Why Live Video is a Must and How to Get Started
If your newsfeed looks like mine these days, then you’ve likely seen live videos showing up more and more. Live video is all the rage, and guess what, it’s here to stay.
People love live video. You can almost guarantee views on this type of content no matter what it is that you’re recording. My buddy, Joel Comm, once live-streamed himself frying bacon, something seemingly mundane…and it received thousands of views!
But here’s the thing, even though most live video will receive some sort of attention, to truly get the most out of it for your business, you must follow best practices and ensure it falls in line with your overall marketing strategy and business goals. (Um, like everything in marketing!)
Why You Need to Use Live Video
Did you know that people spend more time watching live videos than pre-recorded videos? How about these stats compiled by Livestream and New York Magazine?
- 80% of adults prefer to watch live video from a brand than read a blog post
- 82% of the adults surveyed prefer live video from a brand over social media posts
So, why is live video so enticing for businesses to pursue? Here are a few of the many benefits:
- It’s extremely interactive and engaging – While you’re live streaming people are able to “like” and comment on your video, which you can see in real time. This can help you gauge which topics generate the most response. Additionally, you are able to talk to your followers in real time and answer questions on the spot, which will help you personalize the broadcast for viewers and establish a connection with them,
- Build’s relationships – That connection that you can establish with your audience is key. The more a person feels an emotional or personal connection with your business, the more likely they’ll be to trust you and eventually become customers.
Live video can come in really handy for:
- Q&As – These formats are great for driving high levels of traffic and engagement.
- Interviews – Let people experience these interactions live and be there in the moment with you (this is especially valuable if your interviewee is someone of interest and value to your audience)
- Training – Have a how-to that’s easier to show than explain? Use live video to teach!
- Company announcements or breaking news – Instead of using a press release or other written content to let your audience know about something big going on with your company, use live video! This will allow them to see your emotional response and just how big the news is, which will make them more invested in the announcement.
- Showing behind-the-scenes – People love getting the inside scoop, and giving that to them provides a more personalized connection.
- Provide insight into live events – Many times people want to go to events but simply can’t attend due to various circumstances. If you’re attending, give your live video audience a peek at what’s going on at the event to make them feel like they’re there.
Live Video Best Practices
In the same survey mentioned earlier in this post, they found that 67% of viewers say quality is the most important factor when watching live video. To get this quality, be sure to apply the recommendations below.
- Focus your time and effort on one or two of the live streaming platforms. This will prevent you from spreading yourself too thin.
- Practice makes perfect. Let’s be honest, your first go at this may not be a slam dunk, but that’s OK! The more you did it, the more comfortable you’ll get with your style and presentation (not to mention your comfort level with all the settings and visual add-ons that can come along with it).
- Keep your notes nearby. Before you start your live video, you should have an outline in your head of the direction you’d like to take it and the objectives you’d like to achieve. I find it helpful to keep notes nearby. These shouldn’t be read into the camera, but they can come in handy if you need a quick reminder of the topics you’d like to cover and should be used to quickly refer to (but again, they should NOT be used as a script).
- Be authentic. Let people see the human side of you and your business. If you mess up, no biggy! Acknowledge it, laugh it off, and keep going. For example, while a quiet setting is ideal and most professional, if a car happens to honk in the background or a phone rings, don’t give it a second thought. This is a live video and things will happen. People will understand, so as long as you don’t make any bloopers a big deal, they won’t either.
- Use tactics to engage your audience. To further increase the amount of views for a video, use a captivating headline and enticing description.
- Share the video. Once your video is complete, you should have the option to post the recording, which I highly recommend to increase views and engagement.
- Respond to comments. If a person thinks their comments will be addressed, they’ll be more likely to stay tuned into the video longer (plus it’ll make them feel special if you give a shoutout or response live, furthering your connection with them).
Platforms to consider
There are numerous platforms out there that you can use, including:
- Facebook Live (currently leading the pack for most live video watchers)
And also check out tools that are cropping up to help make the most of these platforms. I like belive.tv as you can use it to do interview style live shows with a guest.
No matter which platform you decide to use, the tips above apply across the board. Do your research to identify a platform that will work best for your business.
If you’re having trouble brainstorming ways to fit this into your content mix, keep in mind that you don’t need to always reinvent the wheel. You can repurpose content! For example, you can take a blog post that received a lot of traffic, or was great for generating leads, and turn it into a video. You’ll be able to convert it into an extremely engaging piece of content while potentially reaching a new audience (not everybody will take the time to sit down and read a full blog post, but it seems people will take the time to watch live video).
At the end of the day, live video allows viewers to connect with your brand in ways that other types of content can’t. So, if you haven’t started to experiment with it yet, it’s time you start.
Is your business using live video? What tips would you add to my notes above?