New features are frequently added to Instagram as a way to keep up with the evolving needs of users. This year alone, over 20 new features were released on the platform. One of the most successful features to date is Instagram Live Video.
More brands are turning to it because “live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.”
But for all the advantages of Instagram live video, it isn’t immediately clear to business users how to use it strategically to attract new users — not just interact with followers.
With more businesses using Instagram to connect with their audience you need fresh and smart ideas to stay ahead of the game.
We selected some of the best examples of how to use Instagram Live Video to attract users and keep them engaged.
The Instagram Live Video feature was launched in 2016 and lets users run video for up to an hour, so their followers can watch and interact with them in the comments.
This access makes it easier for brands to showcase their products and build relationships with their audience.
1. Interview an influencer to increase your followers
Instagram holds massive opportunity for influencer marketing. There are 25 million active business profiles on Instagram with access to millions of influencers — anyone from everyday micro-influencers to high-profile celebrities. In exchange for one post, influencers can receive free products or anything up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Hopper HQ reported that in 2017, celebrities like Selena Gomez, Kim Kardashian, and Cristiano Ronaldo made $400,000 and more per post.
With traditional influencer marketing, brands partner with an influencer who posts about their product or service — the idea being that the exposure to thousands or millions of followers drives traffic back to the brand’s site.
With the introduction of Instagram live video, you have a new way to partner with influencers — and save money.
Instead of asking an influencer to talk about and feature your product on their account, host an Instagram live video chat on your account with them instead.[Source]
As in this example, partner with influencers who resonate with your audience and can provide insider tips as well as insights into their experience using your product.
You can also ask the influencer about what issue the product solved for them and what they love most about it.
Know your influencer and their audience well so that you can share content that offers value and gets followers eager to find out more about you — thereby moving them along their customer journey from awareness to interest and consideration.
Tip: To boost the number of viewers watching your video chat, get your influencer to promote your upcoming chat on their page and encourage their followers to follow you and watch.
2. Use Instagram live video to tease product updates and launches
Over 4.5 billion people worldwide currently have and use a mobile phone every day. People can order meals online, get in shape using an app, or organize their finances while on their phones.
When it comes to social media,34% of global mobile phone users access social platforms, like Instagram, on their mobile devices.
Since Instagram is a mobile-first social platform, all of this user time spent online creates a tremendous opportunity for you to get in front of new users.
For example, use Instagram live video to tease a new product update or upcoming launch.
Musician Carrie Underwood recently turned to Instagram to share her latest album release news with followers:[Source]
What’s great about this video is she thanks her fans and followers for their support.
You can do the same thing to help nurture the relationship with your followers and then interact with them by answering their questions.
Before you start your video, create a post to let your followers know what you’re planning and when to tune in to boost viewership:
You can even use the post to ask a question that speaks to a specific pain point your audience experiences. For example, does your audience want a simpler way to complete a task in your app, do they want a better user interface, or something else?
Instagram live video also gives your email campaigns or blog posts a boost because you’re able to target your audience in all the places where they spend the most time. Plus, with video, your content has a higher sense of urgency — which helps drive traffic to your site to take advantage of any special offers available — since the video isn’t saved afterwards. Your Instagram followers have to tune in right away or miss getting the information.
Tip: Gradually share your product reveal or update with a series of Instagram posts to get followers interested and curious in the week leading up to the live video.
3. Show day-to-day operations to support user awareness
A great way to attract new users is to give them a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on within your company. 87% of people prefer to watch behind-the-scenes content online, which is an indication of how useful video is to get people’s attention.
People buy because they connect with the people behind the business. Your audience wants to know what the people are like, what your company vibe is, and get an exclusive look at what makes your business run.
Use Instagram live video to show team members working or at a company retreat, give a tour of your office space or interview team members talking about what they do every day and why they love working for the company.
For example, this Instagram live video of the set of the TV show Brooklyn Nine-Nine draws you in by giving viewers a private tour. Viewers get a detailed look of what they only glimpse while watching the actual TV show:[Source]
Your audience wants to know more about you so get personal — live streaming allows you to be fun and casual — invite them in and give an insider look that helps strengthen the connection they have with your brand.
Tip: Do a regular feature either weekly, bi-weekly, or once a month that highlights a specific behind-the-scenes focus. This gives followers something fun to anticipate, helps them get to know you on a deeper level vs. only reading posts, and shows them why they should do business with you.
4. Share a current event to engage with people in real time
Part of running a successful business is getting offline and meeting your audience in person. Conferences and speaking engagements are the perfect opportunities to do this.
Use your Instagram live video to promote these types of events and to show yourself attending. For example, show a short video of you walking past vendor booths, sitting in the audience getting ready to listen to a popular speaker, or prepping backstage before you step on the stage. If you have a booth set up at a conference, share a video of you talking to some of the people who stop by.[Source]
What’s great about this video, even though there’s an influencer helping to promote the brand, is it showcases the product and offers a live demo. This is a prime opportunity to attract new users because they get a firsthand look at your product.
An added bonus of using Instagram live video this way is that it shows how engaged you are with your audience. Remember, your audience wants to see the people behind your brand, so be personable, share interesting tips you get from the event or get someone to film you speaking on a topic that’s important to your audience.
The more high profile the event and the more specific your talk is in relation to the needs of your audience, the more encouraged viewers are to become customers.
Post details about the event beforehand on your page and encourage people to come and find you at the event. Or if they can’t attend, then remind them to tune in to watch.
Tip: Have a team member monitor and respond to comments during the live video, if you’re speaking, so that viewers are engaged.
