Just because Facebook Live is accessible from an app on an iPhone, that doesn't mean that a brand's live broadcast should have the quality of an iPhone video.
Facebook Live is not an excuse to deliver sub-par content, but rather a unique platform which enables you to deliver material content instantly, and to a large group of people, giving them an immersive experience, and giving you the ability to interact with your followers in real time.
With Facebook Live, brands have an advantage because most already have a Facebook Page and a social media following that consists of people who 've already taken an interest in their organization and/or products. Facebook Live gives brands the opportunity to connect with these people in the most authentic and raw way possible, outside of meeting them in person, while also helping new viewers to discover the brand as well.
Users who follow Facebook Pages likely do because the brand appeals to them in some way, and they're therefore more likely to be interested in the story behind that company or CEO. Facebook Live gives them the best opportunity to immerse themselves into that story and engage with the brand.
Here are some key tips on how to utilize Facebook Live to ensure your live-streams are relevant, high quality and engaging - and that you're maximizing the option to full effect.
1. Promote your broadcast before and after the fact
Give followers the heads up and let them know beforehand when you'll be going live - this way they can make time if they want to be a part of the broadcast.
In addition, Facebook says that most users wind up consuming live-stream content within 24 hours of the broadcast, so you also need to make the video available on demand for the users who may have missed the live experience.
There are also various ways to segment the broadcast to create multiple videos for repurposing across all platforms, maximizing your Live efforts.
2. Ensure that your Facebook Live broadcasts fit into an overall video content strategy
As with all video content, Facebook Live campaigns need to be well-thought out and fit into the bigger picture marketing strategy.
Perhaps it's a live 'behind the scenes' video broadcast that promotes an event later that day, while in the meantime cross-promotes the sizzle reel of the event that will be released over the weekend.
All social media and video posts should be part of a greater strategy that will help grow brand awareness and a digital presence.
3. Preserve live video for a special occasion
Be careful to not oversaturate your audience by broadcasting too much.
Live broadcasts should be a special experience that enables users to see something unique, and share that experience with others.
Here is a quick list of types of content you could, and should, consider delivering via Facebook Live:
- Live Events
- Behind the scenes of a production or event
- Company announcements
- Breaking news
- Discussions of hot topics
- Q&A's with industry leaders or company executives
- Weekly or daily shows that have a specific topic or theme
- Product Launches
- Fireside Chats
4. Know and utilize all of Facebook Live's features
One example is using the filters that Facebook offers. Also, asking customers to subscribe by clicking the 'Follow' button will ensure they receive notifications when you go live, and help grow viewership.
Finally, take note of the comments and "reactions" that are coming through. This provides instant feedback on the broadcast, and can be used as a tool for improvement.
5. Interact with your audience
It's imperative to remember that Facebook Live gives followers an immersive experience, that instant access. To fully capitalize on this, interaction is key.
Read viewer comments, react to what they say, listen to their suggestions - use their names. Really, your broadcast is for them, and you should give them what they want wherever feasible.
Providing a connected experience like this will help improve the chances of them coming back for the next one, sharing the video with friends, and essentially growing your following.
6. Maximize viewership
A smart trick that Facebook suggests is creating a lobby or countdown before your Live broadcast begins, so that viewers can log in beforehand, ensuring there's a larger audience at the commencement of the actual broadcast..
7. Create themes that are unique to your broadcasts
While Facebook doesn't recommend using branded bumpers during live broadcasts, it's a good idea to have a catchy title, with an inviting description, and a tagline or sign-off that people can become familiar with each time they return to the program.
Also, keep in mind that people will be coming in and out of the broadcast, therefore, make sure to repeat the purpose of the broadcast, and any other information that would be important to the viewer (promotions, schedules, etc.), so that new viewers are always informed.
8. Do your research, be prepared
Agencies and brands should never head into Live blindly. Learn everything you can about Facebook Live, live-streaming technology, and equipment, such as, encoders, switchers, software, and cloud capabilities.
Finally, if you're serious about making the best impression possible, consider hiring a video production company to guide you through the process and help you get the job done the right way.
Do It Now
Live video has been teasing brands for a few years now, with apps like Meerkat and Periscope attempting (and failing) to be 'the next big thing'. While some predicted Snapchat to be the wildcard to take over the live video world, it turns out Facebook Live was the dark horse this whole time, and is now what we believe to be an essential marketing tool for brands to deploy.
Brands and agencies need to approach Facebook Live content with the seriousness and poise as they would any other important piece of video content.