How to leverage live video as a business: 12 ideas

Live video is becoming one of the easiest and most effective ways for businesses to increase engagement on social media.

Especially if you’re active on Facebook, Facebook Live is becoming one of the best ways for businesses to reach their audience. Due to the fact that Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes video, Facebook Live is a proven way for businesses to reach more people without spending precious advertising dollars.

One of the reasons live video is growing in popularity is because it provides your audience with exclusive access: to events, individuals and information.

Through live video, you can give your fans a behind-the-scenes look into your business; you can take your fans to places they can’t attend like trade shows and conferences.

Live video lets your audience be a part of the conversation; this is why it’s so effective in increasing engagement. 

Before we dive into ways that you can use live video for your business, you want to be aware of a few best practices for using live video as a part of your marketing strategy.

Best practices:

  • Be authentic: always be honest with your audience. If they ask you a question and you don’t know the answer, that’s okay! Tell them you don’t know and take the time to research what they’re looking for at the end of the video. Then, leave the answers in the comments; this is a great way to increase your credibility with your audience and show them that you truly care about delivering the value they’re looking for. Authenticity leads to advocacy and loyalty.
  • Engage: call people out by name (especially repeat viewers) and ask them questions to get the conversation started. Asking your viewers what city they are from, or what problems they are struggling with, is a great way to break the ice. Be sure to respond to people’s comments and questions, and thank them for participating in the conversation. Remember, live video is a 2-way conversation.
  • Pick the platform: keep in mind that no two broadcasting apps are the same. Periscope and Blab.Im are different than Facebook Live. It’s important to understand each platform, and think about your audience before deciding which platform to use for a particular broadcast. For example, Periscope is great for getting discovered by people who wouldn’t otherwise know you. On the other hand, Facebook Live is great for targeted live-streaming and nurturing your existing page fans or friends. Lastly, Blab.Im is great for collaborative conversations with other influencers.
  • Promote: let your fans know ahead of time that you’re going to be broadcasting. Remind them to enable notifications, and spread the word beforehand across your various social media networks as a way to generate awareness and interest.
  • End strong: end your broadcasts with a strong call to action. Whether you want them to follow you on Twitter or sign up for your email list, be sure to ask people exactly what you want them to do as a result of watching your video. Thank people for spending time with you, and be sure to share your video once it posts.

When it comes down to it, live video is about fostering a community and delivering value to your audience. 

Regardless of which platform you decide to broadcast on, you need to develop a strategy for how you’re going to use that channel on a consistent basis to create content and foster engagement.

I’ve blogged before about how to use live video, particularly Periscope, to build credibility online, so today we’re going to dive into Facebook Live.

How to use Facebook Live for your business:

Now that you’re familiar with the best practices for using live video as a part of your marketing strategy, it’s time to start brainstorming ideas for how your business can use live video, particularly Facebook Live, to attract and engage your audience.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, Facebook Live is dominating the live video landscape.

Since everyone has a Facebook page, and live video gets top priority in the Facebook news feed, Facebook Live is an incredible way to skyrocket awareness for your brand or business. 

What’s great about Facebook Live is that your live broadcasts turn into regular videos that stay on your business page once the broadcast ends. This means that people don’t *have* to tune into your broadcast in real-time in order to reap the benefits of your video content.

Below are 12 ways to use Facebook Live as a part of your Facebook marketing strategy:

  1. Q&A: hold a Q&A session where you provide personalized answers to questions submitted by your audience in real-time OR ahead of time. Giving unrehearsed answers to questions is a great way to build credibility and show off your expertise.
  2. Behind-the-scenes: take your fans behind-the-scenes into your business, trade show or event to show them the nitty-gritty details. This helps your fans feel like they’re being given access to exclusive content they wouldn’t get anywhere else.
  3. Tours: take your fans on a tour somewhere; bring them along for a first-person adventure and/or activity. This is a great way to show people “what they’re missing” and provide them with value.
  4. How-To’s/DIY: show your audience how to do something. Instructional and educational content is a great way to provide value to your fans.
  5. Demo/Product Launch: give your audience a product demo; showing them exactly how to use your product is a great way to build awareness and interest for your offering.
  6. News: talk about a piece of news with your audience as it relates to your business or industry; share your opinion and start a conversation.
  7. Talk show: host a weekly talk show where your audience can write or call-in questions. Giving your fans the opportunity to be featured on your Facebook Live is a great way to generate engagement.
  8. Build your list: Use Facebook Live to build your email list by asking the audience to opt-in to a free guide or offering you have on your website.
  9. Interviews: bring on industry influencers, customers or people in your field to discuss a specific topic and ask them questions that you know your audience will find interesting. Bringing in others is a good way to provide more value to your audience. These unscripted interviews help create transparency; they serve to humanize your brand.
  10. Focus group: use your audience as a focus group to generate feedback on an idea, product or service offering. Showing your fans that you value their opinion helps build loyalty.
  11. Repurpose: turn last month’s blog post or podcast episode into a Facebook Live. You don’t have to create unique, original content for each broadcast; find ways to repurpose content that you’ve already created into the live video format!
  12. Run flash sales: Facebook Live is a great avenue to run flash sales. Give your audience a special promo code that is only valid for a limited time in order to incentivize them to take action immediately.

The ideas above can be tailored to suit any business or industry and will be extremely effective in fostering engagement and excitement during your Facebook Live.

Have you done a Facebook Live before? Do you have tips to add to the list? 

Share your experiences in the comments below!

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