Decktopus Content Team
Forbes reports that 54% of consumers claim that their social media usage has grown, with millennials and Gen Z being the most active. Instagram is the second most used platform, with 55% of respondents saying they use the site regularly. This makes Instagram a great avenue for businesses to promote themselves and their products.
Aside from being able to post content and sell products, companies can also maximize the platform for business advertising through livestreaming. Here, businesses can talk to their followers in real-time. Recently, Instagram rolled out their live rooms feature, the new addition allows streamers to broadcast with up to three people, have full safety controls, and lets viewers scroll through their feed without ever having to leave the livestream. If you want to utilize the platform’s live rooms to grow your business, here are a few tips and tricks you can use:
Promote in advance
The first thing you will want to do is to schedule the stream and promote it in advance. While it is possible to go live without notice, this may lead to a smaller audience since people won't be able to clear up their schedules ahead to tune in. Instead, you can announce what the stream will be about and when it will happen so your followers can add the date to their calendars.
When promoting the event, you can post a story or talk about it on your feed to drum up excitement in the days leading up to it. Create an eye-catching yet simple announcement to post on Instagram. Make sure that all the relevant details are both in the image and in the caption so your followers have all the necessary information. When formatting the post, do not clutter the image with too much text as this can just confuse your followers or make them feel overwhelmed. You can opt for a minimalist design that is simple yet effective. Promoting the stream in advance will help ensure that those who want to be able to watch your live session can do so and that you are maximizing your follower engagement.
Discuss an engaging topic
Another way you can get more people to watch your livestream is by discussing a topic that is both relevant to your brand and to your audience. Not only can this convince them to tune in, but it can also serve as a way to show your followers that your company shares their values and pays attention to their needs.
For instance, you could conduct a digital product launch using Instagram’s live rooms where you sample what you are selling and show viewers why they should buy it. This way, you're not just marketing a product, but also an experience.
You can also host a Q&A session where your viewers can submit questions anonymously. If you want something more formal, try hosting a panel discussion with an expert within your company’s industry to build brand credibility. This will help ensure that your viewers will remain engaged throughout the stream and that you are offering information that is valuable to them. Preparing what your stream will be about in advance will also prevent your host from drifting away from the topic.
Use good technical equipment
Social media marketing is all about how appealing your outputs are for your followers. When taking photos or videos, companies will only post something they deem to be high quality and your Instagram live should not be any different. It is important to have good technical knowledge, not only to keep the stream appealing but to also ensure that there will not be any hiccups during the live stream itself.
Make sure that your hosts have good lighting. Encourage them to be in a room with a lot of natural light or to use a ring light if the former is not possible. They should also have an external microphone that has built-in noise reduction. While the ones on smartphones are okay, they do not offer professional-level quality that you would want for your stream. Lastly, make sure that your hosts have a good internet connection. This will prevent streams from being cut off, lag, and other connectivity issues that may deter followers from watching.
Pay attention to regulars
The benefit of going on Instagram’s live rooms is that your audience can feel like they are part of the process and that the company is transparent with them. One way you can boost this effect even more is by paying attention to the people who frequent your streams. This will make them feel even more welcome and convince them to continue watching your live streams consistently, which paves the way for brand loyalty.
Sara Palmer's article on increasing Instagram followers on AskMoney outlines that it is important for businesses to be able to emotionally connect with their audience. If a follower feels like they are included, they will have more reasons to support your brand. You can do this by mentioning them in the stream or thanking them for joining. You can also try to give prizes or bonuses to these consistent viewers by giving them discounts or products. This can also help motivate your other followers to tune into your streams more frequently.
It is hard to keep your attention on a speaker who is mumbling, stuttering, or lacks confidence. Constantly using filler words like “but” or “um” can also be distracting for viewers. Our past article '7 Big Presentation Mistakes' notes that poor delivery can make or break the demonstration. This entails speaking too fast, constantly looking away, or being too quiet.
Before the live stream, choose a host who you believe to be good at public speaking. They will need to have the right amount of confidence, charm, and knowledge of your company and products. They should have a commanding presence while also having an approachable air to them. Make sure that they can speak loudly and clearly so your viewers can understand what is happening. Not only will this help your followers take the stream seriously, but it will also give people a reason to believe that they can trust what your host is saying.
Save your stream
While it is ideal to have all your followers watching your stream as it is happening, there is a possibility that some may not be able to due to circumstances. One way you can solve the problem is by saving your stream. You can then post the full video on Instagram directly or on a video hosting site like YouTube. This will make it more accessible to your followers as well as be able to reach a wider demographic.
To save your stream, all you have to do is end it. Instagram will then give you the option to save it to IGTV, which is the platform’s long-form video hosting service. Once it is uploaded there, you can link it to your profile so your followers can easily access it. Ending the stream will also give you the option to save it to your phone. From there, you can upload it directly or transfer it to a computer. Once you’ve done this, you are free to edit the video however you like before uploading it to YouTube. Saving your stream will help your viewers know that you want to make your content accessible to a wider audience.
A major tip for all forms of social media marketing is to always be consistent. This applies to posting, answering messages, and going live. An article in the New York Times on Instagram growth explains that though there are many different marketing strategies you can utilize, consistency can go a long way when it comes to creating organic follower engagement.
You can stream as often as you can, from monthly to weekly, depending on what you believe works best for your followers. Having a set schedule will allow them to look forward to your Instagram lives and will help them prepare for it in advance. Just be sure not to stream too much as this will create lesser engagement and make them feel unimportant. Another way you can have consistency is by having backgrounds and icons that can commonly be associated with your brand. You can do this by utilizing templated backgrounds from Decktopus. This will help keep your visuals consistent and professional.
Instagram live rooms have become a new way for businesses to interact with their followers and to market themselves. While it can be difficult to get the mechanics right when starting out, finding your footing can pay off in the long run. Be sure that before you stream, you have announced the event, have a topic to be discussed and have handled all the technical aspects. During the livestream, make sure that your host is speaking clearly and that they are engaging your viewers as best they can. Once the stream is over, decide whether or not it is right to save it and when you will host another one. This will ensure that you are maximizing your company’s social media presence on the platform and that you are optimizing your Instagram live room practices.