Back in 2018, many marketers were skeptical whether or not Instagram Live (IG Live), would be here to stay, or if it was just another fad. Fast forward to 2020, and IG Live has dominated the digital marketing space. Did you know IG Live racks up more than 500 million viewers a day? 

Needless to say, if you’re a business owner and you’re not going live, what are you waiting for? Chances are you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to grow your business. 

The IG Live space is pretty noisy, with tons of companies, celebs, models, and influencers all vying for the spotlight. Check out our Social Pop approved tips to maximize every minute of your video, capture attention, make lasting connections, and build your brand.

Define your Purpose

Before you press record, you’ve got to hone your message. What’s the reason for going live today? Do you have an awesome new sale you want to tell your audience about to boost interest? Do you want to help be seen as an expert, so you’re going to share some tips and knowledge? Or maybe you want to help show your followers who you are, so you’re going to follow you throughout your day. Whatever it is, IG Live is an excellent medium for generating excitement about the latest updates to your business. Be clear about your purpose. Pro-tip: Try to stick to one call-to-action per broadcast.

Create promo 

Going live and hoping people will show up is a recipe for disaster. Once you pick a day and time to live stream, get the word out. Promo is a huge umbrella. Experiment with what works best for you and your audience. Some ladies swear by email marketing, and others will use a mix of engaging social posts to generate buzz. 

We suggest including live streaming as part of your overall content calendar. Having a regular schedule makes it a lot easier to drum up an audience each week or month. Think about it, how much easier would it be to follow one of your favorite celebs if you knew every Wed at 9 pm they go live, versus having to check their account every hour?

Engage with your Viewers

Let’s say your promo is absolutely sensational. Great work! Prepare for your audience to start reacting. Honestly, if you’ve never gone live before, it can be a little tricky to keep your train of thought while all of the comments and hearts start flooding in. Luckily, entrepreneurs tend to be excellent multi-taskers. Don’t get too distracted; your audience is just showing you they’re excited. Show them some love by engaging with them. In the beginning say hello and interact with commenters by name. Ask them a question or 2 before you get started to show them that you encourage and like conversing with them. You can even have an ask and answer after your live and give a couple of shout outs to loyal attendees.

Create an Outline 

Nothing is possibly more cringe-worthy than watching an IG Live video with tons of “uhms”, “ahs” and “likes.”  Brainstorm on what you’d like to cover. Once you’ve got all of your thoughts down, structure them, so they fit neatly into a beginning, middle, and end. It doesn’t hurt to practice how you want to deliver your stream beforehand. It’ll help get the nerves out and may even spark your creative juices if you’re having trouble coming up with what you want to say.

Most live-stream concepts work better if you plan ahead. The only time planning isn’t necessary is if you’re going to stream something spontaneous like a behind the scenes video around the office.

Phone a Friend

Spread the love! There’s no rule saying you have to do a live-stream solo. Having a friend or colleague join you on the video chat can take the pressure off of you. When you collab with a fellow female entrepreneur, you both win. Not only do you increase the chances of getting more viewers to attend your stream, who doesn’t love helping another lady boss shine. Co-streaming allows you and your guest to connect with audiences that are typically not on your feed.

Q & A’s are super popular formats for co-streaming business owners.

Save + Share your IG Live 

Once your broadcast is complete, don’t forget to save and share it! You can always repurpose clips from your live stream for future use. You can chop up the video into tiny 15-second clips and add it to your story for 24 hours, or create longer segments for your personal feed, business page, IGTV, or YouTube. 

The more visual content you can collect, the better. Live broadcasts don’t have to exist in a vacuum. Map out a series that stretches over a few episodes to keep followers engaged. After a few stellar broadcasts, collect the best clips into an IG Live trailer to get your audience excited for your next live-stream. Remember, IG only saves the video content, not the comments, views, or likes. 

There’s no doubt that IG Live is an excellent tool for reaching old and new customers. Unlike many popular marketing methods, live-streaming can create intimate connections and can compel users to fall in love with your brand. The best videos strike a balance between spontaneity and planning, so do yourself a favor and think ahead. But promise us you won’t stick the script too much. At the end of the day, the goal is to have fun with it! Think approachable and real, with a clear message, and a heaping dose of personality. 

Have you used IG Live before? If so, tell us about how you slay your streams below.