As a business owner or marketing professional, you’re constantly looking for new tactics and strategies to better promote your products or services, right? Anything to give you an edge in an incredibly competitive market.
A few years ago live video exploded onto the scene, after years of niche technology status. Many companies jumped on the bandwagon and have seen great success using live broadcasts in their marketing efforts. Many more companies have yet to embrace the medium.
In this blog, we’ll give you a complete and thorough run down of all things live video: the benefits of it, the most popular platforms, specific tools to use, various topics to discuss, certain live video best practices to keep in mind, and the top ways to promote your live streams.
By the end you’ll be ready to use live video to successfully market your business. Let’s get started!
The Benefits of Live Video
Live video, what’s the big deal?
If you’ve watched the popularity of live streaming explode over the last couple years with a less-than-enthusiastic attitude, we definitely understand. At first glance, live video may seem like just another chore to add to your already insurmountable to-do list.
But broadcasting live does have its benefits and could be an incredibly successful marketing tactic for your company if you use it properly. Let’s talk about some of those benefits now:
If you can get over your fear of being live on the internet (or have someone on your team who is up to the task), you’ll quickly realize that many times live videos are much simpler to create than other forms of content and require less money.
Simply choose your topic, create a rough outline for your video, tell your audience when you plan to go live (more on promotion in a later section of this post), and go for it using the smartphone you already have!
The more live broadcasts you do, the easier they’ll become and the less daunting they’ll seem.
You’ll Stand Out
Live video has only become popular in the last couple of years; meaning not every other company in your niche is using this marketing tactic.
Combine that with the fact that many company leaders really don’t like the idea of them or someone on their team being live on the internet where potential mistakes can’t be edited, and you have a medium that isn’t yet oversaturated.
But as live video continues to grow, this will change: more companies will adopt the strategy and competition will rise. If you jump in now, you can get a leg up on your competitors.
The Engagement Potential is Insane
But it’s not just Facebook. According to Tubular Insights, live video in general sees view times of up to eight times longer than traditional videos. Incredible!
Live Videos Can be Used in Multiple Ways
In the next section, we’ll discuss different platforms you can use to stream your live videos. Depending on which one you choose, you may have the option to repurpose the content you create during your live streams.
One of the absolute best ways to stay on top of your company’s content marketing efforts is to use the best content at your disposal — videos, blogs, etc. — and repurpose it into other resources your audience will find valuable.
In the case of live videos, you have many options such as also posting them to YouTube, cutting them up for Instagram stories, or transcribing them for your company blog.
It’s What Your Audience Wants
Ultimately, this is why you should seriously consider implementing live video into your company’s content marketing strategy.
According to Livestream, 80% of brand audiences would rather watch a live video than read a blog or see a traditional social post. What’s more, 45% of audience members would even be willing to pay money for exclusive live content from their favorite industry leaders!
Popular Live Video Platforms
Ready to start marketing your business with live video? In this section we’ll discuss a few of the main platforms you can use:
Facebook Live was first introduced in 2016 and quickly became the go-to live streaming platform. You’ve probably watched a few live videos on the network yourself, given its popularity.
A few specific benefits of the platform include its large audience base (over 2 billion active monthly users), the ability to save live broadcasts as posts to a page, and audience engagement features like video sharing and commenting.
YouTube Live is a seasoned veteran on the live streaming landscape; they’ve been active since 2011. The platform also shares a few key features with Facebook Live like the ability to stream from either desktop or mobile, robust sharing and engagement features, and the option to save live broadcasts to the feed.
In 2015, Twitter acquired Periscope, a live streaming platform, and integrated it with their own app. So if your business frequently uses Twitter, Periscope would be a great option for live broadcasts.
Beyond its seamless Twitter integration ability, Periscope also supports landscape broadcasts, the option to mute notifications from specific users, and the ability to live stream from a GoPro camera.
Instagram Live is a part of the network’s Stories feature. This means each live video will only be viewable for 24 hours. After that, the live broadcast will disappear forever, though, they can be saved to your camera roll.
A few interesting Instagram Live features include priority placement in the “Explore” section, and a greater sense of urgency and exclusivity due to the disappearing stories component.
It should be noted that there are many other live video platforms as well. We decided to focus on those mentioned above because they’re part of popular social networking sites you’re likely already using.
