It’s Facebook Live!
It’s always interesting when a social media platform rolls out a new tool. When it comes to digital marketing, everyone wants to stay up on the latest and greatest. The instinct is to jump on the new tool and wedge it into your marketing efforts. In reality, it’s important to take a step back and make a plan for how to use it in a way that makes it an effective marketing tool for your brand.
Facebook Live is one of those tools. If you don’t know, Facebook Live is live video that allows you to stream and to interact with your audience in real time. There are some really great benefits to using Facebook Live for your business.
1. As with all new Facebook tools, Facebook likes to promote it. So, right now, the impressions are extremely high compared to regular organic posts.
2. The videos are saved on Facebook (this is an upgrade from the Twitter alternative, Periscope, that only shows videos for 24 hours).
3. You are able to interact with your audience in real time, which breaks down barriers and allows you to become part of the conversation.
4. Facebook Live creates authenticity for your brand. Especially in today’s market, consumers are looking for authenticity. Live video with a real person helps consumers to feel more connected and gives an air of transparency in your business that they respond to positively.
5. Consumers get the opportunity to interact with real people, not just a logo or brand. Once again, this helps them connect and generates buy-in from your audience.
6. Facebook has already upgraded the tool by rolling out the ability to restrict audiences, which means you can target ages, genders or locations. This gives you access to the audience you are trying to reach and can generate ROI for your marketing efforts.
So you’ve decided to try using Facebook Live for your business. There are a couple questions you should have answered as part of the plan you put together for implementing this new marketing tool.
WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT MY AUDIENCE?
You need to think hard about the audience you are trying to reach. For instance, if most of your audience works a 9 to 5 job, you wouldn’t necessarily want to go live at 2:30 in the afternoon. You might get better interaction in the evenings when they are off work. Some of what you do will be trial and error. You have to test different broadcast lengths and times (Facebook recommends at least 5 minutes) to find the sweet spot for audience engagement. A great example would be that for one of our clients, a 56 minute video performed better than a 15 minute video.
Also, non-fans have the ability to see your content by going to the Live Video app on Facebook. If your video is performing well there, it will move up the left toolbar and get more and more viewers. This is a way to increase exposure of your brand and your content. This means you’re not just going after your current audience, you have the ability to pick up a few new folks along the way.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO OFFER IN LIVE VIDEO FORMAT?
Like most social platforms, it’s best if Facebook Live is used to show behind the scenes info, tutorials or exclusive content. A few recommendations would include:
• Share quick tips
• Give the scoop on what’s happening in your company
• Provide a behind the scenes look at your business (Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook does a great job of this. Check out his first Facebook Live broadcast).
• Broadcast live events
• Host interviews
• Give exclusive access. For example, you can give the audience an exclusive backstage pass to a concert and the performers through live video.
• Product Demos
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
It’s exciting to try something new, and you want to make sure your first Facebook Live broadcast is successful. Here are a few tips for beginners:
1. Pay attention to your audio. Speak loudly and clearly, avoid places with background noise, and make sure all of your equipment is working properly.
2. Go live when you have a strong connection.
3. Promote your broadcast ahead of time. People will be more apt to tune in if they can block that time for your content.
4. Write a catchy description before going live.
5. Acknowledge your audience. Say hello to commenters by name; respond to their comments live.
6. Be selective about what you post. Everything you do doesn’t have to be in front of a live audience. You’re not a sitcom.
7. Broadcast for longer periods of time to reach more people.
8. End with a call to action. The whole point is to use Facebook Live as a marketing tool, which means you want to gain an ROI for your efforts. You can do this by inviting your audience to visit your website or private message you for more info.
9. Ask viewers to subscribe to Live notifications.
10. Do your research. Go ahead and go online to find others who are successfully using Facebook Live. To get you started, check out Guy Kawasaki’s Facebook Live broadcasts. He is the chief evangelist of Canva (an online graphic design tool) and he has a really good grasp on how to use live video effectively.
11. Be creative and go live often!