Unlocking the Power of Instagram Live: How to Start and Manage a Broadcast

Unlocking the Power of Instagram Live: How to Start and Manage a Broadcast

Social media has been a game-changer in connecting us with our target audience. But if you want to take that connection to a whole new level, use Instagram Live.

Why? Because Instagram Live not only allows us to engage with our audiences in real time, it also provides them with an immersive experience that is also raw, authentic, and spontaneous.

That said, you need proper planning and management if you want your Instagram Live broadcasts to make your audience pay attention and fall in love with your brand.

This article will explore how you can use Instagram Live to keep your broadcasts engaging enough to keep your audience hooked and relevant to your business goals.

Let’s dive in!

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What’s Instagram Live Again (And Why It’s A Powerful Marketing Tool)?

Instagram Live is a powerful tool for businesses to interact with their customers and potential clients in real time. This feature allows people to go live and be present in the moment on the platform, giving followers and potential customers an inside look at your product or service. 

Unlike traditional posts, where you post a photo or video and wait for comments and reactions, Instagram Live lets you have a two-way conversation with your followers. You can answer questions, show off what your business has to offer, and really bring your story to life right before their eyes – all while getting creative and engaging with potential customers.

And on a related note, broadcasting live videos is simply an effective way to get engagement. According to a study by HubSpot and Mention, video posts receive twice the engagement of regular posts. A separate study from Social Insider also discovered that videos help you get more comments on Instagram than image posts. Now imagine how much engagement you’ll get if your videos are done in real-time!

No two ways about it — Instagram Live is a powerful tool not just for making prospects sit up and take notice (and making them follow you), but also for making a lasting impression on your target audience (and turning them into loyal brand advocates).

How to go Live on Instagram

Using Instagram Live is simple and easy. You can start a live broadcast by performing the following steps:

Step 1: Tap the plus icon on the top right corner of your Instagram homepage. This will take you to a screen showing your gallery and saved images.

Step 2: Tap the “Live” option at the bottom of the screen. This will bring up Instagram’s camera, which has a range of options for taking pictures, videos, and Instagram Live.

Step 3: When you’re ready to go live, tap on the recording icon. Instagram will quickly assess the strength of your phone’s internet connection for optimal streaming before starting a live broadcast.

Step 4: Now that you’re live, Instagram will start streaming your Instagram Live session to all followers who have chosen to watch it. You’ll be able to see how many people are watching and interacting with you at the top corner of your Instagram Live stream.

Step 5: As you continue streaming Instagram Live, you’ll be able to engage with your followers by responding to their comments. Instagram also allows you to add reactions and filter effects to your Instagram Live session for a more engaging experience.

Step 6: When you’re ready to end your Instagram Live stream, tap the “X” icon at the top right corner of the Instagram Live page. Once you have finished your video, Instagram will ask if you would like to keep it in the Live archive or discard it.

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How to Prepare for a Successful Instagram Live Broadcast

Before going live on Instagram, you’ll want to make sure you have everything planned out and ready.

Here are things you should keep in mind when preparing for a successful Instagram Live broadcast.

Understand your target audience and plan accordingly

You want your viewers to give a damn what you have to say? Do some research to get a better idea of who they are.

What do they like to discuss? What topics do they find interesting? If you drop Stranger Things references during a broadcast, will you get crickets or engagement? Doing some research ahead of time will help you create content that resonates with your target audience.

Here are 3 quick tips to help you create Instagram Live content that resonates with your audience:

  • Listen to your followers. Observe the conversations they’re having to get a better idea of what topics they’re interested in.
  • Check on your competitors. Monitor your competitors to get a better sense of what types of content they’re sharing, how they’re engaging with their followers, and how those followers are responding. Don’t imitate, but rather use what you find as a source of inspiration for creating unique content that will resonate with your target audience.
  • Monitor trends. If you want to keep your engagement up, you need to keep up. Follow popular topics on social media to get an idea of what people are talking about and find ways to connect your content with those trends.
Instagram Live - monitoring trending hashtags
Monitoring trending hashtags is a great way to look for topics that resonate with your audience. (Source)

To ensure that you can put audience data and insights to good use, create buyer personas that you can use as a reference in your Instagram Live broadcasts. A buyer persona is an archetype of your ideal customer, based on data and research about your target audience.

Set goals

Without goals, you might end up spinning your wheels and going nowhere fast. To keep your efforts focused, you need to set goals.

These goals could include increasing brand awareness or driving engagement by encouraging viewers to ask questions or participate in interactive activities.

Not sure what goals to set for your Instagram Live broadcasts? You can get “smart” about it.

That is, you need to use the S.M.A.R.T. goals framework when creating objectives for Instagram Live. S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

  • Specific: Clearly define your desired result using specific criteria.
  • Measurable: Identify concrete metrics to measure progress toward your goal.
  • Achievable: Set realistic goals that are achievable within the given time frame.
  • Relevant: Ensure that the goal is meaningful and relevant to your business.
  • Time-bound: Set a time limit for achieving your goal so you can measure progress and adjust your strategy accordingly.

For example, your S.M.A.R.T goal for an Instagram Live broadcast could be to increase brand awareness by 25% by the end of the month. This goal is Specific (increasing brand awareness by 25%), Measurable (using metrics to measure progress), Achievable (within the given time frame), Relevant (to the business), and Time-bound (by the end of the month).

Learn how to use Instagram Live’s interactive features

Instagram Live offers a variety of interactive features that can help businesses engage with their followers in real time.

