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May 13, 2024

How to Use Instagram Live for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

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This post in a nutshell:

  • What Instagram Live is and why businesses should use it
  • How to set up and optimize an Instagram Business Account
  • How to prepare for your first Instagram Live session
  • How to go live on Instagram and best practices

Social media marketing has become integral to businesses worldwide. Instagram Live, in particular, has been a game-changer for brands looking to engage their audiences and boost their online presence.

In this in-depth guide, we'll walk you through the entire process of using Instagram Live for business – from setting up your account to planning your live sessions and troubleshooting potential tech issues.

CS Quarantine #1: How to Go Live on Instagram from Your Laptop or Desktop ~  Crafted Sounds

What is Instagram Live?

Instagram Live is a feature available on the Instagram mobile app, allowing users to broadcast live video streams to their followers.

When you go live, your followers receive a notification and can view and interact with your live session in real-time.

Instagram Live is part of Instagram Stories, and live videos disappear after 24 hours unless you choose to save them.

With its real-time interaction features, Instagram Live can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level and build stronger relationships with your customers.

Related: How to Create Branded Instagram Story Templates

Why use Instagram Live for business?

There are several reasons why Instagram Live has become an essential tool for businesses.

For one, it helps humanize your brand by giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at your company, which can foster stronger connections with your audience.

By showcasing your products or services, you can give potential customers a better understanding of what you offer, and how it can benefit them.

But it's not just about showcasing your products. Instagram Live is also a great way to provide tutorials or host live Q&A sessions, giving your audience a chance to interact with you in real-time. This can help build trust and credibility with your audience, as they see that you're willing to take the time to answer their questions and provide value.

Furthermore, Instagram Live can help increase your online visibility and boost your Instagram algorithm ranking as users who engage with your live sessions are more likely to see your content in their feed.

By regularly going live and engaging with your audience, you can increase your brand's exposure and reach new potential customers.

Related: Understanding the Social Media Algorithm: How It Impacts Your Content

Setting Up Your Instagram Business Account

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms for businesses to engage with their audience and promote their products or services. With its visual appeal and massive user base, Instagram can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness and driving sales.

If you're new to Instagram or looking to optimize your profile, here's what you need to know.

Creating an Instagram Business Profile

Before you can start using Instagram Live for your business, you'll need to create an Instagram business account. If you already have a personal account, it's easy to switch to a business account. Simply navigate to your profile settings and choose "Switch to Professional Account" under the Account section. Make sure to select "Business" as the account type.

If you're new to Instagram, you'll need to download the app on your smartphone or tablet and sign up with your email address or phone number. During the account setup process, choose "Business" as your account type.

Once you've set up your business account, you can start optimizing your profile for success.

Optimizing Your Profile

A well-optimized Instagram business profile is crucial for engaging your audience and driving traffic to your website. Here are some tips for making the most of your profile:

  1. Choose a high-quality profile picture: Your profile picture is the first thing people will see when they visit your profile, so make sure it's a high-quality image that represents your brand. Ideally, you should use your company logo.
  2. Craft a compelling bio: Your bio should be short and sweet, but it should also convey what your business is all about. Use keywords and phrases that describe your products or services, and include relevant hashtags and emojis for more engagement.
  3. Add a link to your website: This is the only clickable link you can have on Instagram, so use it wisely. You can link to your homepage, a specific landing page, or even a product page. Just make sure it's relevant to your business and will drive conversions.

Check out our blog post about setting up and optimizing your Instagram business account.

Related: How to Drive Traffic from Instagram to Your Website

Planning Your Instagram Live Strategy

Like everything in marketing, to make the most of your Instagram Lives, you need to have a solid and engaging strategy in place. 

Here are some tips to help you plan your Instagram Live strategy:

Identifying your target audience

Before you hit the broadcast button, you need to define your target audience.

Knowing who you want to reach helps you create tailored content that will resonate with your viewers. Analyze your current followers using Instagram Insights, and research your competitors to see what works for them.

Pay close attention to demographics, interests, and follower activity – this valuable data will guide you in crafting a successful Instagram Live strategy.

For instance, if you are a fashion brand targeting young women, you may want to create video content that showcases the latest fashion trends, provides styling tips, and features influencers who embody your brand's values.

Are you an agency owner? Check out our guide to creating a client persona.

Setting goals for your Instagram Live sessions

Outline specific goals for your live sessions, as these will guide you in creating content that aligns with your business objectives. Possible goals may include:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Introducing new products or services
  • Engaging with your community
  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Generating leads or sales

Be sure to align your goals with your overall marketing strategy, and regularly measure your progress to ensure the effectiveness of your Instagram Live sessions.

