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Instagram Live Streaming for Business: How to Get Started

Instagram Live Streaming for Business How to Get Started

If you still haven’t tried Instagram Live for your business, it’s not too late to get started.

With millions of Instagram users watching live videos every day, you can’t afford to miss the chance of grabbing audience attention on Instagram through live. From sneak peeks and teasers to tutorials and how-tos, there’s a lot that you can do with Instagram Live and gain traction for your business.

That said, you must figure out how to go live on Instagram and find some pro tips and tricks to catch your followers’ eyes.

In this post, we share all that you need to get started with Instagram Live, along with some excellent tips for creating viral-worthy Instagram Live content. Keep reading!

What is Instagram Live?

Similar to many other social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, etc.), Instagram lets you interact with your audience in real-time through its Instagram Live functionality. A fantastic tool to boost engagement, it also helps you build brand affinity apart from awareness.

Here’s a quick intro to Instagram Live features that businesses can leverage to build their viewership and brand:

  • Schedule: Making the most of the recently introduced scheduling feature, creators can now schedule their Instagram Live broadcast up to 90 days in advance, with reminders that alert followers to tune in when the live begins.
  • Questions: Post a question sticker on an Instagram Story and gather questions from your audience on what they want to know in your upcoming live. And then, when you go live, you can easily access your questions and answer them directly. Micromanaging? No thanks!
  • Face filters: Put pep into your live broadcast with a range of face filters, available at the tap of a button.
  • Send live video: During your live, use the Direct (paper airplane icon) feature on the bottom of the screen to send your live video to a user.
  • Add guests: Instagram Live lets you bring another guest into your broadcast and feature in the video via a split-screen. You can go live with up to three guests at a time.
  • Swap the camera: Swap the camera (rear or front) with absolute ease.
  • Share media: With the media sharing tool, you can quickly share pictures or videos from your camera roll during your live broadcast.
  • Pin a comment: Add a comment and pin it to introduce yourself and the broadcast to new viewers joining in.

How does Instagram Live work?

Step 1: Open the app and tap the Live option

Open Instagram and tap the Live button. You can access the Live button by clicking “Your story” on the top left.

Instagram Live Story

Then, scroll to “Live” at the bottom of the screen.

Instagram Live scroll

Alternatively, you can click the “+” icon on the top right and choose “Live” from the menu.

Instagram Live menu

Step 2: Add title

Next, give a title to your live broadcast before hitting “Go Live”!

Instagram Live description


Step 3: Schedule, if you want

If you don’t want to go live right now, you can schedule your Instagram live by clicking the calendar icon and adding a start time.

Instagram Live scheduling

Step 4: Swap camera

Tap the “Swap camera” icon on the bottom-right to switch between your phone’s rear and front cameras.

Step 5: Use filters

If you want to add a filter to your Instagram live stream, scroll through the options available next to the white “Go Live” button at the bottom of the screen.

Instagram Live filters

Step 6: Go live!

Whenever you are ready to start your broadcast, click the “Go Live” button and be all set to greet your audience with a warm smile.

Step 7: Add or pin a comment

Tap “Comment” to add a comment to your Instagram Live stream. To pin a comment, simply tap on it and click “Pin Comment” to highlight it.

Step 8: End the live

Once your Instagram live stream is over, click “End” in the top right and tap to confirm. You can then hit the download icon in the top left and save the live video to your camera roll. You can also share it on your Instagram profile.

Note: Your Instagram live replays won’t feature the likes or comments received during the original live stream.

Tips on using Instagram Live for Business

Creating engaging Instagram live streams is essential for any business. Here are a few tips that can help you do that:

Before you go live

1. Plan

Going live without planning is one of the worst mistakes businesses commit on any social media platform, Instagram included. Therefore, as soon as you decide to go live, determine the goal you want to achieve through it and the course of action. For example, what will be the format of your Instagram live? When will you go live? Will it be a series or just a casual catch-up with your followers?

Visualize how your ideal Insta Live will be and create an outline mentioning the essentials. Remember, well begun is half done. So, begin it well through proper planning.

