When we talk about trends in content marketing for 2016, then unquestionably it was the year of video content. According to a report from Cisco, by 2019, 80% of the global Internet traffic will be video. This means that it would take over 5 million years for an individual to watch the amount of video content that will cross global IP networks monthly in 2020.
This is huge! Video is everywhere online: social media, articles, ads, live streaming, and it will grow even bigger in the next coming years.
Facebook launched the Live streaming video feature in 2015 and at that time it was only available for celebrities with verified pages. Today it’s available for all Pages and profiles on Facebook for iOS, Android, and the Facebook Mentions app (if you are a verified page) and it gives you the chance to share live video stories with your followers and friends in real time.
So on one hand, we have video content as an increasing trend and on the other hand we have Facebook live streaming. Do you see an opportunity that anyone can and should take advantage of? You don’t have to spend hours on editing and creating fancy videos, you only need a phone, a Facebook account and a good topic for your live story.
Easier said than done? True, for some people going live can be stressful and uncomfortable. In this case, get a talkative buddy to help you with the first live session. Or, test it out by switching the privacy setting to “Only me”.
Here’s a few more tips and benefits for you to consider when using Facebook live:
Things You should know about Facebook Live videos
- You can go live to your personal profile (via an iOS or Android mobile app), Facebook page, groups, even events if you responded as interested/going. You’ll need to have the Facebook Pages Manager app in order to stream live video to your Page. If you want to use a professional camera or multi-camera setups, use the Facebook Graph API. Check these directions.
- Live broadcasts can last up to 4 hours. It’s recommended to do it for at least 10 minutes, as the longer you broadcast the more people will join.
- Live videos rank higher than any other type of content in the news feed. And if you take into consideration the painful decline in organic post reach, live streaming is a real gimmick at the moment.
- On average, users comment over 10 times more on live videos than regular videos.
- You can’t boost a live video while it’s broadcasting, but you can give it a push once the live session has ended.
How to benefit from live videos
- If you are doing a workshop, Q&A or broadcasting an event – let your friends and followers know in advance that you’ll be going live. Make a post on Facebook or put it up on instagram. Let them know the date and time, as well as what they can expect from your live session (topic).
- Use Facebook Live only if you have a strong WiFi or 4G connection. For a smooth stream, you’ll need a connection that’s faster than 1 mbps.
- Write a catchy and clear description before going live, to get your followers curious enough to tune in. Consider it an equivalent of a headline for a blog post.
- Engage with your viewers during your live session. Greet them by their names, answer questions and provide feedback on the topic you’re discussing. This is a great chance to get to know your audience (fans, followers, clients) and personalize your content to build better relationships with your online audience. When potential clients feel like they know you, they trust you. If you expect a lot of engagement and comments, get help from a friend. Also, it’s a lot easier to read comments from a desktop computer, rather than your phone.
- Use call to actions. Give your viewers more ways to connect with you, update the description with a link to your website, portfolio, blog, shop and be sure to mention that during the broadcast. Ask your viewers to share your video and subscribe to live notifications.
- Along with call to actions try to reintroduce the topic of your discussion a few times during the session for those who joined later.
- And most importantly, have a great topic to talk about in the first place. It can be educational, motivational, funny, informative, or all at once. As long as you have an idea and are not going live just for the sake of engagement or out of boredom.
Ideas for Facebook Live Sessions
– Hold a Q&A session on issues/topics your followers need help with.
– Explain, inspire and share with your audience a little bit of your mastery through live tutorials and workshops
– Give your followers an exclusive look into your brand by going behind the scenes
– Show a Demo
– Interview an interesting friend or colleague
– Livestream an event. Keep in mind that your live broadcast can last up to 4 hours.
– Launch a themed video series, like TV shows that would appear regularly on a set date and time.
What to expect next
Facebook will add the option to invite another person from a different location to your live video. This feature can be used for remote interviews, debates and collaborations. It’s already available for Verified Pages, and should soon roll out for other users.
The possibility to schedule broadcasts has been added already. Thus, you can start your session with an audience already waiting for you in the “waiting room”. When you schedule a live video, an announcement post will be published on the user’s News Feed, letting your fans know about the time of the broadcast. This feature is available since November 2016, though for now it can only be done through Live API via Publishing Tools. You will need professional video equipment or encoding software to benefit from this Facebook feature.
Also, in the first part of 2017, Facebook is planning to introduce Live Audio for everyone. At the moment it’s in testing mode, available only for several Facebook partners.
People love watching live videos and Facebook has grand plans for its already successful live platform. It’s a great source of reach and engagement, and it helps companies foster a personal connection with their audience, thus humanizing their brand. So why not give it a try?