Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms around. They boast at least a billion monthly users. They’re second in popularity only to Facebook. People seem to love this image sharing site, so it makes sense that businesses, brands, and bloggers should be using it to market themselves.
One feature that was rolled out a few years ago and is gaining traction is Instagram Live. Using this service, you can post live video clips to your Instagram Stories. It’s a fun and meaningful way to engage your audience.
However, there are definitely some best practices when it comes to using this feature. Take a look below to discover how to use Instagram Live to grow your followers.
1. Decide on Your Purpose
Before you create a video, you want to determine its purpose. This helps to give you direction and keep you on task when recording. It also lets you inform your audience of what the video will include when you promote it. You want to build anticipation, right? IG Live videos only stick around for 24 hours, and then they’re gone. There are a number of reasons why this format can be beneficial.
Many marketers use these short videos to announce a product launch or give a tutorial on how to use a product. They might also do interesting and relevant interviews with other Instagram users. Hosting an audience Q&A is a great way to boost engagement.
People also like to see the ins and outs of your business through video tours of your headquarters or behind-the-scenes highlights of your staff. These are just some of the more popular ways people are using Instagram Live video these days.
2. Promote Your Video Ahead of Time
Create hype about your video by promoting it before its launch. Let your followers know when you will broadcast your video. A date and time are both necessary to ensure your audience will show up.
You can write an Instagram post to create some buzz and get the word of mouth going. If people know ahead of time, they’re more likely to tune in.
3. Provide Incentives
Now that folks know when your video will launch, you can also sweeten the deal by offering them some incentives to attend the viewing. Giveaways are always a good draw when it comes to enticing viewers. Exclusive discount codes are also good.
If you have some loyal and engaged followers already, it may be enough to promise them a big announcement they’ll learn about first by watching your video. Some type of incentive is always good when it comes to any live event.
4. Practice and Prep
As they say, practice makes perfect. You don’t want your video to be overly scripted. However, having a plan in place and running through it a few times is a good idea.
It will help to calm your nerves and make sure you know what you’re going to say during your live stream. It will also give you an idea of how long the video will be and can alert you to any potential problems ahead of time.
You don’t want to find yourself stumbling over something that could have been prevented with just a bit of practice. In addition, take the time to prepare your supplies ahead of time. If you are doing a demonstration, you may need certain products or props. Have everything on hand when you’re ready to launch to avoid any potential embarrassment.
5. Hype Up the Urgency
You can use the fact that Instagram Live videos are only around for 24 hours to your advantage.
Be sure to remind your audience that they will only have a limited time to see your video. This will provide a sense of urgency around the event. They may want to mark it on their calendars so they don’t miss it.
The fleeting nature of these video broadcasts makes them ideal to offer exclusive discounts. People hate the idea of missing out. If they’ve been thinking about buying your product or investing in your webinar, now might be the best time for them to take the leap while they can get it at a great price.
6. Set Settings to Automatically Save Your Video
The settings in your Instagram stories let you upload your video to your story, share it to Facebook and save your video.
The settings icon is shaped like a gear and is located in the upper left-hand corner of the Stories screen. Make sure you set your video to be saved automatically so that you don’t lose it.
You may want to take advantage of some of the other features to expand your overall reach. It’s possible to share your video only with select followers. This can be great if you want to offer exclusive access to a particular group.
7. Engage With Viewers
There are some steps you should take during your live video to ensure things go as smoothly and effectively as possible. Engaging with your viewers is always recommended because it adds a personal touch and helps them to feel invested in your content.
Take a look to see which users are watching. Give them a shout out if you can, especially if you’re familiar with them. Also, take time to welcome new people.
Answer questions if any are coming in. If you’re not able to pay attention and answer them right away, be sure to let your viewers know you intend to follow up on those questions. Any type of engagement will help you video session to flow more naturally.
8. Make It Personal
An Instagram Live video is the perfect outlet to add some personal touches to your content. People like to attach a face and voice to a brand. Let them into your world by sharing your personality.
If you’re quirky and fun by nature, let your audience see that. If you’re shy, it’s okay to admit it. Video live streaming opens you up to being vulnerable, and that’s okay. In fact, you can actually use that vulnerability to your advantage.
Hopefully, these eight tips will help you to get started using Instagram Live to grow your followers. This feature is a fun and effective way to facilitate engagement and expand your reach. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Before long, you’ll overcome your nerves and feel like you’ve been doing video forever.