5. Run a tutorial to build trust
In order to attract new users, you have to show them that you understand their needs and have the best solution for them. This starts by having an understanding of how the brand affinity hierarchy works. People move through stages like awareness, infatuation, fidelity, and evangelism where along the way they build trust in you.
As your audience gets to know you better, their trust grows until they believe that your product serves them the best and caters to their core values.
Tutorials are a great way to move your audience along the brand affinity hierarchy because these videos show viewers exactly how your product works and how it solves their problem.
Let’s say you’re a fitness brand; film a video like the one below to show viewers how your product works and people using it. The idea is to get your audience excited and eager to try your product.[Source]
When a new product or feature is released, host a short video walk-through and invite viewers to sign up for a free trial afterwards. This way, they can keep up-to-date with additional product updates, special offers, and more. If your video delivers on a promised value, the number of sign-ups and new leads will reflect that.
Tip: Keep viewers online by promising to choose a winner at random at the end of the video to get something for free. If you have a service-based product, you can also offer a discounted membership or registration fee.
6. Promote an upcoming event to create buzz and welcome new users
One way to turn followers into leads and leads into new users is to host offline events. A report by the Retail Technology Review explains that even though most shoppers research products online before they buy, 90% of sales happen offline because people like to feel and touch a product before they buy.
Host an annual campaign to raise awareness about a cause your brand supports, and use Instagram live video to promote and share details. Every year Fitbit runs a campaign called Fitbit Local that takes place in multiple cities across the U.S. The idea is for large groups of people to come together and work out. What’s great about this type of event is that it’s directly related to Fitbit’s core values — helping people live healthier, more active lives — and the products Fitbit sells.
You can also ask an influencer to attend your offline event to draw more people in. This is what Nike did when they invited soccer player Neymar to attend the unveiling of their new soccer cleats:[Source]
At your event, set up information booths with reps who are ready to talk about your product, run product demos, or even sell discounted products as a way to convert attendees. Your event doesn’t have to be something as big as Nike’s or Fitbit’s; the point is to encourage your audience to come out and try your product in real life.
Use your video to talk about what to expect or plan a short sit-down interview with people who took part in the event last year. These tactics help to get followers interested in your brand and to improve the chance of them becoming new users.
Tip: Create a post introducing the event or campaign and drive engagement by getting followers to tag someone they know will enjoy the event. Then ask attendees to post user-generated content to show how great of an event it was.
7. Show product demos to move people through the customer journey
A popular feature on many product sites is the option to request a free demo. Demos are a powerful sales tool because they show your audience up close how your product works and address specific product needs. The only downside is that depending on how large your sales team is, this approach can be time-consuming. Sales reps usually only interact with one or two people at a time.
Another option is to use Instagram live video to target multiple people at once. For example, in this live video by Kim Kardashian, you can see that there are over 41,000 people viewing the tutorial:[Source]
You don’t have to partner with an influencer to do your demo. You can do it yourself or ask another team member to run the demo while you narrate.
Your video should build anticipation and even add an element of social proof. The more people who are logged on to watch your live video, the more that says about how interesting your product is overall.
Using Instagram live video for product demos works well for people who are in the early stages of their buying journey — research and consideration. They want to see how the product works before they sign up or spend money, so show them what they’re going to get.
Tip: Encourage viewers to post their questions in the comments. Acknowledge that you see the question and thank them for it, refer to the viewer by name, and make sure your answer is personable and not just trying to sell them something. For example, if a viewer mentions a specific pain point, then speak to the solution and incorporate how your product fits in. Lead with the solution, not your product.
8. Run a contest that creates a sense of urgency
You might have noticed that more sites have gamified how they interact with their audience. Instead of just presenting information, product dashboards use lots of graphics, GIFs, and stats to entertain and educate users. For example, some brands let users earn badges or points when they use a new feature for the first time or complete a task. Other dashboards track user progress to keep them engaged with the product.
Like gamification, contests work well because they’re designed to get people to take action. Create an entertaining Instagram experience by using Instagram live video to introduce or run a contest. Highlight what participants win, what they have to do to win, and how they sign up.
This example of an Instagram live video giveaway starts by sharing how past winners really enjoyed the giveaway and then gets into the rules and what viewers have to do to qualify:[Source]
Add in a sense of urgency by explaining that the contest only lasts as long as the video. Keep in mind, Instagram live videos can last up to an hour but disappear once you stop filming. So explain that followers only have 30 minutes to watch the video, engage in the comments, and sign up immediately for a chance to win a free product, discounted services, tickets to an event, free passes for an industry event, etc., using a special link and that they can’t go back later to register.
This strategy creates a sense of urgency among followers and helps you generate a lot of new leads in a very short amount of time.
Share a post about the contest or giveaway beforehand to make followers aware of the contest and to build anticipation.
Tip: To find out what kind of contest will get the most interest, take a look at what your audience is talking about on social media. If they’re millennials who enjoy live music, then partner with a popular local artist to offer free tickets to their next show. You get leads that you can nurture and exposure for your brand.
New user acquisition made simple
What you need to know about these ideas is that you should take some time to test different combinations to see which ones result in the most new users. There are so many ways to use Instagram live video, so experiment.
Based on your audience preferences and interests, come up with more Instagram live video opportunities that match their needs as they change over time. Do they like question-and-answer periods? Find new ways to facilitate this to keep followers interested and excited to become users.
What’s important about social media is that you keep it entertaining and engaging. There’s lots of content on social media, and your audience has seen a lot of it before. Get creative so you stand out, and your followers know that they can always expect something new and entertaining from you.
Happy customers will refer you to others, which will, in turn, help you attract more new users.