How To Use Live Video to Grow Your Instagram

Using live videos is a great way of connecting with your Instagram audience in real time, and seem to be a largely untapped market by businesses. It’s an innovative way of further engaging your followers, and attracting new ones at the same time. Understandably, a lot of businesses are opting to use Instagram Stories instead because you can use pre-recorded footage rather than un-edited live videos where anything could happen. However, among other benefits, going live can help you build trust with your followers as you’re not hiding behind multiple takes or heavy editing.

Engage With Your Instagram Followers

As well as building trust with your followers, Instagram Live can help boost your discoverability. If your Live Video is driving lots of viewers and engagement, you might end up on the Explore page, which will expose your business to a bigger potential audience base. Another way to increase your visibility is to hype up your upcoming live broadcast in previous posts, so your followers become excited about tuning in.

The psychology of Instagram Followers

There is also an interesting psychological element to Instagram Live. The app will let you know when an account you are following goes Live, thus creating this fear of missing out and knowing that if you don’t tune in immediately, you could potentially miss the content entirely and forever. Facebook has reported that its users spend three times the amount of time watching Live Videos than non-live posts and comment 10 times as frequently on Live posts than regular posts. This confirms that Live Videos are creating this sense of urgency and living in the moment, and as a result are a fantastic way to engage your audience.

Humans are naturally inquisitive. Live content feels like it is more real and intimate than a staged or edited post, and fuels our curiosity about how other people act in different situations. We feel like we are seeing something we don’t normally get the chance to see. We also know that anything can happen during a live feed, and we instinctively want to tune in to see for ourselves. There is a reason people tune into to live sports broadcasts rather than taping them; we want to see the events unfold and we want to engage with other people while they are happening, hence the heightened engagement and commenting levels on live social media posts.

The internet and social media culture has created a bit of an instant gratification generation in society today, Psychologist Susan Weinschenk notes that humans are hardwired to navigate our way through the world by seeking out information. This can come in the form of seeking out food or water, or in modern times it more often comes in the form of seeking information about the latest iPhone or red carpet outfits. This need is satiated constantly because of smartphones being able to tell us anything at any time. With an Instagram Live Video post, allowing your audience to instantly engage with questions, thoughts or feelings and as a broadcaster you can instantly respond, satisfying both parties need for instant gratification, sharing an experience and gaining extra information.

How to Use Instagram Live Video

Practically speaking, starting a live video on Instagram is pretty simple. Tap the camera icon located at the top left of the screen, or swipe right from your feed. From here tap the ‘Live’ button at the bottom of the screen and then ‘Start Live Video’. You’ll see the number of viewers will appear at the top of the screen and comments crop up at the bottom. Once you’ve finished your video, tap ‘End’ at the top right and tap again to confirm. Further options from here are to save the video to your camera roll to publish to your Instagram feed later (it disappears once you’ve finished), or you can select to share it to your story. Options available to going Live include hiding your post from certain people (head to Story Settings), hiding inappropriate words from the comments, or turning off commenting entirely. Obviously turning off the comments will disengage your audience somewhat.

Of course, sharing a live feed isn’t as simple as it sounds, you can’t just click ‘Live’ and go, you’ve got to give it some serious thought beforehand if you want to get more engagement from your viewers. On the flip side, it means you have all of the power to decide what you’re posting. It’s not like a live interview on the evening news, where the questions and tone are set by someone else. You are the one making the choices and telling the story. You can be really diverse in how you produce your content, for example, you can launch a new product, or have a how-to demonstration or even a question and answer session.

Plan Your Instagram Live Video to Get More Views

When preparing for a Live Video, it might be wise to plan out exactly what you’re going to say, bullet-pointed or even possibly a script in case you get sudden stage fright. Practising is important too, especially if it’s your first Live Video. You can even record yourself and play it back to get a feel for what your followers will be experiencing when they tune in. Obviously, you’ll want to get as many people as possible tuning into your broadcast, so promotion beforehand is invaluable. You can add a post to your feed mentioning your upcoming broadcast, and then use Stories to tease what the Live Video will be about. Creating a sense of urgency is important as well, going back to the ‘fear of missing out’ which is embedded in our human nature. Perhaps advertise limited time only offers or special promotions, with the details only being released during the live broadcast. If you want to be really business savvy about Instagram Live Videos, ask your audience to submit questions prior to the broadcast and use this as an opportunity to collect email addresses, to add them onto your mailing lists to drive future sales and build brand awareness.

Final thoughts, Grow Your Instagram Business

As you can see, there are so many opportunities to expand your audience and grow your business with Live Video on Instagram. Using the tips here you’ll be able to get maximum engagement and more comments on your live videos. Only a handful of businesses are maximizing this opportunity at the moment, so why not be a trailblazer and start those live broadcasts!

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