Instagram is currently one of the largest social media platforms, and also the one that seems to be best at finding the right balance between fresh, new features and expanded functionality and options for creators and marketers.
But - as with all social media - the biggest challenges of the platform lie in increasing engagement and growing your follower base.
Instagram Live, the platform's built-in live video feature, could be just the thing to take your brand's social presence to the next level. Read on to find out how.
Although it has been around since 2016, Instagram Live is one of Instagram's newer features along with Reels and IG TV. If you hadn't started creating and sharing videos on Instagram by now, you might want to reconsider: videos on Instagram get 21.2% more interactions than single images and even 18.6% more than carousel posts.
So what's the difference between Live and IGTV? Well, Live is... live. and IGTV is where you put longer video content that you've pre-recorded. Or rather, was: Instagram announced in October 2021 it was phasing out IGTV.
These are the reasons to look into Instagram Live Video specifically:
Users prefer live video
When it comes to online content, 80% of users who follow brands prefer watching live videos to reading a blog. A survey by LiveStream also found that 82% of people would rather watch a live video than a static post on social media.
The algorithm rewards live video
Instagram's algorithm rewards users who go Live by pushing their Live stream to the top of the Stories list by default, and apparently also by pushing their other content up organically in feeds.
You can create Instagram Live videos with minimal resources
Finally, while creating video content in general can be a tough undertaking, Instagram Live videos seem to work better when they appear as simple and authentic as possible. This means you can easily create engaging and effective video content without a huge investment in terms of money and time.
And all the while creating content that allows you to connect with your followers in the most personal, direct way possible, at least - beyond actual personal and live contact. What's not to love?
So it might be time to test whether Instagram Live videos can be useful for your audience, and therefore your brand. But before you do, there are a few things you'll want to consider.
Regardless of how your brand uses social media and Instagram in particular, you'll want to think about how Instagram Live video will fit into your online marketing strategies and tactics before you start using it.
Strategically, Instagram Live is probably best for growing the top of your funnel in terms of reach and brand awareness. And to increase the connection and trust of your brand's followers. A few tactical insights you'll want to take away from this are the following:
The most important thing you'll want to do when you first start using Instagram Live video is experiment. What works for your business and your brand? More importantly; what seems to work for your audience?
Are they shorter videos of what it looks like 'behind the scenes'? Longer sessions with Q & A's or interviews with (other) influencers in your field? Treat your ideas as hypotheses for your experiments, and use your data to assess those experiments. "Always Be Testing": always collect feedback and analyse data to tell you what your next step should be.
Apart from that, there are now some clear best practices to take into account. What you don't want is to reinvent the wheel. Here are 8 tips that you can definitely put to use immediately:
*While it has recently become possible to upload content to Instagram from a desktop or laptop computer, it is not yet possible to start an Instagram Live Video using anything other than a mobile device.
One of the things you could do with the video you have saved in your Camera Roll is the following:
Always reuse content that you think is valuable, that has proven to be valuable to your audience, or that reinforces a specific message that is essential to your brand.
In the case of Instagram Live Video, it is easy to imagine how you could edit the video you saved in your camera roll, cut shorter fragments out of it, and repost the whole thing or short fragments to your Instagram wall and any other platforms for which it might be relevant.
This gives your content more time and opportunities to shine, and more chances to be discovered by the right audience.
This also works the other way around: within the Instagram Live interface, you can add images or existing videos from your phone to your Instagram Live session. Think of sharing a quote or snippet from a previous Live Video session in the current one, or an image relevant to the topic being discussed.
Finally, you can imagine blogs and other written content being turned into Instagram Live instructional sessions, and vice versa. The possibilities are endless, and this way of 'repurposing' content is a very effective way of finding out which stories are best for which segments of your audience, and in which format.
More inspiration? Check out the example of how AirBNB uses Instagram Live to let you virtually participate in a tour. Or the example of fitness & lifestyle brand Equinox that offers a daily yoga session through Instagram's Live platform.
By using the strategic and tactical considerations in this article, you will get the most value from Instagram Live for your brand. And you can increase your follower count and engagement, while helping to build your brand and further your online marketing goals.
Here's how to get the maximum value from the time and energy you invest in creating Live Video content on Instagram. Both for your audience and for your brand.
At BAMMBOO Growth Hacking Agency, we help you find the fastest, most reliable path to sustainable growth and continuous value creation. We do this by using a customer-centric, full-funnel approach, driven by data and creativity. Digital marketing skills such as social media content and strategy are at the core of what we do for our clients.
If you want to know more about our approach, our services or how we can help you grow, please contact us directly.