Looking at the trending video marketing strategies, live streaming will be right at the top. The pandemic brought live streaming to the fore.
With live streaming, it became easier for businesses to connect with the audience at a more personal level. Live streaming became the biggest social media hit.
The top social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc., soon realized the huge potential of live streaming.
They adapted to the new trend and soon tweaked their algorithms to encourage users to live stream more and more.
This massive tool called ‘Live Streaming’ is patronized by the biggest social media platforms. Of all the social media platforms begging for your attention, why should you choose Instagram?
Why Use Instagram Live Streaming to Promote Business?
Your presence here indicates your mind is made up. You have decided to use Instagram live streaming to promote your business. If there is even a pinch of doubt then this section is designed to dispel it once and for all.
Instagram gives priority to live-streaming videos over other forms of content. The user of the platform will have no problem finding live videos.
It’s right at the top, greeting the audience who open the app. The audience can easily see live videos of people they are following.
With the traditional business video, as much as you try, it’s difficult to dispel the idea that the video, its content, and its message, are scripted.
With live streaming, businesses can add the elements of authenticity and trust. Live videos humanize the brand because there is no scope for retakes and edits.
As the new king of the social media industry, Instagram is the perfect place for businesses to stay in touch with a customer even after the sale.
Businesses can achieve more sales and better ROI by developing long-term relationships with existing customers than by acquiring new customers. Delighting existing customers through Instagram live videos can also help boost brand loyalty.
We have given you enough reasons to add Instagram live streaming to your marketing plan. Now, let’s discuss how to use Instagram live to promote your business.
How to Use Instagram Live Stream for Your Business
Using Instagram live streaming for your business isn’t something you can learn on the job. It would take a long time and a considerable amount of resources to start from scratch.
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Use the strategy, tips, and tricks you find here to gain a clear edge over your competitors.
1. Define Your Marketing Goals and Devise a Plan
Never compromise professionalism for authenticity. You know as well as I do that a marketing video needs to have a goal, message, and call to action. In addition, you need a plan that brings the various elements of marketing together.
As much as you want, you can’t just press Go Live and say what you want to say without a plan, developed and perfected well in advance.
The current trend in marketing is to have video series. In this, each video will have a specific goal and message. Moreover, all the sub-goals must also align with the main goal of the video series.
Without a plan, which entails having a goal, message, call to action, KPIs, and more, sooner or later you’ll lose your way. The results won’t be as expected and you may lose motivation to continue with Instagram live streaming.
Live streaming is no different from traditional video marketing. Think about the different stages of video production – defining goals, message, and call to action, and deciding the tools and script, before you move forward.
2. Select a Topic That Offers Value to the Audience
The urge to go extempore in a live video is immense. In fact, many entrepreneurs feel live video can be anything about their business.
Bear in mind, like traditional video, live streaming content helps businesses earn the audience’s trust. Live video is a powerful tool to establish credibility.
It should value the audience’s time and aim to provide a solid experience every time. Instagram users who feel they have gained something valuable from the live video will return for more of the same, again and again.
Put out live content that caters to the needs of the audience. Learn about your target audience as much as possible – their likes, dislikes, pain points, and emotional triggers.
Use the gathered customer information to come up with topics and content that grab attention, keep the audience engaged, and encourage them to learn more about your business.
The fear of making mistakes or going off-topic can prevent some from using Instagram live to promote their business. To keep your performance in front of the camera in tune with the script, create an outline of the content and add a few pointers.
Instagram live videos can be creative. You can prepare graphics, charts, points, etc., and upload them to your live video. You can use a video editor to include a call to action, an email address, and more to keep the audience engaged with the topic.
3. The Ideal Video Formats to Use on Instagram
Businesses have plenty to say – information that highlights and promotes their services. But, they are usually confused about how to present the information in an engaging manner. Here are a few ways you can attract the audience:
Invite industry experts, influencers, and celebrities: Use industry experts or influencers to reach a larger audience. It increases brand awareness and reach and boosts your credibility among the new audience.
How-to guides and tutorials: Product demo video content, how-to guides, and tutorials are some of the most important video types on the internet. Instagram users will trust your brand because ‘what they see is what they get’. You can also invite the viewers to ask questions live and answer them promptly.
Telecast celebratory or behind-the-scenes events: Such live videos humanize the brand. You introduce to the audience the people behind the brand. This adds emotional appeal to your marketing and builds strong ties between the brand and the customers.
Ask me anything or question & answer sessions: This is a much better idea than the FAQ page on your website. You can record these sessions, break them into short Q&A snippets, and publish them on the website (thereby using Instagram to boost website performance) or YouTube to boost engagement.
User-generated content: This is not new, but there is still a huge untapped potential for you to use user-generated live streaming to promote your business. For example, in product launch events, you can request participants to live telecast their experience. Brands can also request customers to live stream their unboxing sessions or their first experience of using a product or service.
4. Use Instagram Insights to Schedule the Live Broadcast
Whether your target audience is local or spread throughout the world, your live broadcast will attract attention only if it goes online when your followers are active on the app.
It isn’t too difficult to study the audience’s behavior. The Instagram Insights feature can help you research your followers.
You can also use a third-party research tool to study the behavior pattern of your target audience who are not yet your followers on Instagram.
There are social media marketing tools that study the target demography to suggest the best time to schedule the live broadcast.
5. Add Brand Elements to Your Live Video
For example, use coffee mugs with your logo, create cue cards with your brand colors, or add your business slogan to the video background.
6. Promote Your Live Session on the Platform
When you go live, on the top of the Instagram home screen, the user will see your profile image with the tag ‘Live’ clearly displayed on it. This isn’t sufficient promotion for your live video.
