Instagram has been around since 2010 and they have expanded their features exponentially; you wouldn’t even recognize the platform from its early days!
This is great news for brands and businesses, and anyone else wanting to monetize Instagram.
With so many different features and content formats at your disposal, you have much more options in terms of reaching your target audience and producing content that will build a strong, engaged community.
Among the most popular features on Instagram are Instagram stories, IGTV, and Instagram in-feed content. A very powerful extension of Instagram stories is the opportunity to go live on Instagram, and brands are in full force taking advantage of this feature.
If you want a great way to connect with your followers in real-time, using Instagram livestream, commonly called Instagram live, is a prime way to do so.
When you livestream on Instagram, you allow your followers to get a real, authentic look at who you are, what your company is about, and go behind the scenes.
Using Instagram livestream on Instagram can have a very positive impact on your followers and engagement rate, ultimately leading to more leads, conversions, revenue, and brand loyalty.
In this article, we’re going to explain what Instagram live is, exactly how to livestream on Instagram, and share some of the top Instagram live tips. Let’s go!
What is Instagram Live?
The Instagram livestreaming feature first launched in late 2016 and has since remained one of the most popular features on the platform.
People love to watch their favorite brands, businesses, celebs, creators, and accounts go live.
Livestream.com asserts that 82% of people prefer live video from a brand as opposed to social media posts, showing that it has a huge hold on users and is a very desirable content type.
So, what exactly is Instagram livestream and how does it work?
Instagram live is an Instagram feature that allows a user (or group of up to 4 users) to broadcast a video in real time to their followers and viewers. Instagram live videos are viewed in the same place that a story is viewed.
When an Instagram has a live video broadcasting, there will be a pulsating colored ring around the profile picture with a logo that says LIVE underneath it.
It looks just like a story otherwise, and when you click on it, you will join the Instagram livestream.
After you enter the IG live, the broadcasting account will be notified that you’ve joined, as will the rest of the viewers.
You can see the view count of how many people are watching the live videos and oftentimes see a live content stream, watch the video, and even give a heart reaction and leave comments of your own.
There’s also a feature that allows you to request to go live on Instagram with the broadcasting account; this is a great way for broadcasters to involve different followers/viewers and engage them in dialogues, even potentially getting screen captures of themselves participating with their audience.
Livestreams on Instagram are very effective because you can connect immediately with your followers and viewers and get to know them better.
They are unedited, and offer your followers and viewers a real-time look at the face(s) behind the brand, business, or creative endeavor, boosting the brand’s authenticity and making them available.
In-feed photo and video posts, Instagram stories, and other content formats are still great ways to connect with followers; however, when you go live on Instagram, you can get feedback in real time, respond directly to people, and create conversations that increase brand visibility and reputation.
While there are other livestreaming websites out there that people can use, Instagram is one of the best available because it already has a strong authority as a social media platform and it also alerts all of your current followers when you go live.
You can livestream on Instagram for up to an hour.
How to Start Your Own Livestream
If you want to know how to livestream on Instagram, you’re in the right place! Now that we have a clear picture of what IG live is and why people love it, let’s find out how you can do it yourself.
Follow these steps to go live on Instagram:
- Open the Instagram app
- Swipe to the right on your newsfeed to open up the Instagram camera, just as if you were going to take a photo and post it to your Instagram story.
- At the bottom of the screen, you see a few options: post, story (default), reels, and Live.
- Tap Live and you will see the buttons at the bottom of the screen and the left-side menu options change.
- Tap the white “go live” button, and you are livestreaming on Instagram!
Before you go live, you have a couple different options to enhance the look of your IG livestream.
As you scroll through the circles at the bottom of the screen, you will see that you can add filters to your Instagram live that change the appearance of your face and add funny or pretty filters.
It may also change the overall look of the live image being broadcast.
There’s also a camera icon at the bottom of the screen with two circular arrows in it, which allows you to toggle between your front camera and back camera.
You can simply click the default white Instagram live button to go live, or go live with a filter by clicking one of the filter buttons to go live.
Before you go live, you can add a title to your Instagram livestream by using the icon on the left side.
Now you’re live on Instagram! Your followers will get a notification that you are live so that they can join in and participate.
Once you’re live, you’ll see a variety of icons on the right side of the screen as well as at the bottom of the screen.
On the right, you’ll see:
- Photo icon to add photos
- Microphone icon to mute and unmute yourself
- Video icon to turn on and off your video
- Camera flip icon to toggle between camera views
- Smiley icon to change your face filters
At the bottom, you’ll have three icons alongside the comment bar:
- Video camera icon to add a participant to your livestream
- A chat bubble with a question mark to respond to comments or questions asked by viewers
- Share icon
There is also a settings icon that can allow you to hide Instagram live videos from certain users, allow or disable comments and sharing, as well as the option to archive your video for later.
Once you finish your Instagram live, you’ll be presented with four actions: share to IGTV, view insights, download video, or delete video.
How to Livestream with Another User on Instagram
If you want to collaborate with another person in your company or niche and you want to make your Instagram livestream more engaging, you can go live with another user. It’s a very simple process.
When you’re live, anyone can request to go live with you.
You can deny or accept the request, and it can be either someone you know and have planned to involve in the Instagram live video in advance, or even a total stranger or follower that really wants to chat with you.
