In 2019, Instagram made a huge bet with the vertical video format and successfully pushed Instagram stories to a major adoption. And today the rise of Instagram live video in a mobile immerse format is imminent, especially when it comes to establishing a closer and more personal connection with followers.
It is one of the most effective features and the ultimate tool you can use to get in touch with your audience, increase Instagram views, boost profile engagement and sell products regularly.
Further in this article, you will learn how to go live on Instagram and how businesses can implement it in their brand promotion strategies.
Instagram Live as part of Instagram Stories
Instagram Live is an Instagram feature that allows you to broadcast a video in real-time in front of your followers and speak to them live.
Streaming a live video for your audience is a part of Instagram Stories. It will appear in the story section marked with a colorful ring around your picture with the “LIVE” symbol.
Because Instagram Live is a part of the Instagram stories vertical format, you might think that going live is recording a short video for a couple of seconds or minutes.
Well, the maximum duration time you can use for Instagram broadcasts is 4 hours. When the live session ends, the video disappears from the Instagram story section.
There is not a replay option, so it’s a crucial thing that incites urgency for people to attend the broadcast and interact with the creator in real-time.
This situation is beneficial for online tutors, instructors, people who create virtual classes, marketers, and sellers to live stream longer and make one-time opportunities people don’t want to miss out on.
Don’t worry if you want to use the Instagram live option for more than 4 hours.
After the broadcast ends, go live again, and you will get another 4 hours for interaction with your followers.
Also, don’t forget to share or download the video to your phone’s camera roll after your streaming.
That way you can publish it on your page as a video post or on IGTV so that people can watch it as many times as they want.
Instagram live video has the same dimensions as Instagram stories, 9:16 aspect ratio with 1080 x 1920p screen size.
It allows you to stream in a full-screen frame for better visual presentation and video quality.
Live broadcasts on Instagram can be beneficial for your business in so many ways, but first, let’s explain how to start and schedule an Instagram live broadcast firsthand.
How to schedule and manage Instagram live video broadcast
Scheduling live broadcasts is the very first step to do if you want your audience to be ready for the live video. This is not a necessary step because you can start with live video directly at the moment you want.
But that way, your audience will not be prepared, and many may not attend the live broadcast.
Always prefer to schedule your Instagram lives at least a couple of hours before you start to announce your followers and invite them to join. Here is an example of how to do it properly:
Open your Instagram feed or profile and click on the “+” button in the top right corner.
Here from the Create menu, choose the “Live” option.
The Live feature will be activated, so tap the “Schedule” option listed on the left side of the screen.
Now, you will see a blank field to enter the video title and choose a starting time between 3 months and 1 hour from the moment of your scheduling.
Set the date and tap the “Schedule Video” button below.
In the end, there is an option to share it as a post where the broadcast date and time will be included. This is an important step to notify your followers about the live stream and remind them about it. Also, you can tap the “Share Later” option to announce your audience later.
To manage your already scheduled live broadcast on Instagram, do the following steps:
- Repeat the first 3 steps mentioned above to open the Instagram Live scheduler.
- When open, you will see an already scheduled broadcast with the video title and the starting date.
- From the right side, click the three dots button to open the settings and choose the “Edit” option.
Now you can change the broadcast title, modify the starting time or cancel the video. Click the “Done” button to save all modifications.
Your live broadcast has a new scheduled version, and you are prepared to go live.
How to start an Instagram live broadcast
To start an Instagram live video is quite an easy process, and only a few clicks separate you from it.
Here is a simple example of how to go live and a short review of the interactive features you can use while broadcasting:
Open your Instagram feed or profile and click on the “+” button in the top right corner. From the dropdown menu, choose the “Live” option.
NOTES: You can activate it in another way if you open the Instagram Stories camera and simply tap the “Live” option from the sliding menu at the bottom of your screen.
Once you open the Instagram live feature, you will see a big white button at the bottom of your screen with the Instagram Live symbol inside. Click it when you are ready to start the stream.
