If you want to connect with your social media community, you might want to consider stepping in front of the camera. Shooting a Facebook Live video allows you to instantly connect with your audience and share an authentic, unpolished portrayal of your brand that viewers will find relatable.
In order to understand all of the benefits of Facebook Live videos, we spoke to video marketing expert Sree Sreenivasan, co-founder of DigiMentors, at Spark. Sreenivasan has hosted hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of live video streams on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Watch the full interview below to get live video marketing tips from Sreenivasan.
For more videos, explore the recordings of the keynote presentations from Spark. These inspiring presentations are here to help you do better work, build outstanding content, and connect with digital audiences.
Why incorporate live video into your marketing strategy?
Did you know that social media users spend more time watching live videos than any other type of videos? It’s true! In fact, people spend 3x more time watching a video that is live than a video that is pre-recorded.
And the live and on-demand video streaming market is showing no signs of slowing down. According to PR Newswire, the video streaming market is projected to become a $70 billion industry by 2021.
Given the growth of the industry, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the major social media networks have launched their own live video streaming services in order to claim their share of the market.
From live video on Facebook to Periscope, live video on Instagram and YouTube Live, there are several live streaming platforms for you to choose from. Facebook Live is one of the more popular live streaming services because of its massive reach and video-inclined audience. The social media network’s 2.3 billion users are watching 100 million hours of video every day, making the social network a desirable destination for marketers looking to share video content.
Social media networks have also incorporated mechanics into their platforms intended to increase the demand and consumption of live video. For example, Facebook and Instagram are known to send push notifications to a user’s followers before, during and after a live video is, or has been, recorded. This sort of prioritization by the Facebook algorithm is one of the many reasons why Sreenivasan believes that one of the main benefits of live video “is that you get to cut through the clutter.”
If you’re interested in learning about other compelling social media video formats, we recommend you check out this piece on 7 Awesome Social Media Video Formats to Try in 2019.
What are the main benefits of live video?
As Sreenivasan states in the video above, “the scarcest resource in the world is attention, and video can help you get that attention.” But there are many more benefits that you might not think of instantly.
- Creating an emotional connection: Live video is one of the most genuine ways that you can communicate with your audience because of the unpolished and unscripted nature of the video. Mispronouncing a word or losing your train of thought is all a part of being human, and those imperfections resonate with viewers and enable them to connect with the brand. So you don’t need to beat yourself up for stumbling over a few words.
People love blooper reels, and any mistakes you make when practicing for your video could be turned into an engaging blooper video!
- It doesn’t require any editing: When you record a video, you are “left with hours of video that has to be chopped up and edited and cut and put together.” But when you shoot live video, you don’t have that same amount of homework, as Sreenivasan points out. The speed of live video allows you to be more reactive.
- People prefer video content: 80% of internet users would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog and 82% of internet users would prefer live video from a brand to social posts. People’s natural bias towards video may increase the likelihood that your target audience will see or even engage with your content.
For more benefits on live video, explore these benefits of live video.
Live video marketing tips
If you are still nervous about shooting a Facebook Live video or YouTube live video, we have these tips that can help you confidently press the record button.
- Plan your live video at a time that makes sense for your followers: Schedule your Facebook Live or Instagram Live ahead of time. You should give your followers one day’s notice before you begin broadcasting; if you plan your live video stream around your target audience’s day, there’s a higher chance they’ll be able to attend.
- Title your live video properly: When planning your live video, make sure that you clearly describe the video’s content with an accurate and descriptive title.
- Cross-promote your live video: If you are going to be live on Instagram, make sure you share that news on your Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages. You have to spend some time promoting your live video and telling them why they should tune in before you start your stream.
- Practice, practice & practice: Sreenivasan made an excellent point during our conversation when he highlighted the fact that on Facebook you can select the “Only Me” setting, which allows you to record a live video that only you can see. This gives you time to get comfortable in front of the camera and do a practice run-through.
- Connect to a stable WiFi: Ensure you have a stable and strong WiFi connection. Enough said.
- Interact with your audience during your live video: Actively engage with your audience by acknowledging them by name, reading out their comments or answering their questions. This form of two-way interaction will keep your audience engaged for longer periods of time.
- Incorporate a CTA: When you are coming to the end of your live video stream, provide your audience with some sort of CTA. Maybe you want them to visit your website for more information or click “Subscribe” so that they can get notifications the next time you go live.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment: And finally, just give it a go! Sreenivasan is always telling people to “Try!,” and with the “Only Me” setting on Facebook Live there is no reason not to at least test out the format for yourself.
Live video format ideas
If you are not sure what you should talk about or share with your social media followers, here are a few ideas for different types of live videos.
A “Hot Topic” session: If you know that your audience has a particular interest in a subject, you might want to consider hosting a live video session where you can educate your audience about it. For instance, if you are a digital marketing agency you could go live to talk about how to set goals in Google Analytics or how to create UTMs.
In preparation for the holiday’s, Martha Stuart hosted a Facebook Live where she shared ideas and practical tips around how to decorate your home for the holiday season.
Martha is LIVE with Kevin Sharkey sharing her favorite outdoor decorating ideas from The Martha Stewart Living Holiday Collections available exclusively at The Home Depot.
Posted by Martha Stewart on Monday, November 14, 2016
Q&As: Today, people want to connect with brands more than ever, and hosting a live video chat with your CEO, product marketing manager or even intern could be a good way for your audience to get a better understanding of your company and its culture.
Breaking news: If you are about to release a new product or your company’s latest financial results, what better way than to do so live? Sharing this information with your community of followers live will provide them with a reward for being diligent followers of yours.
Team-up with an influencer: If you are nervous that nobody will attend your live video (and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t be?), then you may want to consider bringing in a co-host with a significant following. For example, you could partner with a celebrity, an influencer, an employee or even another brand. By doing so, you’ll also be able to tap into that individual’s community of followers, thus expanding your reach.
Events or conferences: Not everyone will be able to attend your conferences or product launch, but that doesn’t mean that they have to miss out. So next time you are hosting any type of event, think about whether or not you could engage an online audience in the conversation in addition to the people there in the room with you.
Animal Adventure Park’s audience was particularly interested in knowing when one of their giraffes would give birth, so the team there created a live stream of the calf’s delivery that saw a huge amount of engagement.
Craving more insights on how to shoot live videos?
Sreenivasan recently hosted a presentation at our annual digital marketing conference, Spark, titled: Live! Lessons from Going Live Around the World.
In his presentation, Sreenivasan explains why services like FB Live, Twitter Live/Periscope, Instagram Live and YouTube Live are tools all creative folks and marketers should master.
To watch the full recording of his presentation, check out our video library here.