Why you should use Instagram LIVE for your business?
So there’s a ton of opportunities to actually make sales with your Instagram Live. If you’re able to promote your Live broadcast beforehand by creating a sense of urgency around it , you can achieve bigger success with driving a lot of engagement and viewers on your live broadcast.
Once you go live, Instagram will notify some of your followers that you are live. If they receive the notification, and have push notifications enabled on their mobile device, they’ll see a message similar to this one:
boryanakolf started a live video. Watch it before it ends!
Be aware that not ALL of your followers will receive a notification that you are Live. Instagram wants to make sure that you aren’t getting tons of notifications every time someone you follow goes Live. The company will notify followers who are active with your content and/or who are interested in and frequently use Instagram Stories.
The longer you stay Live, the more people Instagram will notify. Obviously, if you’re only Live for 2 minutes, you will not get nearly as many notifications sent out as if you stayed Live for 45 minutes.
Also, when you are using that feature, any of your followers who go to their home feed will see a notification in the Stories banner that you are currently Live. So, even if they don’t get a notification, if they are on Instagram, they’ll likely notice you’re Live.
Now that we got the technicalities away, let's talk about how to really use Instagram Live like a Pro:
Treat your Instagram Live broadcast like a business
Treat your Instagram Live broadcast as any other business meeting you would have in person. Be professional. Or I should say, act professional. Show on time. If you announce your Live will start at 2pm EST, then show exactly at 2pm, not 2:05 or 2:10. People have expectations and they will disappointing if you can not honor the time you scheduled your Live.
If you are using Instagram Live for promoting your business to a global audience, or promoting a new product/ service, etc, consider doing two different times and maybe even different days. For example, if you’re always Live at your local 2:00 pm Monday, that may be in middle of the night for some of your audience or the middle of the workday for others. While it may be ideal for some viewers at 2:00pm, you could risk missing out on a lot of your audience if that’s the only time you offer.
Be consistent. If you are going Live every week or every day, be there at the same time, at the same day. That way you will build a consistent audience. They know when you will be online and they will be there for you.
Promote your Instagram Live upfront
Your goal with Instagram Live should be to reach as many viewers as possible.
If you really want to drive a ton of viewers and engagement on your Instagram Live, you have to let you followers know about it upfront. Post on your Instagram profile at least one day ahead of your scheduled session to ensure the majority of your audience sees the post in time. Share this post to your other social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Snapchat, LinkedIn) to let them know you’ll be Live on Instagram and how to find you.
One of the best ways to promote your Instagram Live upfront is with Instagram Stories. Start posting to your Instagram Stories in the 24 hours leading up to the Live broadcast with teasers about your topic, what you’ll cover, or reasons why they should tune in, as well as the time and date (don’t forget to mention the time zone!), and any other important information you want your viewers to know.
It’s important that you have a tripod or something to mount your phone/ iPad on. Nothing is more annoying than a shaky video! If you can position the tripod with your device on it on the high of your face.
Be aware of the noise around you. If you’re in a quiet place, you can talk into your phone’s external microphone and get good quality audio. Shut down the AC/ fan or the heater. You may not realize but they do create a lot of background noise. If you are in a place that has a background noise or you’re outside, get a microphone! Even if it’s just your earbuds with microphone, get something to help isolate the audio.
And you also need good lighting. Position yourself so lights are in front of you, illuminating your face. Not behind you making you look dark or off to the side giving you funny shadows on your face. People will want to see your smiling face and facial expressions so make sure you have the right environment for good lighting. Be aware that the light may reflect on your glasses if you wear such.
Comment below if you want my recommendations for lighting, tripod and a mic. The tools you use don't have to be expensive, but you do need to look professional.
