Following the exciting announcement of Instagram Live Shopping, you’ll be wanting to know how to run one effectively.


We’re not going to lie. Hitting that Live button can be scary - and that’s speaking from experience! But you shouldn’t let a few jitters get in the way of you using this powerful Instagram feature. 

Whether you’re a brand or creator, Lives allow you to connect with your audience on a personal level. Showing up face-to-face and interacting with your followers in real time brings you closer to them. It can help you form stronger relationships and showing this human side can help you build trust.

In this guide, we'll cover:

  • When to use a Live
  • Top tips for a faultless Live
  • How brands can collaborate with creators for Lives
  • Your Live planning checklist

When to use a Live


There are 101 creative ways you can use Instagram’s Live Shopping feature. Here are just four to get you inspired:


#1 Product launches


Whether it’s a new collection, range, product or service, using the Live Shopping feature is a great tool to help you create a buzz for a launch and drive sales. 


#2 Product reviews


People usually turn to video content for product reviews before they decide to make a purchase. Just think how popular YouTube hauls and reviews are. Video content is easy to digest and there’s lots of added value that you wouldn’t usually get with a written review.  

Hosting a Live to share product reviews, and adding in the shopping feature for viewers to shop on the spot is a win-win. Customers will be gaining valuable and authentic product information and have a seamless route to purchase.


#3 Tutorials and how-tos


Product reviews also tend to come with tutorials. Going live with the shopping feature is a persuasive way to show how amazing your product is - whether you sell makeup, skin care, video games or hair styling tools - and telling customers how to get the most out of it.


#4 Q&A session


Before customers decide to buy your products, they may have some questions for you. Hosting a live Q&A session removes this final barrier. It allows you to interact with your followers and answer customer questions in real time.


Top tips for a faultless Live 


If you’re investing time or budget in a live, you want it to run without a hitch. This is especially important when using the Shopping feature. You want your content to be as effective as possible to drive those conversions. Here’s how to make sure you’re putting your best work forward:




Background noise or echoes during your live may cost you your viewer count. Use an external microphone to make your audio clear and crisp. Headphones with a built in mic will do.  

Film in a quiet location to further reduce background noise and echoes. You can even go as far as soundproofing your filming room with rugs to help absorb any unwanted noise.


Angles and lighting


Similarly with your audio, your angles and lighting need to be on point - viewers won’t stick around if they can’t even see you! Use a tripod to keep your phone at the perfect height and distance from you. Oh, and don’t forget to clean your camera lens. A wipe down with a glasses cloth will do the trick. 

To get bright, even lighting, use a ring light or film in front of a window with soft, natural lighting. Your video will be looking sharp and professional.



For optimum performance you’ll want to make sure you go live at the right time. Use your analytics to learn when your audience is most active. This will help make sure as many followers as possible will be able to tune in.

You then want to think about how long you’ll be live for. Be on air for at least 20 minutes, but aim to go for 55 to 75 minutes. This is because you should be waiting between 3 - 10 minutes before you get into the nitty gritty of your content to let as many people join as possible.

During this time you should introduce yourself, give a quick overview about what you’ll be talking about, and interact with your audience to get them engaged and excited.




While we’re on the topic, building your engagement and getting your viewers involved in the conversation is crucial for your live’s performance. 

Drive engagements by welcoming viewers by name, thanking them for joining or for passing on a compliment, answering their questions or asking them questions to reply to in the comments. 




To help you build hype and excitement, use Instagram's new Live scheduling tool. You can schedule upcoming Lives 90 days in advance. This also lets users set reminder notifications.


How can brands collaborate with creators for Lives? 


With their experience on camera, trusted opinions and vast followings, influencers make the perfect live collaborators for brands, adding a professional edge.

They can also help publicise the event, ensuring you pull in some good numbers on the day. This can happen in advance - as they drive followers to set reminders for the event - and automatically when the live begins. Remember as soon as an influencer goes live with you, their audience is notified. That could alert thousands of people at once.

This cross promotion will help increase your brand’s discoverability - both in the short and long term.


Your Live planning checklist:


Here's what needs to be done prior to starting your live.


Select your influencers 


Identify the type of influencer you’re looking for and your requirements. Who do you want to work with? Do they need to have a particular niche, content quality, aesthetic, local following or engagement rate? 

Vamp’s diverse community is the perfect place to start looking. It’s full of engaging creators with Live experience and we have dedicated sampling tools to help you find the perfect match. Learn more about the influencer selection process here:


Get prepared 


Once you’ve selected your influencer, you’ll need to brief them. Provide an overview, with dos, don’ts and objectives - another thing Vamp’s platform can help you with, via our streamlined briefing tool.

Since they’ll be live, it’s a good idea to also provide a rough guide or script to help the creator answer any questions they receive and provide clear calls to action. These CTAs should direct viewers and help them make purchases through the Live Shopping feature. 


Promote the live


We’ve selected your influencer and briefed them, so now it’s time to spread the word and get as many people watching as possible.

A good place to start is your own social accounts, plus the influencer’s account you’re collaborating with. Start promotions a week or so before the live using Stories and in-feed posts.


Get set up


Finally, you’ll need to make sure your Live Shopping is all set up for you or your influencer to use. You can either go live via your brand’s account and have your influencer request to join as a guest. Or do a takeover and have your creator log into your brand's Instagram account and run the live by themselves. Good luck!

Here’s everything you should know about Instagram Live Shopping. From how it works to why brands and creators should be using it:


The Everything Guide to Instagram for Marketers

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.