“If you only knew the power of the live video”
– Darth Vader
Ok, so maybe Darth Vader didn’t actually say that in Star Wars. But if he were a digital marketer today, I promise you he would have said that to Luke Skywalker.
One of the greatest things about my job and the industry that I work in is that it changes constantly. New algorithm updates, new social media platforms, tech updates and more. Every day feels fresh and I absolutely love it! This means we, as marketers, have to keep on top of the latest trends and technologies in order to stay successful.
One of the latest trends to come out is live video. This has actually been around for a while, but it’s gotten to the stage where you simply cannot ignore or avoid it anymore. Even Social Media Examiner claim that video will account for around 80% of online content that is consumed over the next few years.
What’s really crazy as well is that if your business relies upon email marketing, you can potentially double or even triple your click-through rate by using video, according to Insivia.
Before you start panicking and thinking that the boat has already sailed, I will tell you now that it’s not too late to get started. In fact, it’s never to late. Sure, some of your competitors may already be using live video for their marketing efforts, but all is not lost. Even if somebody has started utilising live video before you, you still have a shot at simply doing a better job than them. That’s what really matters.
You should note at this stage that this is only the beginning. There are several other benefits of using live video. Let’s look at a few more:
Audience Engagement Increases
Posting content on social media used to be the thing to do. It was simple and quick to do, yet surprisingly effective. Today, it just isn’t enough. Social media is such a sea of noise now that you have to be compelling and creative in order to engage your target audience. If you don’t, your chances of converting those prospects into customers are minimal.
When considering the statistics I gave at the beginning of this article, it is clear that video is the most engaging form of content you can share online. This is because videos are visual, which humans can process much faster than text. We retain around 95% of the message from a video, according to Forbes, making it very memorable. In fact, that same article from Forbes claims that we only retain 10% of a message when it is written.
On top of that, a live video creates a feeling of excitement. It’s a personal experience for everybody involved as they can directly interact with you, rather than a faceless entity. You can see comments and engagements coming in and engage with them in real time. Consequently, there’s also a feeling that anything can happen. I’ve seen my fair share of live videos where an animal randomly crashed the party!
Audience Reach Increases
This is especially true for Facebook as they are really pushing their live video feature. Therefore, they make it more appealing for brands to use it by granting them a larger organic audience reach. Try it and see what I mean!
On top of that, if you were running a pre-scheduled Q&A event, you would be limited to those who sign up. If somebody misses the sign up, they can’t enter and miss out. A potential conversion missed.
Instead, live video gives people the opportunity to stumble upon your brand and randomly tune into your broadcast. Your audience reach is increased by simply going live rather than pre-scheduled.
Your Brand Is Humanised
As mentioned before, live video offers people a personal experience with humans rather than a faceless entity. Your customers are seeking this kind of feeling and will appreciate you offering them personalised interaction. One of the most effective ways of doing this is through live video. It’s raw, unedited and instant.
By putting yourself out there as the face of your brand, you are humanising your brand. You can even bring employees or customers into the broadcast to interact with the audience. This really helps to boost viewers and engagement.
By interacting with both prospects and customers in this manner, you can instantly answer questions that come up in the comments section and even share exclusive information about new products or upcoming events with those who are watching. The opportunity to be a part of something exclusive is a great way to attract viewers and engagement.
To sum up, you can communicate messages directly to your audience rather than from behind a screen and show that the company is run by real humans who care. Not robots or corporate executives who just want money.
There is no denying how powerful live video can be. However, before simply diving in head first without a second thought, you need to create an effective strategy. I’ve included some tips below:
Choose The Correct Platform For You
Despite the increase in competition over the years, Facebook is still considered the top social media platform on the internet and their Facebook Live feature is immensely popular.
Facebook Live allows you to reach a global audience with no barriers. On top of that, you can also record the broadcast and upload it later for others to watch later. This is especially useful for people who tuned in late and want to see the entire video.
The downside of Facebook Live is that you can’t share external links whilst broadcasting. If Facebook Live isn’t for you, there’s also YouTube Live and Instagram Stories. Both of these platforms have sizeable audiences and their own demographics. Instagram Stories is especially useful if you want to reach a younger audience.
One thing to bear in mind about YouTube Live is that you will need to invest a lot more into your broadcast when compared to Facebook Live’s ‘pick-up-and-stream’ feel. However, YouTube Live is more SEO-friendly, which allows you to generate more traffic than you could using Facebook Live… Provided you know what you’re doing.
It’s also worth taking your industry into consideration when choosing a platform. As an example, Twitch is my recommendation if your business is in the online gaming industry. The right choice will lead you to the right audience.
Keep It Human and Spontaneous
The temptation to take a ‘professional’ approach (what does that even mean these days?) to live video streaming is strong, I know. You may even want to write a script beforehand or invest in a teleprompter.
Please don’t do this!
Using a rigid script takes away that atmosphere of excitement that I mentioned before. The feeling that anything can happen is one of the core elements behind the appeal of live video. It can take a few practice attempts, but maintaining focus whilst addressing your audience will come across as a much more natural video and further humanise your brand.
Making notes of a few things to help you stay on topic is fine. Even a quick rehearsal beforehand can help you to beat stage fright. Trust me when I talk about stage fright: I suffer from it!
Create Awareness for Your Brand
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
– George Berkeley
If a live video is broadcast over Facebook Live and nobody watches it, did it actually broadcast? I’m not sure if I can copyright or claim that sentence, but I’m going to stand by it anyway. It cannot be denied that you need to create awareness about your broadcast.
When it comes to marketing your broadcasts, you should take a two-pronged approach. Firstly, you have to make your target audience aware that you will be going live. That’s the simple part. You can publish a status update, set up an event on Facebook, or update your story on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.
More importantly, however, you need to build anticipation. You need to generate dialogue before, during and after going live. Let’s say you’re going to host an AMA or Q&A on Facebook Live: It’s wise to prepare your audience beforehand so that they can think of questions to ask as soon as the broadcast begins. Otherwise, you’ll have a blank space with no questions to answer. You can create interest like this through sharing sneak previews in the form of video snippets or images. Get creative!
Lastly, you should promote your upcoming live stream through various social networks and platforms. By doing this, you can pull in the widest audience possible and get the maximum number of people watching.
Adhere to these tips and you can create an effective strategy that’ll harness the power of live video to market your brand. Video is the future in digital marketing and it will take your business to the next level.