How to make live streaming work for your business
Live streaming isn’t a new concept anymore, it’s well and truly integrated into our social platforms, an astonishing 80% of social users would rather watch live video than read a blog.
So we know it works. We know it can be successful. We’ve seen it.
This is a classic example, which you could say set the standard for live streams all the way back in 2016. The results are pretty mind-blowing, in total attracting 807,000 viewers, 11 million views, 320,000 comments and 53,000 likes.
This Facebook Live cemented Buzzfeed’s live video presence on social, because they cracked the formula. They focused on one basic human instinct – curiosity, threw in some humour and suspense, which led to viewers feeling one emotion that has come to light with the rapid growth of social media – FOMO (the fear of missing out).
You might not be able to produce wacky content like Buzzfeed does. But if you crack the formula that works best for your audience, you’ll be on the road to the same success.
Before we go ahead, you need to ask yourself some basic questions.
Yes, live streaming is current. Yes it generates results. But, does your brand need it?
Do you need live video? Take a look at your overall social strategy. Are you on track to meet your targets? Are there gaps in your content? How engaged is your audience?
Do you have the resources needed to produce live video? Do you have someone to take ownership? Do you have someone to respond to the live comments and keep the stream engaged? Do you have the time to amplify the content? Do you have the equipment?
What are they looking for from your brand on social? What channels are they on? How often are they on social? When and what time are they looking to digest content?
What content will answer your audience’s questions and meet your objectives? Consider training sessions, challenges, Q&A’s, events, illustrate your expertise, provide daily tips etc. People are curious so live stream any announcements, live testimonials or live demos.
*Remember to test different types of content and frequency that you broadcast. Test it. And test it again*
How will you measure value? What metrics will represent success? How do you align your results with your business objectives?
If you’ve got this far and you’re still certain live streaming is right for you, here are some tips to help your live streaming strategy take off.
Just because the essence of a live-video is raw and unscripted, it doesn’t mean it should be messy. Your live streams should follow your branding. Ensure the content, environment and context represents what your brand stands for. You’ll be producing a really good piece of content, so make sure you own it.
Make it easy for your target audience to find and follow. One of the downsides of live video is that once you’ve missed the broadcast, it’s just a video. A video with a lack of interaction for the audience. To avoid this, stick to a schedule that works for you and your followers so they know when and where to see your streams.
It’s also worth promoting the live video in the lead up to the broadcast. Start building traction about the event, create excitement and conversations. Send out teaser videos, create hashtags etc. Get talking!
You can be flexible with live streams, you can change things up within the broadcast. But it’s important that you have a clear plan in place so you don’t move away from your objectives and purpose. It is best to find a balance where you can be flexible and respond to viewer’s comments, as well as achieving what you set out to do.
Adding clear call-to-actions are a great way to resolve this issue, make sure they connect with the purpose of producing the live video. By doing this, you’ll have more flexibility to change the direction based on what the viewers want.
“But, what’s in it for me?” Let the viewers know what they will expect from the live stream at the beginning, reassure them that there will be opportunities to get involved. Keep them on their toes through suspense and humour, let them feel part of your content.
Share and amplify the video after the live stream has finished. Don’t forget about the huge SEO value that you can squeeze from the successful piece of content you’ve just created. Upload it to your blog, YouTube channel, feature it in a newsletter. Promote it and reinforce the engagement with your audience, don’t assume that because the stream is over that the value is too.
Your first, second and maybe even third live streams won’t be the best social content you’ve ever pushed out. It’s all about experiments, testing and optimising. Gauge the reaction of your audience, change it up and keep practising.