Everything You Need To Know About Marketing With Live Videos
For the past five years, video has become increasingly popular (and successful) for B2B and B2C marketers—and its growth has only just begun. Based on its current upswing, experts estimate that video will account for 79% of global internet traffic by 2020.
Video is the favored form of content consumption, especially with the emergence of new video technologies like 360-degree panoramas, augmented reality, and enhanced mobile filming features like slow-mo and boomerang.
One of the most prominent video trends for 2018 and beyond is live video. Often referred to as “live streaming” or simply “live,” these videos are shot and broadcast in real-time on major social media platforms.
A simple concept that’s been on television for decades has made an incredible splash in recent years on the digital forum. Live videos have not only become a common way for users to share updates with their friends, but they’re also proving highly successful for marketers of organizations of all sizes. In fact, IBM Cloud Video and Bandlive reported that 95% of all marketing executives are using live video as an integral part of their 2018 marketing strategies.
2018 is the year of live video, and it’s not going away any time soon. If you want to see marketing success in the coming months and years, it’s time to hop aboard the Live train.
But what does a Live video marketing strategy look like?
Advantages of Live video
Live videos attract more followers than traditional videos. Facebook reported that their users spend 3x more time watching Live videos than recorded ones. (This includes Live videos both in real-time and those published after broadcasting.) Live videos are so popular that one in five Facebook videos are actually Live broadcasts.
Live video engages more users, allowing them to comment and interact with their favorite influencers and celebrities in real time, which gives businesses access to a wider audience than other forms of content.
The reason that Live videos have a higher viewership is because of the authentic nature of live streaming.
In today’s marketing world, filtered pictures and edited videos are made to be perfect—almost too perfect. Viewers like that Live videos are imperfect. It feels more authentic and genuine, which gives the brand a transparent and trustworthy vibe. This especially appeals to the Millennial and Gen Z crowds, who are bombarded with social media posts and are eagerly searching for more authentic brands to which they feel they can relate.
Live videos bring the human back into marketing. These videos show real faces involved with the brand, which makes the business seem more like an approachable organization rather than an anonymous corporation. This accessibility lends itself well to sales in a growingly skeptical market.
Viewers also like Live videos because they create greater interaction. Unlike copy or pre-recorded videos that are one-sided (business to consumer), Live videos encourage questions and comments while the content is being recorded. This creates a two-way communication that brings the consumer directly into the brand.
This kind of engagement works especially well for live Q&A sessions, expert interviews, and product demonstrations. Viewers can ask questions or make comments that the people in the video can address live on screen.
Plus, customers actually stay engaged for longer during Live videos. FreeWheel found that live video content has a 94% video completion rate compared to short-form pre-recorded videos. People are more likely to watch from start to finish without clicking away, which improves engagement and ensures your entire marketing message gets across.
Ultimately, this kind of engagement helps build a long-term relationship with customers that can lead to greater loyalty and sales.
Live videos take significantly less time and resources to create than other types of video content. Although the cost is not negligible, live video is frequently less expensive than creating a fully-edited prerecorded video.
Customers are more forgiving of low-quality video when it’s Live because they understand that it’s happening in real time. This means you don’t have to waste time reshooting, editing, or planning—you just broadcast and go. This can make Live a faster, more accessible form of marketing, especially for small businesses.
Plus, you can actually use this Live video as another piece of content moving forward. It’s a lower cost way to build your content library—and pack it with content that customers have shown they want.
Today’s products and services change faster than we know how to market them. Preplanned marketing can actually become obsolete because these changes can happen so quickly. If it takes you even two weeks (conservatively) to make a video, your product’s offerings or your industry’s standing could have changed three or four times already.
Live videos ensure you get your marketing message to your customer quickly, effectively, and when it’s most relevant.
How to use Live video
Live video looks simple—you point and shoot, right? But if you’re using Live video as a marketing strategy to interact with consumers, prospects, and partners, you need to treat it with the same sort of deliberate planning that you would any other campaign.
1. Know your objectives and audience.
Don’t just pick up your mobile phone and start filming around the office. Like any other marketing platform, you want to make sure you have clear objectives and goals in mind before you get going.
Do you want to: gain new prospects? Improve brand loyalty? Grow your client list? Make sales? Share your brand story? Gain new followers?
From there, those goals should also be aligned with your audience. What do your viewers want to see? What would they be most engaged with? What do they keep asking for from your brand?
What is the purpose for shooting this particular Live video?
Understanding the purpose of the video can help you set up the Live for marketing success.
