LIVE VIDEO IS UNIQUE FOR TWO REASONS:
IT'S REAL-TIME AND INTERACTIVE.
Brands are trying to understand live video. With 166,071,431 views, Facebook is touting “Chewbacca Mom” is the most watched live video of 2016.
The problem with this marketing hype: The numbers are skewed. Most of the views happened after the video was no longer streaming live. Therefore, is it really a live video? I can’t seem to find the exact number of people who watched it live, and I’m still waiting for Chewbacca Mom to respond. Regardless of the statistics, people are talking about live video and brands want in on the action.
Live video is unique for two reasons: It’s real-time and it’s interactive. Some platforms, like Facebook, will archive the video in your feed, making it just plain, old video. So, understanding these properties, when should brands go live?
Timing Is Everything
Live video is a great tool when you need to be right on time. Like people, brands have special moments; launch events, anniversaries, sales, reviews and more. These moments no longer have to be shared after the fact. With strategic planning, you can invite stakeholders to share the moment. However, unlike edited video, you don’t have the luxury of cutting out the boring or offensive parts, so you have to start thinking like a live broadcaster.
The first thing you want to think about is your host. Is he or she engaging, energetic and naturally conversational? This is the person that will represent your brand. Don’t be fooled by positions of leadership or titles. You want the best personality for the job. If you don’t have a “made for TV” personality on your team, don’t panic. Consider using paid talent to represent your brand when it goes live.
BY CONNECTING LIVE,
YOU HAVE THE UNIQUE ABILITY
TO MAKE FANS FEEL SPECIAL.
The next thing you want to consider is content. Have a plan. When you’re talking to the world, have something to say and show. Live video is all about bringing people into an experience. Take them behind the scenes, show them something they normally wouldn’t have access to know. By connecting with people on live video, you have the unique ability to make fans feel special, because they are sharing a moment.
Being relevant doesn’t always have to be about a worldwide event. Make your own event! Being relevant on date-night means live streaming hair and makeup tips or how to tie a perfect bow-tie. Being relevant to gear heads means troubleshooting their truck problems. Find when your audience is active, and connect with them in a unique way that allows a real conversation to happen. Usually if one person asks a question, there is a whole group of people wanting to hear the same answer. Consider broadcasting at the same time and the same place to build a consistent audience, “Tuesday Tips” or “Monday Makeovers” — you get the idea.
Conversation Is A Two Way Street
If timing is everything, then interactivity is everything else. Live streaming is all about conversation. Comments, likes, hearts and angry faces are all a part of the language of live video. Assuming that you’re posting content worth talking about, be prepared to engage. Ask questions, share responses and give shout-outs.
When streaming, be sure to have someone watching the feed. Reading people’s comments on air is a good way to let people know you are talking to them, not at them. This type of interactivity creates a sense of community that cannot be achieved through non-live video and commenting. There is a sense of powerful connection when viewers get feedback. Unlike traditional live news broadcasts, viewers have a voice.
BE BRAVE AND BOLD WITH YOUR BRAND.
Have conversations that matter. Don’t just live stream when you are showing off your new thing. Welcome your fans into the process. Use live video to test the market. Show products or services in the making, and ask your audience to make them better. Build buzz by releasing beta versions and get the internets talking.
Don’t Be A Traffic Cam
Regardless of your content, timing or willingness to interact, live video will fall flat without an audience. Remember, traffic cams have been owning the live video game for years! Before any live stream event, promotion is the key to success. People can’t join the conversation if they don’t know it is happening.
IF NO ONE IS ON THE DANCE FLOOR,
PEOPLE WILL BE HESITANT TO BUST A MOVE.
You can see mob mentality occur during a fight or dance battle. People start to form a circle to gawk at whatever is happening. This same principle is at play in live video. The more people are liking, hearting and commenting, the more people will like and heart and comment, with the occasional angry face. Therefore, be sure to launch your live stream with a known audience of your team members or hardcore fans that will be sure to fill your feed with activity. If no one is on the dance floor, others will be hesitant to bust a move.
Marketing trends will come and go. Live video, however, isn’t going anywhere. Our world is becoming more, not less, connected and live video is just another way to do that through the Internet. So be brave and bold with your brand. Put on your Chewbacca mask and laugh with your audience.