From its 2016 launch to April 2018, there were over 3.5 billion Facebook Live broadcasts. According to Facebook, almost 2 billion users have watched at least one live broadcast. At one point, the social media giant paid $50 million to celebrities and media companies to use Facebook Live—this included popular platforms like CNN, The New York Times, Mashable, and Vox.
And so far this year, 35% of marketers have chosen Facebook Live as their main platform – 74% of which claim doing so has been a success for their brands. That’s no surprise as a study found that live videos generate 35% more engagement than regular videos. What’s more, Facebook notifies your followers whenever you go Live.
With the numbers above, there’s no doubt Facebook Live should be incorporated into brands’ marketing endeavors. This article discusses the significance of live streaming to the current generation, and provides tips on how to best harness the popular format this 2019.
Streaming has revolutionized the way people consume content. With platforms like Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, and Twitch redefining the entertainment industry, streaming has become an integral channel for marketers.
Additionally, its popularity made turned streaming into a hotbed for data collection. It made it easier to get a detailed snapshot of people’s preferences—what they watch, listen to, search for, and where they spend the most time on.
But it’s not only about streaming content, it’s also equally important to encourage interaction – two things Facebook Live was inherently designed to marry. If you still aren’t convinced about the power of videos, just take a quick gander the $970 million price tag Amazon shelled out to acquire Twitch.
Smart Live Approaches
Don’t think Live guarantees success
The stats above may give you the impression that you can just hop on the Facebook Live bandwagon and audiences will be inundating your broadcasts with hearts and comments. But as noted by Greg Jarboe, president of content marketing agency SEO-PR, even brands with tens of thousands of likes will be lucky to get a small audience for its first live experiments.
Live videos are great for enhancing customer retention and influencer marketing programs. So if you’re looking to implement it in other areas, it’s important to take note of its two strongest areas of purpose and tie it up with those.
Speaking of purpose…
Have a clear purpose
Don’t think you need to use Facebook Live just because it’s a social media trend. It has to be aligned clearly with marketing goals and objectives if it’s going to result in a net positive for a brand. For example, events and product launches could benefit from the unique perspective Facebook Live can present it with. If there’s a PR concern that needs to be addressed in a more authentic way, live broadcasts could also give you the right platform to interact with your audience.
Consider it as part of the whole
You can’t approach live thinking it could a standalone part of your campaign. As with all channels, it should be thoughtfully integrated with other efforts. For example, you can release blog posts series on a particular subject on your website. On social, you could schedule visual content introducing thought leaders to your audience. Then, you could tie all that up with a pre-announced live broadcast featuring a Q&A with those same thought leaders.
Think of it as a real-life event
From the advance announcements to build up anticipation and the pre-broadcast prep, to the careful conceptualization of the broadcast – approach Facebook Live like it’s a real life event. That’s because it is. Yes, you want it to appear as spontaneous as can be, but you also need to have a proper structure to ensure that the broadcast flows seamlessly.
As well, when you finally go live, give around 10 minutes for the audience to build. This allows your followers to inform their peers that your broadcast has started.
A 3-step guide to using Facebook Live
Step #1 Announce your broadcast
Larger brands with massive followings may be able to get away with spontaneous broadcasts, but if you’re just getting into Facebook Live, you need to tell your audience beforehand. You might have a great idea for your live video, but if no one knows that it’s happening, chances are the viewing figures will remain low.
You can announce your broadcast using a series of social posts about what to expect in your live video. This way, your audience can even spread the word for you.
Step #2 Set it up
This refers to everything you’ll be needing before you broadcast, which can include your equipment, setting up your shot, testing your coverage and connection. While the production quality needed depends on your approach, you still want to make sure everything’s working properly before you go live.
When it comes to setting up your shot, for example, figure out if you’ll be needing additional lighting, or microphones. If there’s going to be a live audience as well, you need to take into account that the potential background noise won’t affect the broadcast quality.
Covering these technical bases gives you more opportunity to focus on what you should once you go live—your audience.
Step #3 Engage, engage, engage!
The main purpose of going live is to engage with your audience. Ask questions during your broadcast and mention users who comment their answers/questions. It would be best to have someone keeping an eye out for notable comments so nothing significant passes you by.
Whenever there’s a dull in the action, use it to promote your platforms, upcoming events, and future live broadcasts. You can even use the time to ask audiences for a review. End your live video with a call to action—it could be the usual like subscribing and liking, or something more specific such as asking when they think is the best time to post on Facebook.
While there’s a lot to consider when it comes to Facebook Live broadcasts, it’s important to keep in mind that the number one priority is to engage your audience. When you do a good enough job of doing this, chances are you won’t hear about the production quality.
- Before going live, add a title to your video as this lets your audience who weren’t previously informed what to expect. If you’re broadcasting from an event, you might want to geotag where you’re shooting from.
- You can remind your audience to subscribe to Live notifications so they’re alerted every time you go live.
- If you felt like a broadcast did particularly well, consider leveraging it into a Promoted Post to further its reach. This can not only spread your recent live video, it can increase viewership for future ones as well without the need for a social media specialist.
Apart from its heightened engagement and more authentic nature, Facebook Live videos also present brand plenty of opportunities to get creative and experiment with their broadcasts. And because it works well across all devices, whether it’s a simple selfie camera live broadcast, and influencer takeover, or an event behind-the-scenes, there are a myriad of ways to live that can boost your brand.
What’s the best Facebook Live video you’ve seen? Sound off in the comments below.