Six months ago i wrote a post titled “Social Media: Algorithms, New Features, And Why You Need To Act More Like A Media Company.”
This was to highlight a clear shift in weight towards video content, specifically Facebook video and Facebook Live. This post went into detail about the various algorithms changes on the major platforms at the time, but what i didn’t do was offer advice on strategy, provide a guide so to speak, it was purely a ‘How it works’ type post. So with that i intend to go into more detail here on Facebook Live with some tips and tricks along the way.
As mentioned in my post (clickable above) Facebook has given ALOT more exposure to its live streaming feature. Chances are that if you have been on Facebook in the past six months you would have also seen it in action. If not, then possibly you have heard about several big news stories in recent months that were captured by using it.
For brands, Facebook’s Social Graph tells marketers a ton of demographic and behavioral information about our audiences, and Live lets us leverage that perfectly, generating that engagement data in real time and you can even create Engagement Custom Audience from video views (linked at the end).
As mentioned the last major algorithm and feature changes on Facebook adds more weight on video content and LIVE is winning this medium as it fulfils our need for ‘as it happens’, instant news and information. As for attracting an audience the potential on Facebook is much larger than any other platform, if you are finding lower engagement than before on your image or text posts. Facebook video content will help you each more of your existing audience that little bit easier.
For ways to capturing attention with video ads and new features, see this post on Facebook’s business blog
If you are a brand with an established audience on Facebook, or a marketer wondering if LIVE is worth your time, it is only going to get bigger. Facebook announced a multi platform ad campaign last week aimed at promoting awareness of (and driving usage of) its Facebook Live live streaming feature. Update: I have already seen a couple videos promoted in my news feed within the mobile app today.
Facebook said in an email to SocialTimes that the number of users livestreaming via Facebook Live at any given minute has grown fourfold since May, adding that Facebook Live has now been used on all seven continents and in outer space.
While Facebook Live originated as a feature for celebrities and public figures, Facebook pointed out that “the vast majority” of Facebook Live videos come from average users, adding that Facebook Live videos spark 10 times more comments than regular videos.
How to integrate Facebook Live into your Marketing content plan.
Adopting a new feature or type of content (in this case live streaming) into your current strategy can seem like a daunting task, however chances are that you are already producing content that would work perfectly for Facebook live.
Behind the Scenes
Possibly the first type of content for brands when it comes to video content especially those whom have already adopted platforms like Snapchat or are using the Instagram stories feature, is ‘Behind the Scenes’ content. You could imitate this behind-the-scenes format for LIVE by giving viewers a sneak peek at new products, office events, photo shoots, or preparations for an upcoming event. If you consume content on social i am sure you have seen many types of this ‘behind the scenes’ content before, for inspiration search social media platforms for brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Topshop and Burberry, or look for red carpet events, sports teams and their players are also red hot when it comes to using this as a way of engaging the audience with their brand.
Another easy way to tie in Facebook LIVE to your current marketing plan is If you have a company event, prominent speaker, panel discussion, or any kind of event where you’d like to increase your reach beyond those who are physically attending. Live streaming helps viewers feel like they are a part of the event, whether it be at work on a desktop, or from the comfort of their own home on a laptop, or on the go with a mobile device.
TechCrunch used Facebook Live to broadcast interviews and speakers from the 2016 Disrupt NY. Even event attendees can offer a point of view experience for those unable to attend in person. Alongside your own efforts, Influencer marketing is a great way to increase a brand’s exposure on social, invite them to your event and to share content. Also if you are not confident in the early days testing this medium, or if your page reach is low then hosting an influencer takeover may be the way forward.
