Live streaming has become all the rage these days – and with good reason.
It’s a way for your audience to get to know the people in your business, humanize your brand and connect with your followers on a deeper level.
But, it can also be pretty scary to host an Instagram Live, especially if you’ve never done it before. That’s why we’ve curated your ultimate guide to hosting an interactive Instagram Live broadcast, complete with must-try expert tips and tricks.
Why your brand should be hosting an Instagram Live
Going Live on Instagram can be pretty daunting and scary. But, it’s one of the best ways to engage with your audience authentically and in real time.
While most aspects of social media marketing are highly curated, Instagram Live is a completely unedited broadcast that allows you to show a more raw, authentic and relatable side of your brand.
Plus, 80% of people prefer to watch a live video from a brand instead of reading a blog. In fact, a 2021 survey showed people watching videos has risen to 92% worldwide, with Live Streams ranking in the top four most popular video content formats, too.
If you need any more convincing why your brand should be jumping on Instagram Live, here are some more powerful ways Instagram Live can help your brand grow:
• Boosting the discovery of your brand: not only do all of your followers get notified each time you go live, but, your Instagram Live is bumped to first place in their Stories feed too. Talk about a powerful way to re-engage with existing followers and build a strong community on Instagram!
• Gain insights from your audience: going live on Instagram lets you gain real-time insights and feedback from your followers. Your audience can submit questions in the comments box that you can respond to directly in the live stream. Whether you’re needing to answer FAQs or get feedback on an upcoming product launch, you can do it all with Instagram Live.
• Build stronger relationships with your audience: by regularly going live on Instagram, you’re able to humanize your brand, build rapport with your audience and show your followers that you care about forging meaningful relationships with them.
How to plan an engaging Instagram Live Broadcast
Ready to harness the power of live video on Instagram? Here’s how to plan an engaging and interactive Instagram Live broadcast.
1. Prepare and practice
Although you don’t want to come across like you’re reading off a script you do still want to plan and prepare for your Instagram Live. Before your Live, think about the key topics you’d like to talk about. That could be answering FAQs, hosting a Live Shopping event, or talking about an upcoming product launch or event.
Having a dot-point list of talking points will help you stay on track in your Live and reduce the chances of making mistakes throughout.
Plus, you’ll want a rough idea of how long the Instagram Live will be and practice different backgrounds and filming locations to reduce distractions, ensure your lighting is on point, and check if your audio is clear.
2. Ensure your Instagram Live is high quality
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with Instagram Live is your camera quality.
Most people stop watching a live video in 90 seconds or less if the quality is low, so you’ll want to make sure your live stream looks as professional and high quality as possible.
Now, we aren’t saying you need to invest in a fancy camera or brand new iPhone. Instead, make sure your Live stream won’t be blurry, you’ve got good lighting (natural light is always best) and you’re positioned front and center in the stream.
3. Automatically save your Instagram Live broadcasts
Want to give your followers a chance to watch your Live after you’ve gone live? The best way to do that is to automatically save your Instagram Live before you hit play.
This is the perfect way to maximize the value of your live videos and effortlessly repurpose this content across multiple platforms (from TikTok to Facebook).
To do this, hit the settings button in your Stories in the top right corner, and toggle on the settings to ‘add your video to Stories’, ‘Allow sharing’, ‘Save your video’, and ‘post automatically to Facebook Stories’.
Having all these features enabled boosts the reach and visibility of your Instagram Live, even after it’s over.
4. Go Live when your audience is most active
The key to getting the most out of your Instagram Live is this: scheduling it at a time when your audience is online and active.
You want to get as many people watching as possible so you can have an interactive Live where your audience can ask questions, react and leave comments.
To get a good insight into when your audience is most active, you can take a peek at your Instagram Insights in the Audience Tab. Here, you’ll find a complete breakdown of when your audience is most active on days of the week and the time of day too.
Or you can hop into the Analytics section of your Plann workspace to find out exactly when your audience is online and active!
5. Use branded elements
While Instagram Live is all about going unedited and unfiltered, that doesn’t stop you from incorporating branded elements and showcasing your brand identity.
You can introduce a backdrop in your brand’s color scheme and make sure the images you’re sharing have your branding elements like fonts, colors, and logos, and include your branded products too.
How to promote an Instagram Live Broadcast
It’s important to nail your Instagram Live promotion game to get the most eyes on your Live broadcast.
Luckily, Instagram lets you schedule your Instagram Live up to 90 days in advance which helps you make an event out of it and build hype.
• Use the countdown sticker on Instagram Stories: if you schedule your Live broadcast, you can use the Countdown sticker on your Stories to regularly remind followers of the event. People will be able to turn on these reminders and also share the countdown to their Stories.
• Enlist a co-host: having a co-host isn’t just a great way to boost engagement of your Live but it sends out a notification to all of your followers and theirs too which further boosts the visibility of your Live broadcast.
• Share the Live topic and gather questions: sharing your Live topic in advance can build excitement among your audience and give them an idea of what to expect. You can either ask them to submit questions before your broadcast or while it goes Live to further boost engagement.
• Share exclusive content: letting your audience know they will get access to exclusive content, discounts or freebies is a great way to get more exposure for your Live broadcast. You can start teasing this on your Instagram Stories before the Live to encourage people to tune in.
How to host an interactive Instagram Live Broadcast
If you’ve never gone Live before or you need some tips and tricks to help you boost engagement and make your next Live broadcast super interactive, here are some tips, tricks, and features you can use while you’re going Live.
• Use the Q&A feature: when followers start joining your broadcast you’ll want to use the Q&A feature by clicking on the Question mark icon at the bottom right corner of your screen. This feature encourages users to leave questions they have for you and allows you to see and respond to follower’s questions
• Pin the title of your video: it’s likely that not everyone will join your Live straight away so make it super easy for new people who join to see the title of your video and get context about what your Live is about. To pin the title of your video click on the ‘pin comment’ feature and type the title of your broadcast.
• Use filters: if you’re looking to boost engagement in your broadcast, use face filters to get a little creative and have some fun during your Live. Plus, you can create your own AI filters and harness them in your Live broadcast which adds an additional branded layer to your Live.
• Share photos and videos: give your audience an insight into what goes on behind the scenes of your brand by sharing photos and videos from your camera roll. If you’re using Instagram Live to build hype around an upcoming product launch, then share some never before seen content about your products and how you made them.
• Use the Add a Friend feature: one of the best ways to create an interactive and engaging Live Broadcast is by starting a Live Room which shows you people who have requested to go live with you. You can start your Live by announcing you will pick followers to go Live with you, later on, to boost engagement and make your broadcast super interactive. It’s a great way to have an open dialogue and conversation with your audience virtually.
Ready to level up your Instagram marketing?
Looking for an all-in-one content creation suite that allows you to manage your Instagram page and all your other social media channels effortlessly? From mapping out your strategy and designing your graphics to saving plug-and-play hashtag sets, you’ll find everything you need inside Plann.
Go on, and redeem your 7-day free trial of Plann Plus. If you don’t like it, keep using Plann for free!