Video Marketing

8 Ways to Succeed With Facebook Live Video Streaming

Scott Van Camp 01.11.2018

Since Facebook Live was introduced in 2015, it has experienced some serious growing pains. The instant, viral nature of the video-sharing platform has been marred by the streaming of violent acts: beatings and even murders.

While Zuckerberg and company figure out how to better flag and stop the negative aspects of Facebook Live (they’ve hired thousands of people to do this), there have been other positive developments, such as its use in successful charitable initiatives and as an effective marketing tool for businesses.

Businesses? Can a live video stream, where anything can happen, possibly be a better marketing vehicle than a recorded, professionally produced explainer video (like the ones made by IdeaRocket)? As the old adage goes, there’s a time and place for everything, and there’s also a time for some out-of-the-box thinking as well. Facebook Live can be a very useful item in your marketing toolbox.

So just what is Facebook Live? It’s a feature that enables live-streaming video for users. By tapping the live stream icon, you can start streaming video live from your phone, and write an optional description for the event.

Pre-broadcast promos encourage followers to watch the broadcast (which can be up to four hours long). To keep viewers engaged, you can interact with them by speaking directly to them in your video. Their comments can be compiled and responded to from another device, much like webinars from yesteryear, except this platform is free.

It’s a simple process, and one that’s incredibly cost-effective in terms of production. You don’t need an expensive camera or fancy editing tools. However, don’t get carried away by the low-budget appeal of Facebook Live. You don’t want low-quality videos dominating your online content. Use it sparingly, in conjunction with higher-quality, scripted productions.

Here are some benefits of using Facebook Live, along with some real-world, live-streamed examples:

1. To Err is Human…

Facebook Live streams aren’t perfect. People may move in and out of shots, the camera make shake, narrators may flub lines. But to a large extent, people don’t mind imperfection. In fact, they relate to it. Take a big company like Dunkin Donuts. Their first foray into Facebook Live didn’t look professional by any means, but viewers – 21,000 in the first 13 minutes of the broadcast – ate it up.

Our first-ever LIVE tour of the DD test kitchen + a big announcement for engaged Valentines!

Posted by Dunkin' Donuts on Thursday, February 11, 2016

2. ‘Live’ = Excitement

Presenting raw and unedited videos might seem dangerous, but danger causes excitement with your audience. They don’t know quite what to expect with a live broadcast. This works well when creating buzz around a product launch. Chevrolet used Facebook Live to promote the launch of its Bolt at the Consumer Electronics Show. This not only gave viewers a sneak peek at the new car, but also a chance to see what CES is all about.

We’re coming to you live from CES 2016! Join us right now and connect with the latest news on the all-electric 2017 Bolt EV in real time.

Posted by Chevrolet on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

3. Promote Community Spirit

Facebook Live is a great way to show commitment to your community. Your company’s participation at local events, fundraisers, cleanups, etc. can be shown instantly. Big brand Starbucks got into the spirit by promoting National Voter Registration Day at a park in Queens, NY.

We're LIVE from Rufus King Park in Jamaica, Queens to Turn Up The Vote. Join us, Common and Howard Schultz to celebrate National Voter Registration Day.

Posted by Starbucks on Tuesday, September 27, 2016

4. Show Your Expertise

A live broadcast can instantly highlight your company’s knowledge while offering helpful information to the audience. Companies are running recurring talk show-like sessions that cover topics important to customers. Bloomberg was an early adopter of Facebook Live, broadcasting live from its offices and trading floors to offer viewers an insider’s look into its offices (including their empty pizza boxes) while offering market data.

We're LIVE with a market update from Tom Keene: Here are the most important charts of the day

Posted by Bloomberg on Wednesday, December 21, 2016

5. Drive Traffic to Your Site

By giving viewers calls-to-action during the live broadcast, like mentioning blog posts, videos or other content, you can draw large numbers of people to your website. Use short URLs so viewers can easily remember them. You can only post them on the video after the broadcast.

6. Caring About Sharing

Utilizing its formidable arsenal of interactive tools, Facebook Live allows viewers to ask questions easily, react to live content and share on their own feeds.  A study by quintly found that native Facebook videos (including Live) drove an average 1,055% higher share rate than YouTube videos. This interaction not only works with consumer brands, but with B2B brands as well. Juniper Networks saw a 500% increase in link clicks year over year and a 200-300% increase in engagements after launching their Facebook Live program.

Ask-the-Expert: Scott Sneddon on Multi-cloud

Public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud. We’re discussing the future of the cloud with Juniper’s own Scott Sneddon in today’s Facebook Live session at 10AM PST! Join us and share your questions and comments below!

Posted by Juniper Networks on Tuesday, July 25, 2017

7. You See Real-Time Engagement & Keep It

Analytics are everything in the digital world. Facebook Live offers real-time engagement data, letting you test specific pieces of content on the fly. After your broadcast is over, engagement metrics such as Likes, reactions, mentions, comments and shares are duly noted.

Facebook Live Stats

8. It Can Be Edited (After the Fact)

When the broadcast has finished, the video is not. It will be saved to your Facebook profile, and you’ll be able to write a title and description, and make edits once it’s on your wall. So although the process may seem like a fleeting moment in time, your video will live on forever. 

The best thing about Facebook Live: it’s easy to set up and get started. You can practice by deploying the platform on your personal Facebook page first. So drop your corporate guard and try connecting with customers in a more interactive and intimate way.

Main photo credit: Omar Prestwich on Unsplash

Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp writes about technology, marketing, manufacturing and a host of other subjects. Previously he was technology editor at Brandweek and editor of PR News.

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