Instagram Live was introduced in November 2016. It’s been nearly a year since its’ release, yet many brands have been slow to find a way to utilize it to their advantage. Instagram Live’s most unique perk is sending a push notification to all of your followers who are currently on the app to inform them that you’re on live! As if that isn’t enough, it also places your live session in front of everyone else’s current Instagram stories. So basically, if you’re using Instagram Live...the app treats you like royalty! It’s time that you step onto your throne. Here are 3 basic steps to ruling Instagram Live!
1. Plan Ahead
If you’re going to go live, you should plan out what you will be doing. Instagram Live is great if you have an event, a product release, a skit, a tutorial, or anything entertaining enough to keep your audience engaged. Since your followers and anyone else who joins in can comment and interact with what they’re viewing, you want to make it worth their while to stay. Otherwise, it’s easy for them to quickly exit out of your live stream. That may also make them more hesitant to click on it again in the future.
If you plan your Instagram Live stream several days or weeks ahead of time, you can use Instagram posts and Instagram stories to promote it. You may even cross-promote it through your other social networks, a tactic that could gain you more followers. Planning ahead of time gives you a chance to get creative and ensure that your audience will be engaged. Loft does a great job of going live within their store as soon as there are new products or lines that are being released. It allows their current audience to interact with their new products, store layouts, and employees! It also gives Loft a chance to target more millennials and stay relevant.
2. Stay True To Your Brand’s Identity
When you’re scrolling through layouts and timelines, you may notice a pattern/sequence. Many brands have an aesthetic they follow, along with a voice. Each is focused on a message to relay to their audience. When using Instagram stories and Instagram Live, it is important to remain consistent with your brand identity. If your page relays a message and your Instagram Live is projecting a contradicting message...your audience will be confused and many will push back from your brand’s identity.
For example, if your page is geared towards beauty tutorials and products then an unboxing or live tutorial would be perfect for your Instagram Live. If you went live and began to discuss how much you love wooden floors, your audience may be confused as to why they’ve even tuned in...unless of course you can use a piece of that wood to apply a flawless contour/highlight, then proceed! What we’re simply saying is to remain familiar to your current audience. Your Instagram Live should be an extension of the brand/voice your page already conveys.
3. Value, Value, Value
The key to a successful Instagram Live session, is making the audience feel like it was worth it to tune in. You are limited to photos and 60-second videos on your timeline, along with 15-second Instagram stories at a time. With unlimited time limits, why not go all out and give your viewers an interactive show? You can announce exclusive discounts, giveaways, winners of giveaways, promotions, and inside scoops so the viewers can benefit from the experience as well. It’s a win-win!
Take a look at how RIF LA used all three of our steps to promote their Instagram Live, while announcing the winner of these cool kicks. Oh, having John Mayer involved also helps!
With these 3 steps in mind, you’re well on your way to ruling Instagram Live. Remember to interact with your viewers as well. Answer some of their questions and engage with them if your live permits you to do so. Good luck and stay tuned for more tips on how to step your social media up!