Facebook is pushing its new Facebook Live video streaming feature.
Facebook Live first saw a restricted launch in the summer of 2015. It was accessible to celebrities and public figures who had a wide reach.
In 2016, Facebook renewed its dedication to “going live” and started to push the live feature to all its users.
Facebook wants all its users to go live because it means they will spend more time on the platform, provide more detailed engagement information, and therefore translate into more advertising dollars.
Naturally, paid advertising options will be more effective for marketers, but even those who aren’t paying for ads will see a benefit. Because, in 2017, live video will be the newest and most powerful tool for brands to interact with their followers. It isn’t limited to just Facebook either, there are live tools on both Instagram and Twitter (Periscope), providing a different audience on each channel.
Why should going live matter to marketers?
You can choose which groups see your live broadcasts, letting you determine who will be the target of your messaging. This segmentation is exceptionally valuable for marketers using the tool. You can segment using the following categories: age, gender, and specific locations. While not that different than a classic promoted post, these features ensure that you only reach the audience that is interested.
Your Audience Can React Emotionally
You always want your audience to feel something and, using Facebook live, they can express those feelings. There are six different reactions that someone in your audience can click. Engaging in a way beyond liking means that your audience is making decisions about how they feel about your brand. This in turn, because of confirmation bias, leads your audience down the sales pipeline.
You Can Build a Following
If your efforts at live video go well, then you have the potential to build a following. This means that you will soon have loyal fans who tune in every time you go live.
This highly engaged following is also likely much further down the pipeline than others, but they will also help spread word about your brand.
This will further grow your following and lead to more leads in your pipeline.
How do you go live correctly?
1. Make Sure You Tease Your Video
Ensure that your live video has some followers by teasing your live videos ahead of the time. Like live webinars, teasing the broadcast at specific intervals before the event means that more people are likely to come watch. Maybe start teasing the live video at 24 hours before it occurs, once more before the end of the work day, again at the beginning of the work day, and once a half an hour before the live video.
2. Pick a Specific Theme
Don’t go into a live broadcast without a plan. This is an amateur mistake that will cause a disorganized video and a disengaged audience. Pick a format or a topic that your target audience will enjoy. This could include:
Behind the scenes
Breaking industry news
3. (Please) Practice First
Before you go live, ensure that everything looks and works correctly by setting your privacy to “only me.”
This gives you a chance to set up your camera and make sure that factors, like audio, video, lighting, etc., are all correct.
Run a practice broadcast so you aren’t fumbling in front of your fans.
4. Set Time Zones
When teasing your live video, make sure to include time zones. Like television, it is perfectly acceptable to write something like 3 p.m. EST and 2 p.m. CST.
Make sure to mention all the time zones that your brand might sell to. You want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to tune in, not require them to figure out what that time means in their time zone.
5. Pay Attention to Your Audience
Your audience tunes into a live video so they might interact with you. Don’t disappoint them. Even if you are doing a live video that’s more than question and answer, make sure that your audience still has a chance to ask questions.
Answer them live on screen or have someone off camera interacting with fans in the comments section.
Either way, give your audience the attention they deserve. They tuned into you, so reward that by engaging them in a conversation. This will not only up your brand’s credibility, but also make your live video get a better ranking on social media.
6. Finish With a Call to Action
Make sure that by the time that your live video is over, you have called upon your audience to take an action. Maybe this is subscribing to your page, so they get notifications whenever you go live. Or perhaps you invite them to visit your website to view more videos. Maybe you remind them to live your page if you haven’t already.
But whatever you do, don’t leave them hanging. Ask them to DO something, further cementing your brand into their minds.
7. Test and Tweak
Don’t just rest on your laurels after you complete a live broadcast. For live videos, Facebook allows you analyze minutes viewed, the number of unique viewers, peak live viewers, people reached, reactions, comments, shares, etc.
Determine what your audience liked and what they didn’t using these metrics, then tweak things in your next video to become even better at it.
Let us know what you think:
Will you go live in 2017?
What applications does “going live” have for B2B?
Do you think live video will overtake pre-recorded video?
Acadia Otlowski is the editor and copywriter at HiP. She handles writing subject lines and email copy as well as contributing weekly to the blog. Acadia is a journalism major turned marketing enthusiast with a heavy background in research and writing. Outside of work, she is an avid reader and storyteller, as well as a fire performer.