2. Promote

Going live on Instagram is primarily about interacting with your target audience in real-time. To this end, you need to promote the live to reach your audience. Share the what, when, why, and where of your Instagram Live with your existing followers to bring in more live views.

Here, cross-channel promotion is a great idea to reach more viewers. Promote your live stream on all the channels your audience hangs out on, rather than sticking to Instagram alone. And don’t forget to make the most of emails because businesses can convert a significant part of their audience through email campaigns.

Therefore, create an email campaign highlighting your Instagram Live and use it to reach latent audience. Here’s an example where Ovia Health and BümoBrain went live on Instagram and promoted it through email amongst other promotional channels.

Promoting your Instagram Live event for Business

3. Ask before you answer!

Don’t go live and start talking on any random topic. Instead, understand your audience to get an idea of what content they will like to see. Then, ask your followers questions about what they would want to know in your upcoming live session on Instagram. Utilize the Q&A feature of Instagram Live to prepare answers beforehand and easily access these questions during your live stream.

4. Check your internet connectivity

Your internet connection is a crucial factor in ensuring flawless live broadcasts. While you can always use Wi-Fi, the chances of it going patchy are more than with an ethernet connection. So, if your budget allows, opt for an Ethernet connection to get uninterrupted, high-speed internet connectivity throughout your live broadcasts.

However, it would require an adapter. For example, if you use an Android phone, you’d need a USB Micro B-to-Ethernet adapter, and for an iOS device, you’d need a Lightning-to-Ethernet adapter.

5. Focus on lighting

Proper lighting is the key to live streaming success. To ensure viewers can see you in the best light, either have ample natural lighting in front of you or supplement it with artificial ones.

For example, if you have a window in your room, sit in front of it for stunning lighting in your live broadcast. But don’t have the window at your back as it could result in a silhouette.

Else, invest in a portable ring light with adjustable brightness levels to perfect your efforts.

6. Sound better with an external microphone

In many ways, your phone’s built-in mic is sufficient to produce quality live streams. However, if you want to sound better, invest in an external microphone.

Choose one from our top recommendations for live streaming mics and improve your Instagram Live streams with a rich and balanced sound.

7. Collaborate

Just because you’re using Instagram Live for your business doesn’t mean you can’t collaborate with other businesses or creators. Brainstorm and figure out how collaboration can help you reach a wider audience. You can bring in guests during your live or collaborate with influencers to tap into their audiences. The options are endless.

You just need to find what works the most for your business and mix things up a little at times to break the monotony of regular live streams, like Hootsuite does in this Instagram live stream.

Collaborate on Instagram Live streams

8. Pick the right spot

Before creating meaningful Instagram live streams, we need to drive home just how important picking the right spot is. A quiet room with minimum distractions and an aesthetically pleasing background will give your videos the professional touch they need to sound and look better.

9. Prepare your phone

Instagram Live is pretty easy to set up. All you need is a phone and a stable internet connection to get things going. That’s why it makes sense to prepare your phone ahead of time for an unobstructed live stream.

Make sure the phone is mounted on a steady surface to avoid shaky live footage. You can try an entry-level tripod or consider using a book stack to position your phone to the eye level for that professional-looking live broadcast. If budget is not a constraint, try investing in a Shoulderpod for incredible results.

Another word of advice here is to enable the “Do Not Disturb” function on your phone to prevent calls from interrupting your live. Also, charge your phone right before the live to go as long as you want, without worrying about draining the phone’s battery.

10. Practice and perform a dry run

It’s not enough that you have all the elements for your Instagram Live videos right; you also need to perform a dry run to determine if you’re set up for success. To avoid greeting your viewers with a stuttering live performance, prepare as much as you can. Note down the key points you want to cover in your live stream, record yourself talking to the camera and notice the areas of improvement.

Once you have improved your confidence, test the phone, mic, lighting, and internet to troubleshoot any problems. If you’re collaborating with someone, make sure the run of show (ROS) is shared with them so that they know what to expect and when.

During the live stream

11. Introduce your live

Go beyond merely introducing yourself to your viewers at the beginning of the live stream. While you can always give a title and description to your live, add your live video’s title in a comment and pin it to help new viewers gain context as and when they join.

