The era of live-blogging is upon us. Some savvy marketers have taken that concept to the next level by putting the “live” in live-blogging.
They broadcast themselves in live streaming video.
That’s an example you can follow if you’re looking for new ways to build your brand online. You can take advantage of the live-streaming trend and give yourself more of an opportunity to engage with clients, customers, and/or fans.
Fortunately, there are numerous tools you can use to create your own live stream. Facebook Live is one of those tools and some people consider it to be the best.
In this guide, we’ll go over Facebook Live and offer some tips about how to best use it for digital marketing.
What Is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live is Facebook’s attempt to offer a tool to people who are interested in live streaming what they’re doing.
Facebook live lets you live broadcast on Facebook via video.
Facebook Public Figures
You can broadcast using Facebook Live and tie it to your business page, only if Facebook considers you to be a public figure.
- Who’s qualified to be a public figure? Celebrities, actors, musicians, sports figures, etc.
- Basically, if you’re not a famous person, you’re probably not going to qualify as a public figure.
- If you do think that you qualify as a public figure, go ahead and submit your business page to Facebook for verification. You’ll also need to upload a copy of a government-issued ID so that Facebook can verify that you really are who you say you are.
Now, while Facebook does say this, it is not always that hard. I am able to do Facebook live from my own page, for example.
The Follower Option
If you’re interested in using Facebook Live to build your business, it’s a great idea to enable the “Follow” feature.
If you want to enable the Follow feature, go to your Facebook settings and click on “Followers.” Next to “Who Can Follow Me,” select “Everybody.”
How to Broadcast With Facebook Live
How can you tell if you have the Facebook live feature?
Just open your Facebook app and touch the status section like you’re going to do any other update. You’ll see a set of icons below the status section (or maybe a drop-down menu) that offer you a number of options (such as uploading a photo, tagging somebody, or setting your location). If you see an icon that looks like a stick figure with a large halo around its head, that’s Facebook Live. You might also see some popup text that reads: “New! Record and share live video.”
Watch a Video On Facebook Marketing
John Lincoln, Ignite Visibility CEO, covers Facebook.
Before you press that button, though, you should write a quick description of your live feed in the status update section. That will tell people what your broadcast is about. Also, as with personal updates, you have the opportunity to choose the audience before going live. If you only want your friends to see your broadcast, select that option. Since you’re in business, though, and you’re using Facebook Live for marketing purposes, you’ll likely want open up your broadcast to the entire Facebook community. From there, it’s just like shooting video. You can point the camera at yourself or you can point it at your surroundings.
Gain Some Subscribers
Facebook Live offers a great way to boost your professional image online, even if you’re broadcasting with your personal account. People can subscribe to your broadcasts. What that means is this: people who follow you on Facebook can choose to be alerted every time you start a new broadcast. If they’re online at the same time, they can start watching your broadcast.
How do people subscribe to your broadcasts? It’s very simple, actually. As you’re broadcasting, your viewers will see a big “Subscribe” button at the bottom of the screen. All they have to do is click that button and they’ll become part of your loyal audience.
Saved for Later
Of course, it’s extremely likely that not everybody in your target market will be online at the same time when you broadcast. In some cases, they won’t be able to watch your live stream because they have to work or fulfill some other responsibility.
Facebook has you covered.
Your live stream is saved as a video to your Facebook timeline. That means you can link to it, embed it, and share it just like you would share any great video you saw on YouTube.
Editing Your Video
Once you’re done with your live stream and Facebook saves your video, you still have the option to edit it.
To edit your video, just click on the date of the post in your timeline and select “Edit.” You can choose a thumbnail image, select a category, and even add a call to action.
Pro-tip: Your call to action button should match the call to action you issued in the broadcast itself. More on this in a bit.
Create a Video Ad
If you’re live broadcast was a smashing success and you’re confident that it offers a great opportunity to market your brand, you can create a Facebook video ad from it.
Just visit the Ads Manager and follow the option to create a video ad. Select your own broadcast as the video of choice. Be sure to target your audience so that your video will only appear to people who you think will be interested in watching it.
Tips for Facebook Live
So how should a good marketer use Facebook Live? There are several ways.
Start with focus. The reality is this: live streaming is really just the next generation of content marketing. That’s why you should approach it just as you would if you were planning on writing a 1,500-word think-piece for your blog. You should focus on what you want to say to people who are watching your broadcast just like you focus on what you want to write when you’re doing content marketing.
Use a clickbait title. Who says that clickbait titles are reserved only for blog posts? If you’ve got a great subject of discussion or an awesome presentation for your live stream, give it a clickbait title so that you attract a wider audience and get more subscribers. Just be sure that your title is appropriate to the subject of the live stream. You don’t want to alienate potential customers with a title that’s essentially a broken promise.
Pay attention to particulars. Can people hear you clearly? Is the lighting in the immediate area good enough so that people can see what you’re filming? Those are the kinds of things that will make all the difference between a successful Facebook Live event and one that leads to some level of ridicule.
Interact with your audience. If you’ve been in digital marketing for more than a month, you’ve probably heard the word “engagement” so many times that you’re sick of it. That’s understandable, but engagement is also a great way to connect with people in your market. While you’re streaming, you can see the comments of people who are watching you. Interact with those people so that you build a business relationship with them.
Split test your streams.What’s the best time for you to stream? When do you receive the most comments and viewers? What’s the subject matter that people in your target market appreciate the most? You won’t know the answers to questions like those unless you do some testing. Experiment with times, subjects, general tone, and format to find you what works well for you.
Add a call to action. Are you sensing a theme here? A lot of the same techniques that are best-practices for other types of marketing (focus, clickbait, split testing, and engagement) are also best-practices for a successful live stream effort. Another one of those techniques that you’ve used before and should include in your live stream is a call to action. Tell your audience where to click and what to do so that they can continue the business relationship.
Live-Streaming Formats That Work Well. There are several types of live broadcasts that can help boost your brand. Here are a few of them.
Share live events. If you’re at a trade show or, better yet, you’re hosting a trade show, take a few minutes to walk around the floor and mingle with people on Facebook Live. Talk to experts in their field so that you can get some valuable pointers for both you and your audience. Ask questions of people in-the-know to add some authority to your broadcast. Get trade secrets from people who’ve been in the business for a while.
Host interviews. It may be that you don’t have all the answers. If that’s the case, then interview someone who knows more about a specific subject than you do. Both you and your followers will gain further insight into your niche.
Show how you create your product or service. Unless you’re in the business of making sausage or legislation, people in your target market will likely take an interest in how you bring your product to market. Use a live stream to show your audience a little bit about what goes on at your company. Interview some of your more affable employees to make the stream a little more fun.
Go behind the scenes. What happens at your company during lunch time? What kinds of social activities are popular with your employees? Give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at your company so that they can see a touch of humanity in your business.
Conduct training. You might not be an expert in everything, but hopefully you’re an expert in something. Why not give your brand a boost by offering free training via Facebook Live? People will appreciate the fact that you’re giving information away and you’ll position yourself as knowledgeable in your domain.
Host a Q&A session. Once you’ve gathered a large audience of people that you know are interested in what you have to say, let them ask questions for a few minutes during a live stream. Tell the audience to post their questions in the comments. You can read the questions out loud and then answer them. A Q&A session is another great way to establish yourself as an authority in your space.
Wrapping It Up
Many digital marketers are using live streams to promote products or services online. It’s possible that, a few years from now, a live stream marketing tactic will be considered just as important as a podcast is today. If you’re in a niche where a live stream will give you an opportunity to broaden your reach, it’s best to get the ball rolling early with Facebook Live or you could lose market share down the road.