The sheer number of followers on your Instagram account may be good for business, but it’s the number of loyal followers that matters the most. These people will advocate for your brand online and recommend you to their friends.
Increase customer engagement on your page and get closer to your followers. This may help you build up that loyal customer base.
One of the best ways to get up close and intimate with your followers is to do a livestream. Here’s what a livestream is, why should you care about it, and how to go about creating a successful stream of your own.
What is an Instagram Livestream?
Unlike an IGTV video that is permanently available on your Instagram profile, a livestream is just what it sounds like. It’s a live video that is displayed on your Instagram stories.
Your followers can access it through their stories feed or through your page and see you speak or perform live. They can leave a comment that will be displayed to you live, and you can interact with your followers pretty much instantly.
Now, why should you care about live streams if you’re not a musician or a lifestyle blogger?
Why is Instagram Livestream Important for You?
First off, a livestream is the most direct and authentic way to interact with your audience. Essentially, you’re having a large-scale online meetup where your viewers can ask questions and comment on your work. In times when consumer trust is dwindling, authenticity is extremely important, so that alone is enough to consider livestreaming.
It’s also a great way to increase customer engagement. People who go to your stream and talk to you live will have a better connection with your brand. After all, who you’d rather buy from, a company that shows you an ad or a person you’ve actually talked to?
With a livestream, you can easily get into your followers’ feeds. Most people have hundreds of subscriptions to meme pages, pages with culinary recipes, fitness tips, you name it. It’s easy to get lost in that stream of information.
When you start a stream, your followers get a push notification that you’re live now. Your stream will also be displayed first in their Instagram stories feed. That’ll sure drive attention.
There’s another minor detail. You can stream together with someone, so a livestream can become a part of your influencer marketing efforts.
The most important factor, though, is the ability to improve your social media content marketing campaign. 80% of social media users would rather watch your livestream than read a post or a blog. That’s a huge opportunity to increase your audience with content.
How to Hold an Instagram Livestream for Your Business
Are you intrigued by what a livestream can give to your business? Here’s how you make sure your livestream is successful.
Regardless of the topic of your stream, you need to make sure that you’re doing it at the right time. Timing is important for Instagram content strategy overall, but since this type of content is live, you need to nail it.
Look up what is the best time for your page in terms of views and user engagement and schedule your stream at that time. Make sure you let your audience know when you are streaming and what the stream is about.
Even though being pinned on top of your followers’ stories feed is going to give you some viewers, you want some people to tune in right when you start. Announce it in a story before you start to remind people who wanted to see you live.
If you have a large enough active audience and only want to use the livestreams for generating revenue or qualifying leads, you may not need to promote the streams. However, if your main goal is to grow your audience, you have to start promoting your stream beforehand.
The simplest way you can do this is to launch a paid ad campaign with a post announcing a stream, or asking fellow influencers for promotion. If you do happen to have a working relationship with an influencer, consider doing a couple of joint streams to grow your audience.
Choosing The Format
When it comes to choosing the topic, it all depends on the type of business or page you’re running. If you’re a lifestyle blogger, you can just host a stream where you casually chat with your customers. However, that’s probably not what you’re for on Instagram, are you?
A great example of a stream that could get you a lot of views and engagement is covering a major event in your industry. For instance, if you run a makeup company, you could stream an expo from your booth.
Not a good fit for you? Try hosting a Q&A session. This works particularly well if you’re getting the same questions in the DMs or in the comments time and time again. Your subscribers may be interested in a longer explanation. This invites a livestream.
If these two don’t seem like a fit, there’s another content format that will likely yield great results. It “hands-down the best tool for B2B businesses,” and it can be a great fit for B2C companies as well. It’s a webinar.
Ask your followers what knowledge they want you to share, and hold a livestream on that topic. If you’re a social media marketing consultant, you can elaborate on a particular aspect of social media strategy. If you own a company that sells makeup, do a makeup tutorial with an influencer, or share your thoughts on a product.
In this format, you don’t only engage your audience, you introduce them to your product. The impact of that on sales may be huge.
The most important thing when it comes to building a presence online is consistency. Just like you have to stay consistent with your voice and how regularly you post on social media, you need to stay consistent with your livestreams.
This doesn’t mean you need to stream every day, just come up with a schedule that’s doable for you and stick to it. Make sure to announce each stream in time, and your audience will grow.
This is the trickiest part when it comes to Instagram live streams. The problem is, the platform lacks the analytical tools for streaming. You can get information on your stories’ views, but with livestreams, it’s not possible.
You can only save the stream as an IGTV video, but the only stats you’ll get from there would be the video views, not livestream views.
The best advice so far is to do your best and keep tabs on how many viewers attended each stream, so you can create a graph later. Also, pay attention to how well the audience responds to minor tweaks in your streams. The best way to do that is to interact with the audience and ask them directly during the stream.
While doing a livestream is a major time investment, the benefits it provides far outweigh the time lost. Don’t wait until your competitors start streaming, ask your audience what they want you to cover and give it a try!