Ever since Facebook launched their live video offering last April and Congress staged a live sit-in via Periscope last June, clients and colleagues alike have been asking if and when they should go live.
As always, with any kind of content – live or otherwise – context is key. So, let’s look at the Reasons To Go Live:
It’s what Facebook wants you to do. Facebook programs their algorithm to support the technologies they want you to use. And, right now, they want you to go live. This means terrific reach results as the algorithm places a premium on live video in user news feeds. So, if you want your content to be seen, going live is a great way to do it.
It generates authentic brand engagement with customers and stakeholders. Whether you are leading a product un-boxing, making a company announcement or a driving thought leadership through a Q&A event, Facebook Live allows you to directly engage with your audience and at the same time, drive new traffic to your Facebook page. You can answer questions in real-time and get immediate feedback. People want to engage with brands directly more than ever before. Live video was built for that. In fact, Facebook Live videos drive more engagement than standard video content. Facebook recently said Live videos can drive 10 times more comments because of the real time connection between users.
In a sea of sameness, live video lets you be you. The fact is we are swimming in branded content today and a lot of it starts to look and feel similar. (read: infographics.) Live video enables you to be completely unique in your message and truly create and demonstrate your brand’s personality.
Your audience is already there. 81% of internet users said they watched more live streaming content in 2016 than a year prior. In fact, live video is more appealing to brand audiences. 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
It’s the most cost-effective video strategy. High-end video production can be incredibly expensive. From setting up the shoot, prepping the video crew, scripting, shooting, editing, mixing music and other audio, you can easily spend tens of thousands of dollars on just one video. With Facebook Live, all you need is your smartphone and boom – you can have engaging video content.
Of course, you still want to have a strategic plan. Know your objectives and calls-to-action. Make sure you are telling the story you want told. Rehearse your talking points and “stage” the set to ensure products and brand names can be seen.
Now, I’m not saying you should dive right into live video. You also need to consider the very real Reasons Not To Go Live:
It’s live. There are no re-shoots, no editing, no “fixing it in post.” When you go live, you are live. What you share will be seen and saved and indexed and will live on forever through the interwebs. So, if you have liability concerns around potential product accidents, or your key spokesperson requires a few takes, you may want to stick to a more controlled-video experience.
Most experiences are not all that exciting. The fact is, even when we do watch live streaming content, we spend most of our time waiting for the interesting thing to happen. For example, BuzzFeed famously blew up a watermelon on Facebook Live by tying over 600 rubber bands to it for 45 minutes. The only gratifying part of the 45 minute Live video is when the watermelon finally exploded. The first 40 minutes merely consisted of watching two employees tie rubber bands to a fruit.
So, what makes for good live content? We’d recommend:
- Fun company events that can demonstrate your organization’s culture
- Targeted Q&A events that demonstrate your company’s thought leadership
- New product releases and un-boxing events – especially with key influencers
- Community events like groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings, and grand openings
- Quick daily tips or helpful hints that become regular viewing for your audience
- Unscripted conversations with company leaders who have a unique POV to share
- Behind-the-scenes and exclusive views into your creative or manufacturing process
If you have any questions about developing your own live streaming strategy, email me and let’s get started!