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Wednesday, Dec 21st, 2016

Lizzie Healy

Lizzie
8 Reasons Your Business Should Be Going Live On Instagram

Instagram, continuing their march to meticulously rip off the best elements of their competitor's social media platforms, has been rapidly rolling out "new" features that look and feel eerily familiar. As if following a social media recipe for success, they've added a pinch of Snapchat here, a dash of Pinterest there, and a heaping spoonful of Periscope to top it off. The resulting Frankenstein social media platform is actually pretty incredible, and users are eating it up. Last week, Instagram announced that it had crossed over the milestone 600 million users, acquiring 100 million new users in the past month. With new users flocking to the app, and the introduction of features like Instagram Live, businesses have an amazing opportunity to build a closer, more authentic relationship with their followers.


  1. It's Easy to Use

  2. To start using Instagram Live, simply swipe right from your feed to open the camera and tap "Start Live Video" to begin sharing. Instagram sends notifications to specific followers, based on their algorithm for who would be most interested, to alert them that you are going Live. The word LIVE will also appear below your image in stories.

  3. It's Scarce

  4. Because FOMO is real (and effective for marketing), the Live video will only be viewable while streaming is in progress and disappear immediately after. Do. Not. Forget. To. Promote. Drop hints and reminders to followers to let them know when you will be Live, with incentives for them to follow. Think: giveaways, special announcements, relevant and interesting content. Ask users to turn on notifications, which will ensure they are alerted when you go Live, so they Don't Miss Out! Because once the cast is over, it's gone forever. FOMO is a marketer's best friend.

  5. It's Responsive

  6. Have you ever been on a dance floor when a bad song comes on, and everyone decides it's a good time to leave and refill their drinks? This is the same concept as the number on the top right of your screen, which shows how many people are tuning in or tuning out of the broadcast. You can immediately judge which content works and which sends people running for another drink by the number going up or down. This makes catering content to your audience even simpler because you can judge it in real time.

  7. It's Direct Access to Consumers

  8. Your Live broadcast can last for up to an hour, during which viewers can heart or comment on the video in real time. Instagram let's you report any internet trolls with just a click, or turn off comments all together (though this would ruin much of the marketing benefits of the broadcast). During the broadcast, businesses can provide details about pricing, availability, special features, and respond to questions as viewers ask them. Live allows businesses to get direct feedback from viewers on products and services, just by swiping and asking.

  9. It's Authentic

  10. You've heard it over and over again. Consumers respond to marketing that is authentic, real, and personable. They can spot a fake from a mile away. With Instagram live being filmed on the fly, it's your opportunity to say f%$k it, do it live! As much as you can and should plan your cast ahead of time, the value in going Live is that it's a genuine, unedited look behind the scenes. Be real, share personal stories, burn food. That's why people tune in to watch.

  11. It's Branded

  12. Going Live on Instagram is an incredible opportunity to showcase your brand. Your brand reflects the core values of your company, and what better way to convey these than through behind the scenes looks at how products are made, introducing team members, and showing off the culture that makes your company so unique. There's a reason research is predicting that 75 percent of all data will be video by 2020. It allows you to go beyond a flat image and convey your message through visual and audio content all at once. Dance to your own jingle, drink from a mug branded with your logo, show off all the benefits of your product or service in real life situations. The possibilities are endless.

  13. It's Engaging

  14. Engage with customers through an interactive Q & A, where you can receive and respond to viewer's questions in real time. Ask questions directly to viewers about what they like, don't like, and want to see more or less of. The ability to pin comments is an amazing hack by Instagram that can be used in a few different ways. Pin questions you ask, questions and comments being posed by viewers, or just add a brief description about what you're doing so viewers just tuning in can be quickly caught up to speed.

  15. It's Fun

  16. The best part about Instagram Live is that it's fun. So your business should be having fun with your Live stream. Show a cooking class. Mix up your favorite drink. Do a cosmetics tutorial. Demo a new product. Teach a fitness class. Preview a new track. Make you video content something that is appealing to your demographics, with tips that benefit viewers and incentivize them to keep tuning in. Rule of thumb: if you're having fun, your viewers will too.

Wednesday, Dec 7th, 2016

Paul D'Angelo

Paul
Do You Even Blog?

Blogging. Why on earth do we do it? Do we really have THAT much interesting information to share? Is it really necessary to constantly bombard the internet with more hot takes, insights, and opinions from "experts"? Why does our marketing BOSS Lizzie constantly harass us for new posts, even though I literally just wrote one like, 4 months ago? Does it actually help our business?

While the quality of the content and the resulting noise from so many people oversharing every thought and opinion is a topic for a much lengthier discussion that we can tackle in another post, the act of consistently posting new content is extremely beneficial, and you should all be so lucky to have a star like Lizzie on your team! (I swear she didn't pay me to say any of this.) Posting new content improves your search rankings when bots crawl and index your site, and keywords in your posts can help drive traffic as well.

In addition to the direct benefits, content plays an important role in giving your brand a voice, and can help solidify yourself as a thought leader in your industry, assuming you are on the right side of the above comment regarding quality content and not just noise. So how do you manage to put out consistent insights without recycling the same ideas, wrapping them in different buzz words and adding to the noise? First, create a realistic schedule, and then put a system in place such that you will have a backlog for when people miss their deadlines (it's inevitable). Next, have people write about things they are NOT familiar with, but want to learn about. Sharing your own learning experiences is a great way to reinforce your own knowledge and ensures the content will be easily digestible for most readers.

Finally, embrace the process! Writing content can be a tedious, stressful experience that is to be avoided whenever possible, but it doesn't have to be. Too often the day to day grind of our jobs (and lives) make it difficult for us to continue pursuing knowledge and learning, and I personally think that the role technology has had in putting virtually unlimited information at our fingertips has actually made us less knowledgeable, but we can save that for another discussion. Use the chore of writing for your company as an opportunity to explore new ideas. Who knows, you may learn something! At the very least you will make Lizzie happy, and that's definitely worth it.