Have you ever wondered why most of the top social media networks have a live feature? That’s because live streaming helps a brand to connect with their audience, build trust and grow their followers.
Going live on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube serves the same purpose, but you decide which platform to use for your live stream based on which platform most of your audience hangs around.
Even though most marketers and brands know the importance of going live on Instagram, they either don’t know how to go live on the platform or how to have a successful Instagram live session.
So, we’ve put together this article to show you all you need to know about Instagram live so you can have all the necessary tips and guides on how to have a successful Instagram live session.
Let’s get started with learning how to go live on Instagram and why it is necessary to take advantage of this feature on Instagram.
What Is Instagram Live?
Instagram Live is a feature on Instagram that means broadcasting live videos to your audience on Instagram. Just like a journalist reporting a news item on a location. The feature works within Instagram Stories.
You can locate Instagram Stories at the very top of your Instagram feed. When an account goes live on Instagram, the “Live” icon will show on their story.
To view someone’s Instagram Live, you must click on the Story thumbnail, and you will be able to join the live broadcast.
Why Go Live on Instagram?
Going live on Instagram gives your brand an authentic way to connect with your audience.
Most people feel that going live on Instagram is a daunting task to perform, so they prefer to engage with their audience using written content than go live.
Even though going live seems like a daunting task to perform, it shouldn’t stop you from using this awesome feature because it helps you capture a wider audience.
When you start a live session on Instagram, your followers will be notified by the platform if they are using the application at the time you start your live stream.
When any of your followers open their Instagram app, they will see from the top of their feed that you’re broadcasting live on Instagram, and they will be able to tap the Stories thumbnail to join your live stream.
Going live on Instagram helps you:
Engage with your audience in a more personal way. The engagement that goes on with the live stream is a two-way interaction session. Your audience can ask questions in the comment box, and you will be able to answer them during your live stream. Or you can ask them questions, and they will give you a response in the comment box.
Secondly, it shows your audience the human behind the brand, which increases their trust for your brand and loyalty. It helps you build a trusted community who will be willing to engage with your brand more because they develop some personal relationship with your brand.
Finally, after having an Instagram live, your videos will be available for the next 24 hours so that your audience who were not available during your live stream can catch up. Instagram live can also be watched on desktop, giving your audience an easier way to enjoy your Instagram live on a bigger screen.
Facebook announces that soon, you will be able to save your Instagram live videos to IGTV, so they are available longer enough and easier for other users to find.
Going live on Instagram is an excellent way to engage with your audience in real-time, promote your products, and reach a wider audience.
Now let’s look at the how-tos…
How to Go Live on Instagram: Step by Step Guide
It is effortless to have a live stream on Instagram,
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to go live on Instagram:
1. Prepare Your Script.
Before going live on Instagram, you need to prepare what you want to talk about and write it down. Practice with what you’ve written to get comfortable and be able to say it off head without looking at the script. Don’t read from the script when you have your live broadcast; it defeats the whole live broadcast. Just practice with what you’ve written to become perfect at it.
2. Determine Your Goals.
Before having your Instagram live session, you need to identify what you want to achieve with your live broadcast. That will guide you to know how to go about your Instagram live. You should determine if your live broadcast increases sales, followers, signups to your newsletters or strengthens customer relations. Every marketing strategy has a goal it wants to achieve, so you should know your goal for your live broadcast to have a clear call to action, which you will include in your live stream.
3. Define Your Format.
Defining your Instagram live format will help you keep things interesting.
There are four formats to choose from when it comes to Instagram live, and they are:
- Interview or Collaborating with Another Creator
Collaborating with another creator on Instagram helps create engaging content for your audience. It serves as an opportunity to promote your collaborator to your audience, and he will also do the same for you.
- Host A Q and A Session
Q and A sessions are very effective and allow you to engage with your audience in real-time. During a Q and A session, you ask your audience questions, and they answer in the comment box, or they ask you their questions, and you go ahead to answer them.
- Announce or Launch A New Product.
Instagram Live is a great time to announce some big company news or launch a new product to your audience. You can answer all their questions they will be having around the launch of your product.
- Host A Behind the Scenes
Humans tend to develop a strong connection to a brand when they begin to see the people behind the brand. Going live is an opportunity to show your audience the team behind the brand, how things are done in your company, how to use your product, and many more.
4. Open the Instagram App
Open your Instagram app and click on the plus (+) at the top right corner of your feed. Swipe across to the ‘Live’ mode. The app will tell you the number of your followers who are currently active on the app, which gives you an idea of how many followers will receive a notification once you go live.
- Tap the ‘Live’ icon to start your live stream; make sure everything is set before you hit the icon to begin.
- As you start your live broadcast, you can see the number of viewers online, and you can also see their comments as they appear at the bottom of your screen. You can turn off comments and pin a particular comment to the top of your story.
- Once your live broadcast is in progress, you can use different app features to make your live stream more exciting and engaging.
- You can use a filter by tapping the filter icon, add photos and videos from your camera to your live broadcast (iOS users)
- You can invite someone to join your live broadcast by clicking the two faces icon.
- Tap the comment box to add a comment to your live broadcast.
- When you finish your live stream, just tap on the End button to end your live session. You can save it to your camera roll or share it to your Stories to be viewed by your followers who couldn’t watch your live session. It stays in your Stories within the next 24 hours.
