By Dino Kuckovic

November 11th, 2016

Live video streaming is changing social media and how we consume content. Marketers need to change with it and some are already embracing the opportunity with Facebook Live and Instagram Stories. Here I break down how you too can engage with audiences like never before.

Facebook Live – the new TV?

Facebook Live has enjoyed phenomenal adoption this year. In June, businesses were already streaming six times the amount of live videos on their Facebook Pages than they had been in January.

The appeal lies in the platform’s strength as a means to build credibility and trust with audiences. Consumers are generally sceptical until they get to know your brand. And what better way to speak to a wider audience, and show off what makes you you, than live video?

Here are some diverse and creative ways companies are using Facebook Live.

#1. New-in-store
New releases are especially interesting to loyal customers. Giving these super fans and brand ambassadors an exclusive look at new arrivals is a great way to boost those likes and shares.

#2. Event coverage 
You don’t have to be in fashion or music to promote events online. With a little creative thinking, other less showy businesses can make a splash too. Museums or tourism boards, for example, could offer virtual tours of new exhibitions or guided tours of hidden local gems.

Case in point: New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has used Facebook Live a number of times. They started with informal tours and live openings, then went a step further by offering exhibition previews. The broadcast went live four days before the exhibition opening and attracted a whopping 52,000 views and 1,200 shares. Now that’s what I call an exclusive!

#3. Brand awareness and tips
Use Facebook Live to introduce yourself and earn trust. Discuss lessons you’ve learned and share advice that will resonate with viewers – there are plenty of brands out there with the same pain points and they’re ready to listen. This medium is also ideal for product demos and sharing practical tips and tricks. Instead of a blog post you can provide value through video.

Cosmetics manufacturer Benefits is doing this beautifully with a series called “Tipsy Tricks”. They ask the audience questions, the answers to which guide the conversation. By involving their audience they’re also able to zoom in on customer preferences. See for yourself:

#4. Trendjacking
The internet is constantly buzzing with trends and breaking news. Pokemon Go is a prime example. Such real-time current events provide ways to engage and start a discussion with your audience. For example, as an agency you could share tips on how small businesses can take advantage of Pokemon Go to lure consumers to their stores. Highjacking trends is a nearly effortless form of real-time marketing – as long as it’s done well and doesn’t clash with your brand.

#5. Host a talk show
 Turn live streaming into a talk show format with guest speakers who can share their expertise or inside knowledge. Each week could feature a fresh topic and follow podcast rules of engagement, e.g. same time – same place. For just about any business this is a perfect opportunity to show off your brand and success stories. You could also invite clients on; in this review-driven market nothing impresses like a customer happy enough to support your brand.

There’s a lot more where that came from. If you’re curious, check out other Facebook Live videos streaming from around the world.

Instagram takes over Fashion Week

Pokemon Go wasn’t the only talk of the town this summer. Instagram Stories has become invaluable to social media marketing. And it looks like they’ve found their niche among the many other video storytelling tools and tactics available.

According to Facebook’s Q3 earnings, there are now more than 100 million daily active users on Instagram Stories. And, by improving the Explore tab in Instagram to include more videos and Stories, the network has gained another 100 million active users.

Personalized stories strike an emotional chord while allowing marketers to differentiate themselves. Nothing helps humanize a brand than online video sharing. During this year’s New York Fashion week, Instagram Stories granted users a 360-degree peek into the build-up to the shows, along with flagship stores, backstage scenes and, of course, the parties. Every moment was documented down to the catwalk bloopers. Despite the sheer volume of footage I was able to hunt down a few goodies to share with you.

So how are fashion brands standing out with this new toy?

#1. Backstage chaos
Even though social media managers only had a month to get a handle on Instagram Stories before fashion week, they quickly seized on its potential for creating hype by posting behind-the-scenes footage. Fans could get an all new up and close view of the fashion world beyond the catwalk. Fashion designer Carolina Herrera was among the big names to give fans an exclusive viewing of her venue before the show began.

carolina-herrera-nyfw-venue-2016

#2. Showtime reminders 
Some brands like Vera Wang made certain that the community knew about dates, times as well as locations in the actual stories. Trust me, with eight days of madness you’ll take reminders wherever you can get them. Would you have originally posted a “calendar entry” to Instagram? Probably not. As Fashion Week invites are hard to come by some brands broadcasted the shows live.

nyfw

#3. Front-row exclusives 
To really bring audiences into the pageantry of fashion week, some shows gave an up-close front row view – the seats normally reserved for the likes of Anna Wintour and Becks. The fashion and the fabrics of the runway were live-streamed on social in all the glory of video slow-mo and time-lapse. 

cristian-siriano-nyfw-runway-2016

Whichever perspective you’re viewing from – the blogger, the model scout, the PR agency or the fashion student – Instagram Stories allows fashion week (or any other event) to come to life in multiple layers from emojis to viral videos.

Here’s the kicker: Stories has the potential to boost a brand’s overall Instagram performance. Viewers taken by a Story are likely to make their way to Instagram profiles. The outcome is heightened engagement on past posts or indirect traffic to your company page.

The era of video storytelling

Going live with video can be a bit intimidating, I get it. What if you mess up? What if the camera wiggles? There are a number of things that could go wrong but just remember we are all learning together. Live streaming is still in baby shoes and the story behind Stories is still being written. As marketers we can all be its authors.

So I welcome you to rethink and adapt your content strategy to include unfiltered and in-the-moment snapshots. I for one can’t wait to see the exciting and personal ways you’ll be creating videos.

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