There are many reasons you should know how to live stream an event on Instagram. The first one is that Instagram is the social media platform with the largest organic reach.
That means you’ll be able to broadcast to a large audience for no money at all. That’s music to the ears of any event planner with a limited budget.
Instagram is also home to a younger demographic. So if that’s the audience you want to attract, Instagram is a must.
Finally, there is any number of things that could prevent people from attending your event in person. They could be busy, in another country, or—hopefully—your tickets are sold out.
So today we’re going to teach you how to live stream an event on Instagram.
We’ll cover the following points…
- How to prepare for your live stream
- How to actually begin the live stream
- Which Instagram Story settings you can configure
- Who can view and comment on your live stream
- How to allow others to share it as a message
- What to do once you’re live
- Optional steps like face filters and team members
- How to share your video once you’re done
Hopefully, your event is highly Instagrammable, so let’s dive right into it.
1. Check WiFi and phone camera
You should make sure you have a fast and stable WiFi connection before you go live. Nothing can make you lose momentum more than a buggy connection. Check also that there are no smudges on your phone or tablet camera.
2. How to start a live video on Instagram
Open the Instagram app and tap the button with your profile picture that says “Your Story”. Alternatively, you can tap the camera button in the top left corner of the screen.
3. Choose the Live option
You’ll now access your camera where you can choose between several options. We don’t need Normal, Boomerang, Rewind, or Hands-free, so swipe left to the Live setting.
4. Access your Instagram Story settings
You are now able to go live, but hold your horses for a moment. Before you start the stream, you should check the Instagram Story settings. Tap the gear icon in the top left corner to access them.
5. Choose privacy settings
Under the Instagram Story settings, you’re able to change who can see your live stream. You can hide it from specific people, which can be handy for a private event. You can also set who is able to reply to your story: everyone, people you follow, or no one. Tap “Done” once you’ve made the changes.
6. Allow your stream to be shared
Instagram also gives you to option to let other people share your live story. That’s a handy feature because your live stream can be sent as a direct message to others. Because Facebook owns Instagram, you can also opt to share your Live Story on Facebook.
Tip: You should encourage the guests at your event to share the event stream with their friends who couldn’t make it. They’ll be well jel.
7. Go live!
You’re now officially ready to go live on Instagram. Tap the button that says “Start Live Video”, and then you’ll get a three-second countdown. Your followers will automatically be notified that you’re streaming live so they can tune in.
8. Interact with your viewers
Once you’ve gone live, you’ll be able to see how many people are viewing your live stream. Comments will appear at the bottom in reverse chronological order. You should do your best to respond to as many as you can—they’re the reason you’re live streaming in the first place.
9. Get real-time insights
If you want more information on how many are watching your live stream (and who), then tap the eyeball icon in the top left corner. Instagram will give you a view-count in real time.
10. Add a face filter (optional)
Tap the smiley face icon to access Instagram’s face filters. Whether or not you use any of them depends on the kind of event you’re hosting. Maybe dog ears and butterflies aren’t appropriate for a business summit broadcast.
11. Add team members (optional)
You’re able to add a friend to your Instagram live stream. In the context of your event, that friend will probably be a team member. It can be useful if you’re hosting a big event and want to cover two separate parts of it at the same time. Tap the icon with two smiley faces and then select who to add from your friends list.
12. End the live stream
You can broadcast your event for a total of 60 minutes. After that, Instagram will cut your live stream. So make sure you end it properly and thank your followers for watching. Tap the End button in the top right corner of the screen to finish the live stream.
You’ll see the final statistics of how many watched, as well as their profile pictures. Use these insights to better target your Facebook and Instagram event ads.
13. Save your video (optional)
Most other social media platforms give you the option to save the live stream video on your phone. Instagram does it automatically. Therefore, you should make sure that you have enough free space on your phone or cloud drive.
Once you’ve saved the video, you can easily upload it to other social media platforms like YouTube. You can also chop up the video into an event highlight reel that showcases the best part of your event.
14. Share your video (optional)
You now have the option to share your live stream video as a regular Instagram Story. That gives people an extra 24 hours to watch it if they didn’t make it for the live broadcast.
You can also turn the Instagram Story into a Highlight, which means it stays on your profile until you remove it. That will be very useful for promoting future events of the same kind — people can already see what they can expect before they buy a ticket!
Get ready to stream
Instagram is a great way to reach a broader audience than you normally would. However, as social media platforms go, it’s a bit more limited than others.
YouTube and Twitter, for example, don’t have a time limit on live streaming. Then again, Instagram allows for much more accurate targeting with ads.
Which platform you choose to live stream on is a matter of taste. A good rule of thumb is to broadcast on the platforms where your target audience spends their time.