Are you an entrepreneur or small business owner who is curious about how to use live streaming as part of your marketing strategy?
Have you been debating with yourself on how to use either Facebook Live or Periscope to engage with your audience?
It was recently discovered that Live Video streaming is the No.1 marketing tool to build a personalised and engaged audience.
In this article, I break down 5 steps to get you started using live video streaming as part of your content marketing strategy.
The buzzword in business marketing this year is Live Video Broadcasting or Live Streaming. Currently, the two main players in this space are Periscope (Twitter) and Facebook.
In February 2016, Facebook launched their Live streaming service. 5 months later in they spent $50m on endorsement deals with 140 media publishers and celebrities to encourage the usage of the Live Streaming service.
However, when Twitter acquired Periscope for a whopping $86.6m in 2015, they were the first major Social Media channel to envision live streaming as the future of marketing.
Major brands and small business owners alike have discovered that Live streaming gives them the ability to a create a deeper and authentic connection with their audience.
Live streaming allows your audience to gain an insight into your world; it creates a more humanised and personalised experience of your brand.
According to research conducted by Video Hosting service Vidyard’s latest report: 2017 Video in Business Benchmark Report, delivering your customers, a Personalised Experience is the key to winning their engagement and attention.
“The average retention rate of personalised videos is 35% higher than non-personalized videos.”
Who is currently using live video streaming for business successfully?
Credit score company Experian, produces a weekly Live streaming show on Periscope called #Creditchat where they engage with consumers and answer all credit related questions.
Each show has a mini-theme; giving an expanded answer to a question which the audience has posted in recent weeks. Half way through the show they have a Q&A session with the audience.
Each show generates hundreds of views and 20-30 questions from the audience.
Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner hosts a weekly talk show on Facebook Live simply titled “The Social Media Marketing Talk Show”. Each week he interviews his colleagues and experts to discuss the week’s news in the world of social media.
The weekly show often receives between 5,000-10,000 views.
Each show she teaches small business owners how to build their own personal brand. One of the highlights of the show includes having the audience call-in to give their own personal stories or opinions on each week’s subject.
She also highlights members of her audience, or community as she refers to them, who have been the most active in her private Facebook group.
Her show goes live every Monday to over 2,000 subscribers. The format is a runaway success and generates massive engagement from her audience who faithfully tune in and leave hundreds of comments each week.
Engagement= Attention= Money in the bank
“I day trade attention. I could care less if Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat exist tomorrow. I care about where my audience’s attention is.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, When will Marketers talk about attention and not impressions
Since 2013 the number of channels which brands can use to market themselves on has doubled. This monstrous grown has forced consumers to carefully select where they spend their time enagaging with content.
Although some technologies have existed for over 10 years (Podcasting, smart phones, websites, blogs) the flow of information and media was still relatively limited.
It was not commonplace for people to access or consume as much media as we do today. Consumers were able access to a limited number channels of which they could get information.
Today, the roles have reversed. Media (or content) has switched from being supply based to demand based.
Consumers carefully select which channels which they consume content from. This is the same for Social Media channels and how consumers choose to use each channel for different purposes; consumers will check Facebook for the news every day and then use Snapchat or Instagram to record social events.
Today, well crafted and episodic live-streaming video is the social media equivalent of Netflix on-demand content service.
In a noisy social media environment, live streaming is the no.1 way to add a personalised voice to your brand. Audience engagement simply equates to your ability to have a meaningful dialogue with your audience and retaining their attention.
“Where the attention goes, the money will inevitably follow.”
Matthew Ingram, The Attention Economy
How to create a killer Livestream strategy for your business.
Note: Before you begin to consider using live streaming as part of your content marketing strategy, think about how it fits in with the rest of your strategy. For instance, is it congruent with the other moving parts of your marketing? Do you have the time to commit to it? Are you able to internationalise your content so that it speaks to a global audience?
If you do decide to dip your toes into the water, it could take between 4-6 months to build a decent sized audience. Don’t be disheartened if the engagement isn’t immediate.
Step #1: Decide on the format of your show.
There are 4 types of Live stream shows which most brand’s present.
Breaking news coverage: If you work in a fast moving industry where there are constant changes and updates happening every few days then this maybe the interesting option for you.
