Small Business Tips Blog
Not sure how to use live video – the latest trend in online marketing – to your brand’s benefit?
Much like reviews or comment sections on your company’s website or engaging with the public on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, live video marketing is the latest strategy businesses are using to reach consumers and imbue a relatable, authentic, and relevant quality to their brand. Today’s online marketing strategies are not for the faint of heart – there’s definitely risk involved and adding live video to the mix serves to raise the stakes even higher. What are the benefits of incorporating live video in your current social media marketing strategies and what are the best ways to navigate this risky trend?
In his digital article, Jayson DeMers, founder and CEO of Seattle-based content marketing firm AudienceBloom, breaks down a few of the reasons why live video has become so popular.
Visual content. The most pervasive trend in online anything is the need to make it easier and faster. For this reason, people are increasingly interested in visual content rather than written content. "Thanks to faster Internet speeds and mobile devices, it’s easier than ever to watch videos, so they’ve become even more popular as an online medium," DeMers explains.
Deliver it ‘in the here and now.’ Live video captures that elusive spirit of true connectivity – the immediacy and excitement of experiencing something genuinely ‘in the moment’ and ‘real.’
Live interaction. Many platforms that allow live video also provide an option for audience participation, such as comments or questions, "which adds a layer of engagement to the experience."
If you’re interested in a strategic approach to introducing live video to your current online marketing plan – whether you plan to use Periscope/Twitter, Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or Instagram Stories – here are a few ideas to get you successfully streaming live content.
1. Schedule an "Ask Us Anything" session. Many live video platforms, like Periscope and Facebook Live, allow viewers to comment or ask questions in real time. Promoting a live question and answer segment is a great way to engage with people who are curious about what you do and how you do it.
You’ll need to plan and schedule your Q&A session in advance and come up with a few frequently asked questions to get things started, and then respond to live comments as they roll in.
2. Reporting live on location. If there’s a special event that you’re attending – be it an industry-related awards ceremony, a community fundraising event, a tradeshow or conference, or an educational seminar – use live streaming while you’re there to draw attention to the events and activities that are important to your brand.
It’s a great way to show that your business is actively pursuing new opportunities to connect with the community. And if you happen to brush past local celebs or industry leaders while filming, you might just attract a little positive attention by association.
3. Office tour. Whether your office is housed in an ultra eco-friendly building with fascinating energy-saving design elements, or your warehouse crew has been hard at work perfecting the mannequin challenge, live streaming a tour of your office/factory/workspace is an excellent opportunity to give viewers a sneak peek at the inner workings of your business and lets them meet some of the key players who help make the magic happen.
4. Live demonstration. Polished, edited video illustrating how to use your products or services is nice, but sometimes a live broadcast lends a more intimate, authentic touch to whatever it is you’re demonstrating, making it a bit more believable and authoritative.
Edmonton entrepreneur and founder of Pura Botanicals, Lane Edwards, has a strong presence on Instagram where she regularly showcases beautiful photographs and videos of her all-natural skincare products shot in her ultrachic retail store and production facility. She recently posted a video demonstration showing viewers how to use a jade face roller, which, for the uninitiated, looks like a small pastry tool, but is in fact rolled over the surface of your face to decrease facial puffiness and promote collagen production.
Beyond simply showing us how to use a particular beauty implement, more importantly, Edwards manages to make an otherwise bland, simple demonstration seem warm and sincere. While live video is quite new to Instagram, it will be interesting to see how it impacts marketing strategies for savvy users like Edwards.
5. On the spot interview. Live interview sessions can feature industry experts, employees, or possibly someone from the management or ownership team. Again, it’s a great opportunity to capitalize on the energy of a spontaneous interaction where viewers get a candid look at who inspires you and the people who are the driving force behind your business.
When it comes to live interviews, keep it simple and fun. For example, choose a day of the week and highlight a different staff member weekly with a quick, impromptu interview. Ask questions about what that person does, what inspires them, and what they like best about what they do. Encouraging the people on your frontlines to tell the story of your company helps build a more credible, believable reputation.
The idea of putting your business out there – live to the world – may seem a little terrifying, but don’t let that hold you back. The idea is to create experiences that are personal, uncut, and authentic – something that is increasingly rare in the highly filtered online realm. Give it a try. You might be surprised at how much life live-streaming breathes into your online marketing plan.