What would you say if Facebook offered to pay you to produce content? Sounds like a great deal, right?
Well, when Facebook Live launched in 2016, the company offered to pay brands and influencers to start creating live video for the social media platform.
During the launch period, Buzzfeed was paid $3.05 million, The New York Times was paid $3.03 million and CNN was paid $2.5 million. In total, Facebook paid $50 million to different content producers to create and distribute live videos via Facebook Live.
And it proved to be a worthwhile investment. Through the sponsored Facebook Live videos, consumers demonstrated an affinity for the media format and brands discovered that live video was an engagement juggernaut.
According to Facebook, live videos garner 10x more comments and keep audiences engaged for 3x longer than non-live videos.
Given the stellar engagement rates, it’s no surprise that other brands, such as Mars, GE, Ralph Lauren and SpaceX, have experimented with Facebook Live proceeding the feature’s release – some more successful than others. And if you are wondering how your brand can produce an engaging live video, we’ve put together a list of the top five branded live videos so that you can learn from the best of the best.
Top 5 Branded Live Videos
Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live
When Bravo wanted to increase engagement around the popular WWHL series and its after show, the network teamed up with 360i to live stream the content on a different platform each night of the week. After all, why experiment with only one live streaming platform when there are so many to choose from? So for one week in May, audiences tuned in to the show on either Reddit, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to hear the latest gossip from a favorite Bravolebrity.
The campaign was meant to highlight the fact that the show is the “only live show in late night,” according to Bravo EVP of marketing Ellen Stone. The five live streams racked up a combined 2.3 million views, and 87% of viewers actively engaged with the content.
Takeaway: When you are planning your live video, take time to consider the various live video platforms and video formats at your disposal.
The golf brand hit a hole-in-one when it gave golf fans an exclusive tour of Arnold Palmer’s office during a Facebook Live video. The tour, which was led by Palmer’s assistant and longtime friend, focused on providing viewers with an engaging experience, rather than just another promotional video for the brand’s products.
EXCLUSIVE: Inside Arnold Palmer's office in Latrobe, PA.
Posted by Callaway Golf on Monday, 13 June 2016
Even if you are not a golf fanatic, you can still learn a lot about how to keep your live audience engaged from this video. For example, viewers are encouraged to post questions or comments related to what they would like to see or know throughout the video.
Takeaway: During your own live video, remember to keep your audience engaged by posing various questions and responding to any incoming comments live.
The White House
Events and breaking news are both relevant use cases for live video. And in this example, the former U.S. President and his administration did an excellent job of combining the two, providing audiences with a valuable experience. But what else would you expect from the “first social media president”?
We got some great news on jobs and the economy this morning, and President Obama wants to tell you all about it. So pull up a chair in the Roosevelt Room next to his economic team and listen in!
Posted by The Obama White House on Friday, 4 March 2016
Takeaway: When planning your own live video, make sure that you clearly describe the video’s content and the information you are delivering fits the live format.
Dunkin’ Donuts demonstrated how live video can make your brand more relatable and more accessible when it took viewers on a behind-the-scenes tour of its facilities. The authentic approach to live video scored big with audiences, and us.
Our first-ever LIVE tour of the DD test kitchen + a big announcement for engaged Valentines!
Posted by Dunkin' on Thursday, 11 February 2016
Throughout the live video, staff members from different departments explain how the company’s donuts are made and why they enjoy working for the company, allowing viewers to learn about how the company makes its delicious donuts and the people behind the brand simultaneously.
Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to be real. Live video allows you to authentically engage with your community without sounding too much like a commercial.
No stranger to viral content, Buzzfeed managed to captivate audiences for 45 minutes during a Facebook Live stream featuring two employees putting rubber bands around a watermelon until it exploded.
Watch us explode this watermelon one rubber band at a time!
Posted by BuzzFeed on Friday, 8 April 2016
Unlike the other live videos on our list, this video places a higher value on entertaining audiences rather than educating them. But given that around 800,000 people viewed the stream, you shouldn’t discount the entertainment factor when preparing your own brand the live video.
Takeaway: Your live video has to compete against all of the other content on a viewer’s newsfeed, so make sure to have a plan for keeping your audiences entertained during your live video.
By focusing on providing audiences with both an educational and entertaining experience, these five brands were able to provide viewers with a valuable experience and forge deeper connections with their community of followers. If you borrow some of the key elements that made these brand’s live videos so successful, you too can join the ranks of these top performers.
Bonus: Another example of a successful live video from Buzzfeed.
Dance Craze Battle: LIVE!
Posted by BuzzFeed on Thursday, 3 March 2016