Live Streaming is a powerful tool on some of the most powerful platforms: Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. The use of Live Streaming has increased since the start of stay-at-home orders, but has now become a regularly successful tool for businesses.
The first thing you need to know before going Live is that this is an excellent, personable marketing tool. We know some people despise going Live but it could really take you and your business to the next level. Begin by simply recording yourself and practicing! You’ll be able to see if you notice things in your background that shouldn’t be there, if the lighting is good, and even what miscellaneous noises you can hear.
The second thing you need to know is where the majority of your audience is active: Facebook. Instagram, or YouTube? You can find this under something called “Insights” or “Analytics” depending on which platform you’re looking at. On Instagram, you’ll also be able to see when your audience is most active to narrow it down to the best time to go Live.
Below, we’ll focus on going Live on Instagram but the majority of this information can apply to Facebook and YouTube as well.
Why Go Live?
We can understand why some don’t like to go live: it’s raw footage. You can’t cut, backtrack, or edit what goes on. You’re stuck with what you’ve got. But this is also a great thing! Think of it this way: consumers are most attracted to authenticity on Instagram. How much more authentic can you get than going Live?
When you go Live, some of your followers may have turned on their notifications to know immediately when you go Live. For others, when they open the app, your Livestream will be in the front of all their Instagram Stories!
This has the ability to entice your followers to tune in immediately and see what you’re up to. Not to mention those who join your Live can have a real-time conversation with you! They can type in their question and you can answer on your stream. This allows your followers to know that you hear them and you enjoy conversing with them. This is a factor that can turn followers into fans.
Aside from the marketing aspect of going Live, you want to ensure you have a clear intention. You want to prepare for you Live as well as you can so you stay on track and your followers stay tuned in.
How To Go Live
The first step in going Live is planning. And part of that planning process is promoting your Live Stream in advance! Of course you go Live whenever you’d like, but if you’re promoting something or having a guest, you’ll want for your followers to know in advance so they can block out that time. If you promote your Live on Instagram Stories and add the countdown clock feature, people can save a reminder from the countdown clock to their calendar to tune in!
If you’re only going Live for a couple minutes, you might as well do Instagram Stories or post an IGTV. Longer Live sessions (more than 10 minutes) are shown to be more effective and perform better. Just remember, you only have the ability to go Live for an hour.
Now, actually going Live is as easy as 1, 2… that’s it!
Just go to your Instagram Stories camera and tap on where it says “Live.” From there, you’ll be able to add a title, a fundraiser if you’d like, and apply filters!
When you’re all set up, you can begin Live Streaming! Keep in mind it may take some time for Instagram to notify your followers that you’re Live.
While you're Live, you have access to other features as well: you can message your Live Stream to someone, invite or add another person to join your Live, and show photos!
You’ve Gone Live...Now What?
Like a normal Instagram Story, your Live stays up for 24 hours, but right when you end your Live Stream Instagram will ask you if you want to share to IGTV, download your video, or delete your video.
If you share your Live to your IGTV, it stays on your feed for your followers to come back to or for others to watch it who may have missed it! If you download the video, you’ll have the raw version that you can upload to a blog, your Facebook, etc.
Keep in mind your Live Stream may not go exactly how you planned. That’s okay! Your viewers understand. This is why preparing beforehand is important, but don’t stress about it going perfectly.
If you’re a business that needs a little help here and there, Social Light is available for project consulting! Send us an email to learn how we can help you.