If you accept the request, the screen will split and the Instagram livestream will be shared with the other user. Both users can decide to exit the livestream. Up to four people can participate with you in your Instagram live.
The option also exists to add them in yourself. This is done via the video camera icon at the bottom of the screen; a list of users will appear and you can choose who you are going to go live with.
Going live on Instagram with another user gives you additional discussion points and can expand your Instagram live content, especially if you don’t have much of an idea what to do while live.
Tips for Instagram Livestream
Now that we know all about how to go live on Instagram, let’s think about some pro tips on how to engage your audience and produce successful livestreams on Instagram.
We’re bringing you 8 strategies that can take your Instagram live videos to the next level.
Announce Your Instagram Live
While you may decide to go live on Instagram when something cool or unexpected happens, if you have a big announcement or a very carefully-planned Instagram live, you’ll want to be sure to announce it to your followers before it happens.
You can let them know a day in advance if it’s a big deal and then build up to the actual Instagram live when it’s time to get started.
You can also simply alert them 30 minutes or so before the live begins so that they know to keep their eyes on IG stories.
The best way to alert your followers is through an IG story post, but you can also do it through in your news feed or photo/video caption if you think the Instagram live is important enough.
Communicate with Your Followers
One of the main purposes of Instagram livestream is to have fluid and instant communication with many of your followers all at once.
That means that you should promote engagement from your followers and get them chatting and leaving comments and questions.
You can even do a whole Instagram live directly related to questions and answers about your brand, business, project, etc.
If you decide to do this, it’s a good idea to give your followers notice so that they can consider different questions to ask and/or feedback to give.
When you see people leaving comments and participating, be sure to engage back with them! If you ignore them, then you’re missing the whole purpose and benefit of Instagram live.
Invite Others to Go Live with You
As we mentioned above, it’s a great way to get Instagram followers interested in your content and provide a meaningful and engaging Instagram live.
You can also leverage the other user’s followers to get more views for your Instagram live.
If you are in a livestream on Instagram and want to actively involve your participants, you can pull some of your viewers into the live with you.
This is a good way to make your followers or viewers feel special and they may even share about the experience later or share a screenshot of them in the Instagram live.
Test Your Sound and Video Quality Before Livestreaming
Nothing is worse than hyping up an Instagram livestream and then entering the livestream and finding out that nothing works, the video is cloudy, the sound is murky, your background looks awful, or some other issue.
It’s important to come prepared and test your video and sound before you go live on Instagram. You can record a test video to do that and then check to make sure that everything is working right.
You should also:
- Use a clean background that enhances your brand and message and doesn’t distract or displease your viewers
- Choose a small and quiet room for better sound quality (obviously this doesn’t work for all scenarios, but if it applies, you should do it)
- Keep your devices charged up and ready to go
- Make sure your lighting is good; use a ring light or sit near a window or source of light for best results
Be Creative in Your Livestream
There are many different things you can do in your Instagram live video, and it’s a good idea to think about what the purpose of your Instagram livestream is and what you’re going to be doing while you’re live.
Some content ideas include:
- Product reveals
- Building excitement for a product launch
- Behind-the-scenes look
- Feedback session
- Q and A session
- Feature a special guest or do an interview with an expert
- Random or weird videos
- Telling stories or experiences
This isn’t a comprehensive list, so thinking about other types of content might help you to reach your Instagram goals and set your Instagram livestream apart from the rest.
Also, you don’t always have to do your Instagram live from within a room, but keep in mind your followers should be able to tell what the setting is and also understand you clearly and accurately. You can do something weird or unique to capture attention in your Instagram live.
If you want to stick to content-based livestreams, consider doing an IG live that includes a tutorial, live instructions, top tips for your niche or industry, a cooking session, and more.
Make it a Routine
If you want to create something that your followers get used to seeing and always know to look for, consider having a live broadcast on Instagram once a week on a particular day.
This gives followers a clear idea of where they can find you on a regular basis and can drive people to check out your news feed on a regular basis so they can catch your Instagram live.
Save Your IG Live to Your Story Afterward
As we described in the above section, you can do a plethora of things with your Instagram livestream. One of the best things you can do is to post it to Instagram stories so that your viewers can see it later if they happen to miss it during the livestream.
On Instagram stories your IG live will be available for 24 hours, just as any other story.
You can archive or save the story after the fact and then post it to your Instagram story highlights, which can only be done if you share it to your Instagram story after you finish.
It can also be directly converted into an IGTV video for followers to view anytime on your news feed.
Follow Up with Your Viewers
Before your livestream on Instagram ends, make sure to encourage your viewers to take action and give them an actionable task as the video is finishing.
You can ask them to DM your account so you can respond later and give each follower the attention they need.
You can also ask them to share any screenshots or information they found useful in the Instagram livestream.
You can create a post-Instagram live video to your stories and summarize your livestream and give your followers the lowdown if they missed it.
Final thoughts: Instagram Livestream
So there you have it! How to livestream on Instagram, how to involve your followers/viewers, and what to do after you’ve finished the livestream.
When you know how to go live on Instagram effectively, you can create a transparent, authentic, and present reputation for your brand that shows your followers that you’re available and able to be reached on Instagram.
Instagram livestreams are popular for a reason, so don’t miss out on the feature if you’re trying to boost brand engagement, your Instagram community involvement, a special product launch, or even to gain feedback or do a Q&A session in real time.