A Live Video is Worth 1.8 Million Words
Social media live-streaming - Is it a Millennial pastime or a viable business solution? Actually, it’s both! Live videos capture and hold a user’s attention and can be a formidable addition to your marketing arsenal.
The idea of conducting a live video to promote your business may seem daunting. Perhaps you’ve never fancied yourself as a video star. I get it, however, you may want to get in touch with your inner Kardashian when you consider these benefits:
Humanize Your Brand - Customers appreciate transparency. Seeing you, hearing your voice, and watching how you conduct yourself can elevate you from a cold brand to a human entity, bringing both trust and loyalty to your brand.
Low Cost - Few things deliver such broad exposure for so little capital. Facebook, YouTube and Instagram provide users with free live broadcasting. The free services usually include advertisements or commercials. To go commercial free, subscribe to a professional live-streaming service. This will cost a few hundred dollars per month; but when you consider that a 1 minute TV commercial in LA costs about $17,000 it’s not hard to see why live streaming is so popular.
Brings Engagement - In case you didn't know, live events are exciting! They garner more than 6 times the engagement of regular posts. Ask viewers to like or comment on the video. Remember: each comment or like keeps your live event trending -- not only keeping your viewers engaged, but boosting your Facebook algorithm relevancy score.
Widens your Audience - There are over 1.65 billion active social media users worldwide, so it makes sense to use live video to acquire some of them as followers and customers. Simple things like coming up with a catchy title and a compelling description will help you garner more views. You might also want to consider adding an eye-catching graphic or give-away to encourage engagement. The key is to create a buzz!
Here are a couple examples of these live events:
What does Starbucks have to do with voting in Jamaica? Everything! Starbucks brilliantly used their Facebook platform to talk about the importance of voting in your community. This broadcast allowed viewers who would not be able to make the event learn about its importance.
What could be more exciting than a day full of puppies? ASPCA conducted a 31 day adoption event to bring more attention to their cause and to help get animals adopted. One study concluded that adding animals to social media posts boosted viewer comments between 63% and 295%. I mean, who can look away when a furry friend is on the screen?
These are just a couple of examples of live streaming in the wild. To help you get started, we've listed several live event ideas below to get your creativity flowing.
5 Live Event Ideas:
1. Live Product Demo
80% of users prefer live videos over other content. Offering a quick visual on the proper use of your product saves your customers the hassle of figuring it out themselves. Anything that makes your product easier for a customer to use helps to ensure that they won’t move on to another product.
2. Behind the Scenes Content
Invite your customers to a special behind the scenes glimpse into your company. Behind the scenes access is a better draw for 87% of audiences, who would prefer to watch it over television. A quick word of caution here - a pro-football player live-streamed his team’s victory celebration after a game, only to incur a fine. It turns out the NFL has a strict social media policy. So, make sure that you are well acquainted with your company’s social media policies before making any videos!
3. Conduct Contests
Conducting live contests boosts engagement, can help build your email marketing list, and builds hype for your brand. To control the amount of entries you have and boost engagement and followers, make entry into the contest available only by sharing your link or commenting.
Short, live interviews with experienced employees is a fun way to humanize your brand. Customers appreciate segments like: “Ask the Expert”, in which viewers can hear live answers to questions, or, “Try This” segments in which you demonstrate product short-cuts or new uses for products. Once you get the hang of it, go even further with industry thought leaders to discuss hot topics.
5. Q & A Hour
An open Question & Answer session quickly builds confidence and trust in your product. Welcoming viewers to ask questions about your product or service builds personal relationships with customers who you might not ever meet. Potential buyers and current customers that tune in start to feel like they belong to a mini-community with a common goal.
Hopefully, we’ve inspired you to take action.
Here are 4 best practices to help you get the optimal result from your live videos:
1. Interact, Interact, Interact
Interaction is the best way to make your video a success and to keep your relevancy score high enough to keep trending on a customer's news feed. At the beginning of your live stream, take a moment to introduce yourself and the video. As you see more viewers join you, introduce yourself again and welcome the newcomers warmly.
Encourage viewers to comment and to engage with other commenting viewers. Engaging with viewers helps your audience begin to feel a sense of camaraderie as they view the event together. Call out viewers that comment or ask questions by name. This encourages others to comment and stick around.
If you are conducting a contest or giving something away, request that viewers comment, share or like your video. Keep in mind more engagement equals a higher relevancy score, which allows it to continue to trend on news feeds.
2. Make the video visually engaging
Facebook monitors signals of video engagement, such as: turning on the sound, enabling high definition or switching to full screen. All of this adds to your relevancy score, which helps keep your video in other news feeds.
3. Make it spontaneous
Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan; and that’s ok! In fact, it’s interesting and it humanizes your brand. There is something special about a live event, and the little hiccups just add to the charm. So instead of fearing the unforeseen, embrace it and weave the moments into your live-stream.
4. Include a teaser for the next event
Before you end your live broadcast, be sure to finish with a closing line, and a teaser for your next live-stream.
At the end of the day, remember that live events help create a deeper connection to the customer. They are inexpensive way to boost your exposure and build hype for your product. They don't have to be professionally edited to be effective, in fact, their spontaneity and relatability is what adds to their infectious charm. So next time you're trying to figure out a way to stay relevant with your audience, get on social media and give live-streaming a try.