An easy-to-follow guide to mastering Instagram Live 

Discover the power of Instagram Live for businesses. From going live to strategic planning.
woman holding lillet wine glass


Table of Contents

Do you want to incorporate Instagram Live into your digital marketing strategy but feel out of your depth? Follow our simple guide and you’ll soon be a live stream pro.

In the fast-paced world of social media, it’s important to stay connected to your audience in ways that inspire and excite them, and Instagram Live offers an opportunity to do just that. With 90% of Instagram users following a business on the platform, you simply can’t afford to leave Instagram Live out of your digital marketing arsenal.

To find out more about Instagram marketing, take a look at our all-you-need-to-know run down

What is Instagram Live?

Instagram Live is a feature that allows you to stream video or broadcast content live to your followers. Why do this? Because it adds immediacy and breeds intimacy when you invite followers to join you in real-time. 

Another advantage is that when you go live, your audience is notified at the top of their feeds, which means you leapfrog your way to visibility, overriding the pesky Instagram algorithm

When followers watch your Live, it can create a deeper connection between them and your brand. They can give you likes in the form of floating hearts and make comments in the chat, which you can then refer to as you go, making viewers feel like part of the broadcast. Instagram Live is infinitely more personal than a story or a post. 

Two years ago, Instagram introduced Live Room, which allows you to broadcast with up to three others. This means you can get really creative and entertain followers with formats like live games, dance-offs, and Q&A sessions.

Why should Instagram Live be in your strategy?

Live video viewership has soared in recent years, with 27% of internet users watching livestream videos every week. With people actively seeking out live content, you don’t want to miss out on this growing trend. Plus, because Instagram pushes live streams to the top of feeds, your brand’s visibility is instantly improved. 

How to go Live on Instagram

Getting started with Instagram Live is easier than you might think. Below is a step-by-step guide. 

  1. Go to your Instagram account via a mobile device and tap the + icon on the top right of the screen. This will trigger a drop down menu listing the types of content you can post. Click on Live.
  2. You’ll be taken to the Live screen and all you need to do next is tap the record button above the word Live. 
  3. When you’re ready to finish your broadcast, tap the end button. At this point, you can choose to save your video or bin it. 


Tip: The number of viewers is recorded at the top of the screen and you’ll see viewers’ comments and likes come in live.

Added extras 

  • Questions – you can harvest followers’ questions by posting a sticker in an Instagram story before your live and accessing the questions in the stream
  • Send – you can send your Live to a follower on Instagram while you’re broadcasting
  • Face filters – give yourself a new hairdo, disguise, or comedy ears. Whatever takes your fancy
  • Change camera – switch camera from selfie to regular mode
  • Share a photo or video – share a picture from your camera roll with your live audience
  • Add a comment – add a comment to your stream or turn off commenting if you wish 

Do’s and don’ts of Instagram Live

You’re all ready for your Live. Before you start, take a look at our list of do’s and don’ts:


  • Be prepared. You don’t need a script, but do structure your Live and make an outline beforehand
  • Promote, promote, promote
  • Make sure your phone is charged
  • Think about your location. Is it well lit? What’s the background noise like? You might want to invest in some lighting and a microphone
  • Make your broadcast less than 60 minutes as that’s the Live time limit
  • Rehearse
  • Mention followers’ names when responding to comments
  • Be friendly
  • Be informative
  • Enjoy it
  • Keep the phone still. Investing in a tripod can help you avoid camera shake
  • Engage with your audience



  • Broadcast too often or without anything to say
  • Go live anywhere that’s too noisy
  • Keep moving the phone for no reason
  • Argue with followers
  • Go live at odd hours
  • Be too salesy

How to promote your Instagram Live 

Before you go live, make as much effort as you can to drum up a bit of excitement and promote your broadcast. There’s nothing more deflating than gearing yourself up for a Live only to find that your mum and the dog are the only audience members.

Share news of the event, listing the time and date and hinting at the content, on your Instagram Stories and Posts. You could even make a trailer to give followers a taste of what’s to come. Use a story sticker to ask viewers what they’d like to see during your Live.

