Current marketing trends indicate that live video marketing is the new standard, and it continues to grow in efficacy.
Social Media Examiner forecasts that from 2018 to at least 2020, video is going to be the number one consumption model online. If used intelligently, live video marketing tactics bring countless benefits to any company’s sales process.
Just look at recent updates to social media platforms. Every one of them has added a way to incorporate video. Instagram stories, Facebook live, LinkedIn native–the list goes on.
If you have yet to harness the valuable resource of video content, alarm bells should be going off right about now.
According to online marketing expert Marcus Sheridan, by 2019, 80% of what we consume online will be video content. That’s only months away. Now more than ever it is vital to embrace video in your online marketing funnel.
Live video is a less rehearsed, unedited form of interaction that allows you to provide what we are all desperately seeking: an authentic, human connection.
Live video marketing gives your voice a brand. If you have enthusiasm for your business, that will easily translate.
So, how do you create a live video marketing strategy?
Here we’ve put together a guide that will help you create live video content as well as market it successfully.
11 Ways to Create a Strategy for Live Video Marketing:
1. Choosing the Right Platform for Your Video Marketing
First, choose the right platform for hosting your live video.
In order to choose wisely, you need to know your audience. You should consider what social media platform you can use to reach the widest possible audience.
Hopefully, at this point, you’ve already started posting some content on various platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
However, choosing which platform to go with is a bit of a balancing act. To figure out which platform your audience will respond best to, take note of which platform has the most engagement on standard text, image, or video content.
As we mentioned already, most platforms now have a live streaming capability. Don’t be overwhelmed by the excess of choice.
LinkedIn Native may suit consulting businesses who also use the platform for hiring or networking. Twitch is a good bet for companies specifically targeting online sports and gaming demographics.
For the widest array of businesses, these are the best live video platforms to work with:
- Facebook Live,
- Instagram Stories, and
- YouTube Live.
From retail to services, Facebook Live is a great marketing tool for many different businesses.
The main reason for this is that it offers a vast audience and rich metrics. FB Live also makes it easier to tune in than some other platforms.
When you go live on Facebook, all of your friends and followers receive a notification.
For businesses wishing to collaborate with partners or long-distance colleagues, on Facebook Live, you can easily co-broadcast with others and record your session.
However, while you benefit from the platform’s vast audience, you lose out on some technical SEO features. For example, Facebook deprioritizes content with external links.
This will make it difficult for viewers to find the recording of your live stream after the event. In addition, on Facebook, you have no control over what advertising appears next to your content.
If you already have solid Facebook engagement, this is a good option for marketing live video. If you’re looking to use the platform to drive traffic to your site, look elsewhere.
Traditionally, YouTube features pre-recorded, edited, and SEO-optimized videos.
Over the years, YouTube videos scaled from webcam capture and basic video editing to high-tech recording equipment and expensive production and editing costs. Now YouTube Live is available, and these videos boast high production costs without sophisticated editing techniques.
YouTube Live’s main benefit versus other platforms is its SEO-friendly design. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, and so using it to drive traffic to your own site is a natural extension of the platform.
As a site that was custom made for video marketing content, YouTube certainly knows what it’s doing. This platform offers efficient tools to help you create an event, pre-roll, and thumbnails.
Analytics features of YouTube Live like ‘chat replay’ are incredibly useful. This allows you to read comments made during the stream at the moments in the video where the comments were submitted. Essentially, this feature hands you quality content for a post-stream Q&A session. What better way to stay engaged with your audience?
YouTube offers a large reach like Facebook. However, it does not send out notifications to subscribers when you stream.
Instagram boasts the most user engagement on the Internet right now.
Instagram, like FB Live, also notifies your followers when you begin a live video.
As on Facebook, the option of co-broadcasting is also offered here which means a bigger audience for both parties. However, a major downside to Instagram is that your live stream disappears after 24 hours and is not searchable.
So if your main audience is on Instagram, this could work well for you. However, if you are planning on creating a video live that can become a useful resource in future, you should consider something more akin to YouTube Live.
2. Plan Ahead and Know Your Video Marketing Tactics Before Going Live
Most of us aren’t professional broadcasters or producers. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t think like them.
Now, I’m not recommending that you follow a script or get an intern to hold up prompts for you to read off of during streaming. No, the beauty of live streaming is the spontaneity it allows. Nevertheless, you should have a solid plan in place to help you stay focused during streaming.
Creating a plan will not only make you feel more confident going live but also help you to avoid awkward silences, stage fright, or meandering off topic. If you want to come off as professional then you need to plan out what the goal of your live stream is and how you are going to achieve it.
