Facebook Live has changed the world of marketing. Think back just a few years: only TV and radio channels could connect directly with their own target audiences.
“Live” is almost always exciting. What will happen on the spur of the moment, when nothing was planned? “Wetten, dass …?” (a German TV Show) was always done live, and in its heyday that was exactly the attraction. You were a part of the action as it unfolds and would see immediately if something exciting happened. You can take advantage of all these features with Facebook Live for your business and thereby significantly improve your reach. In this article, you’ll learn how it works, what you need to pay attention to, and which 5 options are the best ones for you to find success with Facebook Live….
Why am I writing about Facebook Live? Well, I know quite a bit about the first option, “Ask me Anything.” Anyone who follows my Facebook Page will know that I use this format to regularly answer questions from my community.
I usually take about 30 minutes to answer three real-world questions that users have sent in over the previous two weeks. They send them in directly over my Facebook page, or as a response to my newsletter, or over another channel – whatever works best. What matters is that I take the questions seriously and provide added value with my answer, giving a useful answer not only to the person who asked the question, but to all who might be watching me live.
Figure 1: With Facebook Live, you are close to your community and can react to commentary, questions, and requests in real time (Source: facebook.com/bjoerntantau)
And the real difference to a recorded video that is not live: no other medium brings you closer to your users during the video. But bear in mind, people will never watch a live video of you if they aren’t interested in what you have to say. So, a Facebook Live video can bring you closer to your target group and is also extremely authentic – especially when you directly respond to incoming commentary in real time.
You’ve certainly already seen or participated in a webinar. I like to think back to 2013, when someone at a conference wanted to explain to me that webinars were dead. The fact is that webinars can be one of your best instruments in digital marketing for coming into contact with potential clients.
And yes… there are also plenty of people offering webinars where you can come into contact with potential clients – and I don’t want to bad-talk that. But have you ever participated in a Facebook Live webinar? By now, practically every Facebook page, group, and profile can go live directly from their desktop. With the right software solution, such as “Open Broadcasting Studio,” your screen can be broadcast – just like in a “classical” webinar.
Figure 2: With tools like “OBS Studio,” your own screen can be streamed live on Facebook, making classical webinars a possibility. (Screenshot: OBS Studio)
The advantage: Because you are on Facebook live, your running webinar can reach a greater audience more quickly than if you were in a closed webinar. In other words… via Facebook Live, your webinar can gain a greater reach just because it can be shared on Facebook in real time. And you don’t need to forgo using a lead magnet, because you can certainly pitch a specific offer at the end of your live webinar on Facebook.
Figure 3: Facebook Live Webinar from OnPage.org
Facebook Live’s format is continuously being developed. And so now it’s also possible to interview other people, even when this conversation partner is in another city. This works just like you’d expect a “normal” interview on TV, for example, to work, except that everything runs through Facebook and thus can profit from the opportunity to go viral – and in an interview, you can take live questions from the watchers and immediately integrate them into your interview.
This format is even more interesting for panel discussions. These panels don’t work only when you have lots of people in different locations – it can also bring added value on site at a conference. The advantage: The people who are not present and are watching via Facebook Live video are less reluctant to ask questions (which is sometimes a problem with the audience on-site).
Figure 4: The presentation, followed by a panel discussion, was broadcast live on Facebook.
The lower psychological barrier thus increases the likelihood of valuable input from the viewers, with questions that you as the interviewer might never have thought of. It’s not a matter of having them do your job for you, but rather offering your audience the highest-value content possible. And if that means you get a little help from outside – why not? It will only make your content better.
Please don’t stop reading yet… Yes, of course there are countless “motivational videos” on Facebook and elsewhere that are simply horrific. But when you really know your target audience and know that these people want to see content like that from you – why not? The term “motivational video” here just means every kind of video that you can use to reach your target audience.
This could be your daily dose of wisdom – or maybe you know your field so well that you can go live every day for 5 to 10 minutes to report on the newest developments. This isn’t a new idea; well-known search machine optimizers in the USA have been doing this for years – on YouTube, not on Facebook Live. But even YouTube cannot achieve the special viral character of Facebook.
Figure 5: Gary Vaynerchuck likes to give his thoughts free – often via Facebook Live (Source)
Facebook’s tremendous reach, combined with the possibility of drawing in so many more users interested in your theme in real time and in one blow, is extremely tempting and should absolutely be used. In addition, all Facebook Live videos are stored and there are tools available to create your Live broadcast just like on TV (graphics overlay, station logo, lower third graphic, multiple external cameras, picture-in-picture, etc.).
This is also a great opportunity to created added value. Conferences now often offer streaming. So, if you cannot personally attend an event, you can still follow the meeting at home or in your office. In any case, there are always breaks between the talks, and these breaks can be used to good effect.
So, instead of just showing a “pause” screen, the Facebook Live format is a great opportunity to broadcast from backstage. And the official live stream of the conference can insert a notice to visit the Facebook Live video during the break. In this way, the event draws even more focus, because all of the live stream paying participants don’t just need to wait, bored, in front of their computers, but can watch a few more interesting interviews.
Figure 6: On the Facebook Live map, you get real-time information about live broadcasts (Source)
And don’t forget – the potential increase in reach due to virality will mean that even more users are interested in your event and it’s Facebook Page. You’ll gain a few more fans – and, ideally, you can also push next year’s conference as well.
Facebook Live videos are a great way to draw attention. And as this still-young format continues to develop, there will be even more opportunities to use Facebook Live as an autonomous marketing discipline.
There are really only two possible types of barriers: in content and in technology. The technological hurdles are relatively easy to take care of. If the Internet connection is fast enough, you can even film great Facebook Live videos with an iPhone 6. It’s recommended to use a clip-on mic for the sounds and, possibly, an additional light source. The problem of content is more difficult, because the substance of what you’re offering won’t be better just because it’s live – rather the opposite. That’s why it is still incredibly important to have a plan and to then follow that plan.
The better the content you are sharing on Facebook Live is, the more attention you will receive.
Published on 06/14/2017 by Björn Tantau.
Björn Tantau has been active in digital marketing since the late 1990s. He explains what strategies are guaranteed to work in marketing, and how these methods can be used successfully to make a profit. He is a well-known keynote speaker and he has written several books and ebooks. As a consultant and coach he offers seminars and workshops and has been interviewed by many German TV channels. He has also been a successful podcaster.Become a guest author »
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