Live streaming is undoubtedly on the rise in 2021, and Instagram has a rightful place among all streaming platforms available today.
Instagram Live is also a great content marketing opportunity for brands. But unfortunately, you might have issues with reach – out of all Instagrammers, only 11% use the live streaming feature regularly.
Is it a valid reason not to tap into the benefits of Instagram Live?
Of course, not! But the success depends heavily on the content and topic of your live streams. So, to help you seamlessly incorporate video streams in your Instagram marketing strategy, here are some Instagram live ideas, along with a few examples.
Why Does Your Business Need Instagram Live?
Today’s digital marketing heavily relies on content, and social media marketing is not an exception. And the main focus is on promoting a product organically.
Besides, considering the Instagram ads cost ($6 per 1,000 impressions), not every business can afford an extensive advertising campaign. So, the best option is to make your Instagram marketing strategy as diverse content-wise as possible.
That’s why it makes sense to add live streams as well. Here a few other reasons why you should consider this content format:
- Build a rapport with your audience. On Instagram, live stream participants can leave comments, share ideas and ask questions in real-time. Thus, live streams facilitate interaction between a brand and its followers.
- Show your brand’s personality. A live stream is another perfect opportunity to promote your brand and highlight its best qualities.
- Get more brand exposure. Live streams on Instagram appear as Stories, and it has been proven that Stories can get you more followers – 58% of people say they have become more interested in a brand after seeing their content in Instagram Stories.
Now, let’s move on and talk about a few content ideas for your Instagram live streams.
1. Standard Q&A Sessions
We’ll start with the classic live stream format – a Q&A session. It is your chance to let your Instagram followers ask any questions regarding your brand and product.
When are Instagram live Q&A sessions most appropriate?
- You want to introduce new followers to your brand and product.
- Your company is about to launch a new product, and you want to give a sneak peek of it.
- You’ve just launched a product and want to answer frequently asked questions about it.
- There are specific questions your customer support often gets, and you want to clear them up.
These are just a few Instagram live ideas, how you can add a live Q&A session to your content strategy. But the beauty of this content format is in its flexibility. If you see that your Instagram followers have become inactive and you need to boost engagement rates, just plan a Q&A session to interact with them.
What do you need to run a successful live Q&A session?
First of all, decide on the topic. It should be related to your brand and product and also be relevant to your target audience. For instance, in the following example from Chewy, the company’s Senior Vet and a nutritionist discuss how to choose healthy food for the pets:
The topic for this live stream gained popularity amid the growing public interest in learning how to read product ingredients. And, since the ingredient list for pet foods is even more complex, two experts answer the most common questions on how to choose healthier product options.
So, for a successful Q&A session, don’t forget to study the trends in your industry as well. And, of course, don’t forget to schedule your live stream and promote it to reach as many followers as possible.
2. Educational Live Streams with Your Employees
It’s always a great idea to have your employees participate in or curate a live stream. They can bring a unique perspective to the live stream and share insider knowledge and out-of-the-box ideas with your audience.
A live stream featuring employees can also help target more potential viewers. Reportedly, employee advocacy can increase a brand’s reach by 561%. That is if you have the proper process in place, of course.
What is implied here?
A brand’s content marketing strategy should always carry a specific message. If a message is delivered incorrectly, it may affect your company’s image, both online and offline.
That’s why, before the start of a live stream, it is important to write a script with a correctly formulated message. Your marketing team can also work with law firms that help businesses to make sure your branding strategies comply with different regulations. After that, you can start involving employees.
In terms of topics for live streams featuring employees, your options are limitless. You can launch a series of live workshops or have your team show what’s happening behind the scenes. In the example below, Headspace invited one of its meditation coaches to run a guided meditation live stream:
If you have a new product coming up, the team that worked on its development can reveal its most remarkable features and show the product in action.
One more thing you should do is get your employee’s permission to be featured in the live streams. Not everyone is eager to broadcast their faces on a public Instagram page. It’s crucial to recognize your team’s right to privacy.
Also, don’t shy away from asking your employee’s opinions on the topic of a live stream. Chances are, they have a myriad of great ideas that could benefit your brand.
3. Learning Sessions with Influencers
Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful ways to bring more people to join your live stream. A collaboration with an influencer can also get you more Instagram followers.
How to choose the right influencer for your live stream?
First, consider the topics your audience will find interesting. You can survey your followers or check the most liked posts through Instagram analytics to see your audience’s current content preferences.
Next, to create a successful live stream, choose an influencer whose target audience is relevant to you. Don’t go for celebrities and mega-influencers; their audience is usually too heterogeneous and is less likely to show interest in your product.
In other words, consider the needs of your followers first. For instance, Valeria Lipovetsky, a model and a YouTuber, often does live streams with influencers who come from the beauty, self-care, fashion, and leadership niches:
Credit: Valeria Lipovetsky
You can also adopt this Instagram live idea and turn it into a group mentor session, during which an influencer can share their wisdom with your followers. This way, you create exclusive and highly relevant content that is guaranteed to deliver high engagement.
4. Live Streams Featuring Brand Supporters
You can’t undervalue user-generated content. It is a strong marketing tool that strengthens a brand’s relationship with its customers and positively influences its online image.
Choosing Instagram Live broadcasting to feature the supporters of your brand is one of the great Instagram live ideas, especially if your social media strategy relies on this platform and your primary audience follows you there.
The opportunities for live streams with brand supporters are limitless – you can have a live Q&A session with a regular customer, invited your fans to participate in a debate, or let them talk about their contribution like UNICEF did with a 14-year-old researcher:
If you decide to involve brand supporters in your live streams on Instagram, make sure you have their permission. They should be included in the list of live stream contributors.
Also, don’t forget to share the live stream agenda with them to keep up with the topic for discussion. It’s also important to ask their opinions on the topic and share their questions with you.
5. Video Stream Covering a Burning Topic
Lastly, you can use the currently trending topics in your industry as a content idea for your live stream. Covering a burning topic helps build a reputation as a knowledgeable leader and improve online brand image.
How do you uncover trending topics?
The easiest way is to set up a Google Trends alert. For instance, if your audience is interested in how to sell on Amazon, you can track the keyword Amazon on Google Trends to see if any important news come up:
If you can afford a paid tool, Buzzsumo is an excellent option. For instance, if you want to watch 2021 typography design trends, you can type this keyword as is in Buzzsumo’s search bar and get the latest content created on this topic:
Once you have decided on a topic for your live stream, you can think about the presentation format. It can be a scripted speech or a free discussion with a person specializing in the topic, like in WWF’s example below:
You can also save your live stream as an IGTV video, especially if its topic will remain on-trend for a while. Live streams can also be repurposed – you can use video editing tools to crop the footage, add fonts and animations to make it more engaging.
Over to You
If you haven’t tapped into Instagram Live, you should. It’s an awesome opportunity to get closer with your followers and strengthen your online presence. Besides, you can be as creative as you want.
Not sure how to start live streaming on Instagram? Start with a simple Q&A session first. You can discuss your product or answer most asked questions about your brand. Then, you can start featuring employees, influencers, and brand supporters. Regardless of the live stream format, always think whether its topic resonates with your audience.