Marketing Through Instagram Live: A Complete Guide
With over a billion monthly users, Instagram is the undisputed king of all social media platforms. Today, the platform has become a marketing tool that businesses of all sizes use to reach out to their target audiences and promote their products and/or services.
While Insta has numerous features for marketers to take advantage of, Instagram Live, one of the platform’s latest features, takes the potential of marketing on the platform to dizzying heights. In this post, we’ll take a thorough look at the Instagram Live feature, why it can take your brand places, and how you can make the most of it. Let’s get into it!
Instagram Live: What is it and how can it be beneficial for businesses?
Instagram Live is a part of Instagram’s Stories feature and allows users to post live videos. People watching the live videos can interact with them in real-time by asking questions and sharing their opinions.
While the essence of Instagram Live is quite similar to that of Facebook Live and YouTube Live, it consists of several features that make it unique and very promising for businesses. Let’s take a detailed look at them.
- First on the Stories feed: The Stories feed appears at the top of the Instagram interface, i.e. it’s the first thing that people see when they open the Instagram app on their phones or their browsers.
When you go live using the Instagram Live feature, it automatically becomes the first story to appear across your followers’ feeds. The success that the Instagram Stories feature has seen guarantees that a significant percentage of your Instagram followers will watch your live videos.
- Notifications: What happens to your Instagram Live videos when your followers aren’t using on the app? You’d think that they’ll miss out on your videos in such a situation, right?
Wrong! By default, Instagram will notify your followers when you go live through push notifications. While followers have the option of disabling push notifications for live videos, the fact that it’s enabled by default means that more followers are likely to watch your videos.
- 24-hour presence on feed post-broadcast: When you finish your Instagram Live video broadcast, it’ll remain as your Instagram Story for an additional 24 hours.
This allows followers who missed out on your live video to catch up with your content later. While real-time engagement isn’t possible if people watch the video after the live broadcast ends, it still allows your live content to be viewed, enhancing brand awareness.
- Collaboration: While elaborate collaborations still aren’t possible on Instagram Live, you can add one person to share the screen with you.
For businesses and brands that want to do Q&A sessions, there couldn’t be anything better. Using this basic collaboration feature, full-blown interviews and discussions can be conducted.
Instagram Live marketing campaigns: Some ideas
While casual Instagram users often go live just to have fun, businesses need to have a certain plan for conducting marketing campaigns using Instagram Live. Here are some campaign ideas that you can use to promote your brand and its products and/or services using Instagram Live:
- Product previews: So your brand’s about to launch its latest product and you want to make your real Instagram followers aware of it. Start an Instagram Live broadcast and highlight some of the product’s most exciting features. You can also inform your audience about the product’s release date. You can also provide a link to viewers for pre-ordering the product from your official business website or an eCommerce portal.
- Product launch: Instagram Live product launches can be incredibly effective in letting your Instagram followers know how valued they are. Product launch videos can feature detailed demonstrations of the products and purchase links for the same.
- Instructional videos: Instructional live videos can be great to connect to your audience and give them valuable information regarding something related to your business niche. For example, a musician can go live and talk about some common mistakes that beginners make while practicing.
- Q&A sessions: Your followers may have several questions for you that they’ve never had the chance to ask you before. Start a live broadcast and turn it into a Q&A session to answer your followers’ questions. Such Q&A sessions can significantly improve the levels of trust and emotional connect between a brand and its audience.
These are only some ideas you can experiment with using the Instagram Live feature. Feel free to create your own video format for offering something truly unique to your audience.
How to make the most of Instagram Live: The top tips
So now that you know all about what the Instagram Live feature does, it’s time to take a look at how you can make the most of it. Here are some of the top tips to help your Instagram Live videos gain maximum visibility and reach.
- Go live consistently: You can’t expect the Instagram Live feature to reward you if you go live once and then don’t use the feature again for the next two months. For seeing the best results, you should create a separate schedule for going live, and most importantly, you should stick to it. For example, you could decide to go live every Monday at 9 o’clock at night. You could also choose different video formats for each day you go live. The first Monday of a month can be dedicated to a Q&A session, the second can be an instructional video, and so on.
- Promote your live videos: Sure, the people who follow you on Insta will be notified automatically whenever you start broadcasting a live video and will shower it with Instagram likes. But what about those who aren’t your followers? You should use your other social media pages to promote your Instagram Live videos. For example, you could create an image stating your Instagram Live routine and share it with your friends and followers on Facebook and YouTube.
- Practice before you go live: You need to prepare for your Instagram Live videos as modern-day audiences are quite impatient. If you fail to find the right words when you’re doing the live broadcast, chances are that most of your viewers will stop viewing it. So, spare some time to practice before you go live. Even if you don’t create an elaborate script, run through some of the most important things that you want to say.
- Configure Instagram Story settings: Once you open the Stories feature, tap on the gear icon at the screen’s top-left to access the settings page of Instagram Stories. Here, you can choose who gets to see your stories and who gets to reply to your stories. Enable message replies from ‘Everyone’ for maximum engagement across all your live videos. Also enable the ‘Share your story to Facebook’ option so that your live videos are automatically shared on your Facebook business page, rapidly engaging your Facebook audience as well.
- Make your live videos entertaining: Your live videos may get boring for your audiences after a point, especially if there’s too much talking and not much action. However, feel free to use face filters and change camera views (front – rear and rear – front) to spice things up for the viewers. There’s nothing quite like adding a bit of humor to keep your followers hooked to your videos, so don’t think too much about it. Just do it!
- Use IGTV to extend your live video’s availability: IGTV is an extension of Instagram that allows users to post videos that are more than a minute long. Until May 2020, Instagram users could only share Stories of their Insta Live videos. However, the rules have been changed and users can decide to share their live videos on the IGTV platform once the live broadcast ends. The best thing about IGTV is that the videos you share there aren’t deleted automatically, giving you a great platform to extend the availability of your live video.
- Thank viewers for being a part of the broadcast: Don’t forget to say thanks to all the viewers who took part in your live stream. It’s a very basic gesture, but one that can go a long way in making your followers feel appreciated and valued. Also, apologize for any errors that you make during the live session. Errors are part and parcel of live broadcasts, but if you ignore them and go on like there was nothing wrong, your audience may not like it.
The growth of a modern-day business depends to a great extent on its online activities. Instagram is one of several platforms that offer businesses and brands the chance to reach out to their target audiences and Instagram Live is a feature that’s too potent to be ignored. So, if you haven’t tried your hand at marketing your brand and its products and/or services through Instagram Live, it’s about time you did! Don’t worry about the mistakes that you might make across the first few live broadcasts. The more you use the feature, the better you’ll get at it.
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