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Live Streaming Video for Business: A Beginner's Guide

Posted by Jamie Korf on April 3, 2017 at 9:00 AM

Live video is quickly becoming the best way to offer your audience exclusive access to what you do and how you do it. We’ve compiled 6 best practices to help you take advantage.


These days, people don’t want to see just your glossy ads and catchy taglines. They want to see the people behind the scenes driving the brand, making things happen - as it’s all happening.


Social media in general is taking on a less scripted, more wild west approach. Sometimes you need to plan for the spontaneous and embrace the unexpected. And with that,marketers, it’s time to overcome your fears and prime your debut for the small screen.


Read More: Four video marketing lessons we can learn from the makers of Tasty.


Candid camera has taken on a whole new meaning since its introduction to the TV landscape 50+ years ago. Today, people don’t exactly get ‘surprised’ at the prospect of being in front of the camera. In fact, many of us have become willing participants of holding the (front-facing) camera and recording our most candid moments on the fly, virtually starring in our own reality shows.


But because of its inherent unpredictability, the rise of real-time video for business has companies on edge. And we get it. You’re putting your brand out there and, well, what if things don’t go according to plan? What if you experience technical difficulties? What if you neglected to look at your teeth before the camera rolled and never spotted that fleck of cilantro?


While you sit there and wrack your brain with hypothetical situations, there’s another brand out there finding new and exciting ways to engage in this booming new medium. So, give the people what they want! But first, consider the following:


    • Have a Purpose.
      Are you planning a big event or product launch? Are you responding to industry news? Or are you just ultimately looking to connect with your customers on a deeper level? Pick your topical focus and stick to it.

    • Define Your Audience.
      Think about breaking your initial efforts in with customer retention, and focus your live-stream on your best customers.

    • Create a Video Marketing Mission Statement.
      A simple one liner that captures all of the above: At (your company name here), we make (adjective) video content for (targeted audience), so that they (do what you want them to do). Build this into your overall marketing strategy.


With your answers to these in mind, we’ve put together six best practices for brands looking to take full advantage of the live-streaming feature.


1. Be Relevant

Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how your content will benefit the viewers. Are you solving a problem for them? How do you know if your topic will resonate? Try to not overdo it with self-serving business speak. Your viewers will peace out if they feel like your video is disguised propaganda. 


To help you gauge what your audience is looking for, take stock of the comments on your social media platforms and blog, and see if you can piece together any common denominators.


2. Build Anticipation 

Just as you would with a webinar, promote your video before it hits the airwaves with e-blasts, social campaigns, and paid ads. The more lead time you give yourself, the better your viewer count will look.


3. Ensure Quality

While you queue up your topic, don’t forget about the technicalities. Make sure your connection is strong enough to broadcast live video. If you’re using Facebook Live, the ‘Go Live’ button will be grayed out if the signal isn’t strong enough to support the video. Also, make sure the lighting and acoustics are good to see and hear everyone who needs to be seen and heard.


4. Grab Attention

Write a strong description about your video incorporating keywords, hashtags, and a CTA to compel your viewer to click the play button. Remember, some people in your audience may not have their videos set to ‘autoplay,’ so your video description (and thumbnail!) should grab their attention. Keep the description between 40 and 80 characters, the magic range for yielding the highest number of conversions and shared on Facebook.


5. Respond and React

The driving force behind real-time video is having the ability to directly interact with your audience. When somebody comments or hits a reaction on your video, acknowledge it and respond in real-time. Single out a few viewers on a full-name basis to further build out those interactions.


6. Keep it Casual

Come prepared, but hold the polish. While there should certainly be a level of preparation going into your video, try not to script yourself too much. Giving off a vibe that your video is a ‘calculated presentation’ defeats the purpose of a live video stream.


Tapping into the innate power of live video is a great way to position your brand as a fearless leader, showcase your knowledge, and connect with interested buyers.


Ready to Make Your Small Screen Debut?

Our Social Media Toolkit is your can’t-miss roadmap to get inspired, put yourself out there, and give this whole live video experience a shot. 


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Topics: social media marketing, Facebook, video

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