January 13, 2017 Last updated on September 29th, 2020
comment_bubble 5 comments

Have you heard about Instagram Live but unsure how to use it?

Or maybe you’re unsure of how to make it work for your business?

This guide is for you!

An introduction to Instagram Live

Instagram Live is one of the latest features to arrive on Instagram, making its début in November last year. The feature permits you to share real time videos with your followers on Instagram, via Instagram Stories. The maximum duration of a live video is 60 minutes, and once you’ve finished broadcasting the video disappears forever. This is an interesting twist on live video, since Facebook and Periscope record and save the videos so they can be played back.

Catch up on the news by watching our video:

How to go Live on Instagram

stepbystep IG live

Unless they turn off their Live notifications, your followers will receive a notification that you’ve begun a live video, so you should see the audience number begin to rise almost immediately.


Why you should consider going Live

Video and live video were already huge in 2016, but 2017 is set to be the year we’ll see live video really take off and thrive on social media.

The fact that Instagram Live videos disappear adds to the ephemerality of a live, meaning that only the followers present with you at that precise time will get to listen in on the information you’re sharing, encouraging them to hop straight onto your Live when they get the notification rather than wait.

Using Instagram Stories, and by extension, Instagram Live will give you more freedom to post whatever you feel like sharing with your community. It’ll also provide you with extra flexibility in terms of when you post, because of the temporary nature of the Live Story. Stories are like the laid back version of Instagram without the pressure to perform.

Top tip to remember:

No one will be expecting tailored, high quality live videos: they’re watching because it’s LIVE, which means it’s supposed to be YOU and your brand spontaneously sharing a moment. That’s why we’d recommend not preparing too much and stressing about the final product – it’s going to disappear when you’re done so just be natural and have fun with it! You audience will appreciate it.

Ways you can use Instagram Live for business

There is a whole plethora of ways you can use Instagram Stories as a business on Instagram.

If you’re looking for ideas on how you can incorporate Live Stories into your Instagram strategy, we’ve come up with a list of great things you can try:

  • Company announcements

Have a new line of products coming out? Or maybe it’s a special milestone for your company? Let your followers in on the news! There’s nothing simpler than picking up our smartphone and talking to people directly to share in your news. They’ll be grateful to have been let in – engagement is inevitable!

  • Product demos

Why not show your followers how to use one of your products? Let’s imagine you have a new kitchen gadget. Share how it works with your followers in real time! Anything you can make engaging and funny is a plus!

  • Q&A sessions

Want to get some feedback from your customers via Instagram? Hop on a Live and get them asking their questions! To avoid awkward silences, you can bring some FAQ along with you and answer those at the beginning. This will also get your followers’ own questions brewing.

  • Glimpses behind the scenes

Is it somebody’s birthday? Or maybe you have a new recruit? Show some faces behind your brand in a live video on Instagram and really humanize your company. Marketing works when you involve personality and trust, so don’t hesitate to introduce your followers to your team and let them in on the more personal side of your business.

  • Lessons and tutorials

A bit like product demos, but this is something you can prepare for. Structure a lesson (no longer than 60 minutes!) and encourage your viewers to take part by asking questions. This will make for an interactive session and bring you and your followers closer together. Again for something more serious like this, don’t hesitate to have a sense of humor and make it fun for anyone watching!

  • Takeovers

Finally we have takeovers. The concept is simple: hand over the reigns to your Instagram Stories for a day to a member of your team or an influencer you’re working with on a campaign for example. Then you get them to post, post, post! Stories (which last 24 hours) and Lives throughout a day are a really fun way of letting your followers in to your daily life at your company, so make a big deal of it! Why not talk about it like an event on your other social media channels to increase engagement?

Thank you for reading! We hope these tips on using Instagram Live have been helpful. We’d love to know what you’re planning on doing first! Let us know in the comments and shout us out (@iconosquare) in your Stories on Instagram!

About the author
Emily Marsh

Emily Marsh

Emily is an Inbound Marketer for Iconosquare, based in the Limoges office. She loves all things social and revels in keeping on top of the social media marketing game by writing for the blog. She’s also a bit obsessed with sushi and Netflix.

More posts by Emily Marsh

Join the social revolution, try Iconosquare.

Try Iconosquare free for 14 days. No credit card needed.

Start 14 days Free Trial