For example, if your goal is to drive traffic to your website, you may want to include a call-to-action in your live session that encourages viewers to visit your site for more information.

Related: Measuring Success on Social Media: Understanding Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Brainstorming content ideas

Now that you've defined your audience and set your goals, it's time to brainstorm content ideas for your live sessions. Gather your team and discuss potential topics based on your objectives and audience needs.

Some popular Instagram Live content formats include:

  • Q&A sessions: This is a great way to engage with your audience and answer their questions in real-time. You can ask your followers to submit their questions beforehand or during the live session.
  • Tutorials or how-tos: This format is ideal for demonstrating your products or services and providing valuable insights to your audience.
  • Behind-the-scenes looks: Take your viewers behind the scenes of your business and show them how your products are made, or give them a glimpse into your daily operations.
  • Product launches: Use Instagram Live to unveil new products or services and generate excitement among your audience.
  • Interviews with experts: Invite industry experts to join your live session and share their insights and expertise with your audience.
  • Collaborations with influencers: Partner with influencers who align with your brand's values and have a strong following to reach a wider audience.

Plan a social media calendar to keep your live sessions consistent and ensure your audience gets a variety of engaging content. You can also promote your upcoming live sessions on your Instagram feed and stories to generate buzz and increase viewership.

Related: How to Promote Posts on Instagram

Preparing for Your First Instagram Live Session

Spread the word about your upcoming live session to increase viewership. Share teasers on your Instagram Stories, feed posts, and other social media platforms. You can use creative ways to promote your live session such as creating a custom hashtag or collaborating with other influencers in your niche. This will help you reach a wider audience and attract more viewers.

Another great way to promote your live session is by creating countdown stickers in your Instagram Stories and encouraging your followers to set reminders. This will help build anticipation and excitement for your live session.

Additionally, sending email blasts and highlighting the event on your website is a great way to attract more viewers as well.

Gathering necessary equipment and resources

Ensuring good video and audio quality is crucial for a successful Instagram Live session.

Start with a well-lit space, invest in a tripod to stabilize your device, and use an external microphone for better sound quality. You can also consider using a ring light to enhance your lighting and make your videos look more professional.

Gather any necessary props or script outlines, and create a dedicated space to keep your equipment neatly organized. This will help you feel more prepared and confident during your live session. You can also consider having a backup device or charger in case of technical difficulties.

Related: The Best 6 Social Video Maker Tools

Creating a run-of-show outline

Plan out the flow of your live session with a run-of-show outline. This outline will help you stay on track and provide a seamless viewer experience. Make sure to allocate time for important elements like introductions, main discussion points, Q&A, and closing remarks. Having a clear structure will help you feel more organized and confident during your live session.

You can also consider adding interactive elements to your live session such as polls or quizzes. This will help keep your viewers engaged and interested throughout the session. You can encourage viewers to ask questions in the comments section and address them during the Q&A portion of your live session.

Related: How to Create Instagram Polls and Quizzes

Going Live on Instagram

Starting your live session

Before going live, plan your content and ensure that you have a stable internet connection.

Once you're ready to go live, open the Instagram app, swipe right to access the camera, or tap the camera icon in the top left corner.

Scroll to the "LIVE" option at the bottom and tap the record button. Your followers will receive a notification that you're live, and they can start joining the session.

Wait for a moment for viewers to join before diving into your content.

It's crucial to have a captivating introduction to your live session to grab your viewers' attention. Start by introducing yourself and your brand, and give your audience an overview of what they can expect from the session. You can also use this opportunity to thank your viewers for joining and encourage them to share the session with their friends.

Engaging with your audience during the session

Interaction is key to a successful Instagram Live session. Encourage viewers to submit their questions and comments through the chat function, and be sure to respond to them thoughtfully.

You can also use poll, question, and quiz stickers to increase interactivity further. Address your viewers by their usernames to create a personal connection.

During the session, keep your content engaging and informative. Share insights into your brand, provide tips and tricks, or showcase your products or services. You can also invite guests to join your live session to add a new perspective or showcase collaborations.

Tips for handling technical issues

Technical issues can arise during live sessions, but it's important to remain calm and address them as quickly as possible. If your stream crashes or freezes, inform your viewers through the chat and immediately restart the session. For audio or video issues, ensure your equipment is correctly set up and connected. In case of a poor internet connection, try relocating to a more stable network or use a Wi-Fi extender.

Lastly, end your live session gracefully. Thank your viewers for joining, recap the key takeaways from the session, and encourage them to follow your brand for future updates. You can also save your live session and share it on your Instagram story or profile to reach a wider audience.

By following this step-by-step guide, you'll be well on your way to mastering Instagram Live for your business. Embrace this powerful marketing tool to engage, inform, and inspire your audience, driving growth and success for your brand.

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