Prepare before going Live
Write down your script or speaking points. Bring value. A lot of value. People will appreciate and will thank you for providing valuable information they weren’t aware of. They will not stay on your video if you aren’t giving them real value. So from the moment you start, all the way through the end, make sure the content you’re sharing is adding value – whatever it is your audience values. Your audience may be looking for entertainment and laughs. They may be looking for helpful tips or information. They may be looking for discounts or product details. Whatever their “value” is, make sure you’re giving it to them.
Have the materials either printed or on your laptop in front of you while you are broadcasting Live. Narrow down some Q&A questions. And practice, practice, practice! One of the best ways to rehearse your Instagram Live broadcast is to record yourself on your camera. Watch the recording afterwards and make any adjustments necessary. Be aware of your posture, gestures, voice tember, excitement level.
Dress as you are going on a business meeting. No bright colors and make up. Be minimalist when it comes to accessories.
Be engaged during your Live
In the minute you go Live, Instagram will start sending notifications for your event. People will start tuning in and will continue to pop in throughout the broadcast. Each time someone new joins, you will see their profile name on your Instagram Live feed.
Pay attention to the names popping in and if you see usernames you recognize, give them a shout out. Say "Hi" to people and engage viewers.
You may want to give few minutes more people to arrive, so you don't have to repeat the beginning of your presentation. Ask people to chime in with where they’re from or other details to get them engaged in the conversation.
Encourage people to their thoughts on a topic you’re discussing. Take the time to read those comments and respond to them individually. Ask them to have their questions at the end of your Live streaming if this will interrupt you.
Refer to people by their usernames, even if you know they real names, so that others on the call know who you’re talking to when responding to questions or comments.
Use call-to-action (CTA) while being Live
We've already talked about the purpose of you using Instagram Live. While during the Live, you'll get engagement and tons of viewers. But the main goal is to lead people to your website and eventually sell them your products or services. Like any business tool, you want to be able to generate conversions. For that you will need to include calls-to-action in your Instagram Live presentation.
This may be asking people to sign up for your newsletter or blog, or register for a webinar, or get a free resource, or go to your website, or follow you on another social media platform, or comment on one of your Instagram posts, or pretty much anything you want to drive traffic to or results for.
Plan to space out these call-to-actions throughout your broadcast. Most viewers will not stay on the video for the whole presentation, so if you only mention your CTA once, you miss a large portion of the audience. Instead, say it multiple times throughout the video, but not so often you annoy those who stayed on the whole time. For example, if you broadcast for 30 minutes, mention your call-to-action about 3-4 times.
After you go Live
Instagram gives you only 1 hour for your Live. The last 1.5-2 minutes of your broadcast, the platform will show you a clock down and will let you know that your Live time is up.
You will have the option to see how many viewers in total you had on your broadcast, the avatar images of all of the people attending your Live, as well as the option to Save your video before post it for the next 24 hours. Sometimes I save my videos, so I can study them or for other purposes. I also do a screenshot of the screen showing me how many viewers in total I had. And I keep this data in an Excel spreadsheet. In one of my accounts, I go Live every single day (with small exceptions when I am flying or when I am very sick). That allows me to study what time is best for my viewers, for example.
After you post your Live video, I recommend you have a post prepared to share to your Instagram feed. Take one of the key points or a short recap of the key points from the live video and put them into a post that you upload immediately following the Live broadcast.
It also allows you to promote the fact that you hosted the Live video, and let them know they missed out on a great video. They’ll want to tune into the next one to ensure they don’t miss any good info next time.
So, make sure you also include the date and time of your next live video in this post and drum up anticipation now.
I know many of you hesitate to go Live for many reasons: what to talk about, too much exposure or whatever reasons you have. But you already did the first step of starting your own biz. You created a website. You opened social media accounts. Now it's time to embrace yourself and try out the Instagram Live feature. As I like to say: "What's the worst it could happen?"
Start with once a week commitment. Or like me, once a day for 30 days. I guarantee you, you will feel like a pro at the end of these 30 days.
Start with a short content and gradually progress to a longer one.
Get out there. Hit the “go live” button and have fun!