If you are not using Instagram Live for your business you’re missing out. With its recent update, Instagram has once again elevated its tools to work for businesses of all sizes in helping you reach your ideal customer. If you’re still unsure how to use Instagram Live, and the ways it can help you grow your business, I have everything you need to know.
Launch an Instagram Live broadcast
Let’s start with how to launch your first Instagram Live. To begin, you’ll want to swipe right from your Instagram feed. From there you will see four options (normal, Boomerang, hands-free, and live). Scroll to ‘live’ and all you need to do is push the “start live video” button. Easy you are now broadcasting and your followers will get a notification that you are currently live.
5 must-have features in Instagram Live
When it comes to making an awesome Instagram Live, it’s about more than just shooting a short video. Here are five awesome features you want to make sure you use.
#1 Pin the ‘title’ of your video
Since there’s no guarantee of when during your live broadcast people will tune in, you want to make sure that those joining in the middle know exactly what you’re talking about. In order to do that, take advantage of the ‘pin a comment’ feature. Simply type a short comment with the topic or title of your live stream at the start of the video and tap to pin it. Now, even as your followers add their comments, your video ‘title’ will stay on screen.
#2 Discover who is tuning in
If you want to know which Instagram Live videos will work for your business, you first need to know to whom you’re speaking. Click on the eye icon in the top left of your screen, you can then view the list of individuals tuning in. While it might seem like a number of individuals you don’t recognize, over time you might come to recognize those followers who frequently engage.
#3 Tune out the trolls
Trolls are unfortunately common on Instagram, but you don’t want them to clog up your Instagram Live with irrelevant comments. To mute trolls from the conversation, tap into your viewer list. Then just tap on the “x” next to their name. This should keep your Instagram Live a troll-free zone.
As an added bonus, if you prefer to not have comments on your Instagram Live, you can turn off the comments feature. While this might be appropriate in certain situations, I always encourage my Instagram clients to keep the comments on. Comments are one of the best ways to get feedback and engage with your followers, and it’s an opportunity you probably don’t want your business to miss.
#4 Change your camera view
Perspective is everything, especially when you’re trying to make an engaging Instagram Live. If it’s appropriate, try using both views of your camera. I love doing this when hosting an Instagram Live from my apartment here in Boston, as it provides another opportunity to more personally connect with my followers and give them a behind-the-scenes look at what inspires me – like the Boston skyline.
#5 Save your Instagram Live video
I have to say one of the most exciting features to come with Instagram Live is the newest update, which allows you to save your video. While you cannot save comments, likes, or views, you can rewatch the broadcast to review any highlights or things you can focus on in future videos.
Saving your Instagram Live videos is a snap. When you end the live video, just tap on the download arrow in the top right corner. The recording of the video will be added to your phone’s camera roll. Now you can rewatch whenever you’re ready.
3 tips for fully leveraging your Instagram Live
In addition to these #InstaAwesome features, you also want to make sure that you’re taking the time to plan and execute your content. Here are three tips that my team and I follow to make sure we’re fully leveraging all of our Instagram Lives. Below are three quick tips, but you can download my complete checklist to prep for your Instagram Live broadcast below.
#1 Announce the time and date
If you want people to watch your Instagram Live, you need to make sure they know about it. Spread the news far and wide through Instagram posts and video clips in your Instagram Story. The more followers who know, the more people who will be in the room when you go live.
#2 Create a content plan
Making a kick-ass Instagram Live requires a clear, concise content plan. Map, draw, do whatever you need to make sure that your video highlights all of your key points. Even better, make sure that you think out how you will entice followers to come back for more. Do you have another high-value offer? Are you hosting an upcoming sale or special event? Your brand has value, make sure your followers know.
#3 Ask specific questions
People want to go behind likes and truly get to know you and your brand. Make that feeling mutual by asking your followers specific questions. Consider the things that your followers want to know more about: products, creative process, and more. Get in the weeds with your followers so they can feel like you’re ready to make the extra effort to engage with them.
Still not sure how Instagram can work for your business?
It might take a few tries, but with time you’ll find yourself more comfortable and ready to use Instagram Live to grow your business. While you’re considering how you can use Instagram Live to grow your business, be sure to download my free complete checklist to prep for Instagram Live. From before, during and after your live broadcast, this guide will help you have #InstaSuccess.