Video is no longer the preserve of big brands with expensive hardware and huge production budgets, smaller businesses and individuals have been getting involved since early last year, which is why video streaming is set to explode in the next 12 months.
Streaming video live is now inexpensive and easy, but there are some simple tips you need to follow to make the most of this exciting marketing channel.
So Why Is Facebook Live Important?
In a short period of time Facebook has propelled itself to challenge YouTube for dominance in video. In particular, Facebook Live has grown at a phenomenal rate, with video posts doubling in number in the last year.
Live video streaming creates a sense of urgency that recorded video lacks. Video posts not only reach more people (135% more reach than image only posts) they're more engaging (live viewers watch for 3X longer compared to non-live content) and provide greater interaction (10X the comments of recorded video).
Not only that, they enable you to give your brand a human face whilst providing a great source of shareable content (archived videos often have more viewers than the live broadcast).
Fail To Plan, Plan To Fail
Like any other marketing medium, planning your Facebook Live broadcast is key. First you need to identify who your target audience is, as this will determine both your theme and your time of broadcast. You then need to establish what it is that you want to accomplish. Are you looking for new customers, leads, publicity, email subscribers, or Page likes? You also need to figure out where you need to send people, such as a landing page, business page, or other social network. And finally, you need to choose a theme for your broadcast - to help you get started here are a few suggestions.
- From a physical live event - use the event tags
- Breaking news - product announcements
- Interviews - with clients, colleagues or influencers
- Behind the scenes - show your human side
- Tutorials - training, hacks, resolving common issues
- Q&A - get fast customer feedback
Sound, Lights, Camera & Action
The simplest way to get started on Facebook Live is by using a smartphone or tablet. It's especially useful for show and tell and provides more flexibility in your broadcast location. However, it can be very hard to keep up with while also responding to comments, and the audio may have a short range. Wobbly arm syndrome is obviously going to be an issue, though you can mount the device on a stand to resolve this.
Alternatively, you can actually stream Facebook Live from your desktop. If you have Windows 10, you just need to download the free app. Unlike on a mobile device, there's no risk of video wobble and less chance of connection interruptions. It also makes it easier to follow and respond to comments.
For those with a bit of budget, it's worth investing in an external camera and microphone. If you're a Mac user or want to stream to other services, there's software out there to help, like OBS Studio, which enables you to both screen share and stream video.
And The Oscar For Cinematography Goes To...
If you can, then broadcast from your desktop using an external microphone and camera. Test, test and test again, especially the connection (or watch it go south like the BuzzFeed Obama interview).
When framing your broadcast, there are some obvious things you should avoid.
If you have a panel of people being questioned, pick a side never sit in the middle or you risk creating a back and forth tennis match. Don't have the camera three miles from you - Facebook Live is supposed to be personal not a U2 gig. At the same time, don't broadcast a disembodied head - people want to see you, not your tonsils. And if you're facing directly into the camera, make sure you make eye contact with it (so to speak), or it'll look like you're thinking about your shopping list rather than the audience.
As I mentioned earlier, try and get a colleague to field the questions and name check viewers in your answers. You need to stay on topic, so it goes without saying that you should ignore the crazies. Believe me, no matter how dry your subject matter they will come.
Once The Curtain Has Closed...
There are loads of ways that you can re-purpose your Facebook Live videos - here are some ideas:
- Create a whitepaper - good for Q&A and tutorials
- Upload your video to YouTube/Vimeo
- Embed it on your website (including your blog)
- Ask your partners to host the video on their websites
- Add the video to your regular emails (e.g. in the footer/signature)
- Promote the video via your affiliates/advocates
- Edit the video into bite-sized chunks
- Last but not least, post the video via social media
In addition to re-purposing techniques, there are also advanced features and best practices that will help you to optimize and promote your Facebook Live events which we'll look to detail in another post.