Instagram Live launched this past November, and it could completely change the way brands interact with the Instagram platform as a whole. While many criticized the feature as a “me-too!” version of Snapchat videos, the unique aspects and the integration with the Instagram user community make it a solid prospect for social marketing strategy.
Brands that make proper use of Instagram Live’s strengths will be able to cultivate authentic-feeling relationships with their audience while generating an atmosphere of exclusivity and immediacy. Since all of these qualities are on the tip of modern audiences’ expectations, those who succeed with their Instagram Live strategy have a strong chance at fostering better brand associations while also better-leveraging their existing social capital.
If you want to get started on Instagram Live and cultivate some early best practices, read on for some instruction and advice.
Instagram Live is Part of the Instagram Stories Platform
Most people are familiar with Instagram’s normal, “vanilla” photo feed, which can also include videos up to 60 seconds long. This format of scrolling content feeds published by a variety of user accounts is not dissimilar to Facebook. Content is stored permanently on each account, and it displays to followers according to an algorithm that arranges content by time posted as well as their likelihood to enjoy it.
Instagram Stories is a new feature that rewrites all these rules. Like Snapchat, posts on Instagram Stories disappear forever after a certain amount of time, but unlike Snapchat they take 24 hours to do so. These posts also do not appear on your Instagram profile or within your normal Instagram feed.
One of the main features of Instagram Stories is Instagram Live, a video broadcasting tool that notifies your followers and requests them to tune in to your live broadcast. Since the video is deleted forever after the broadcast ends, rather than after 24 hours, followers have a strong sense of urgency to watch the broadcast at the time it airs.
A side effect of this live and temporary nature is the immediacy of the interaction. NBA player and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid showed how this immediacy can translate to intimacy when he broadcasted a video of himself chugging Shirley Temples and interacting with his fans. Instead of your audience feeling like there is a barrier between them and you, you can foster direct communication that builds strong relationships.
Best Uses of Instagram Live for Social Marketing Strategy
There are many versatile uses of Instagram Live, including:
- Product launches or important updates. Let your biggest fans in on exciting developments before anyone else hears about it.
- Behind the scenes looks. Show your audience how the sausage gets made with an interesting look at your facilities or a slice-of-life moment among staff.
- Q&A sessions. Interviews are well-served by the Instagram Live format, which allows your viewers to post text questions and you to respond to them in the video.
- Live classes, workshops, demos, tutorials, etc. Give your audience value by showing them how to do something the way a true pro does it.
- Flash sales and promotions. Use live video for giveaways or deep discounts that can disappear when the video ends.
Also, some quick tips for making your Live video Insta-worthy:
- Make a new “dummy” account to practice the art of hosting live video without a scrutinizing audience
- Hit the “X” button next to a user’s name to kick them out of a broadcast if they are being disruptive
- Greet new users as they arrive
- Give everyone time to log on; Instagram Live invites users by a priority algorithm, so the longer you stay on the more people get invited
- Repeat your marketing message or Call to Action several times so that users with late arrivals or early departures can still hear it
- Use good, front-facing lighting and a stable camera setup like a tripod or a steadicam mount
- Recap the broadcast on your permanent Instagram feed, and give users fair warning to tune in for important live broadcasts before they happen
- Screenshot your “number of viewers” stat at the end of the broadcast since it will not be saved in Instagram Analytics
Get Assistance with Instagram Live and Other Social Media Marketing Strategies with Success City Online
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