Facebook Live is among one of the remarkable developments in the social media marketing world in 2016. According to Unmetric Discover, the number of brand mentions of Facebook Live to date is close to 40,000.
One of the key features of live videos is its flexibility. It can be used for a wide range of purposes, depending on the brand’s social media objective. How flexible? Well, Buzzfeed posted a record-breaking live video, where all they did was make a watermelon explode by putting rubber bands on it – hardly the stuff of Nobel prizes.
Here, we take a quick look at what brands have achieved using live videos and the takeaways that this exercise offers.
Why go live?
Live videos are an excellent way to grab your audience’s attention in real time. They can be particularly useful to highlight a major event – product launches, charity auctions, contests etc.
If you take a look at Facebook Live Videos, a sizeable chunk of these are put out by industries that have prior experience with the live format. These include Media, Entertainment and Sports sectors.
They do have a considerable upper hand since they have better equipment to film these, as well as professionals who have the adequate know-how. This is not to say that small and medium businesses should not try their hand at it.
Here are a few compelling reasons to do a live video:
1. Introduce and showcase your product or service
Airtime can be quite expensive for a small enterprise to acquire. An ad might not give you the opportunity to showcase the unique features of your product.
Moreover, you can show the product in use, in real-time. This removes doubts your customers may have about the truth-value of what is shown in an advertisement.
An another advantage live videos offer over television and print ads is the segmentation of audiences on social media. You can target the demographic you want to speak to and address them directly. This way, you can make the video relevant to your potential customers by focusing on their pain points.
Demos and tutorials are excellent ways to exhibit your brand’s expertise in the field, like this one from Georgetown Cupcake. In the live video below, the e-commerce brand Zulily made great use of the live video format.
Tailored to the shopping-heavy Back to School Season, they conducted tutorials and demos on how their product can be essential for school-going children. They also gave the viewers a gentle push to shop the product with a special offer.
Notice how the social media manager has painstakingly replied to every comment. This conveys that you care about your audience and their feedback.
2. Project your brand personality
Large brands often use live videos to highlight their human side. They can show the customers what it is like to be part of the company. These live videos often grant the audience a peek at the people responsible for making the brand what it is.
A fun way to do this can be to tap into the current internet sensation like Dairy Queen Mexico did with the Mannequin Challenge. You can also show your audience that you participate in sector-relevant, high profile events, like Desigual did.
See how Shell highlighted the company as being socially responsible, committed and fun with this live video of their event in Rio:
3. Motivate your audiences to interact with you on social media
Listening tools and market research are essential to finding out what your potential customers like and dislike. For small and medium businesses, live video can be an effective way to understand what people would like in their products or services.
For instance, if you are doing a live video demo of your product, audiences can ask questions regarding the features of the product etc. Even if your live video is more in the “Buzzfeed watermelon” or “100 layers of ASOS” family, it gets people to Like, Comment, and Share. Not only does this help get your live video better reach, it can fuel greater interaction from your audience on your other Posts.
Take a look at how Olive Garden got people to review their new product and answer questions posed by social media audiences:
4. Build excitement around an event
Product launches, sales, contest, and giveaways are all super exciting. Yet, if no one gets to know about the event, all your fabulous plans will fall through.
Facebook Live is an amazing way to get your audience interested in the event you have in store. You can show your audience the preparation for the event, exclusive backstage coverage etc to convey how big the event is. Check out how Mercedes-Benz did this:
These events can take place exclusively within the live video too. You can have a product unveiling or a contest. As we discussed earlier, this can encourage social media audiences to take part in the event. The promise of winning a few freebies can always sweeten the deal.
Here are a few things you can do to get the most out of creating live videos:
- Take a look at how successful live videos have been for you and your competitors in the past
- Use Facebook Analytics to see peak views and other metrics
- With this data, decide on the optimum duration and approach
- Aim at providing some value-addition to the viewer – be it information or entertainment.
- Rope in influencers. These can be local celebrities, Youtubers, etc.
- Announce your live video in advance, with some sneak-peak posts.
- Promote the live video post-streaming to extend the reach and viewership further
- Encourage audiences to comment. Audience interaction and feedback are worth well over a few freebies.
About the Author
Lakshmanan (Lux) Narayan is the CEO and Co-Founder of U