And don’t forget to publicize your Live on all your other social media channels and website, more than once, at different times of day. The more you can shout about it, the greater chances you have of attracting a decent audience.

How to incorporate Instagram Live into your strategy

Now that you know how to go live, you need to start thinking about your Instagram Live strategy and how it can help to promote your brand. 

  • Set SMART goals – to make sure you get the most out of your livestreams, think about SMART goals, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, you might aim to increase engagement (specific and measurable) by 25% (achievable) in the next quarter (time-bound) with Q&A sessions about a new product or launch (relevant).
  • Create a plan – prepare an outline for each live session, detailing the key points you intend to cover and the estimated time for each segment. A well-structured plan will keep your broadcasts organized and engaging.
  • Engage your viewers – the true power of Instagram Live lies in its interactive nature. Mention the names of your viewers and read out their comments, questions, and feedback. Use this opportunity to build a rapport and foster a sense of community.
  • Measure your results – Instagram Live offers valuable analytics that can gauge the success of your broadcasts. Monitor metrics like accounts reached, peak concurrent viewers, comments, and shares. You can then use these insights to refine future content. 

Instagram Live ideas for businesses

Looking for inspiration on how to make the most of Instagram Live for your business? Here are some ideas that might inspire you. 

  • Influencer collaborations – collaborate with influencers to co-host live sessions. This will expose your brand to new audiences and enable you to make creative and engaging content.
  • Behind-the-scenes – give followers a glimpse into your business’s daily operations or product creation process with behind-the-scenes live footage. Transparency builds trust and humanizes your brand. Shopify found that sales increased by up to 15% when brands gave followers a behind-the-scenes look at their e-commerce operations. 
  • Product unboxing – if you’ve a new product launch, you can show it off with live unboxing events, allowing viewers to experience the excitement firsthand.
  • Tutorials and workshops – educate your audience with live tutorials, workshops, or how-to sessions related to your industry. So for example, if you’re an artist, film yourself creating your latest masterpiece; if you sell jam, show footage of the newest flavor being cooked up. The possibilities are endless. 
  • Q&A sessions – host live Q&A sessions to address your audience’s queries, share insights, and provide expert advice. Keep it informative and entertaining.
  • Customer testimonials – showcase happy customers and their experiences with your products or services. Genuine reviews delivered with enthusiasm are infectious. 
  • Live events – stream industry events, conferences, or product launches to involve your audience in real-time excitement.
  • Live Rooms – Live Rooms allow up to four participants to broadcast together. Use this feature for interactive panels, creative sessions, interviews, and more. Engaging with multiple voices can enhance the value of your live broadcasts and attract a broader audience.

Brands already smashing Instagram Live

Athleisure brand LuluLemon run at-home workouts and yoga classes on Instagram Live offering followers real value while showing off the brand’s clothing at the same time. They also collaborate with influencers. Here’s a Live they did with Seann Miley Moore as part of their celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Jones Road Beauty founder, Bobbi Brown, went on Instagram Live to answer questions about her products.

Elevate your strategy with Instagram Live

Instagram Live is nothing to be afraid of. It’s a great way of injecting creativity, engagement, and excitement into your digital marketing strategy. You can’t afford not to make use of it.

It gives you a unique opportunity to engage with your audience on a much deeper level than you can with traditional advertising, reels, or posts. It allows you to side-step the Instagram algorithm and to show people what you and your brand are really about. 

To learn more about digital marketing on Instagram, take a look at our guides on how to sell products via the platform, Instagram ads, the best time to post on Instagram, and Instagram captions

Get started with Vamp

Use Vamp to find genuine influencers to help boost your Instagram Live strategy. We offer all the tools you need to mastermind your influencer collaboration, reporting, and audience engagement. Check out our prices and find the right tier to suit your business

The Everything Guide to Instagram for Marketers


Share this post

You might also like

Download the free Vamp guide and learn how your brand can succeed on the original influencer marketing platform, Instagram.

Download this free Vamp guide and learn how to succeed on the world’s most viral platform.