinions can influence the course of the broadcast, they will love it. Leave some time to answer questions at the end or during the broadcast, but keep broadcasting even if you don’t see interested members or viewers.
Remember that people will watch you to get some benefit from your broadcast, so don’t let low viewership scare you off.
# 3: Promote your Instagram live before broadcast
If you want to maximize the awareness and views of your Instagram Live video, you should create creative content or a slideshow before streaming to maximize your message to your viewers.
Canva is a free resource that comes with a variety of formats optimized for size. I prefer to use Canva’s pre-built Instagram Post and Story templates to quickly create clean and informative graphics.
Submit who / what / where / when / why posts to announce your upcoming broadcast, and be sure to indicate how your live stream will be useful to the user and what interesting things he can find out.
If necessary, you can use these pre-rolls as advertising. Keep in mind that Facebook ad images and videos must contain no more than 20% of the text.
# 4: Adapt your live streams to fit into subsequent stories and highlighted content
Once you’ve successfully completed your live stream on Instagram, direct future traffic to your broadcast. If your content contains useful information that goes beyond 24-hour playback, add your live video to a new or existing story.
You can get a link to any story by clicking on the three dots in the lower right corner of the screen and choosing “Copy selected link”. Save the link and use it for other marketing resources such as your email list or other platforms.
Lecturer at the WebPromoExperts Academy, director of the Kiwi agency SMM agency Victoria Kharakhash and Alla Lysenko, Stories maker Kiwi agency:
Live broadcasts have not yet fully realized their potential. Therefore, it is high time to use this platform to promote services and products.
We are confident that very soon Live Instagram will become a full-fledged streaming platform that will operate separately.
Topics for Live Streaming on Instagram:
1. Live broadcasts from the event.
If you have an interesting event planned, please tell us about it. Conferences, lectures, fashion shows, presentations are an excellent occasion for a live broadcast. Anyone who cannot attend the event will be able to watch it in real time and ask questions.
Important! This type of content in Live will help to retain the attention of your audience, which is useful for your product / service.
2. Unique content.
During broadcast announcements, mention that the participants will receive exclusive content that will not be in the public domain. This will build trust with your target audience.
The implementation mechanism is simple:
We are preparing a special post where we invite subscribers to ask questions in the comments, to which they will receive answers during live communication.
Preparing stories with a “question” sticker and answering during the broadcast.
Important! Before starting the broadcast, “warm up” the audience. Prepare a post or stories to answer any questions at the beginning of the broadcast.
4. An interview with a famous person.
Bring an expert on the air and discuss an interesting topic with someone who has accomplished a lot in your niche.
Important! To engage subscribers, invite them to choose a specialist with whom it would be interesting to communicate.
5. Live guide.
Show the backstage, for example, how your product is manufactured and who is working on it. This will help you build the trust of potential customers as an expert for your product. During the broadcast, questions and objections will arise, and you can easily answer them – refute or confirm the facts.
6. Monthly withdrawals and news.
Pick up interesting features, news, updates, articles in your field of activity and share your findings on Live every month.
7. Post the results of the drawing and competition in Live-broadcast.
This will help build trust with your subscribers.
8. Invite a subscriber to air.
Invite people to join the live stream and share product / service reviews. Or, alternatively, you can play out an online live consultation. Analyze the person’s problem and show him the solutions.
9. Test drive live.
In an online broadcast, test drive the product or service. This will generate additional interest from the audience.
Important! Before this heading, start a selling post or stories, in which invite everyone on the air to test the business product “in action”.
10. Play gifts live.
Mention that at the end of the broadcast you will be playing a gift between viewers. Such an offer will gather a large number of audience, and most importantly, make the subscriber watch Live to the end.
Stream Live to connect with your audience. Ethers increase user loyalty to your brand and increase awareness.
Instagram Live is becoming more popular, but many video creators are missing out on opportunities to effectively engage users. Create a good content plan for your live stream and you can better serve your subscribers.
What do you think? Will you try any of these tips on your next Instagram video stream? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Lecturer at the WebPromoExperts Academy, Director of the Kiwi agency SMM agency Victoria Kharakhash :
On April 5, our course “Business Promotion on Instagram” starts, where we will also talk about live broadcasts and figure out how they can be used to increase activity in your accounts. From page design to advertising – we will learn about all the possibilities of promotion on Instagram.
Watch the program, sign up for a course, and see you online!
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