That’s it! After the connection checking, you will start the Instagram live stream, and it’s time to speak to your followers who watch the broadcast.
You will notice many different features on the screen you can use while streaming.
- There is a comment box below where you can type comments to your audience and answer questions. This feature is great if you have an assistant in the Instagram live stream. You can speak to the viewers while the assistant can answer the comments back. Another option is to hide comments.
- The camera icon with a plus sign at the bottom of the screen will serve you to connect with other people in your live broadcast as a co-host and make an interview or simple face-to-face conversation. You can see the requests people send to join your Instagram live stream too.
- You can use the question mark icon at the bottom of the screen to see what people ask. Also, there is an option to share those questions during the broadcast.
- Next, you can direct message the live broadcast to any of your followers using the paper plane icon.
- Three sparkles icon from the right side of the screen is here to add interesting filters to your face during the live session.
- Also, from the right side of the screen, tap the microphone icon to mute yourself, the camera icon to turn off/on your camera, and cycle arrows to set the front or back camera of your phone for streaming.
- To end the broadcast, click the “X” button at the top right corner.
As you can notice, Instagram Live is an easy-to-use feature together with all the options that come along.
In a couple of clicks, you are ready to speak to your audience in real-time, tell them about your business and products and answer their questions face-to-face.
All of this can lead to building strong customer relationships and an increased engagement rate when it comes to your brand on your Instagram account.
Latest Instagram Live updates
There is nothing new for Instagram to roll out different upgrades and new features as a social media every month.
We are witnessing how often Instagram releases new updates for users. And this is a case for Instagram Live too.
Instagram Live scheduling
The Instagram Live scheduling option we mentioned above is one of the latest Instagram live updates this year.
Now, users can schedule their live streams separately from the posts and stories, highlighting them on their profiles right below the bio section.
That’s easier for the followers to click on the live video opt-in form and set the reminder by themselves.
Instagram Live subscribers
Instagram subscription is probably one of the most favorite updates for businesses and influencers.
Subscriptions are a monetization option for businesses. Creators use them as an additional income stream sharing exclusive content only for the subscribers.
When it comes to Instagram Live, creators can go live only for their subscribers and directly target them with privileged offers in-person and face-to-face.
This is an awesome way for businesses to increase their profit, thanks to this latest Instagram update.
In-stream video ads
Instagram now allows creators and businesses to use in-stream ads to redirect the viewers on sales pages, online stores, landing pages, websites, etc.
This is a powerful method business owners can use for driving sales and traffic directly from their broadcasts for a temporary monthly payment.
These ads are formerly known as IGTV ads because Instagram plans to shut down IGTV, according to the Hootsuite news released in February this year.
Instagram Live moderator
The so-called Live moderator option is one of the latest updates when it comes to Instagram Live. Now, creators can set a moderator in their live video to take care of the audience and their behavior.
Moderators have many privileges. They can report and turn off the comment option for specific viewers, delete offensive comments and remove viewers with inappropriate behavior from the live stream.
This Instagram upgrade shows increased platform safety and a clean environment for the creators and their audience too.
To add a moderator to your live stream, tap the three dots icon located inside the comment box.
From the menu, tap the “Add moderator” option and choose one of your followers from the list or do manual research.
Your moderator will receive a notification about it together with all the privileges to report, block, and remove specific viewers.
Examples of how brands can use Instagram Live
As a business owner, implementing Instagram Live in your growth strategy is an effective way for building customer relationships and increasing brand popularity.
There are many different ways how brands can use Instagram Live and benefit from this feature, so let’s check some concrete examples:
Organizing giveaways on your Instagram profile is a powerful method to reach a huge audience and skyrocket engagement rates.
Before you host a giveaway and give free products to the winners, note that Instagram Live is here to broadcast the giveaway in real-time and choose the winners in front of the participants.
For example, you have a beauty brand and want to give free make-up products to a couple of women.
Schedule your Instagram live video for a certain date. Then share it as a post on your feed together with the participation rules.
That’s how you will promote the giveaway to your audience so that they can set a reminder for it.