These features include:

  • Adding a Title. Instagram Live gives you the opportunity to tag your session, so your audience knows what they are joining in on. This is especially useful if you plan to save the live session so that you can look back and track it later.
  • Inviting a Guest. Instagram allows you to add a friend to join your live video via live rooms, making it a two-person show. When you add the guest, viewers are presented with both of you on their screens in a split view.
  • Sending Invites. Instagram Live gives you the option to send out your live session link directly to one of your followers as you’re broadcasting.
  • Switching Cameras. Instagram Live lets you switch between selfie and regular cameras, so if you want to show something off during your broadcast, you can use the default self-view.
  • Sharing a Photo or Video. During your Instagram Live session, you are also able to share photos and videos from your gallery with your viewers.
  • Applying Face Filters. Instagram has a variety of entertaining filters you can use to make your Instagram Live videos more fun and interactive.
  • Leaving Comments. Instagram Live allows you to leave comments as you’re broadcasting, or turn off the comment feature if people start to argue. This is particularly useful if you have trolls on your Instagram page.
Instagram Live - ig live room
With Live Room, hosts can add guests through direct messages or share a link to their live video so others can join in. (Source)

By taking advantage of these interactive features, you can create meaningful and fun conversations with your followers and encourage participation during Instagram Live broadcasts.

Promote your Live broadcasts in advance

In today’s social media landscape, it’s no longer enough to simply post content and expect it to reach an audience. To increase your Instagram Live follower count, promote your live broadcasts in advance.

Here are powerful ways to promote your Instagram Live broadcasts:

  • Ask your followers a question. Use Instagram’s polling feature or Stories to ask followers what topics they would like to discuss during the broadcast and encourage them to tune in. Followers love to be asked for their opinion and are more likely to tune in and share the word if they feel like their input was taken into account.
  • Release a teaser. Create a teaser image or video and upload them to your regular feed, Stories, Reels, or IGTV to build anticipation for your Instagram Live broadcast.
  • Post on other social media platforms. Cross-promote your Instagram Live session by sharing it on other social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to gain more exposure and reach new audiences.
  • Use hashtags. Create a hashtag for your Instagram Live session and use it to promote the broadcast in advance. This will help people easily find and follow your live session and make your broadcasts easier to discover.
  • Work with influencers. Reach out to relevant influencers in your industry and invite them to join your Instagram Live broadcast as a guest. This will help you gain more visibility and reach a larger audience.

Pro-tip: Use the Live Scheduling feature to generate excitement for your upcoming live sessions. This feature not only allows you to schedule your live broadcast up to 90 days in advance, but it also lets you spread the word via regular posts and Stories.

Instagram Live - live scheduling

How to Engage Your Viewers During An Instagram Live Broadcast

The more engaged your followers are on your Instagram Live broadcasts, the more successful they will be.

Let’s look at some tips to help you engage your viewers during an Instagram Live broadcast:

  • Introduce yourself and your guests (if you’re using the Instagram live room) at the start of each broadcast to help viewers have a better understanding of who’s talking on the stream.
  • Ask questions throughout the broadcast to engage with viewers and get them involved in the conversation.
  • Take advantage of polls, Q&A sessions, AR filters, and other interactive tools that are available within Instagram Live to promote further engagement from viewers.
  • Use fun visuals or graphics to spice up your stream and keep viewers interested.
  • Give out details or insights that will be exclusive to viewers of your live stream, as this promotes further engagement and loyalty from your audience.
  • Share tangible tips and advice that viewers can apply within their own lives or businesses.
  • Show gratitude towards your viewers for tuning in by thanking them at the end of each broadcast!
  • End each broadcast with a call-to-action that encourages viewers to take some sort of action, such as visiting your website or following you on social media.

Managing Content After the Broadcast is Over

Once you’re done with your Instagram Live broadcast, you must manage your content to capitalize on your audience’s attention. This will help to extend the reach of the broadcast and increase visibility for the brand.

You can manage your content post-broadcast in many ways:

  • Cross-promote your Instagram Live broadcast on other social media channels. Publish highlights from the broadcast on your Instagram feed or Stories, and use hashtags to increase reach. You can also make an Instagram Story using snippets from the broadcast with quotes and visuals to get more engagement.
  • Repurpose your live content. Instagram Live broadcasts can be repurposed for other platforms. This includes turning lengthy conversations into blog posts or sharing snippets of the broadcast on other social media channels. Doing this will help maximize the reach of Instagram Live content and maximize its potential impact.
  • Respond to comments. It’s important to monitor the conversation (via the Instagram live chat feature) during Instagram Live broadcasts and make sure that viewers’ questions and comments are addressed in a timely manner. Not only does this show that you value your followers’ input, but it also increases engagement levels throughout each broadcast.
  • Analyze data. Instagram provides insights on each live video session so you can track performance metrics such as viewership, engagement rates, and average watch times. Also, thanks to the latest Instagram update, you can now get better insight into your accounts’ performance (for example, you can now see data from up to 90 days instead of 30 or 60), unlocking a new level of understanding of your audience.

By managing Instagram Live content after broadcasts end, not only can you boost your engagement and make your content more visible to potential followers, but it also puts you in a better position to reach your audience and keep them interested.

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Wrap Up

Leveraging the power of Instagram Live is a great way to reach your audience and increase engagement. To make the most out of your broadcasts, you need to create more meaningful conversations that will keep your audience coming back.

That sounds like a tall order, but by applying the tips mentioned above, you should be able to create engaging and insightful broadcasts that will help boost brand awareness and loyalty.

If managing all your Instagram content sounds daunting or too time-consuming, let NapoleonCat take care of it for you! As an Instagram automation and social media management tool, NapoleonCat helps you manage multiple accounts from one place so you can easily track, plan, and analyze your content performance. Start your free 2-week trial today and see for yourself 😉

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