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Instagram Live (IG Live) is always evolving its tools and has become one of the most powerful options both for people who create content and for those who consume content. While the thought of going live may turn your stomach, or seem like yet another way to divert your resources from the work you love to do, hang on, give this sharing tool a chance. It may actually simplify your social media and deepen your connection with clients and students.

What is IG Live?

Instagram’s IG Live allows you to record video live on the spot. In its early years IG Live would only offer live-streamed video, once you stopped recording the video would disappear. IG Live’s offerings have expanded and now can download and share your live recordings both with your Instagram audience and through other platforms. Recordings can be up to an hour in length and have additional features to help entice your audience to join, comment, like, and respond. 

One of the big draws of IG Live is its simplicity. All you need is a camera phone.Point and start recording. It really can be that simple. There are a few best practices that can help you get the most the tool to ensure you are producing content that attracts the attention you want.

What to do Before Your IG Live Event?

Going live without alerting people in advance often results in an empty room. This isn’t always a bad thing. Shooting a few live events without much fanfare allows you time to get comfortable with the tool and its features. It can also help you establish a consistent schedule. Remember, you have the option to share your recorded videos afterwards, so even if you don’t have an immediate audience you can still spread the news later. 

Once you feel comfortable using IG Live then it is time to start drumming up an audience. Having people attend your event is always exciting, it builds momentum and creates a dynamic experience for everyone involved. Start spreading the word on your upcoming IG Live event about 5-7 days beforehand. You can do this through your stories, posts, and your wider email marketing strategy. It can also be useful to post a reminder about the event 24 hours before, using a countdown sticker. Instagram Story has a nifty feature where people can set reminders for upcoming events on the platform, so be sure to let your followers know they can do this. These steps all support interested people attending your event. 

Once you have run a few IG Live events and have started gaining a significant following, you may not need to promote the events as much – especially if you start posting live on a set schedule.

What to do During Your IG Live Event?

Ok so you have pressed record, now what?

Running a successful IG Live event includes several things:

  1. Speak to the camera, not to the screen

If you can only remember one thing while hosting your live video recording, let this be it! When you talk to your audience, speak to the camera lens, not to the screen. By speaking to the camera lens you make virtual eye contact with your audience, a powerful experience for everyone. 

  1. Respond to questions, but also ask them.

Attendees can respond to what you are saying in a chat box at the bottom of their screen. This is an interactive experience so be sure to read the comments and respond when appropriate.

A side note on unwanted and inappropriate comments and questions. Instagram now offers a way to silence or block attendees during an IG Live session. Do not be afraid to use this feature as it helps keep the space safe and respectful for all participants. 

  1. Invite your audience in.

Another great feature on IG Live is the ability to actually bring an audience member or two into the video conversation with you. They can ask to join or you can invite them in. This will bring their video onto a portion of the screen with you and allow you to talk directly with them. Bringing in knowledgeable and engaged participants who can share their perspective or rave about your services and build stronger personal connections with your followers. 

What to do After Your IG Live Event?

Once you have signed off and stopped the recording you have a couple of options:

  1. Download your video. When you have ended the recording you will have an option to download the video. This feature will only download the video and audio of your recording, and does not include comments, likes, or viewers. This is a great way to utilize your IG Live event across several platforms and within your email marketing strategy.  
  2. Share the live recording to your Instagram profile. Once you have ended the event you can choose to share the live video on your feed. This feature will also not include the comments, likes, or viewers. You will not be able to edit your video once you share it. 

Conclusion

IG Live can be a significant tool to include in your larger Social Media or Digital Marketing toolbox. Along with making the content creation process simple and instantaneous it also builds your connection directly with those who are interested in what you have to offer. With the ability to download your video you can share the experience with your wider client base and help to bring more people to your Instagram profile and more people to your work.

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