But if you’d like to pursue a more outside-the-box live streaming experience and use a platform dedicated exclusively to this kind of medium, be sure to check out the following:
Set Your Live Broadcast Up for Success
One of the greatest benefits to using live video to promote your business is the low barrier of entry. Once you’ve chosen which platform you want to broadcast on, you can literally get started immediately using your smartphone.
But if you do want to increase the quality and professionalism of your livestreams, there are a few tools worth considering:
Once you’ve outgrown your basic smartphone setup, look at investing in smartphone camera accessories to improve the quality of your livestreams. The investment will be relatively inexpensive, but will noticeably improve your video image quality.
One of our favorite options is the line of Moment lenses; a smartphone lense maker based in Seattle, WA. Prices for their equipment range from $89.99 to $119.99 per lens and work with both iOS and Android devices.
If you’re ready to graduate completely from your smartphone setup and have a budget of about $400; a HuddleCam, GoPro, and MeVo are all great options. We recommend researching each to discover which one will best suit your company’s unique needs.
The audio quality of your live videos is a very important (but often overlooked) factor that can make or break your broadcasts. We’ll focus on the smartphone accessories category due to the much easier setup process.
Even the best cameras and lens setups will prove ineffective without proper lighting. Fortunately, with the right lighting accessory, your live videos will look great without breaking the bank! Check out the LED Godex light, available for under $25.
While the tools mentioned above will increase the professionalism of your live broadcasts, we really want to stress the fact that each of them are optional and not in any way mandatory.
Don’t let a lack of gear be an excuse for not using live video to market your business! Use what you currently have and grow from there.
Wondering What to Do While Live Streaming?
We’ve talked about the benefits of live video, a few of the various platforms you can stream from, and a few tools you can invest in to up the quality of your broadcasts. But maybe you’re thinking, “This is all great, but what do I actually do in my live videos?”
This is a great question and we just so happen to have a few ideas for you:
Go Behind the Scenes
Your customers will love seeing how your company makes its products, how your team interacts with each other behind closed doors, or even fun and interesting out-of-office happenings revolving around your business.
So why not fire up a live feed and give it to them? Often times this will allow your company to forge deeper relationships with its target audience. And an engaged audience is a lucrative one.
Host a Q&A
Are you about to launch a new product or service? Try hosting a live Q&A to answer any questions your potential customers may have. When done correctly, this tactic can greatly increase sales.
If your brand uses influencer marketing, you can also use a Q&A approach to host interviews with relevant influencers in your niche and ask them both your own questions and ones submitted by your audience.
Debut a New Product
Once your new product is ready, introduce it to the world via livestream to potentially reach more of your audience faster and build excitement.
Depending on which platform you’re using, you may also be able to include order links inside your broadcast and accept orders while you’re streaming.
Promote Your Latest Sale
Go live and let your audience know about any current promotions your company is running. From BOGOs to percentage discounts, sales are only beneficial if your customers use them. So take advantage of live video and get the word out.
During your broadcast you can even demo specific products on sale so that your audience can see them in action.
Give a Demonstration
Speaking of product demonstrations, this is a great tactic to deploy — even when your company isn’t currently running any special deals. This can prove especially useful if you sell a complicated product or something completely revolutionary that people haven’t seen before.
While live streaming, show your audience how your product works, how easy it is to use, specific features that make it stand out from the competition. There’s a host of options if you’re willing to get creative.
Broadcast From an Event
Is your company sending a team to a widely recognized conference or other get-together? If it’s something your audience may also find interesting and valuable, try posting a live video from the event.
You can show them the facilities, recap a few key things you’ve learned, or introduce them to other colleagues you’ve been able to network with while attending.
If your company hosts its own events, live streaming from them is definitely a tactic worth considering. We’re almost certain that not every single person in your audience will be able to make it. Show them what they’re missing and drum up anticipation for your next event through a quick live stream.
Things to Keep in Mind While Streaming
In order to see the most success with your live broadcasts, keep these few tips in mind:
Live video broadcasts are not the time to wing it. You should have an exact plan of what you want to talk about and/or do before you ever hit the record button.
This doesn’t mean you need to write an incredibly detailed script and memorize your lines like a theater performer. But it does mean you need to put in some initial effort, outline your video and maybe even go through the material a few times on your own.
The extra time you spend beforehand will definitely be worth it.
If you tell your audience that you’ll be going live at 3pm on Tuesday, make sure you actually go live at 3pm (or even a little before then) on Tuesday. And don’t forget to specify what time zone you’re in!