2. Choose what to broadcast.
When you know what your objectives are, you can decide how you’ll want to use the Live feature. Below are some of the popular uses of Live streaming.
One of the most common uses of Live video is to broadcast an ongoing event. This might be a conference you’re attending or a party that you’re hosting. Think red carpets, sponsored events, shows, and more.
This is a great way to show off the excitement of your brand while demonstrating how your business is involved in your overall industry conversation. This puts your business—and your customer—right in the action.
Behind the scenes
Show the “behind the scenes” of your brand. Whether it’s behind the curtain at a photoshoot or a tour of your facilities, this is a great way to make your customers feel more in tune with your brand. This kind of authenticity helps build a rapport with your viewers, so they can better understand the lifestyle and purpose of your brand.
For example, Dunkin’ Donuts did this successfully when they hosted a Live video that toured their test kitchen, interviewed staff experts, and gave secret tips about some of their products. This put their social media marketing on the map simply because they unveiled some of the classic Dunkin’ secrets.
If you’re announcing a new product, a Live video is a great way to engage your audience. They can comment on and share the video as it’s happening, so they can feel like they’re part of the excitement of the unveiling.
For example, SpaceX broadcasts their literal launches...like with real rockets. People love seeing new and exciting happenings that are going on with their favorite brands—especially those products or services that are revolutionary or transformational (like the possibility of a vacation on Mars).
Product demonstrations or how-to videos can help your customer see the true value of your product. Live videos can show how your product is used in real life, so they’re more likely to trust its usage and make a purchase. Think of Oxy-Clean infomercials, where they show the effectiveness of the product in real-time.
Customers prefer watching a video than reading about a product. In fact, after watching a product demonstration video, 64% of viewers are more likely to buy a product online. Don’t be afraid to use Live videos to convert viewers into sales.
Hosting a live question-and-answer is a great use of broadcasting. You can have a few experts on screen and allow customers to ask their questions in the comment section, and they’ll receive answers in real-time.
This creates a literal interaction between brand and consumer that has shown major success in a number of marketing strategies.
Influencers are one of the key marketing trends of 2018, and most influencers are already using Live videos to interact with their followers. If you’re planning to use an influencer campaign for your marketing, consider hosting a Live video with that individual. This can ensure their users tune-in while they’re live, so you’ll start to gain a wider following almost instantaneously.
Learn more about influencer marketing here.
3. Select your platform.
There are a number of ways you can Live stream video. Facebook Live and Instagram Live videos are the most popular, but other social media platforms offer these as well (like Periscope and YouTube Live).
Ultimately, you want to broadcast Live on those platforms where you already see the most traction with your social media marketing. If social media marketing is new to you, learn more here!
4. Build the hype.
Live videos very rarely work on their own. You could start filming right now, but if no one’s online to watch it, it ends up just functioning like a prerecorded video.
So you want people to get excited about your next livestream. If you’re hosting an event on Friday, you want people to start hearing about the Live event on Sunday. If you’re launching a new product, you want to get people curious about what your big announcement is ahead of time.
Building the hype before the Live makes sure that viewers have not only tuned in but they’re also ready to be engaged with your brand.
5. Create the copy.
Live videos don’t function solely by themselves. You’ll need to utilize other forms of content and copy around the Live video, like the caption and comments.
Make the headline of your video brief but enticing. It should quickly grab the viewer’s attention so they want to latch on to the Live video.
You’ll also want to have someone who’s ready to respond to comments in your brand voice as they come up. You can answer comments directly in the video while it’s live, and/or you can create a written response to comments after the video has been posted.
Focus on how you use your content to create a conversation with your audience.
6. Go Live.
You’ve planned for the Live—now do it. Keep it interesting and fun. Talk directly to your audience. Stay real and sincere. Most importantly, make sure the people in your Live video are strong representations of your brand voice.
Know that every once in a while, things will go wrong—and that’s okay! That’s what makes Live so enjoyable and approachable. Roll with it. (If something goes really wrong, turn the Live off and create a follow-up plan to rectify the situation. But don’t worry—this won’t happen.)
7. Keep the content.
Keep that Live content posted as long as you can. On Facebook, it allows you to post the Live as a video on your business page. On Instagram, you can keep that Live in your Story for 24 hours, but you can also save it to use at a later date.
Live videos can be an incredible asset outside of their shoot time. You can use these as another piece of content moving forward, especially if you found major interaction and engagement during the broadcast itself.
Video is the most powerful content tool for digital advertising. Live video is especially showing astronomical success thanks to its high levels of engagement with customers.
If you want to see marketing growth in 2018, it’s time to consider Live videos.