A key to becoming great at live video: FILM EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME! Even when you aren’t streaming, record everything. Even if your employees are nervous or have stage fright, the constant recording will help everyone be more comfortable with being on screen.
Before you start your video marketing campaign, you should ask yourself exactly what you want from your content. Usually, it boils down to these five questions:
- Is your video going to help you sell? Could a sales team member use the video to sell a product or service right now?
- Is it going to be informative?
- Is it going to raise awareness for your brand?
- Is it going to help to humanize your brand?
- Is your video going to help gather information on your audience?
Take all these questions into account. During the stream, however, keep one question in focus at a time.
3. Don’t let Sound and Lighting Issues get in the way
Although your live stream doesn’t need to be polished and pristine, it does need to be professional. Even if you are the most entertaining host in the world, poor sound quality will kill your live stream.
The same goes for lighting. If the quality is low, most viewers won’t bother watching.
Additionally, make sure your Internet connection is foolproof. Always make sure your devices are fully charged and ready to go before you are live. We know this is obvious, but you can never be too careful!
Remember that a video shot on a smartphone can have just as much as an impact as long as you are professional, pay attention, and plan ahead. This will make sure small issues don’t get in the way of the goal of your video marketing.
4. Promote Before you Broadcast
The key to getting your audience to tune in is making them aware that your live stream is going to happen. Not only should you let them know when it will be happening but make them want to tune in.
You can now schedule a Facebook Live event to keep your fans in the loop. Instagram stories and tweets are other great ways to promote your live streams.
Build anticipation by offering sneak previews or hints about the upcoming topic you plan to discuss in the days leading up to your live stream. If followers are intrigued, they are more likely to tune in to hear what you have to share.
Make it incredibly easy for your audience to find your live stream. This can be done by tactics such as posting the URL in your Instagram bio or tweeting a link to your live stream. It only takes a few seconds to do and could have a huge payoff and increase numbers.
Don’t forget that even if your stream is due to go live on Instagram for example, you should share it across all of your social media platforms.
5. Tie in Followers From Multiple Platforms
Be sure to cover all bases when attracting your audience. Being as inclusive as possible means spreading your message across multiple platforms.
When doing this, a rookie mistake is overlooking your email list. This will mean that customers who may not engage on social media can reap the benefits of your live video. The week before you’re set to go live, send out an invite via email to all your client base. Follow this up with a second reminder the day before or day of your video streams.
Be sure to include the highlights that will be included in your video, like discount opportunities, complimentary demos or sneak peaks that they can’t get anywhere else. This will once again arouse interest and instill a sense of urgency for viewers to tune in live.
Another great way to make sure your audience is all inclusive is using video marketing on a secondary platform. This could mean showing some behind the scenes footage of your Facebook live stream on your Instagram story for instance. This will make viewers from different platforms more likely to cross-over to the one you are streaming from.
6. Consistency is key in Live Video Marketing
Brands need to carefully consider how live video marketing fits into their social media strategy. Marketing tactics like this will work better than once-off attempt to do something different.
Creating a broadcasting schedule could really help you to build up an audience. If you post on the same day at the same time each week, it makes it easier for your audience to get into the habit of tuning in.
People like consistency and routine. If they are able to rely on your company to post a video whether you’re offering entertainment or expertise every Friday at 5 pm, then they are more likely to see your company as credible and trustworthy.
7. Have an Enticing Structure
Having an appealing title and topic is also a great way to promote your live video and attract viewers. Having an enticing structure is the way to keep them watching.
After a viewer’s attention is captured, you want to hold onto it so you can get your message across. Cleverly structuring your presentation is a vital part of leading viewers into your marketing and sales funnel.
However, you don’t want to counteract the human aspect that video allows, so avoid sounding like a commercial at all costs. It may sound strange but coming across as natural may take some practice.
When I refer to structure, I don’t mean planning what you are going to say word for word. Your structure should not be rigid but should take full advantage of the interaction.
At the beginning of your live video, you should explain what you are going to discuss. By enticing viewers with rewards like a discount, interesting hack, reveal or much-anticipated answer at the end of the video they are more likely to stay tuned in until the end of the video. If they are hanging on until the end then they have to sit through your sales pitch or promotion.
8. Use Demos and Insider Knowledge to Your Advantage
Having the attention of a live audience might tempt you to jump into a sales pitch. You should resist this urge because once you force heavy-handed solicitation upon your viewers, you lose them. They will see right through it. Why would they waste their time actively watching a commercial they’ve seen, heard, or read before?
Instead, you should work around this by coming up with roundabout ways of getting the information in while simultaneously offering your viewers something they will find useful.
Obviously, the way you go about doing this will greatly depend on what product or service you are offering. One effective and tested idea is to give demos of your products.
