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A screengrab of an Instagram Live on a phone atop a pink background.

With over one billion users on Instagram, the platform has rolled out a big feature to level the playing field for both big and small creators, and that’s Instagram Live. 

According to Instagram, Lives engagement has increased 70%. Instagram’s surveys have also shown that Lives not only increase visibility and organic engagement, but audiences love them too!

And now, there’s even a way to monetize! Instagram officially allows viewers to purchase a badge during a Live, which will appear on the individual’s photo, allowing their comments to unlock special features. And the money from that purchase goes straight to your account!

Instagram Live is an exceptional way of showing your followers the person behind the camera by establishing authentic trust and a genuine connection with your audience. 

So, is Instagram Live worth it? Absolutely!

In this article, I’ll go over everything you need to know about the benefits of Instagram Live videos and how to pull it off seamlessly. 

So, What is Instagram Live?

Instagram Live is a live video broadcast that allows anyone watching to comment and participate in real-time, showing the face and personality behind the curation. 

When you start an Instagram Live stream, Instagram instantly notifies your followers.

Your Live is then featured at the front of your followers’ Instagram Stories queue.

Talk about standing at the center stage!

In a nutshell, Instagram Live humanizes an account more than any other service and allows your audience to engage with you in a casual setting – which is pretty dang cool!

The Instagram Live notification has its own badge on Stories and appears at the front of the queue

How to Go Live on Instagram in 4 Easy Steps

Okay, let’s say I’ve convinced you to give it a try. Now, let’s get into the logistics of how to use Instagram Live:

Step 1: Open your Instagram Stories camera.

Step 2: Scroll to the “Live” option on the bottom. 

Step 3: Tap the “Record” button to start your Live broadcast. It’s a good idea to give your followers a few minutes to hop on before officially starting.

Step 4: To stop recording, just tap “end” in the top right corner. Once the recording has stopped, you’ll be given the option to download the video onto your device. 

How to go live on your Instagram

How to Watch Instagram Live

Watching an Instagram live is simple and easy. 

When someone you follow goes Live, you can either click directly on Instagram’s notification or open the app and click directly on the Live, which will be at the front of your feed with a colorful ring around it and the word “Live”. 

Instagram also allows Lives to not only be watched on iPhone and Android, but on laptops and desktops through Instagram.com. 

No matter the device, go to your homepage, and you can join by clicking their colorful circled photo to enter the room!

How to Join Instagram Live

Instagram also allows you to have a Live with another account, which can exponentially increase your visibility by broadcasting you to not only your followers but theirs as well! 

And Instagram recently launched Live Rooms, which allows up to 3 featured guests in a Live!

Let’s say you invite someone to join your Instagram Live Stream. Here’s how to add them in real time:

Step 1: Start the Live using the steps mentioned in the previous section.

Step 2: Click Requests and then type the username and hit Send Request, allowing them to join the live stream.

You can also type their username in the search bar and send the invitation that way!

Step 3: And to remove someone from your live video, click the “x” located at the top right of their video, and boom, their video will no longer be broadcasting. 

If an Influencer invites you to co-host their Live, enter the room, hit the down arrow at the top of the screen, and then click Request to Join

Easy peasy, right?

How to Save Instagram Live Videos

Once you’ve ended the Instagram Live, it’ll be saved to your stories for 24 hours, and you can also save it to your camera roll by clicking Download

Keep in mind comments, likes, and the number of viewers won’t appear in the saved video.

Saving the video also allows for your quality content to be repurposed in the future too. 

Here’s a few ideas on how to tastefully reuse your Instagram Live:

  1. You could upload it for IGTV as long as it’s between 1-60 minutes long and keep it on your feed forever!
  2. You can cut your favorite one-minute increments to create Reels. Learn more about creating Instagram Reels!
  3. Take quotes and make them into stylish captivating typography. 
  4. You could cut and trim clips to make a mashup-style video to promote future Lives of your expertise and services.

Related Reading 📚: Did you know creative typography is a Top Instagram Design Trend of 2021?

Instagram Live Settings to Make the Experience Seamless

How to Pin/Feature a Comment 

Pinning comments is a great way to show viewers trickling in what you’re currently talking about, and it encourages others to ask questions and engage.

To pin an individual comment, just tap it and click Pin Comment. When you’re ready to move on, click End in the top right-hand corner of the comment, then click Confirm.

Hiding Lives from Certain Users

Do whatever you need to feel most comfortable during your Live, including hiding it from specific users.

The process is very similar to hiding stories. 

  1. Go to your homepage and swipe right to open your camera.
  2. On the bottom click Live.
  3. Press the Settings button situated on the top left of the screen.
  4. Click Hide Story From and choose the users.

Instagram Live settings - how to hide your Live from certain people

Hiding Chat and Comments on Instagram Live

If the comments are too distracting, you can hide them at any time. Just click the three dots inside the comment box and click Turn Off

You can also opt-out of comments and reactions before going Live.

by accessing the settings (same way as above ^) and clicking Off under the Allow Replies and Reactions option.

Instagram Live settings - turning off comments and reactions

Instagram Live Content Ideas

Whether you’re a pro, or haven’t done one before, here are some ideas for your next Instagram Live!

Go Live with Another Account(s) 

You can invite up to three fellow influencers or brands to join a Live with you and discuss a topic. 

Inviting even one more person puts you front and center to not only your audience members but theirs as well. 

Here’s a tip: Pick influencers with similar niches. And to stay organized, try sending an outline ahead of time so everyone stays on track and gets their guaranteed time to shine!

Host a Tutorial or a Workshop

Whether you’re a beauty influencer, a life coach, or a small business, you can use Instagram Live to showcase your knowledge, personality and answer common Q&As.

Have a Live Giveaway or Make and Announcement

Did you recently reach an exciting milestone, and you want to give back to your growing audience? 

You can hop on live to offer a free gift or service in an Instagram giveaway! Here’s an article on How to Do a Giveaway on Instagram Successfully

Conclusion: How to Use Instagram Live to Your Benefit

Whatever you use Instagram for, Lives are a great way to remind your followers you’re there and a real person. 

It can increase your organic engagement, visibility, and follower count. 

Instagram Lives can even be repurposed and added to your marketing strategy for future use. And most importantly, it can humanize your account and show the amazing, hard working person behind the content.

Meet Tailwind, Your Smart Marketing Assistant!

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Whether you’re transforming your photos into dozens of personalized designs in seconds with Tailwind Create, or publishing to your top platforms at personalized peak times of engagement with Smart Schedule, Tailwind can help you tackle the toughest parts of social media marketing. 😎

What are you waiting for? Give it a try today with a free trial of Tailwind for Instagram!

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Instagram Live is a great way to maximize visibility and organic engagement. Learn how to go Live in easy-to-follow steps and get inspired with ideas!

Lauren Noble

Lauren Noble is a freelance writer and social media expert with published articles on Scary Mommy and Tailwind! Lauren owns her own Astrology business, Noble Guidance, and lives in Oklahoma City with her two daughters, Madelyn and Roz, and their cuddly cat Theo Moon.

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