It’s a simple thing, but consistently delivering your live video content when you say you will builds trust. Consumers buy from companies they trust.
A smile goes a long way. So does the right outfit and video location. No, you don’t need to rent out a professional video studio or drop a truckload of money on a new suit. But you do need to present yourself in a way that will resonate with your audience.
Hoping to reach CEOs at Fortune 500 companies? Save the faded Metallica t-shirt for a different live stream. Perhaps your intended audience is made up of computer programmers. Streaming live right from your computer desk may make sense.
Whatever you do, present yourself and your company in a likeable and professional manner and you’ll see much better results.
Live video is a unique form of content given that viewers may show up part way through your broadcast. This means that you need to periodically offer context to audience members by re-introducing yourself and your company throughout the video.
Just keep it quick and say something like:
“Hey, if you’re just joining us, welcome! My name’s Jacob and I work with Robly. Today we’re talking about company branding.”
Brand Your Live Videos
As you begin to stream live and attract new audience members to your broadcasts, it’s important that they realize who you are and what company you represent. If they don’t, then you’ll see much less success with live video.
Various apps like BeLive will let you display your company’s logo and even create a customized color scheme for your live videos. But even a low budget approach like writing your company’s name on a whiteboard behind you as you stream is better than nothing.
Analyze the Data
Platforms like Facebook Live give you access to a few important live video metrics such as view count, view length, number of reactions and more. Use this data.
If the analytics consistently show viewers dropping out halfway through your videos, consider shortening your broadcasts, implementing a new format, or changing the times you go live. But in order to optimize your process, you first have to understand what’s already happening.
Promote Your Live Videos
Just like any other form of content, you can’t start creating live videos and just hope that people will show up. It doesn’t work like that. There’s too much noise on the internet.
Instead, promote your live broadcasts to the best of your ability Here’s how:
Promote Early and Often
Sending a quick tweet an hour before you plan to go live won’t do much to boost attendance. Let people know about your upcoming live broadcast as early as possible. And keep reminding them as the date approaches.
If you plan to go live at the same day and time every week, make sure to mention that during your videos so that people know they can come back for more down the road.
Utilize All Your Company’s Channels
Going live on Facebook? Tweet about it to your Twitter followers, post about it on Instagram and email your list an invitation to join you at the appointed date and time.
Remember, not everyone will see your Facebook posts. But they might catch you through another channel. Even if an audience member does see your initial post, they’ll probably need to be reminded a few times about it.
By promoting your live event on multiple channels, you’ll give your company the best chance to reach its audience and draw in a good crowd.
Connect With Other Related Brands
Plan to have another well-known influencer join you during your broadcast? Ask them to promote the live event to their followers, too.
You should also consider partnering with other companies in your niche that don’t directly compete with your brand. Have them promote your live videos to their audience and you do the same for them.
Anytime you can leverage different, related audiences in your marketing efforts, and introduce them to your own company, it’s worth doing. Live video promotion is no different.
Consider Paid Promotion
If you have the budget, consider running ads on your platform of choice to promote your live videos. Just be sure to create different ads for those already connected to your brand; and those who will find your content interesting, but have never heard of you or your company before.
For example, an ad for your current audience might sound something like:
“Hey guys, we’re going live next Wednesday at 7pm Eastern! Tune in to get our take on creating autoresponders.”
But an ad targeted at new audience members might be more successful if it read more like:
“Not seeing the results you want with your autoresponders? You’re not alone. Many companies never realize their full potential when it comes to automated email sequences. But you can be different! Join us for a live broadcast on Wednesday at 7pm Eastern. We’ll break down exactly what an autoresponder needs to be successful.”
Live video is an increasingly effective medium to promote your brand and the products or services you sell. And, as we’ve proven in this blog, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.
Simply choose your preferred platform, tell your audience when you plan to broadcast, create a content outline, fire up your smartphone, and shoot a live video your fans will love.
We encourage you to start live streaming now, before your competition decides to join in on the trend. This will give you a leg up. Just use this post as your guide and create amazing live content that will move your company forward.
Have you experimented with live video yet? Let us know in the comments which platform you prefer, which special tools (if any) you use, and if you have any tips or advice to add to this guide!
Jacob Thomas is a freelance copywriter and content marketer based in Bend, OR. His professional writing approach has helped numerous businesses gain more traffic, leads, and sales. To contact Jacob, visit www.jtcopywriting.com.