Live video on social media used to be a novelty where users provided their friends and family with a real-time glimpse into their lives.
But little by little, people began to discover its potential beyond their social circles. They began to see in particular the value of live video to promote particular ideas, events, causes, and yes, small businesses.
Today, if you don’t have a live video marketing strategy for your business, you’re missing one of the most effective ways to interact with people who could become your customers of tomorrow.
Why does live video marketing work? The reason isn’t too far from why you’ve probably shared live footage on Facebook of your new house, pets or kids: it provides your circle of influence with an intimate glimpse of the world beyond your profile picture.
It’s real and authentic, and that’s what consumers want with the brands they support and interact with. The statistics speak for themselves….
- 47% of social media users are using live-streaming in 2020 compared with one year ago
- 73% of B2B businesses using live video marketing reported a substantial increase in ROI
- 28% of marketers are actively investing in live video
And here’s the one that’s really going to hurt…
80% of social media users would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog about the same subject.
We’re not saying that all that written content you’ve created doesn’t matter or that you should fire your copywriter. Words will always be a critical agent of sales.
It goes back to the fact that, as we talked about in a previous post, we are hard-wired to perceive things visually. And ultimately, seeing something makes a bigger impression than merely reading about it.
The lesson is that if you don’t adopt a live video marketing strategy, you are missing the chance to engage with your audience in a personal, exclusive and uniquely intimate way.
What’s more…you have the opportunity to connect with millions of prospects in real time, creating unprecedented exposure for your company.
Why Does Live Video Marketing Work?
So, what gets people tuning in to your live video feed? Two things…
Fear Of Missing Out
There’s nothing like good old FOMO to get people paying attention. When a page we are interested in goes live, the natural inclination is to check out what’s going on. After all, the clock is ticking, and who knows what might be happening?
Also, this motive for watching live video ties directly in with the second reason people watch live video…
Community and Participation
The biggest advantage that live video has over pre-recorded content is that your audience gets to participate. In real time, people are able to use emoji to react to what they’re seeing, post questions and comments and best of all…
…watch the hosts answer their questions and react to their comments.
It gives people a direct connection to their favorite brands and public figures that is more genuine than any other type of content you can create.
This is because the majority of live video is unscripted and spontaneous. There’s nothing staged or rehearsed about it. Believe it or not, this is a good thing—people love getting a behind-the-scenes look at the things they care about.
Which is why live video marketing gives you the perfect platform for creating engagement with new and regular customers alike.
How To Plan Your Live Video Marketing
As easy as it is to just grab your phone, fire up Facebook and hit that GO LIVE button, it’s best to have a plan for what you’ll accomplish with your live video marketing and how you’ll address your audience.
You need to make sure that what you deliver in your live session will be of high quality, with valuable content that will keep them watching your future broadcasts. The more you can build trust and credibility with your viewers, the more you’ll provoke that FOMO switch when they see you go live.
The most important thing you can do is determine what the purpose of your live video marketing is and how it fits into your Customer Value Journey.
Create Awareness: Is your goal to simply tell people you’re out there? If so, you’ll go easy on the actual offer promotion and instead focus on telling your audience who you are and what your mission is.
Remember—this early in the game, it’s more important to get to know your audience. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to talk about your products later, but for now, it’s all about building a relationship.
Learn About Your Audience: Because live video is interactive, you can also use it to gather information about what your audience likes, dislikes and cares about. Therefore, the video becomes a 2-way street where you can become more informed about them even as you inform them of your product or service.
This can be incredibly valuable to fleshing out your customer persona and understanding how to present offers in the future.
Give Information: This purpose will look different depending on the kind of business you run. If you are a nonprofit, you might do a broadcast to share information about the issue at the forefront of your organization.
If you are giving a big announcement about your product or service, live video can be a great way to present this information in a way that builds anticipation and excitement.
Sell More Stuff: While it won’t always be your primary focus right out of the gate, you can indeed use live video marketing to promote and sell your products. You can appeal to scarcity and exclusivity as well as FOMO, building enthusiasm about your products in real time. Think QVC, except a LOT more engaging.
So the big question is…where will your live videos fit in? Just as it can be helpful to make a content calendar for social media and blog posts, scheduling your live video broadcasts along with your topics and objectives can make production run a lot more smoothly.
It will also ensure that your audience receives the right message and knows exactly what steps to take next.
How To Create And Promote Your Live Video Marketing Content
So once you decide to jump on the live video marketing bandwagon and you know your goals, it’s time to figure out exactly what you’re going to do on camera and how you’re going to make sure people tune in.
That last element is the most important. And the best way to make sure people tune in is to let them know in advance.
People have short attention spans in when it comes to things they see on social media, so give them a head’s up that you’ll be going live.
This is also a great opportunity to share what you’ll be talking about and ask for comments or questions in advance. In some way or another, this step will pave the way for your later broadcasts.
Here are some ideas you can try…
Q&As are a great way to get viewers involved with your brand on a personal level. Open up the comments section for them to ask questions and respond live. This can go a long way to building the personal connections people need to make with your brand and forging trust and loyalty.
Some business owners also do a different spin on this concept by holding customer service “office hours.” You can have an employee go live and answer questions and troubleshoot problems customers are having.
It’s personal, up front and community-based…and there’s no annoying hold music.
Have a special guest related to your industry join you for a live broadcast. This is a great way to share customer testimonials—invite someone who has had a positive experience with your brand to tell their story.
You can also bring in other influencers in your field to speak about your products and how to get the most out of using them.
Promote Or Preview An Event
Live video marketing has shown particular success with promoting events. In many cases, people who saw an event previewed on Facebook Live immediately bought tickets or signed up to attend a similar event after the fact.
For example—do you own a bar or restaurant that features live music? Do an interview with one of the musicians along with live footage of them performing. Chances are, people will show up because they saw a preview online.
New Product Launches And Contests
Ever wonder why Taylor Swift almost always goes live on Instagram when she releases a new video or song? First of all, it’s because the bulk of her fan base is on Instagram (see our previous post about choosing the right platform for your customers). But it’s also because doing so generates excitement among the community she’s built.
If your company has a loyal social media following, your newest announcements will spread like wildfire.
You can also hold a contest and give away products to people who comment and interact with your live feed.
Repurpose Old Blog Content
Remember all that blog content no one is reading because they’re too busy watching live video? Try turning it into live video broadcasts.
The content is already written and the information is valuable, so simply use it to create live video instead and get the message out there.
Better yet, link the blog post in the live video itself so people can go read more later.
Want more ideas for creating live video marketing that entertains, engages and builds relationships with customers? Check out this blog post with 10 ideas for creating social media video content.
While this post was originally written with pre-recorded video in mind, most if not all of these ideas can be used in a live format—and will likely get even more viewers to engage.
Also…if you’ve still got questions about video marketing, or if you’ve got social media tactics you’re ready to take to the next level, join us for a Double Your Sales Review strategy session!
It’s a free 30 minute consultation with one of our marketing experts to determine what’s working for your business right now and explore some ideas you probably haven’t considered yet.
Sound good? Click here to grab some time on our calendar and get scheduled.