Digital marketing is full of bright, shiny objects. Usually, most brands aren’t too quick to jump on the latest trend until they wait to see how it shakes out in their own industry. We think that’s smart. But it’s been just over a year since the shiny new Facebook Live rolled out, and if you haven’t already, we’re here to say it’s time to take the plunge.
Video is the content medium of the future – a fact that’s been known for the past couple of years. In March 2016, Facebook announced another update to its ever-changing News Feed algorithm, this time saying it will give live video even more of an edge.
In fact, the social media giant claims people spend 3x more time watching live video over any other video content. Since the product is now available to everyone, we’ve seen the proof in the pudding firsthand. Facebook Live is now the best way to ensure your content gets seen, so it should be an integral part of your social media strategy.
When it comes to Facebook Live, our client Nathan’s Famous is riding high on the cutting-edge. We first introduced the tactic to promote its 5-Cent Hot Dog Day. In celebration of its 100th Anniversary in 2016, Nathan’s original Coney Island location was offering 5-cent hot dogs, the original cost of the famous frankfurter. Although Nathan’s obviously had a big fan base in New York City, it also had loyal fans around the world, and we wanted to ensure Nathan’s fans could take part in the event, wherever they may be.
Our Facebook post strategy? Give our audience live event coverage. And we took that “live”tactic literally with the brand’s first attempt at Facebook Live. At the end of the day, organic reach for our live video posts outperformed our best static post by more than 1,400%. That’s not a typo, folks. 1,416% to be exact. We also saw reactions, comments and shares increase by 355% compared to our best static post. Not too shabby, right? It gets better: Nathan’s Famous didn’t spend a dime to get these results. Not a single cent.
Facebook is favoring live video in its algorithm, and it’s for a darn good reason –it’s already proven to create a more authentic and intimate experience for your audience. Still not sure how Facebook Live can work for you? Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
- A behind-the-scenes look at your business
- Q&A with your CEO, spokesperson, lead developer, etc.
- Product reveals and demos
- Live event coverage
You, too, can achieve amazing results at little or no cost. Better yet, we have some tips to help ensure your live content gets the attention it’s designed for.
How sweet the sound
Nothing can ruin a great video like poor audio. Use this checklist to ensure your sound is as perfect as possible.
- Be mindful of background noise. This might be unavoidable in certain situations, but consider things like a loud air conditioner or busy hallway when choosing a location.
- Make a small investment in a directional or lavaliere microphone. You can find a good quality mic for around $80. Your audience will thank you.
Don't shake it off
Shaky video can make someone seasick. It’s also nearly impossible to hold an iPhone still in your hands for more than a minute. You can purchase an iPhone stabilizer for as little as $30. This way, your audience can focus on the content instead of their growing headache.
Although starting your Facebook Live video is as easy as clicking a button, you don’t want to go live until you have a plan. Whoever you’ve tagged to do the talking should be well versed on your topic and be able to talk through details without stumbling. You are live, after all. Practice makes perfect, so a rehearsal or two is always a good idea.
Interwebs, don’t fail me now
Technical difficulties are bound to happen from time to time, but you can minimize the risk by ensuring you have a strong Internet connection. If you’re in a crowd of people all tapping into the same WiFi, you might want to use your own hotspot. Even the most experienced production crews can still experience a hiccup here and there, but to the audience, it looks amateur.
Broadcast your broadcast
Build excitement by posting about your live video ahead of time. Of course you want people to tune in live, but it’s not unusual if the majority of your video views happen after the live video is over. Once you stop recording, your post will appear on your timeline and in newsfeeds as a live video post. A video view is still valuable even if it doesn’t happen in real time.
Start off with a bang
It’s crucial the first few seconds of your live video (or any video for that matter) are interesting to your audience. Even though Facebook is favoring live video above all other content, you can improve your results if you can get your fans to engage right off the bat. The more people who engage with a post, the more Facebook will serve it to others. Bonus points if this happens first thing out of the gate.
Want more views? Write better words.
It’s easy to forget copy when you’re going live, but if you prepare and write a compelling description ahead of time, then you can only focus on the broadcast. Tell people what they’re listening to, and encourage audience participation in the comment section. If needed, you can edit your copy after the live video is over to include a strong CTA.
Longer than your average video
Short, “snackable” content has been a bit of a buzzword in the digital marketing realm, so it may seem counterintuitive to plan for a long, live video. You can actually be live on Facebook for a whopping 90 minutes. The social giant recommends you hold your live stream for at least 10 minutes, but we’ve found that the longer you hold it, the more people tune in live. However, don’t just stretch for the sake of reaching 10 minutes – instead, plan ahead to ensure you have enough interesting content to fill the time.
Not just one-to-many communication
Even though you will be talking to a huge audience through live video, remember this can also be an ideal one-to-one communication tactic. Facebook calls live video the best way to engage your audience in real time, so find opportunities to invite your audience to ask questions – and then answer them while you’re live.
You can also have your community manager respond to comments in real time, thank people for tuning in and help narrate what’s happening. Each comment made while live will be marked with a time code. People can then click on the time code and skip to that part of the video.
Go live on the reg
The more you go live, especially at a regular time, the more you’ll train your audience to tune in. You can also ask them to turn on notifications for your live broadcasts if you do them often, or have plans to make them a reoccurring event. So what comes next? Start planning. Think about ways you can incorporate Facebook Live into your social media strategy, then get ready to take advantage of a larger audience – they’re bound to be watching. Or, you could always talk to an expert.