15 Sensational Tips for Using Instagram Live

It’s official: Live Video is here to stay.

It started with Facebook live, and now almost every social media platform has a Live component.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking: WTF!

I barely just figured out Instagram Stories, and now I’ve got to do this Live thing? 

On Instagram, Live videos are given #1 priority in people’s feeds. So if you’re looking for a way to get noticed in spite of Instagram’s recent drop in organic reach, look no further.

But Live video is difficult to do right.





Why Instagram Live? 

Instagram Live is an effective channel for reaching your audience in an exciting and interactive way. 

Using Instagram Live can:

  • Increase Visibility: With Instagram’s new algorithm, your content may not always get the attention it deserves. Instagram Live increases your visibility as it sends push notifications to anyone and everyone who follows your account. 
  • Increase Engagement: Imagine having your questions answered directly from your favorite Instagram influencer, celebrity, or even brand? Instagram Live increases engagement by bringing followers closer to your real-life. 
  • Build Relationships: Whether you’re using Instagram Live for answering questions, revealing parts of your life, or for just chatting with your followers, each time you appear on a Live story your audience is building their relationship with you.
  • Develop Brand Identity: This relationship turns into a brand identity. Instagram Live can help your brand develop its identity and share it with the Instagram community. 

Instagram Live is looking pretty great right about now, huh? 

In order to get the most of Instagram Live’s benefits, we’ve created a list of 15 tips that will increase your visibility, engagement, positive relationships, and brand identity. 

Not sure of how to use Instagram Live? Click here to watch a tutorial to get started!


4 Tips Before Going Live on Instagram:


1. Determine the Purpose of Your Live Broadcast

Your Live broadcast should bring viewers something extra special that they can’t get from your regular Instagram account.

Examples of how you can use Instagram Live to deliver value to your audience: 

  1. Reveal New Products: Try building up the anticipation on Instagram and then broadcasting the reveal in real-time using Instagram Live. 
  2. Go Behind-the-Scenes: Instagram Live can make viewers feel like they’re actually there with you, doing a makeup tutorial or on a tour of the product warehouse. 
  3. Feature a Special Guest: Reach out to influencers and/or vertical brands that would be interested in doing an Instagram Live takeover. 
  4. Questions and Answer Sessions: Using Instagram Live to answer questions is an awesome tactic for directly engaging with your followers. It shows that you care about what they have to say and that you’re approachable. 
  5. Ask for feedback: Just launched a new product? Get instant feedback using Instagram Live to ask your followers what their thoughts are.
  6. Do Something Weird: Do something weird and unexpected. Switching up the style of your Instagram Live sessions will keep people wondering what you’ll do next! 

Pro Tip: Brainstorm 6 more ideas of how you can use Instagram Live to deliver something extra special and creative to your audience. 

Food and Wine bring users something unique with their Live broadcast, an at-home cooking session with the chef! 




2. Outline Your Video

Make sure you cover all your key points by creating an outline of all the important topics you’ll want to cover during your Live broadcast.

Pro Tip: Your outline should include call-to-actions, like “Follow me on Instagram” or “Don’t forget to comment.” 


3. Test Sound and Video Quality

Record a ‘tester’ video beforehand to determine the sound and quality of your video.   

Pro Tips: 

  • Try choosing a clean and aesthetically pleasing background so you don’t distract the viewers from your message. 
  • Try looking for a small quiet room for maximum sound quality and minimum distractions. 
  • Film right next to your window for ideal lighting.
  • Don’t forget to charge your phone!


4. Promote Your Live Broadcast with a Pre-Live Post or Story 

Let followers know the time of your Live broadcast to increase your reach. 

Promote your post not only on Instagram, but Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube as well. 

 SEF the Lawn Surgeon uses his YouTube channel to promote his Live broadcast.  


Pro Tip: Schedule your Live broadcast during peak activity times. Tools such as Simply Measured can help you find out the time that your followers are most active. 


7 Tips While You’re Live on Instagram


1. Pin Your Videos ‘Title’ 

 Give late viewers some context by pinning the ‘title’ of your Live broadcast. 

Use the ‘pin comment’ feature: 

  1. Type the ‘Title’ of your video in the comments section of the Live Feed
  2. Tap the comment to pin it. 


2. See Who’s Watching

To see who is watching your Live broadcast, tap the eye icon on the top left corner of your screen. 

Pro Tip: As you broadcast more Live videos, you’ll become familiar with the usernames tuning in over and over again. Give those users a shout out on your next Live broadcast and let them know how awesome they are for watching! 

Viewers commenting on an artist’s Live broadcast of his paintings.




3. Remind Viewers Why They Are Watching

Whether you’re building up to a product reveal or simply giving a tutorial, remind your audience why they should keep watching. 

This tactic helps to keep viewers watching until the end of the broadcast. 


4. Get Rid of the Trolls

Urban Dictionary defines a ‘Troll’ as “one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.”

To avoid this disruption, click the ‘X’ next to the user who is trolling your Live broadcast and mute their comments. 

Pro Tip: You can turn off the comment section completely. However, one of the main benefits of using Instagram Live is the ability to engage and interact with viewers in real-time. 


5. Switch your Camera’s View

Keep your Live broadcast engaging by switching up your camera’s view. This way you can show viewers your surroundings or switch from your product and back to your face again. 

Simply double tap the screen to switch views. 


6. Ask Followers to Direct Message Your Account

Sometimes the number of comments happening during a Live broadcast can be overwhelming and detract from the purpose of your video. 

Ask viewers to send direct messages so that you can get back to them once the Live broadcast is over. 


7. Relax and Be Yourself 

The people who stick around to watch your Live broadcast are there to see you in your truest form! 

Always remember to relax and be yourself!


4 Tips After You’re Live on Instagram


1. Save Your Live Video

When the Live broadcast is finished, simply tap the ‘save’ button and it will be exported to your Library.

Saving your video will give you the opportunity to re-watch and take note of what you liked and didn’t like for your next video.  


2. Write Down Metrics 

Keep track of how many people were tuned in and interacting on your Live broadcast. 

Writing down your metrics will allow you to see which Live videos received more engagement. 

Pro Tip: At the end of the Live video, Instagram will display your number of viewers. Take a screenshot so you can remember. 


3. Create a Post-Live Instagram Post or Story

Just like you created a post to announce your Live broadcast, create a post that summarizes what happened during the Live video. 

This is for those loyal followers who just couldn’t make it to the Live broadcast. 

Pro Tip: Write in the caption, “If you don’t want to miss the next Live broadcast, please turn on your push notifications.”


4. Follow Up and Answer Questions

Follow up with viewers that sent you a direct message. 



Instagram Live is yet another effective tool for reaching, connecting, and engaging your audience on 1 all-inclusive platform: Instagram. 

Apply all 15 Instagram Live tips in combination with Instagram’s Photo-Sharing and Story features to get the most out of your Instagram marketing efforts. 


Not quite ready to go full “live?” How about warming up by posting videos or live photos.

Search our blog