Recently tons of brands have been hosting Instagram Lives. Why? First, Instagram is a great place for brands, and second, people love watching videos. It’s easier than reading a blog (although blogs are very important for brands). The goal of hosting an Instagram Live is to engage with your followers by answering their questions in real time and clearly showing your brand and who you are. This way people will feel more connected to your brand and become more loyal. 

Colibri Digital Marketing recently hosted our first Instagram Live and we learned quite a bit. We have compiled a list of instructions below so that you can successfully host a live stream on Instagram! Check it out below! Make sure to stay tuned for our next Live, which we will be hosting monthly. 

How to Go Live on Instagram

Follow the steps below to learn how to go live on Instagram!

Step 1: Create Your Topic and Decide on a Format

Maybe you want your Live to be more of a webinar or maybe you want it to be a business Q&A. Maybe you just want to chat with your followers about your brand and how your business got to where it is now. Either way, before you do anything else you need to decide on the format of your Live and the topic. 

Step 2: Set Your Date

Setting a date and sticking to it will ensure that you actually host your event! Plus, it will help people know what to expect and set aside time to attend.

Step 3: Promote Your Event

Just like any event, if it’s not promoted people won’t know about it and they won’t attend. If you promote your Live, you will have a bigger number of viewers. There are many different places you can promote your event, the main one being Instagram. You can make stories about it and posts. Of course promoting your event on other social media platforms will also help. 

  • Blog. You can post about your events on your own blog, giving you a link back to your website and driving traffic there through the promotion channels listed below.
  • Social media. If someone follows you on twitter and not on Instagram and they see you are hosting an Instagram Live and are interested, they will not only attend your Live, but most likely follow your Instagram as well. Consider creating a Facebook event so all your Facebook friends and followers can commit to coming. You can send a direct email to anyone who says they are attending to ensure attendance and show your appreciation. 
  • Contests and incentives. Consider offering incentives or giving a prize to your Live attendees. You can keep it simple, but everyone loves to be a winner. 
  • Email. Send an announcement to your email subscriber list. Your subscribers have opted in, which shows they care about your brand, and emails go to everyone on your list, unlike social media, which goes to people based on an algorithm.
  • EventBrite. Invite people to your event via EventBrite. EventBrite sends traffic to your website, which helps your SEO, and makes your events more findable. 

 So make sure to promote, promote, promote. 

Step 4: Create A Basic Script 

Hosting a Live can be a bit daunting and you may get camera shy, but if you have a basic script and plan, there’s no need to fear. Here is a sample of what your basic script might include if you are doing a Q&A: 

  • Introduction. This should include the topic and who is on the Live. 
  • Questions. These might be questions the interviewer asks the interviewee if you have two people, or topics the host covers in the introduction. They should be related to your topic and create brand awareness. 
  • Audience. If you are doing a Q&A, most of your time should be spent getting questions from the audience. Make sure to encourage them to ask. 
  • Call to action. At the end of your Live, make sure to thank your followers and encourage future engagement. You can remind them of when your next Live will be, or ask them to think of topics they would like to learn about for your next Live. 

Step 5: Instagram Live Technical Setup

Making sure you are prepared and have the best setup possible will ensure that things go smoothly. Here are some things to consider:

  • Will you be using a tripod to hold your phone? 
  • Will you use a microphone or just your phone’s microphone? 
  • If you’re using any kind of equipment, test it beforehand! 
  • Background
  • Lighting 

Try to make things as professional and compelling for your viewer/listener as possible. Keep in mind the camera you will be using will be the Instagram stories camera so it has to be your phone camera.

Step 6: How to Host

Lets talk about how to actually use Instagram. Here are the steps to start your Instagram Live

  • Open the Instagram app on your phone.
  • Go to home page 
  • Swipe left or hit the camera icon at the top left
Screenshot: Instagram feed
  • Choose the Live option from bottom of screen (if that option doesn’t appear, exit app and try again)
Screenshot: Instagram Live
  • Start when you are ready 

Step 7: How To Join

If you are co-hosting, there are a few more steps. Here is how the second host can join the Live:

  • Open the Instagram app on your phone 
  • Search for the account that you will be joining 
  • Press Live video on their profile 
  • Press send a request. It is a pink button. 
Screenshot: Instagram Live
  • Once request is accepted you will be part of the Live video. The main host who started the Live must accept the request. All they have to do is click on the request and the option will come up to approve it and go Live with that person. 

Step 8: Post Event

Although you have already hosted your Live, there is still more to do when you end your Live. By clicking the end button in the top right, you will be given the option to save the Live and post it to your story. Make sure you save it as this is your only chance! 

By sharing it to your story, followers who could not attend the Live, will be able to view it for the next 24 hours. Because you saved your video, you can now post it on your other social media platforms and post it on IGTV. Make sure you edit your video first, in case anything went wrong, then share it in social. 

Some options for where to share your video include: 

  • YouTube
  • Linking it on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Embedding the link in a blog

When you repost it, make sure to promote your next Live!

Takeaways

We learned a lot from hosting our first Live and hope that this guide can help you as well. Preparing as much as possible will help things run smoothly. The most important thing to remember is to have fun! Instagram Live is about connecting with your followers, so try to have some fun so they can know you better. At Colibri, we like to say, “always getting better.” If things are not perfect, don’t worry! The next time you host a Live, focus on improving what went wrong. There is always room for improvement!

Looking for other ways to improve your social media and digital marketing? Schedule a complimentary meeting with one of our digital marketing strategists here.