Michelle Pinkney - May 26, 2016
Whether you’re new to content marketing or you’ve been in the field for years, you know that the landscape is always changing. One of the latest trends to emerge in the field is live video. Specifically, live video delivered via social networks.
What exactly is live video in this context? Simply put, it is the ability to stream a video to your social media audience in real time. Facebook, Meerkat and Periscope (which is owned by Twitter) are the most common platforms for brands to stream live video. To broadcast your content, you will need to download the appropriate apps to a mobile device.
Live Video Benefits
You’re probably wondering why you should choose live video over prerecorded video. Some of the benefits of live video include:
- Intimate Setting – Streaming video in real time allows you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. Unlike a prerecorded video, you are able to engage with your audience throughout the broadcast. If appropriate, you can address viewers’ comments during the broadcast. Since the comments can pop up on the screen quickly, it might be helpful to have someone off-camera read you the audience’s questions. From there, you can respond to the user’s question or comment. With Facebook Live, you have the ability to respond to comments post broadcast.
- Increased Visibility – As you know by now, it’s getting more competitive for brands to get their posts noticed on Facebook. Live video may give brands the opportunity to propel their posts to the top of the News Feed. Facebook recently announced that they were going to rank live videos higher in the News Feed when they are streamed than post broadcast. In both Facebook Live and Periscope, users can view the video after the broadcast ends. Facebook Live videos are available until the brand deletes the video. However, if brands want users to view their Periscope videos 24 hours after the broadcast they need to include #save in the title of their live broadcast.
- Personalize Brand – We live in a world where we are constantly being bombarded by overproduced ads. Live video gives viewers the chance to see the brand authentically.
While there are number of benefits to producing live videos for your brand, it’s important not to produce a live video just for the sake of producing one. Identify trends in what your audience is talking about and what they are interested in within each social network that your company is a part of.
Live Video Use Cases
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, there are number of ways to utilize live video including:
- Industry events/trade shows – Are you or a colleague speaking at an industry event? Are you holding demonstrations at a booth? Are you unveiling something new? Share your experience with your followers who couldn’t attend in-person.
- Preview of new products – Do you have a new product on the horizon? Build excitement by introducing it on live video via a “teaser.”
- Trunk shows – Sometimes, trunk shows limit the number of people who can attend. Streaming the show live will allow more users to get a glimpse of your merchandise.
Live Video Roadblocks
While live videos are great way to interact with your audience, you should be aware of the potential roadblocks:
- Connectivity issues – Before you schedule a live broadcast, make sure that you have a strong internet connection. If your connection is weak, the broadcast may be interrupted midstream.
- Stage fright – Many people get nervous and “freeze” once the camera starts rolling. Choose your host carefully. Select someone who is going to be comfortable in front of the camera.
- Inability to control everything – With live video, you can’t rewind and start over mid-stream. Brands have to be comfortable with the fact that everything may not go as planned during the broadcast.
Please keep in mind that the opportunities to use live video are not limited to the former list. As you sit down to create or refine your content marketing strategy, you may want to consider adding live video into the mix.