If your business is active on Facebook, you’re likely familiar with the Facebook Live feature, which allows you to broadcast video in real-time to your page’s followers from your phone or tablet. Vimeo is also getting into the live streaming game with its recent acquisition of Livestream and Instagram also has live streaming capabilities. What’s great about live streaming is that it allows a brand to drive engagement with the initial viewers and then leave a lasting impression on those watching the video after the fact. Videos can help increase traffic to a social media page or website promoting a product, service, event or important cause, and can potentially drive sales.
So is live streaming right for your business? And if so, how can you best approach it? Before diving into the trend, do your research on what makes live streaming successful. If you decide live streaming can benefit your business, follow the below tips and you could be the next viral sensation, just like “Chewbacca Mom.”
According to research, humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish at about 8 seconds. That’s not great news, but it’s useful information. If you’re going to host a live stream video, you need to make sure your content is attention-grabbing while also being clear. If the viewer doesn’t understand the purpose of your video within a few seconds, they’ll likely navigate away from it. Ask yourself, “would I watch this video and find it interesting?” to help guide your strategy and create compelling content.
Consider going live for a viewer Q&A, an interview, an exciting industry event, a training opportunity or a product unveiling. Action-oriented videos are especially exciting, and behind-the-scenes streams give your viewers a peek behind the curtain of your organisation.
While part of the success of live streaming is in part tied to its spontaneity, you should take some time to prepare for going live. You often can’t edit these live stream videos after they’re shown to your viewers, so keep the messaging consistent with your brand and jot down a few key talking points to address. Practice makes perfect, so although your first go at live streaming may not be the smoothest, you’ll improve with each subsequent broadcast. If you completely goof on the broadcast, you can delete it after the fact so that only those who watched it live will remember the details of it.
Once you’ve decided to go live, promote your intention to do so before you actually go live to increase excitement, word of mouth and viewership. It’s also best to go live during times when your followers will be online so that they are more likely to pop into your live stream. Facebook claims users spend 3x more time and comment 10x more when the video is live. Schedule social media posts across your other channels to drive traffic to your video as it occurs.
Since comments are visible to viewers as they are submitted during the live stream, you can provide answers and responses to your audience on the spot. Work the answers into your video to showcase that you’re listening to your viewers and keen to make your broadcast a two-way dialogue. You should also review the comments following the live broadcast to address any unanswered questions via the comment section. Your viewers will appreciate the effort you put into responding to their questions and comments, and you’ll have more success at building relationships and engagement.
Remember that the bulk of your video views will likely occur as replays after your video has aired live. In fact, some videos may even go viral once they gain momentum after they’ve aired. To capture these additional views, share your video across your social networks even after the camera is no longer rolling. You may also want to consider repurposing your video into a blog post or downloadable guide, for instance, to address audience questions and key takeaways.
Are you ready to go live? Live streaming can help personalise your business by giving followers a behind-the-scenes look at key events, new products and the people who are integral to your brand’s success. It also enables your company to share important insights and updates with fans at a moment’s notice. With video continuing to grow in importance, live streaming is one tactic that brands should not ignore. Following these tips ensures success, whether you are new to this process or have a robust video archive.
Does your brand’s B2B social media strategy need a boost? Mulberry Marketing can help you learn how to use Facebook Live, attract new followers on Twitter, run paid LinkedIn campaigns and more – let’s chat!
Jess Messenger is an Account Director at Mulberry Marketing Communications, an award-winning full-service B2B communications agency based in Chicago, London and Australia. She enjoys developing PR campaign strategies and writing for B2B audiences across numerous verticals such as retail, foodservice and healthcare.