- It gets more exciting now on Instagram; you can donate during an Instagram live or create your fundraiser. When you donate, you get the chance to use the new ‘I Donated’ sticker in Instagram Stories.
Tools You Need to Go Live on Instagram
To go live on Instagram, you don’t need a whole studio setup. Just a few basic tools and equipment’s and you are good to go.
Here is what you will need:
An iOS or Android device
You need an android or iOS device with the Instagram app installed so that you will be able to access all the Live features on the app. I use my android device for Instagram Live.
A Ring Light
A ring light gives soft lighting to your videos. It gives your videos a natural white light that eliminates all shadows that aren’t friendly and helps your videos look good. It helps make the whole video look professional and aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
A tripod is a tool that holds your mobile device during your live broadcast. It helps you shoot a very nice and steady live broadcast since you don’t have to hold your phone during your live video.
Best Practices for A Successful Instagram Live
To have a successful Instagram live, be sure to read the following best practices before you go live.
These best practices will give you top-notch firsthand tips for a successful live broadcast and ensure that you are prepared before getting started.
- Define the purpose of your Instagram live
Before going live, you need to think about what you want to accomplish with your Instagram live. What would be your objective for your live broadcast?
You need to identify what you want to share with your followers, what you want to achieve, what call to action you want them to perform before hitting the live button.
Prepare ahead of time so that you deliver the best to your audience.
- Hype your live stream in advance
Instagram does a good job by notifying your followers whenever you go live on the platform, but it is your duty to hype your live stream before time to get all or most of your followers to join your live stream.
You should strategically promote your upcoming live stream in your Instagram Stories or feeds to make your followers aware of your Instagram live. Share the details of your live stream in your Stories or use Instagram Stories countdown stickers to mark your event.
Followers can tap the countdown sticker and set a reminder for when your event countdown ends.
Use all Instagram features to your advantage when promoting your Instagram live before time.
- Ask your followers what they want you to discuss beforehand.
When you are hyping your Instagram live, do well also to ask your followers what they expect you to talk about in your live stream. You can use the Instagram questions sticker found in your stories to ask your followers what they want to hear in your Instagram live.
Ask them if they are interested in a specific topic or any questions they have concerning your niche, and be sure to answer them in your live broadcast.
- Check your systems before going live.
One way to ensure that you have a successful live stream is to make sure your systems are fully working before you hit the start button. Before going live, make sure you test your audio, lighting, internet speed, and any other system you might use in your Instagram live.
Test everything and make sure they are all fully functioning before you start your live stream.
- Go live when most of your audience are active.
To have a successful Instagram live, it is better to go live when most of your followers are active on the platform.
When you go live, Instagram will send a notification to all your active followers at the time of your live stream, so the more followers who receive the notification, the better!
You can see when your followers are active by checking your Instagram insights.
- Interact with your audience.
Your live broadcast should be interesting and engaging. Don’t just talk like you are giving a lecture. Interact with your audience, ask them questions, answer their questions, and acknowledge them.
- Have a call to action.
You should make sure that you have a call to action, and it should be clear for your audience to follow.
After capturing your followers’ attention using your live stream, you should make sure they take the necessary actions you want them to take after your live stream.
Write your CTA in the comment box and pin it to the screen to be visible throughout your live stream.
- Download your Instagram live after you end it.
Always remember to save your Instagram live when you are done. Save the video file to your camera roll when everything is over.
By saving the video, you can go back and check the comments, questions, and suggestions and use it to repurpose your content. You can as well edit the video and distribute it on other social media platforms to serve your audience on those platforms.
How does Instagram live work?
Ans: Instagram live is an Instagram feature that works within Stories and enables users to broadcast live to their audience on the platform. And when an account goes live on the platform, it will get the ‘Live’ icon attached to it. You can join someone’s live broadcast by tapping on their live icon located in Stories at the top of your Instagram feed.
How long can you go on Instagram live?
Ans: Instagram allows users to go live for 60 minutes/1hour. Once it ends, you will be able to start the live broadcast again and continue from where you ended.
When someone is live on Instagram, can they see you?
Ans: When someone goes live, he/she will be able to see when you join their live broadcast. Not only the host will know that you’ve joined, but any other participant will also receive the notification that you’ve joined. Once you join the live broadcast, you can comment, share, or like.
How do you go live on Instagram 2021?
- How to go live on Instagram using your mobile device
- Tap on the plus (+) icon at the top right corner above your Stories.
- Swipe to the live button using the scroll button below your screen.
- Tap on the live icon.
- You can tap on the two smiley faces if you want to go live with a friend.
How many people can join an Instagram live?
Ans: Instagram now allows users to go live with up to three other people. Previously, a user can go live with only one other person.
What is the best time to go live on Instagram?
Ans: The best time to go live on Instagram is when most of your followers are active on the platform. When your followers are active before you go live, they will receive a notification from the app that you are going live, and they will join and invite others.
Instagram Live is a great tool to reach more audiences and a perfect opportunity to be more interactive with your followers to increase their trust and loyalty for your brand.
Now that we’ve covered all you need to know before starting your Instagram live, it’s time for you to get started for your live broadcast.
For a successful Instagram Live:
- Define the purpose of your Instagram live.
- Hype your Instagram live before and after the event.
- Just start and don’t worry about making mistakes; just do it. You will become perfect as time goes on.