You gain the benefit of Instagram live marketing only if the target audience is on Instagram at the same time as you are.
Instagram will send a push notification to all your followers. But, you need the followers to be free to watch your live broadcast. Hence, it’s best to advertise your live session well in advance.
Use the feed post to advertise the live-streaming session. Even better; you could add a countdown sticker.
After advertising the live session, as a backup measure, you could send reminders to your followers to attend the live session.
7. Give Your Live Video a Post-Broadcast Boost
Now you can take advantage of a live broadcast up to 24 hours after the live session. You can save the live session and make the video part of your Instagram story.
The video will appear on your followers’ feed marked as ‘Live’. As discussed above, you can repurpose the saved video to gain additional benefits.
8. Plan Consecutive Live Sessions
Instagram live has a maximum time limit of an hour. But don’t let the limitation curtail a lively and engaging broadcast. There is a workaround that will allow you to extend your session.
After a live session, you can start a new one. The just-concluded broadcast can be saved and later promoted on your feed.
You can post a comment informing the followers of the consecutive live broadcast. Or, rely on the live notification that Instagram sends to all your followers at the start of a live video.
9. Adjust Your Instagram Settings
Develop a routine for your Instagram Live broadcasts. It’s quite possible to forget or skip an important step under the pressure of live streaming.
Make sure you choose the right settings before going live on Instagram. For example, go to the ‘Story Controls’ and turn on the feature that allows everyone to send replies.
Furthermore, decide where you want the broadcast to be saved. If the phone memory isn’t large enough for the video, change settings to archive the content.
You can also give the Instagram app permission to share the video with the Facebook business page after the live session.
After adjusting the settings and performing a final check to ensure everything is in order, start streaming by clicking the ‘Start Live Video’ button.
At the top-left corner of the screen, you should see the label ‘Live’. Failing to click the button properly or double-clicking it is an easy enough mistake that is surprisingly common.
10. Tips to Make Instagram Live Sessions Interesting
Sometimes a little fun can encourage the audience to learn more about your business. Use filters to change your look and make the live videos more amusing. We request you not overuse the filters. If not used properly and sparingly, filters tend to divert the audience’s attention from the main message of the video.
There are many ways to make your live-streaming videos engaging. As we discussed earlier, inviting an influencer or industry expert will make the video more enjoyable. Plus, you get to promote your business among the influencer’s followers.
The other person, who is part of the live broadcasting, need not be in the same place as you are. Instagram allows you to conduct live videos with another presenter.
Suppose you plan an interview with an expert or host the video with someone from your company, then choose the ‘Go Live with a Friend’ option to appear online at the same time. Anyone from the audience can also send a request to join the live session. It’s up to you to accept or decline the request.
If the video format allows, include views shared by the viewers. Or even better, you can interact with them during the live broadcast.
For a person, his or her name is the sweetest sound in the world. Hence, when reading or interacting with a person, address using the person’s first name. Plus, always express your gratitude to the viewers for taking the time to attend the live broadcast. Make your viewers feel special.
11. Include an Effective Call to Action (CTA)
To generate leads with your live videos you need to tell the viewers what you want them to do after watching the video.
Bear in mind, the call to action must be subtle but effective. Don’t hard sell your brand which might repel the audience instead of engaging them.
There can be more than one call-to-action, but the main CTA must align with the primary goal of the video.
At the end of the live broadcast or at some point in the video, remind the viewers that the recording of the video will be available on your Instagram page. Then, request them to share the same with their friends and followers.
12. Moderate the Language Used in the Comment Section
Instagram allows you to filter offensive and inappropriate words from the comments section during your broadcast.
You can adjust settings to give the app permission to automatically hide inappropriate comments. This can be done on the ‘hidden words’ page of the ‘Privacy’ section.
The social media platform also allows advanced filtering. Under this feature, you can manually specify emojis, words, and phrases that you want to be hidden from the public eye.
Not too long ago, Instagram introduced a new feature called Live Moderator. Now you get to appoint a person to monitor the comments during your live broadcast.
The live moderator has the power to (a) turn off comments for a viewer during the live session, (b) remove viewers from the live streaming, and (c) report comments.
13. Stay Positive and Go with the Flow
Minor obstacles and interruptions are quite common during live broadcasts. Hence, you should be prepared for a few glitches and take them in your stride.
Bear in mind, your primary aim should be to connect and engage the viewers. If you manage to achieve perfection in that process, well and good. But, creating a perfect live broadcast should not be your main goal.
For example, suppose the influencer or expert invited takes longer to join the live broadcast, you can keep the viewers engaged by talking about the expert. Alternatively, you can respond to questions sent by the viewers.
14. Use the End Segment to Promote Your Next Live Broadcast
At the end of the live broadcast, you can share an overview of the next video. You can also make it a contest, asking the viewers to predict the guest appearing in the next video.
You can reveal the date and time of the next live session. Alternatively, remind the audience to check your pinned message to know the schedule. It’s even better if you can use marketing tools to share the details as a direct message to all your followers.
Instagram is an incredible platform to create brand awareness, connect and engage prospects, and build long-term relationships with existing customers. You can also use Instagram live at any stage of the sales funnel that you create with clickfunnels or clickfunnels alternatives.
But, like you, there are millions of businesses trying to grab the audience’s attention and promote their business.
The use of live streaming and our ideas on how to use this strategy can help you reach and engage the audience like never before. Take action now and return later to share your success story with us.
Cristian Stanciu is a freelance video editor, owner and post-production coordinator of Veedyou Media – a company offering video editing and animation services to marketing agencies, video production studios or brands all over the globe.