It is undeniable that live video has become one of the most popular marketing trends. Businesses from different industries are going live and if you haven’t, you should start.
We created a quick and easy to understand guide to help you get started on doing live videos on social media. Before we jump into the ‘how-to’ we wanted to touch on the ‘why’. Here are some benefits of this tool if you are asking yourself if you should or shouldn’t go live.
Live videos are immensely interactive, allowing your audience to ask questions and leave comments in real-time. This is a powerful way to deliver your message and create a more intimate and authentic experience on your social channels.
Social platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have added live video functionality, but your choice on where to go live will depend on your target audience. While each social channel has its own way of broadcasting live, these tips can be used for any time you decide to do a live video.
Choose a Theme
Deciding what you are going to talk about during your live video is the first step. Here are some options you can choose from:
- Q&A — Ask your audience what they would like to know about you. Keep a list of your most frequently asked questions and create a highlight for your audience to reference later. You can also encourage them to ask questions in the comments of your live video and answer them during your stream.
- Behind the scenes — Interview clients and employees, or share your behind the scenes process or your day-to-day. It showcases the human aspect behind the brand and also makes your audience feel part of your creative process.
- Source content — Get your audience to decide on what content they want to see. This is a great way to get your audience engaged and involved with your streaming before you even go live. It will show that you care about their thoughts and opinions.
“Customers want to feel heard on social media. According to research done by Sprout Social, 83% of respondents like when brands respond to questions, and 68% like when brands join conversations.” — Hubspot
Prepare Yourself and Practice
Spontaneity is the key to live videos. People want to see authenticity, originality, but you still need to prepare for how you are going to be delivering your topic. Practice what you are going to talk about for the duration of your live stream so there isn’t any awkwardness. Although it may sound counter-intuitive, an effective method is to have cards or a script you can follow so you don’t get lost.
“Being organized and mentally ready is essential for delivering a top-quality live stream. Allow yourself more pre-show prep time to reduce stress levels and help ensure you deliver the best possible broadcast.” — Epiphan Video
Promote Before Going Live
Think about your live video like an event. It is important that people know when and where you are going live. You need to generate interest and share in advance on your social media channels so your audience can plan to watch your stream.
“Every time you remind your audience, share something new of value. For instance, highlight a tip you’ll share, or what kind of information you’ll be covering.” — Sprout Social
Make sure you are somewhere where your viewers will actually be able to listen and see you. You can choose to do a “selfie stream” — where you simply hold your mobile phone in your hand, you can use a tripod or use the webcam on your computer, depending on the platform you choose to stream.
“With a live video, expectations for production value go out the window. Viewers are hungry for authenticity, so don’t worry about a fancy set or perfect lighting.” — Hootsuite
Lights, Camera, Action!
After pressing the button to go live, it can be a little intimidating to see a lot of people watching — or see that almost nobody is. Don’t wait for your viewers to join your streaming to say something. Start your live video by telling people what they can expect to see, explain who you are and why you are talking about the chosen topic, and asking warm-up questions. Once you start addressing their comments live, more people will feel like sharing their thoughts and ask questions. You should always conclude you live video with a call to action — maybe tell people the next time you are going live again, or even add a special offer for live-viewers only, or share that blog you wrote about your live video topic.
“Audiences demand live video, and it’s easy to see why. Live video (and video in general) adds a human touch to posts that text and images can’t compete with.” — Vimeo
It is important to think about the afterlife of your live video. You can save it on your platform and allow people to watch it later, or you can edit it and add graphics and captions. Even long after your stream, you can repurpose your video by transforming it into a blog post or a newsletter.
“Repurposing pieces of content is not publishing the same content over and over. That wouldn’t be very useful nor effective. When we talk about repurposing, it means making the most out of the content you already worked hard to create and showing it under different lights.” — Manycam
Live video is scary, and most people are not comfortable being on video. That’s ok, everybody feels nervous and scared when speaking in public. Remember, most people understand what you’re feeling and they might actually admire and support you for being brave.
If you don’t try it, you could be missing a great opportunity to build a stronger relationship between your audience and the people behind your brand. Just give your viewers the chance to see the real you.