An Instagram spokesperson told Buiness Insider the platform has seen a 70% increase in use of the Live feature in the last month.
With the influx of Instagram Live sessions appearing on our feeds as of late, we thought it only right to create a complete guide to Instagram Live. In this article we will take a look at why the platform is so popular, how you can create great Live content, and the best practices for the platform.
Why is Instagram Live so popular?
After Covid hit, both creators and brands started to look for ways to connect with their audiences more authentically, sensitively and empathetically. Continuing “as-normal” was somewhat of a downfall for some creators who were accused of ignoring the situation and continuing to try and sell without addressing the global change. Now, we have seen a large shift from product-focused content, towards content that tells a story – and Instagram Live helps to do this.
When a creator or brand livestreams, there is no room for edits, staging or fixes. Followers are also able to interact with their favourite Instagrammers, and receive in-person shout outs and responses, which feel a lot more personal. Instagram Live is a great way for creators to speak directly to their audiences in a raw and unfiltered way, and this is what people are looking for right now.
How do you create great content for Instagram Live?
There’s nothing worse than going Live and not knowing the purpose, or what you want to say. A lot of well-performing Instagram Live content focuses around a specific theme or topic and has a rough structure that is easy to follow.
What do your followers look for when they come to your feed? Are you a great photographer? Think about doing a live masterclass on the basics of photography. Maybe you’re into fitness? Create a schedule of Instagram Live workout sessions. Again, you want to create an Instagram Live video that people are compelled to join, so think about what is unique about your profile and following and use that to your advantage.
You can still just have live chats where you speak to your followers more directly and conversationally, just make sure you can count on enough people to join so that the momentum of your conversation flows!
Create a schedule
A lot of accounts have been creating Instagram Live schedules, that let their followers know exactly when they will be going live, and what they will be sharing. It allows users to plan your live session into their calendars, giving you more scope for viewers. It also gives people a good idea of what you are covering in your session, so if they are interested in a certain topic they can join specific streams. These set schedules have proved to be successful for brands as they clearly provide the value in the session before users join, so they know exactly what to expect.
Some Instagram Live schedule inspiration:
Recruit a partner
If you would prefer to do a live with someone else, think about recruiting an interesting friend or contact. You can interview them to get their insights on a specific topic, ask them for their expertise on a specific topic, or just chat. Some people have opted to do different activities with their friends whilst on Instagram Lives, like taking quizzes together, or taking part in a viral challenge. If you don’t feel comfortable starting out with Instagram Live on your own, this is a great (and entertaining way) to combat your nerves.
Some content ideas you can do with someone else:
- Casual chats
- Sharing advice and tips
- Taking quizzes together
- Taking part in challenges
Increase the longevity of your content
Instagram have just released a new feature for Instagram Live, where you can now directly upload your live sessions to your IGTV. This is great, because it means you can increase the longevity of your content, and keep it in your feed forever. It also gives both old and new followers a chance to watch your video if they missed it, increasing the opportunity for engagement. Just make sure you are prepared with your cover photo, title and description before you hit record, as you can only add it to IGTV right after you finish your live session. Learn how to kill your IGTV content, here.
What are the basics for acing Instagram Lives?
- Keep the momentum going. You want to retain users as your Instagram Live continues so make sure your energy and content doesn’t drop off as time goes by. Try and set out a plan for where you want the live to go, so you have a topic to move on to if you feel yourself losing momentum.
- Reply to your comments. Interacting with users is one of the most important features on Instagram Live, and is also one of the keys to a successful stream. Keep an eye on the comments section in case anyone asks you questions, and make sure to mention the users that engage with you, live.
- Make sure you are in a well lit room, with a good quality and clear visual picture. Film your Instagram Live in portrait, with a background that is clean and de-cluttered.
- Check that your sound is working and that your followers can hear you clearly. You can ask them as you start the session to send in an emoji to let you know they can hear you. When you are on an Instagram Live session with a guest, make sure not to talk over them, as the audio will cut out. Also make sure your volume isn’t turned up too high so that their sound echos in your video.
- Stay true to yourself, and your voice. Show your followers that you are happy to be there, and happy to be talking with them. You can act natural, as livestreams are all about no edits and relatability.
Now you are armed with everything you need to create killer Instagram Live content for your followers. Let us know how you get on, and be sure to check out our app, which will help you reach more viewers if you haven’t already!