For introverts, this is probably the news that you’ve been dreading, but Facebook Live is now too big to ignore. With this in mind, it’s time to assess whether the platform has the potential to add to your marketing strategy. This introductory guide will explore how Facebook Live works; how you can get started with the system; and the best ways to succeed. Without further ado, let’s get started!
For those that have been living under a rock, Live is a feature on Facebook that allows businesses and pages to live stream to their followers. While general users sometimes offer live videos for friends, brands are now using the tool as a new way to engage with the audience.
One of the biggest benefits of using Facebook Live as a brand is that you don’t need all sorts of fancy equipment. Don’t worry if you have a tiny budget because even some of the biggest brand names in the world are bringing Facebook Live videos to their audience through a mobile device. Depending on your goals, you can live stream the following:
Ultimately, it’s possible to live stream anything so long as you have a device, and you think the audience will enjoy it. With YouTube videos, we’ve become editing experts and fall asleep at the keyboard just trying to get the video right. Facebook Live is different because you’re showing an authentic, natural, unedited view of the business. Even if you’re just having a conversation with colleagues, your audience could love the interaction and insights it brings.
Ultimately, customers appreciate the natural side of a business as seen in a live video. Sometimes, customers want to peek behind the curtain, to view raw content - absent of all the layers of editing and perfection-seeking.
Another benefit of choosing Facebook Live is that Facebook itself rewards businesses for producing content of this kind. In recent years, the platform has steered away from unoriginal, copied, repetitive content. If we consider Google, its search function aims to point users in the right direction. By doing this, the user has a positive experience and they’re more likely to return in the future. This is the basis of SEO, and the same principles apply to Facebook. The platform wants users to have a positive experience, and this comes from original content (often through Facebook Live).
Live video is an effective way to engage the audience and show Facebook that your audience loves the content you’re producing. This will boost your status on the platform, and this leads to a snowball effect with future content.
There's no doubt about it; Facebook Live helps your marketing strategy. By communicating directly with prospective consumers, you encourage them to hit the magic purchase button, and your video has now generated income for the brand and potentially discovered a long-term customer. With this in mind, here are a few steps to get started with the process!
As all good marketers will tell you, producing any type of content starts with an understanding of the audience. Think about your average customer/follower and what they want to see from the brand. Equally, consider your business goals and what you want to achieve from Facebook Live. Creating a live video is great, but one with no direction or plan isn’t going to push the brand forward in any way. As soon as a customer watches one messy live video, they’re immediately put off from watching any more.
A good place to start is by answering the following questions. Do you want to answer common questions to encourage sales and generate revenue? Are you just looking to get some exposure in the market? Are you engaging with followers and trying to learn more about them? Do you want to tell your story to the world?
Too often, businesses try to choose a content type without considering their goals and audience. Only when you understand the audience and the goals of the process can you even broach the subject of video type.
We know what it’s like to invest countless hours of research only to then sit staring at a screen having no clue what content to produce. The beauty of Facebook Live videos is that you have plenty of options at your fingertips. In addition to the ones we mentioned earlier, other suggestions include debates, news discussions, interviews with industry leaders, tutorials, and Q&As.
Facebook Live videos certainly need less planning and editing than YouTube videos, but this doesn’t mean you should neglect the planning aspect completely. You’ll start the stream, do the introduction, and then feel flustered as more people join - nobody deserves the awkward silence that follows.
Although live video recording doesn’t require expensive equipment, there are areas in which you can invest to improve the quality of streams which include a camera, a microphone (even a lapel microphone is fine!), a tripod for stability, and a stronger internet connection. With the equipment ready, make sure you have some bullet points to keep the video moving in the right direction. This isn’t a Hollywood movie, so you won’t need a full script.
Equally, you’ll need to pay attention to scheduling. If possible, have a regular schedule so that your followers know when to expect a video. Also, advertise in advance to build excitement. By talking about the live video days before it happens, it gives you an opportunity to generate interest rather than just going live and hoping people turn up.
How can you get the message out about your live stream? There are a few different ways:
You did the live stream; it was a resounding success; and the brand enjoyed a fantastic boost as a result. Now what? Rather than just leaving the video, optimize the replay with a title, description, tags, links, and even a thumbnail. After the live video has finished, think of it as a YouTube video - you wouldn’t go to all the effort of uploading only to then ignore all the optimization opportunities. Think about adding closed captions to make the video more accessible to all.
In some cases, you can repurpose the content to extend its life and value across your social channels. For example, could you include the video in an email marketing strategy? Perhaps you can take small clips or sections of audio for social media? Some people even make a GIF from a section of their live video. If you write blog posts, this is another opportunity because blog posts with an embedded video perform much better than those without a video (some say as much as three times better!).
Alternatively, the final option is to transform your live video into a podcast so that viewers can listen while on the go. Suddenly, they’re listening while doing housework, traveling to work, or doing something else.
Anybody can now start a live video, but there’s a difference between a good and bad live stream. The last thing you want is for viewers to click away within seconds (or even worse fall asleep!). Here are some best practices to insure success:
Facebook Live helps marketing strategies all over the world, and we believe it will have the same impact on yours. You’re standing at the edge of the cliff; you have a parachute; it’s time to jump into the world of live video - no matter how scary it may seem!
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