In 2018, Instagram launched a very exciting feature called Instagram live. Some of us already know how to use it and are already experiencing the benefits of exploiting this awesome feature to generate brand awareness, profitability, and audience/customer loyalty.
Instagram Live primer
Although it has been around for a while now, not everybody is quite familiar with it. Instagram live allows users to interact with their audience in real-time, very similar to Facebook Live (parent company) but with some differences. For example, as soon as the live broadcasting ends, the video may disappear.
Another innovative feature Instagram added to its Live platform is a highlighted rim around the user’s profile picture when broadcasting live. Notifications are sent to all their followers to let them know that they can view new content, promos and ads from their favorite accounts/influencers. Adding hashtags to get discovered by different audiences can also increase any chances of acquiring new followers.
But how can you take advantage of Instagram’s live video to accomplish your company’s business goals?
Below, I will explain five unique ways you can squeeze Instagram Live like a lemon and successfully advertise yourself, your product or brand eventually maximizing online visibility (and gain some followers along the way).
1. Have a purpose.
Creating random videos can be fun but it won’t give you any measurable results, make sure to create a strategy for your brand’s content by sharing unique and exclusive videos. Below are some examples:
- Do a live Q&A with your audience
Live videos are always a great way of engaging with your audience and answer any type of questions your followers may have. You will be showing your audience that your company has a face and a heart; that there is a dedicated team “behind the scenes” compromised to the brand and its followers, this will eventually create a strong relationship with your brand, as well as bring you, loyal followers.
Give incentives or promote any type of event coming up soon.
Followers love free stuff — who doesn’t? Live videos are the perfect tool to create a strong hype. Some of the incentives can be a promotional code, free products, experiences or a chance to enter a contest for a nice prize.
Ask for feedback.
Take advantage of this direct contact with your followers, and ask them for any feedback while communicating with your audience to understand in what ways you can improve your business.
2. Give yourself a tech test run.
Make sure to practice beforehand starting your live streaming, to avoid committing mistakes with the image resolution or video size. Making mistakes is common and can be seen as humanizing the brand, making your business more relatable, however, recording some test videos will minimize your margin of error and will help you get a clear vision on what specific areas of your broadcast you should adjust before going live.
Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself before going live:
Is the lighting ok?
Is the audio clear?
Is the background the right one?
Are there too many filters?
Is the script attractive?
Having in mind those questions and properly addressing them will help you avoid the most common mistakes we usually see during thousand of live broadcasts. Don’t let yours be one of them.
3. Take advantage of the urgency.
You know that your audience will only have one chance to watch your live video unless you offer them the choice to do otherwise (in your live account settings). Create a sense of fear of missing out (FOMO) with your audience, make them feel they cannot afford to miss your content. Additionally according to the experts at Sprout Social: “A great way to boost your viewership is to promise one-time-only promotions while you’re building hype for your stream. […] Offering limited-time-only promo codes is a great way to boost urgency.”
Another interesting tip is hiding your story for x,y,z users. If you would like to customize who can and who cannot see your content before starting your live video go into settings and select “Hide story” and add all the people and competitors you would like your story to be hidden from to lessen the chances of your concepts, and promos from being copied.
4. Promote all your Instagram live videos in advance.
This is a key factor to make sure your live video will be successful. Since social media is a two-way street, it works perfectly when you are sharing content with your audience as well as listening to them, that is why creating the perfect atmosphere when launching a product is extremely important.
Your goal will always be and should always be to boost engagement, drive connections and gain new followers along the way.
Let the world know what your brand is about to launch by taking advantage of the “explore” page since it is the best way to reach large groups and new audiences. Why you should promote Instagram videos in advance? Not only because of the aforementioned but because the Instagram algorithm will allow your live video to be on the “explore” page for new audiences to discover it, only if you get enough engagement and viewers on your broadcast, therefore make sure to build a big audience before pressing the “Live” button.
To be able to track the results of how your live video did or how your live videos are doing in general, you can subscribe to various social media tools to retrieve reports, analyze your results and learn where are your points of weakness, or in what specific areas you should improve, as well as knowing which is your most popular audience in terms of demographics. Tools like Sprout Social or Buffer are always a good choice!.
5. Create experimental content as well as an invite for collaborations, interviews, and takeovers.
If your company has the chance to pair up with influencers in your niche that might work extremely good (does not have to be Hollywood stars) for example if your company is a vegan restaurant and is launching a whole new set of healthy infused drinks, you could interview a well known nutritionist/health influencer around the gram and run a live interview or let them try all your products to let your audience know how tasty and incredible they are.
Additionally, another way of keeping your audience interested is takeovers, extremely popular on Instagram stories these days, with various brands getting together and teaming up to create content for each other’s stories as well as experimenting and broadcasting unpredictable content. This will definitely keep your users engaged; When it comes to Instagram’s live video do not get scared to get experimental and think outside the box.
Now, that you know all or most of the key benefits live video on Instagram can bring to your company, as well as how to achieve them your brand’s main objective should always be to keep audiences engaged and test as much as possible to explore and discover what works better for you and drives more followers towards your feed, eventually increasing your chances of generating profit.
Always have in mind that Instagram Live videos’ main purpose is to create a sense of urgency, therefore, create them and deliver all your content/messages like your life depends on it.