Instagram Live can serve you as a channel where all the participants can join to watch the stream. And random lucky winners will be rewarded with your products.
Doing interviews with prominent professionals in your niche can increase brand awareness and build a trustworthy image among the competitors.
Instagram Live can serve you to interview successful people in your industry or professionals who can answer different questions to your audience.
Use the option to add another person to your live stream and start the interview in front of your followers.
Always prepare your questions before the interview to establish a smooth conversation during the live broadcasts.
This is a game-changer not only for providing free education and advice to your viewers but for interaction with them and connecting with people with similar trustworthy brands.
Instagram Live is a perfect opportunity to launch your new product directly to your potential customers face-to-face.
You can live stream to explain your product to your interested followers. Tell them the benefits, show them how to use it, and give a special offer for them to buy it.
Let’s get the same example with the beauty brand. You can take your new skincare product in the live broadcast and use it on your skin.
Highlight all the benefits of that product. Bring positive energy and answer all the questions people ask related to your product.
Instagram Live will make it easier for your followers to buy in real-time by clicking on a product page link you can put in your stream, for example.
Regular Q&A session
It’s always a good idea to implement live Q&A sessions with your followers. That way you can answer their questions in person and interact with them.
Use Instagram Live to give honest answers related to your brand. Show what’s going on behind the scenes, represent team members and let them answer some relevant questions too.
This is one of the most powerful ways to boost your engagement rates and build strong relationships with your followers.
FAQ about Instagram live videos
Unfortunately, Instagram allows users to go live only from the mobile app. If you want to go live from your PC, you can use different screen-recording software like OBS and third-party tools like Loola TV and Yellow Duck, but at your own risk.
Instagram lite has fewer functionalities, and you can’t go live yet. A live option is an expected feature in the Instagram lite version in the future.
Yes, you can use pre-recorded video for Instagram Live. Instagram will notify your followers about the broadcast, and you can answer their questions in the comment section in real-time.
The Instagram live option is available for everyone, no matter the number of followers. Make sure you have a decent audience to start a live session so that more people will watch your broadcast.
Sometimes, you will face live streaming issues on Instagram if you don’t enable the app to access your camera. Go to your phone settings and enable your camera for the broadcast.
There is no replay option and live insights after the broadcast ends. However, you can see how many people are watching at the top of your screen.
In summary, Instagram Live is an amazing feature you can use for your business from the aspect of connecting with your audience directly and interacting with them.
No matter if you are a creator or brand owner, building strong relationships with your followers is a key point to winning the Instagram game and achieving outstanding results.
Here are 5 key takeaways you should remember from this blog post:
- You have 4 hours in your pocket to stream live video. Even if you need more time for your stream, go live again once the stream ends, so you will get 4 hours more.
- Instagram Live is a part of Instagram Stories, so the dimensions of your live stream are 1080 x 1920p full screen. When you go live, people will see it in their story section too.
- Always schedule your Instagram live videos at least a couple of hours before the start. That’s how your followers will know about your live stream. That way they can set a reminder through the opt-in form on your profile.
- For a successful Instagram live stream without scammers, use the Live Moderator option to choose a moderator for your stream. The moderator has the privilege to report, remove and respond to comments, as well as block the viewers with inappropriate behavior.
- Use Instagram Live to launch new products and promote your business. It’s a powerful way to target potential customers who are interested in watching your live stream and take advantage of it.
Knowing that Instagram has a ton of features and constantly creates more, Instagram Live is one of the most effective ones for creators and businesses.
Speaking to your audience face-to-face and interacting with them is a winning situation for boosting the engagement rate and building strong customer relationships.
Regular live sessions with your followers can help your potential customers be in touch with your brand and build trust day-to-day.
All of this can skyrocket your business growth in a way that Instagram provides to all of us. It’s free and easy to use so that you can live stream in a couple of clicks.
Don’t be afraid to answer all the questions, show your products and give special offers to the viewers. That’s why Instagram Live can be your goldmine and a leading channel to build trust with your potential customers.