About Instagram Live
Instagram Live is the new ability to stream, in real time, from the Instagram app. Live streaming has gained in popularity over the last 18-24 months, initiated by the launch of Meerkat (remember them?!) back in February of 2015. A few weeks later, I was sitting at the opening keynote of Social Media Marketing World in 2015, when Periscope launched.
Since then, we’ve seen live streaming in the form of Blab, Facebook Live and YouTube live streaming. And don’t forget Google Hangouts on Air! That was live streaming before it was cool. I’m sure I’m forgetting a key platform in there somewhere, but all this to say, live streaming is here to stay, and we have a lot of options.Instagram Live is an incredible way to increase website traffic & sales. Click To Tweet
One Key Difference
The Instagram Live platform differs in one major way from Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope; currently, there is no way to save or replay an Instagram Live session. As soon as you press the Stop button, your Live session disappears forever! This bums me out, because as a marketer I’m always looking for ways to re-purpose and use my content in as many ways as possible.
However, I still see many benefits to using Instagram Live. For one, I get more attendees and higher engagement than when I do a Facebook live. I have also found that using Instagram Live to “talk out” ideas for blog posts helps me crystallize my ideas before I go write about them. Small wins.
How to Access Instagram Live
From your home feed, click the Instagram Stories button in the upper left hand corner. Once you are live, you can do things like turn off commenting (but, why?!)
Tips for a Successful Live Stream
Not all live streaming is created equal. The best, most effective live streams all have a few things in common:
A Clear Purpose
Think of your live stream like a mini-show, podcast episode, or blog post come alive. Have a clear topic and points. It helps to bullet things out ahead of time to keep yourself on topic. Remember that people are popping on and dropping off all the time, so it’s helpful to quickly recap your points from time to time.
If you are struggling for content ideas, I’ve put together a 3-page list of beginner, intermediate, and advanced topic ideas. You don’t even need to think about it! (See below to download.)
I think live streams can be long or short, depending on the topic, and what your audience wants and expects from you. Staying on more than 10 minutes allows more people to hop on, but I’ve found that not very many people have 20-30 minutes a day to sit and watch my live stream :).
Involve Your Audience
You don’t need to ask for double taps (hearts), which looks a little silly. But ask questions and tell viewers to comment with their answers. Read a few of the answers out loud and mention people’s handles, or real names if you know them. Respond to them and make your stream as much of a two-way conversation as possible.
Send Them Somewhere Else
As with all social media, the goal is to get someone to take the next step with you. Social media might be where someone discovers you or first engages with your brand, but you need to get them back to where you do business. Send them to one of your freebies or opt-ins. Comment with, or mention, a short link to a specific blog post that complements what you are talking about. Use your live stream to gain leads.
With these tips, you are well on your way to using Instagram Live to attract more leads, and ultimately nurture them to more sales!
Have you tried Instagram Live yet? What was your experience?
Molly Marshall teaches small business owners and online entrepreneurs how to systematically and simply grow a profitable online presence through social media. Get your FREE Instagram Strategy Guide now!