This approach makes your audience feel like they are learning and therefore benefitting from the time spent watching your video. Demos are a great way to give your viewers helpful tips and useful information about your company.
It also allows for you to explain why they should be interested in what you have to offer. Be careful not to come off too pushy or forceful. You want to demonstrate your product but provide the audience with valuable information as well.
One strategy to avoid is coming off as too “salesy”. Speak to your viewers as if they have already purchased your product during your demo. Although you should remember to still remain as informative as possible, this technique will make your video seem less like a commercial.
Don’t worry, your audience will naturally start imagining themselves benefitting from your product or service during your demo. Their interest has probably been sparked already if they are tuning in.
If you play your cards right during your demo, they will feel like they are the ones deciding to buy your product on their own accord without having been brainwashed by a commercial.
In the above video, viewers could tune in to watch Jeannie Huang, Adobe’s Senior Product Designer, design, and prototype a service-oriented web experience in Adobe XD 5.0 in real time.
In this relaxed live stream, you see barriers break down between the consumer and the producer. While strengthening the company’s status as experts, the video also offers an informative demonstration to customers. Although the video resource is offered for free, the company benefits as it is cultivating the interest of potential buyers in Adobe products and services.
These online marketing tactics will also pay off if you are hoping to record your video to use as a resource that you can promote again. It also serves as a bonus to your customers who missed the live feed.
While Adobe offer playlists of their videos for free via YouTube, some companies ask viewers to sign up to their website or even pay for access to their live stream library.
For example, Ciscolive! have created an on-demand library of live sessions filmed at different events. Users can return to this to view experts and customers speak at the different Ciscolive! tech conferences. While Cisco shares the live sessions for free, you have to register to view them. This means that Cisco receives more email addresses and can reach a wider audience in the future.
9. Include Exclusive Previews and Promotions
As we touched on above, you want to give viewers a reason to tune in. Making them feel valued by offering exclusive previews or promotions is guaranteed to achieve this and keep them coming back for more.
You could organize a live stream especially to reveal a product to your loyal audience. Entice them by using words like “sneak peek” and “exclusive preview” to create a buzz around your live stream.
10. Backstage Passes to Events Via Live Streaming
Variation is the key to keeping live videos entertaining. Demonstrations and question and answers sessions are great ways of getting your brand out there. But why not switch it up and cover an event on your live stream?
Attending an interesting conference or launch? Take your viewers with you. This will help them not only learn more about your brand but make them feel like they are getting a behind the scenes glimpse that otherwise would not be available to them.
Live streaming videos from events could also provide you with opportunities to collaborate or interview other interesting people who could help promote your brand or backup your claims. It can also draw a lot of much-needed attention to your brand and showcase your company to be proactive in your industry.
11. Make the Audience Feel Included
Use qualifying prompts to determine which viewers warrant further engagement.
For example, ask your audience to respond in the chat if they are interested in a certain product. Later, you can refer back to this chat to send additional information to these viewers.
This will help you to save time by promoting your business to the right people, which could potentially lead to more sales. This will also give your company a chance to prove the exceptional customer service you offer to customers. It has also been proven that when people interact with you directly via live video, they are more likely to buy your product or service.
The makeup brand Benefit use live videos in a very intelligent way. Well in advance of going live, they ask viewers to submit ideas on Facebook and Snapchat to help the hosts decide what topics they should cover in their videos.
They continue with this idea throughout the live stream. For example, to keep viewers engaged, they may ask them to like or comment if they want to see an episode on concealing.
They will also let the viewers have a say in how the live stream pans out. For example, the host lets the audience vote to determine which products they will use for the make-up demo.
This strategy is very effective, as it keeps the views engaged while at the same time helping the company to learn more about their customers’ product preferences.
Thursday at 4pm means tipsy tricks with Benefit! Tune in now for drinks & learn to go from desk to dance floor instantly!
Posted by Benefit Cosmetics on Thursday, April 7, 2016
Now You’re Ready to Create Your Video Marketing Strategy!
Even if you fail to grasp or implement these strategies right away, you can always try again. Failure is humanizing. Persisting through failure is another way to attract an audience to your campaign.
Remember that choosing the right platform for you is essential. You should also always have a goal in mind and a solid plan before going live. Don’t ever let simple things sound and lighting issues get in the way of achieving this goal.
Before your time in the live stream spotlight, promote your broadcast across all of your social media platforms.
Once your live stream schedule is up and running, make sure you have something valuable to offer your viewers to keep them tuned in. This can range from a using a promotion strategy, demonstrations, or behind the scenes footage.
You should also make sure you are fully benefiting from what live video marketing has to offer in terms of audience engagement possibilities.