Getting started

What is Instagram Live?

what-is-instagram-live

The photo sharing app Instagram has recently passed Facebook becoming the most popular social media platform. Instagram currently has more than 1 billion monthly active users, and more than 500 million daily users. Something that most users might not realize, is that the use of video is becoming significantly more important on Instagram, hence the reason they introduced Instagram Stories, IGTV, Instagram Live, and Video ads.

When we hear people talking about streaming, we usually think they are talking about gaming, however on Instagram this isn’t the case, we’ll show you why.

What are Instagram stories?

Before we go deeper into the instagram Live function, we need to talk about their stories functionality: it’s a feature where users can capture and post images and video content. This content can be changed by adding different filters and can be posted on the “best friends” tab or to all your followers. The “best friends” tab allows you to choose who you want to share your content with. The photo or video you have posted will then be available for 24 hours and you can keep track of who has seen your story.

What is Instagram Live?

Over the last few years, streaming has become a fast-growing sector along with the creation of live content. With Instagram Live, the platform has created this new feature to combine both the broadcasting aspect and video. 

With Instagram Live, Instagram allows users to stream video to followers and engage with them in real-time.They can comment on the live stream and ask questions. When Instagram users are live streaming, a ring highlights their profile picture to show their followers that they are live.

Why would you Livestream on Instagram?

Live Streams are a great way to get to know your followers. It’s also super effective because it gives your followers an unedited, real-time look at who is behind the account. It’s great for building engagement with your audience and therefore this will be super effective and give your Brand Identity a boost. 

Instagram live also ranks you the number one spot in the stories feed when you are live. This will give far more visibility than when you just post a story. Moreover, Instagram sends push notifications to all of your followers announcing them you are live.

Brands can also use it for product marketing. You can promote your product by showing demos, tutorials, teasers, and launch announcements.This gives you the opportunity to directly answer any questions about your brands/product towards followers. Furthermore, it’s also very interesting if you want to alert your followers to a limited time offer or sale and lastly it can also be very interesting to show a behind the scenes live video of your company.

You can also save these live streams and use it for a repurposing strategy. What does that mean? You can for example create highlights out of the most engaging parts out of the live stream and use these clips then to post on your website, Facebook feed, Instagram feed, etc. 

We also have some interesting statistics from a survey drawn up by New York Magazine and Livestream that shows   why it is important to be present on Instagram live:

  • 80 % would rather watch a stream than read something (a blog for example) 
  • 82% of the audience rather like to watch a live stream than see a social media post.

How to start with Instagram Live?

It’s very easy to start with the Instagram Live feature. You can start livestreaming with a few clicks via the Story feature. You have different features for Instagram Live:

  1. You can choose to stream your video in real-time.
  2. Engage with your followers
  3. Receive donations as a fundraiser for non-profit organizations
  4. Pin selected follower comments to the top of the video
  5. Save a replay of your stream to Instagram Stories

Before you start with the Live feature it’s important to prepare your stream. You need to know beforehand that you want to mention in your stream, what you want to achieve with your stream, what you want to do, etc. Don’t start unprepared otherwise there could be awkward silences. 

Bonus tip :Something different you could do is announcing when you are going live, e.g. 30 minutes before starting live streaming. 

What to do during the live stream

When starting as a streamer, it’s sometimes difficult to find content to talk about during your stream. We’ll show you some tips and content you can show and talk about when you are live.

Some live streaming content ideas:

  • Product demonstration
  • Live Q&A
  • Show your setup
  • Share your expertise
  • Do a giveaway
  • An unboxing video

These are just a couple of ideas that you can do but there are many more. If you are already livestreaming there are plenty of different things you can do to keep your viewers interacting with the stream.

  • You should use the pin comment feature: this feature you can pin your title of the broadcast. By pinning this title, anyone who arrives a little later will be able to see the title as well.
  • Add someone else to your stream. By doing this your stream will look more natural and you have someone on your back when you can’t remember what to say. 
  • You can see who’s watching your stream by tapping the eye icon. If you broadcast more streams, you’ll become familiar with the usernames tuning in every stream. Make sure to shout out these people and thank them for watching your videos.

What not to do during a live stream

Sometimes it’s difficult to start with live streaming. We mostly recommend practicing what you want to do and want to mention. Don’t learn your text by heart like it’s a speech. It wouldn’t seem natural to your viewers and most of them would quit the stream directly.

Something else that you obviously shouldn’t do when livesteaming is the use of swear words and be unkind to your followers. (vond anders geen redenen 🙂 ) 

What to do after you went live?

When your stream is running towards the end you should have a nice way to close it down. Don’t end it abruptly. Thank your viewers to watch your Live Stream and announce a new stream in the upcoming weeks. 

Besides that, you can save your stream when you’ve ended it. This is something you should do as a company because you have a lot of content from it that you can post on other social media (repurpose) .

How to make Instagram Livestreaming even easier

Do you often see that some Instagram Live videos look better than others? For example, a better sound quality and video quality? This is because these people have invested in some tools to make their stream look better. We suggest using some nice gadgets that will make your experience with Instagram Live much better. We’ve listed some of them:

  1. External microphone

Having sound quality when going live is extremely important. Most of the phones have an internal mic but the sound of the audio is often sounding bad. Buying a portable external mic will help you with this problem. If you don’t want to buy an external mic, you could also buy phone ears for the better quality

  1. A tripod

Sometimes it’s difficult when you are filming to be in front of the camera. This can be a challenge when you’re trying to hold the camera and film at the same time. By adding a tripod this will normally be fixed.

  1. Portable Lighting 

When you’re streaming on Instagram, you want to make sure the lighting is optimal. A mobile device could sometimes provide dark and blurry scenes. By adding a portable light, you can significantly take your video to a better quality. This could be useful for make-up tutorials for example where viewers want to see every detail of the make-up.

  1. Stabilizer for your videos

Sometimes, when you’re watching other people’s videos you can see that the video is a bit shaky. This is because these people are holding their camera themselves. To fix this problem you could buy something that stabilizes your video for example an DJI RS 2 stabilizer.

  1. Portable battery charger

When you are recording using your mobile phone, the battery could quickly drain. To prevent this from happening, you could buy an external battery charger. With some of the chargers you could easily charge your phones 10 times. When you are home you obviously don’t need such a portable charger. This device is more useful when going to somewhere else where you won’t be able to charge your phone.

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Gilles Bouckaert