The trend of live video is no longer on the horizon, it’s here. With platforms likes Facebook Live, Periscope, and Snapchat, businesses can connect with their audience through live video. And as the number of platforms and users continue to grow, so will the proliferation of video content. In fact, it’s predicted that 82% of Internet traffic in 2020 will be video.
We’ve recently been asked how businesses can capitalize on this trend. We thought we would share those responses to help you optimize your Live Video strategy in 2017.
Is all live video the same?
No, all live video is not created equally. We typically break live video down to two types: real-time and live. We see real-time video as breaking news, so for example, if there is a major news story that impacts your customer, you may break in with a live video explaining the news and its implication to your customers.
But why share that news as a live video as compared to a simple post with text? According to Adobe, 66% of people would rather see a video about breaking news than read an article . It’s all about creating and delivering your content in a way that matches your audience’s online preferences and habits.
What we call “live video” is more consistent. Think about a Social Media show every Monday at 5 pm where you share tips and tricks for succeeding on Twitter. Staying consistent with the day and time you stream will keep your viewership steady.
Why should you go live?
Live streaming is bringing two important things to the Internet: accessibility and authenticity. No one likes to be sold to, so ditch the advertising and strive for engagement. You can deliver honest and engaging content by giving them a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Live video offers your followers a peek into a world they’re otherwise unable to access.
What are the best platforms for live video?
This year, we’re placing our bets on Facebook Live. Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm is currently placing immense weight on videos. When you upload your videos natively, versus linking to another video source like YouTube, you have a much higher chance of it being seen by your followers and potential ones, too.
And while Facebook should be your biggest priority, there are other social channels that are great for live video content. You should also consider Twitter, Periscope and Snapchat. Instagram also released Instagram live videos at the end of last year, so expect them to make a play for the top spot, too.
Why didn’t YouTube make the list, you ask? While we love YouTube, and know it can be extremely valuable for businesses to share produced videos, they’re currently in a downward trend. With more than one billion users all fighting for exposure, it’s making it that much harder to break through the noise.
Pro tip: Remember to keep your audience’s demographics in mind when choosing your platform. Trying to reach millennials or Gen Z? Head to Snapchat. Looking to reach people with specific buying habits or interests? Facebook is your platform.
What type of content is best for live video?
The content that works best for live video includes:
- Exclusive, behind-the-scenes content: Sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes looks are a great match for live video. Providing your audience with exclusive content, keeps them engaged and interested to see what you’ll post next. Dunkin’ Donuts succeeded at keeping their audience’s attention in a recent live video project. They gave their followers a behind-the-scenes look of their test kitchen, and within the first 13 minutes of streaming, they had over 21,000 viewers.
- Events: Think about providing a backstage look at the conference or an interview with your keynote speaker right before the enter the stage. To get optimal viewership, blast the announcement on your social channels well in advance and let your audience participate. Ask them to submit questions before the event and provide them to the interviewer so they can lead a discussion your followers will be interested in.
- News updates: Did a news story just break that affects your customers? Break into a live video to share the news with them and provide strategies for how they can use this news to their advantage.
- Product announcements or demonstrations: If your company is getting ready to launch a new product, consider adding live video to your marketing plan. Have a team member demonstrate how to use the product. Pro tip: Prepare talking points beforehand for live videos like these.
- Employee showcases or takeovers: Provide an inside look at the people behind the brand. Followers enjoying seeing the human side of a brand, so consider highlighting an employee’s contributions to your company. Looking for another way to get employees involved? Train them to take over. Take Cisco for example. The company had their employees take over for one week, sharing their “WeAreCisco” Campaigns like these are great for building morale and attracting potential employees!
How do you know if you’re succeeding at live video?
As with any social media campaigns, goals and analytics are important to gauge your success and identify any areas for improvement.
Right now, you can track basic items such as views, likes, comments, and peak concurrent viewers (highest number of viewers who watched video while live), but stay tuned for more analytics in the future. As the platforms continue to mature, so will the analytics.
Have more questions about live video trends? Leave your questions in the comments section below and we’ll answer them.