Q&A and/or interviews
Brands who host regular Q&A’s with their audience can find Facebook LIVE the perfect medium for such content. Wimbledon champion Andy Murray conducted a live Q&A on Live right after winning his second Wimbledon that has garnered more than 2 million views within a month. Marketing influencer Gary Vaynerchuk has hosted a series titled ‘Ask Gary Vee’ on his Youtube channel for a while now, with questions curated via Twitter. I am yet to see him do this via LIVE (maybe he has and I've missed it), but LIVE enables you to see questions as they happen, and call out people within the community as they join the conversation. You lose the ability of having fancy graphics, editing video, and the CTA buttons that Youtube offers, but from a consumer of contents perspective, i say scrap the aesthetics and let us experience it in real time.
Contests and Games
Remember the puddle (#DrummondPuddleWatch) on Periscope that broke the Internet? Media company The Lad Bible Group have been testing out this LIVE feature of late with a similar principle. I am not kidding when I say that last month i watched a static football for several minutes waiting for something… anything to happen. The response and engagement on this video was clear to see, with tens of thousands tuning in and reacting live, all of us just to see who would indeed kick the ball and win £100. The company also recently teamed up with food delivery service Deliveroo and live streamed a pub garden bench. To win the prize, viewers had to be one of the first two individuals to join them onsite and sit at the table. The winner was then determined by who ate their burger the fastest.
Live Video also enables companies to interact with their audience and even those based on location in ways until recently we were unable to do.
Other methods may include live streaming a podcast, to hosting a Facebook exclusive gig, or even hosting live cooking lessons/tutorial. There are a ton of ways Facebook LIVE enables brands to interact on a whole new and more personal level.
For how to go live and for tips and tricks visit the Facebook Live website
After your broadcast
Don’t just leave it as that! By doing so you will miss out on re-using the content in many other ways too.
From your Business Manager page, go to your Page and find the Live video you recently uploaded on your Timeline. Click the drop-down arrow on the top right side of the post and “Edit Post.”
Edit your title and description: Here’s your chance to edit your title and description. This is helpful especially if you do research and discover you want different keywords in the title, or if your video ends up being a little different than what you originally planned.
Searchable: You can add tags to help people find your video if they’re searching on Facebook. You can also add captions in the form of a SRT file.
Add Thumbnail: You have the option to upload up to 10 thumbnails to go with your video. This is crucial for making sure your video is shared with a relevant image — you don’t want a blank wall or an embarrassing still frame to be the main visual in people’s’ Newsfeeds.
Share: Your video will post directly to your business page timeline when you upload it. It will look just like any other video you post, except that you’ll see a small “was live” tag at the top. People can watch it, read the comments, and react to the video long after the fact. You can also share the URL of your Facebook Live video on other social networks, through email, and additional channels. To find the URL of your video, click on the title of the video, then right click over the video, and select “Show Video URL.”
Additionally you can download your Live video file and create lots of smaller pieces of content out of it. If you live streamed an entire event, try creating small clips to use in various social media posts or blog posts in the future. If your video is longer than 10 minutes, you likely have at least a couple of smaller segments you can turn into clips and repackage with other types of content.
Don’t forget to measure
Hopefully you will have set some goals or performance metrics for you other video content effort. Facebook Live is not different, along with announcing the news of the new Facebook Live updates in April, they also Introduced New Metrics for Live Video as well. Go to the Insights tab of your Business Manager page and click “Video” on the left sidebar. Then scroll to find the specific video. You’ll be able to see performance metrics such as Peak Live Viewers, Minutes Viewed, Unique Viewers, and Average % Completion.
Hopefully after reading this and visiting some of the links here you are able to plan and execute a strategy for Facebook live. If you are not currently using Facebook Live, now is the time to start testing it out for your brand. If you don’t allocated time and resources into video content and indeed into Facebook Live you are going to miss a HUGE opportunity.
Here’s one last post you may like for re-targeting those engaging with your video content on Facebook. How to create an Engagement Custom Audience from video views on the Facebook business blog
What’s your reaction? Like this post, then please do like and share. Have a question or something to add? or maybe you have another great example of a brand using Facebook Live video? Leave me a comment, i look forward to discussing this with you.