12. Be yourself

When you go live, make sure you look your best while staying comfortable because your on-screen presence can make or break your live broadcast.

Conventional wisdom says you need to be your true self if you want to connect with your audience. Remember, you’re a human, and by going live, you’re trying to establish a human connection. So, when you represent your brand, don’t be afraid to go wrong or commit a mistake. All that matters is you stay true while delivering relevant content to your audience.

13. Engage with your viewers

By default, Instagram does a great job of helping creators engage with the audience. The viewers can comment, and you can answer their queries in real-time. Of course, you can also answer the Q&A questions in between the live. But to give your followers the attention they deserve, try inviting them to join your live. This will make them feel valued and drive the conversation without sounding like a unidirectional broadcast.

14. Remind viewers what is the live about

Often, as you dig deeper into the content you want to share in your live broadcast, you forget to iterate why you’re there. Avoid this mistake by repeatedly reminding your audience why they are watching you and what’s up next. This will keep them hooked until the end of the live.

15. Manage trolls

While there’s no silver bullet to keep your live videos hatred-free, you can avoid possible disruption by trolls. To do that, you can click the ‘X’ next to the troll who attempts to damage your live video and mute their comments. If you ever find it hard to manage trolls while you’re live, you can also turn off the comment section for everyone.

16. Have fun

There are plenty of ways to liven up your Instagram Live streams. Try integrating them into your broadcasts for funneling traffic from Instagram to your website and other social media profiles. Include quizzes, polls or add videos to your live streams to have some fun with your audience. Above all, let lose and connect by having fun with your audience.

17. End it with a CTA

Don’t let the ending of your live go to waste. Instead, conclude the live by thanking your guests, viewers, and co-hosts and tie it with a CTA that you wish to achieve through the live stream. Whether it’s signing up for a new course, attending a workshop, or buying a recently launched product – get your goal accomplished by ending your live with it.

Also, don’t forget to leave your viewers craving for more by hinting at an irresistible element of your next live. That’s an incredible tactic to get bring in more viewers to your upcoming live broadcasts.

After going live

18. Save and share your live broadcast

Although live videos aren’t directly tied to replays, replays prove essential to score clicks once the livestream is over.

After the live broadcast is finished, save it to share it on your Instagram profile. Apart from helping you repurpose your live content, keeping the live streams also helps you find areas of improvement to amp up your live video strategy.

Check out how saving and sharing this live stream has helped Holler Academy win the love of its loyal fans:

Share and save your live

19. Use the analytics

Simply going live isn’t enough if you can’t make sense of the metrics. After your live video ends, note the reach and live interactions you drove through it.

Keeping track of Instagram Live analytics will help you find what engages your audience and why. So, dedicate time and effort to Instagram Live analytics and use its power to tweak your live video strategy accordingly.

20. Promote your live even after it’s over

Successful live video promotion doesn’t end with the live. You need to promote your live even after it has ended. So, create an Instagram post or Story summarizing the key points mentioned in your recent live broadcast and share it on your profile. Apart from increasing the odds of getting more Instagram saves, this tip also helps win the hearts of followers who couldn’t watch the live video (and you didn’t save and share it with them).

21. Reply to the DMs

The potential for a successful live video strategy diminishes without ongoing engagement. So, if you invited DMs during your Instagram Live stream, don’t forget to look more deeply into your interactions by following up with those who sent you a direct message. Apart from boosting engagement, it’s beneficial in improving your viewers’ brand experience.

22. Beat inconsistency

Whatever your Instagram Live goals are, make sure you achieve them by being consistent. Whether it’s a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly live, being there for your viewers can help foster brand love. You can also perk things up with an exclusive Instagram Live series to gain more followers along the way and to keep bringing the existing ones back to your Instagram business account.

Explore Instagram Live Streaming for Business

As you can see, several tips can help you make the most of Instagram live streams for your business.

Now that you have learned how to go live on Instagram, use this post as a benchmark of what you can do and begin exploring the world of Insta Live for your business.

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