About Instagram Live

Instagram Live is one of the latest features to arrive on Instagram, as they announced in November 2016. The new feature allows you to share up to 60 minutes of real time video with your followers via Instagram Stories.

Users in the U.S. were the first to see this feature within the platform, whilst those in other countries had to wait for the release to become available “over the coming weeks”. It has finally arrived!

Instagram has grown a lot since they were purchased by Facebook in 2012. In September 2016, they went on to launch Instagram Stories. And in November they announced the arrival of Instagram Live. Plus, the feature of users being able to share content directly via Direct Message. Which the receiver can open, screenshot or replay. After that, it’s gone. (Sounds a bit like Snapchat, right?)

How is it different to Facebook Live?

The interesting thing with Instagram LIVE is that once you’ve stopped broadcasting, your video will disappear forever. This isn’t the case with Facebook Live. This accentuates the temporary nature of Instagram Stories and adds that exclusive “one time only’ feel to the feature! Whereas with Facebook Live and even Periscope, your videos will be recorded and saved. This means they can be played back and watched time and time again by your followers! Also, you can be live on Facebook live for up to 4 hours [WOWZA!] and only 60 minutes on Instagram. Obviously there other competitors in this market including Twitter, who rolled out in app streaming in December. And we can’t forget YouTube and Periscope!

How do I go live on Instagram?

Your followers will receive a notification that you’ve begun a live video, (unless they have turned off their live notifications). You will then see a number that should continue to grow on your screen and this is your audience!

Why should I go live?

Small businesses that started creating video content and going live saw huge results in 2016. I can see already that live video on social media is really going to take off in 2017!

The fact that your broadcast will disappear once you’ve ended it means that it will encourage your followers to be present at that exact moment, so they can find out about the information you’re sharing. As a marketer, it’s quite tough to think of ideas of ways in which I can use Instagram stories for my business. One of the best uses of my time is to repurpose content: by not having that broadcast saved afterwards, it proves quite tricky to remember what you’ve said.

RememberNo one will be expecting high quality, all singing and dancing live videos: they’re watching because it’s LIVE, which means they’re expecting to see YOU and your brand. Spontaneously sharing a moment. So, don’t stress too much about what it’s going to look like, once you press ‘end’ it’s going to disappear. So just be natural and have fun – your audience will love seeing the real you!

How can I use it for my small business?

So I knew this would be a question that quite a few of you would have so I’ve put together some ideas;

  • Sneaky peek behind the scenes

You should be at a point where you’re doing everything you can to humanize your brand. This includes lots of behind the scenes footage. So as a small creative business think about what they might look like. Maybe it’s you getting set up for your day in the workshop. Or maybe something personal like you’re taking the day off to take your children to the zoo.

Remember; marketing is about telling a story and building trust with your customers. If they can see you and know who you are they will love you even more!

  • Product demonstrations

Have you got a super cool product but sometimes get a request to explain how to use it? Go live and tell people there and then! Or show people how easy your product is to use. This will build trust with them and put any worries they might have at rest. Remember, with Instagram live your customers can also be asking questions so make sure you’re engaging with them.

  • Company announcements

So, let’s say you’ve just employed a new member of the team. Why not go live and introduce them. Let your audience get to know the people behind the camera. Maybe you’ve just reached a certain milestone in your company, get excited and tell your followers about it!

Live Q&A sessions

Do you want to get some feedback from your followers? Go live and get asking them! An easy way to kick off a Q&A, and not make it mega awkward is to bring your FAQs along with you and answer them first, this will get your audiences brains ticking!

I hope you find this of some use. I can’t wait to start seeing all of the Instagram Lives from you all!


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