4 Tips to Improve Your Instagram Live Video

May 7 , 2020 / by

Since a majority of the world is boarded up in quarantine, live video has become even more of the go-to place to connect with others. If you’re a business, the challenge of grabbing users’ attention becomes more difficult with the increase in pages streaming. 

The platform that is getting tons of Live traffic during this time is Instagram. Which is why we’re sharing tips on how to prepare, promote, and broadcast your Instagram Live video.

Why Use Instagram Live? 

One of the quickest and most effective ways to connect with your audience is through live video. Live videos give viewers the opportunity to interact with you in real time. They can have their tune into experiences right as they are unfolding and have their questions answered on the spot.

A survey conducted by New York Magazine and Livestream, found that 80% of people would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog. 

But why specifically does Instagram have one of the most valuable and engaged audiences? 

  • The average person spends about an hour a day on Instagram
  • One in five Instagram stories posted by businesses elicits a direct message. 
  • Almost 85% of Instagram users discover new products or services on the platform.

A huge benefit of going live is that it increases your visibility and priority within the app. 

The reason is because when you go live, your stream is promoted to the very top of the Stories queue. 

Once your live stream is completed, you have the option to make the stream available for 24 hours. Users will then have the option to view your story OR your live video. 

The magic of Instagram Live is that you can go live from anywhere with the touch of a button and your followers will get notified that you are live. 

#1: Tips to Improve an Instagram Live Video Broadcast

Plan ahead and think about how to incorporate audience engagement throughout the live broadcast. Structure your live stream like you would a piece of video content. However, before you start going ‘Live’, check out these tips. 

Set Up a Practice Account

Once you tap the ‘Go Live’ button the show has begun! If you want to experiment, then it is smart to create another account to test things out. This alternate account will let you rehearse angles, lighting, audio, etc. You’ll have the option to save the video and post it on your dummy account. Then you are free to see exactly how it will look to followers on your main account.

Prep Your Phone for the Broadcast Session

Be sure to put your phone in Do Not Disturb mode for any live stream you do from your phone. If a phone call comes in while you are streaming your broadcast will be paused and you will likely lose viewers. 

Pro Tip: Consider mounting your phone on a steady surface or buying a small tripod. Otherwise, you’ll be moving your phone around during the whole live stream (which may incite motion sickness in some viewers.)

Understand the Interface 

Once you go live on Instagram, the last thing you want to is sit there trying to figure out how to work the interface. There are filters, request buttons, Q&As, comments and more! Before you go live get used to the different components that are at your disposal. This would be a great thing to do on your practice account.

If your goal is to use your live video to drive traffic somewhere, then have your link prepared and ready to go in your bio. This way, users can go straight there without having to make them wait or type the link in themselves. 

If you decide to participate in a two-person Instagram Live, you will need to go live first and then have your guest join your video. Once they are a viewer they can request to go live or you can invite them to join you on camera. 

Improve Your Tech

There are more pieces of equipment you can get besides a tripod to enhance your Instagram Live Broadcast. Let’s start with a huge one. 

Strengthen Your Internet Connection

If you have an inconsistent Wi-Fi connection, you may want to connect your device directly to your router. You’ll need a Lightning-to-Ethernet adapter to do this. Android devices will need to use a USB Micro B-to-Ethernet adapter.

Another thing to keep in mind is that live video is very taxing on your device which can drain your battery quickly. So, possibly look into an adapter that allows a Lightning-Ethernet connection and a connection to a power source. 

Free Yourself Up With a Portable Mic

Your device will likely double as your microphone. If you want to improve your audio quality or plan on moving around/distancing yourself from your device without compromising audio quality, consider buying a lavalier microphone that connects to your phone.

Keep in mind, lavalier microphones are an investment. If you plan to do videos regularly then a wireless microphone can be a great choice to take your audio to the next level! (Remember, you will need an adapter for this microphone to be compatible with your phone.)

#2: Create an Incentive to Encourage People to Show Up for Your Instagram Live Video

As marketers, we need to figure out a way to get people to see the value in what we are doing. Live interaction with viewers will keep them watching and engaged. Here are a few other ways to boost urgency and awareness for your broadcast, provided by Social Media Examiner: 

  • Live Q&A. If you’re a subject-matter expert and viewers are able to ask you questions freely, this might be reason enough to participate live rather than just consume recorded content that doesn’t allow dialogue.
  • Scarcity. Consider creating an offer or invitation that has a limited number of spots. You could offer to help the first five people who send you a direct message or create a coupon code with a limited number of available uses or redemptions.
  • Disappearing incentives. Scarcity can also be achieved through a time window. Offer people an incentive that has a deadline for redemption. This option is more likely to capture conversions from viewers watching a replay.

Invite people to comment on a specific topic. Or have them share their experiences on a subject. This allows live viewers to be a part of the experience and co-create with you. Once they see that their influence and opinions can direct the way the stream goes, they will want to stay longer. 

Plan to take breaks to answer questions and respond to any other comments that may arise.

Pro Tip: As Instagram notifies your followers, when you first go live you will see a message on the bottom of the screen that says “We’re telling your followers that you’ve started a live video.” During this time, remember you are still Live! When you do go Live, make sure you are engaging from the very first minute. When viewers re-watch your video after it has ended, it will start the replay from right after you hit ‘Go Live.’

#3: Promote Your Instagram Live Before the Broadcast

If you want to maximize viewership of your Instagram Live video, consider promoting it beforehand with other content to get the word out. 

There are free apps like Canva and Wordswag to help with creating flyers and interesting text-based images. Use your posts to communicate who/what/where/when/why/how of your upcoming live video broadcast, and the benefits of tuning in. (Maybe even provide a giveaway to a viewer during the stream)

You can run these as ads, story posts, etc. There are tons of creative ways to promote your stream but here are just a few:

  • Promote it with a story post
  • Promote it with a video post (If you have a giveaway, show what can be won)
  • If you are having a guest then get them to promote it on their profile as well
  • Do a countdown to how many hours until the stream with a countdown sticker on Instagram

#4: Repurpose Your Instagram Live Video 

Once you are finished with your Instagram Live video, consider saving and sharing it. Upon saving it, you have the option to repurpose it in tons of different ways. For example you could use the audio for a podcast, or take a video clip of a really valuable part and post it to Facebook or TikTok

Don’t forget, if you share it to your page, it will automatically be available for the next 24 hours. Try creating a story post after you are done to promote the freshly shared Instagram Live video. 


Live video is only going to get more popular as time goes by. Don’t be left in the dark with live video and start working on getting broadcasts to your audience. Partner with other companies, interview industry experts, or just talk to your followers to build that personal relationship. 

What do you think? Have you tried any of these tips and found good results? Let us know below in the comments! In the meantime, check out what else is On the Radar.

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