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Instagram Live

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

What is Instagram Live?

Instagram Live is a feature that lets you broadcast video to your followers in real time. They can watch while you’re streaming or later in your Instagram Stories.

Going live on Instagram alerts your followers to your activity. In doing so, you’re allowed to connect with your audience in real time and promote your business offerings or provide behind-the-scenes interactions. Going live allows for comments and questions between audiences and host, and it brings audience members into live stream. It’s a great way to build community and connect one to one.

Components of a fully optimized Instagram Live

In order to have a fully optimized Instagram Live broadcast that attracts viewers and builds a loyal community, follow these guidelines:

  • Show authenticity: Show an authentic side to your brand because your audience is seeing a behind-the-scenes aspect to your brand.
  • Use social influencers: They can do an Instagram Live and leverage your network to your page to increase followers and views.
  • Speak to your audience directly: Use the selfie feature and have a real conversation with them.
  • Reply to viewers’ comments: Pin a comment to the top. By doing this, you are giving real-time feedback and customer service to your followers.
  • Know how many people attend your broadcast: Data is key in understanding how your content optimizes.
  • Split your screen: Invite others onto your broadcast, which adds depth to the conversation and connects with your audiences and influencers.

Creating an Instagram Live

To create an Instagram Live, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the camera in the top left of the screen or swipe right from anywhere in Feed.
  2. Tap Live at the bottom of the screen, then tap Start Live Video.
  3. The number of viewers appears at the top of the screen and comments appear at the bottom.
  4. Tap Comment to add a comment, and tap and hold a comment to pin it to the top so that viewers can see it more easily.
  5. To turn comments off, tap ‘…’  then select Turn Off Commenting. Keep in mind that any keyword filters you've turned on will also apply to comments on your live video.
  6. To add another person to the Live, tap on a person's name to invite them to join your live video. Keep in mind you can only invite someone who is already viewing your live video. If your friend accepts the invitation to join, you'll see them appear in a split-screen view. You'll also see if they've chosen to decline. You can remove the person you invited to join your live video at any time by tapping x at the top-right corner of their split-screen.
  7. When you're done, tap End in the top-right, then tap to confirm.
  8. From there, you can tap Save in the top-right to save it to your camera roll, or share it to your story.

Instagram also showcases live videos in Search and Explore. This helps with discoverability and highlights how to produce an Instagram Live that receives a lot of views.

Marketers can view a variety of pieces of content to see how live videos are being created. Those are from influencers or those with modest followings. They can use these to create insights to their own broadcast and create engaging live video.

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Kate Talbot

Kate Talbot is a Growth Marketing consultant at Vidder Inc., best-selling author of "Oh Snap! You can use Snapchat for Business" and regular contributor to online publications such as Social Media Examiner, Engadget and KISSmetrics. Passionate about building brands through demand generation and strategic partnerships, Kate's expertise in social apps are unrivaled. 

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


    Instagram and Snapchat
    Kate Talbot
    Skills Expert

    This module dives deep into the leading app-based platforms, Instagram and Snapchat. It begins by outlining the benefits of using social apps in your campaigns. Then, it teaches you how to navigate the key features of Instagram and Snapchat, and how to create fully optimized posts on both platforms. Next, it provides best practices for managing Instagram and Snapchat accounts effectively and covers how to run engaging ad campaigns on each platform. Finally, it provides you with the knowledge to analyze performance on each channel using analytics tools.