Part of Social Media Examiners strategy is that they have their regular weekly show and they also cover breaking news as and when it happens. For example, if Instagram releases a new feature or if Facebook makes a big announcement, they will go live that day and announce the news to their audience as well as give their unique opinion on what it means for marketers.
Call in show: Media production company Little Things produce a variety of Facebook Live shows. One show is a popular comedy show titled “T-Rex Live Call-In Show” which features a hand puppet T-Rex answering audience questions.
Talk Show: Q&A sessions with industry experts or business partners works very well for Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Daily Vee” video broadcasts. He often features live guests from Tony Robbins to Eric Thomas.
Educational: Think of this as a mini consultation or tutorial. Present your audience with a different topic every week and disseminate the information into snackable content.
This is possibly the most labour intensive of the different options because it involves you creating a structured dialogue every week, but it can also be the most rewarding.
If your content is valuable and topical you will retain the audience’s attention and more importantly have them tune in every week.
Founder of Convince and Convert and marketing keynote speaker Jay Baer has a weekly show on Periscope called “Jay Today” where he discusses new marketing research and case studies of good or bad marketing practices.
Live demonstration: Present the audience with a demo of a particular service or skill which you specialise in.
Step #2: Have a structure but let it flow.
There are two reasons why Livestreaming is unique and also challenging:
- The videos are not pre-recorded, produced or edited. This means that no matter how prep and planning you put in before you go live, your broadcast is unlikely to be perfect or polished.
- Rather than just talking at your audience, you have the opportunity to engage with them in real time.
Although you may have a structure to your show, you need to remain flexible and adaptable to switching things up and possibly changing directions at the drop of a hat.
Don’t be afraid to be imperfect or unable to answer questions. The best solution is to always be open and honest. This approach will endear you to the audience but also allow you to carry the conversation over to email.
For instance, if you do not know the answer to a question, simply say:
- “I’m afraid I don’t know, but I can find out for you. Leave your email address in the comments or send them to me on a private message and I will get you the answer in the next few days. Thanks”
If your video is too scripted or lacks engagement it will detract your viewers from returning.
Step #3: Create a conversation.
Jamilah Corbett has mastered the art of creating a dialogue with her audience. Her weekly call-in show galvanises the audience’s attention and encourages open conversations about all things business.
She also highlights the most engaged members of her audience by calling them out and thanking them for their support.
Focus on creating conversations with your audience and encourage feedback by asking them the following questions:
- “What do you want to see each week?”
- “How I can create better content for you?”
Also, ask scenario based questions:
- “What would you do in this situation?”
- “How would you resolve this particular problem?”
- “Have you faced this particular issue before?”
These questions will help you to find additional subjects for future live streams and keep viewers locked in each week.
Step #4: Consistency matters.
The backbone of any great marketing strategy is consistency. Every example of a successful live show maintains a consistent schedule.
- Social Media Marketing Talk Show is every Friday at 10 am PST.
- Boom Pop @ 10 O’Clock is every Monday @ 10pm EST
- Little Things various shows go live every day of the week at specific times.
All of the examples above manage to generate thousands of views each week from a dedicated and highly engaged audience, by being consistent and sticking to a schedule
Success will follow as long as you remain disciplined and focused on what your audience want to see each week.
Step #5: Continue the party on your own channel.
Facebook and Periscope give you the tools to build an audience, but it’s important to remember that you do not own that audience. The social media network does.
In order to convert that audience into customers, you must engage with them on a platform which you own.
Your mission is to find a way to add them to your email subscriber list as quickly as possible.
The easiest way to do this is to offer a weekly giveaway or a lead magnet which is related to your topic of conversation.
Here are some examples of giveaways that convert well:
1. Guides / Reports- This type content is highly valuable and unique, featuring exclusive research conducted by your organisation.
2. Resource List / Checklist- This is an exhaustive list of products or services which can help your audience achieve a specific outcome. For example, if the topic of your live show is “How to start a podcast” you could include a simple list which contains all of the equipment that someone would need in order to start their own podcast.
3. Training Series- A training series can be delivered via email or in video format. Just like the Resource List, it should be focused on helping the audience to achieve a specific outcome. If your show is about cooking, you could offer a mini video training series which shows the audience how to cook a particular dish.
Are your ready to get started with your live video streaming strategy?
The old adage goes: People like to do business with those whom they know, like and trust.
Live streaming gives small businesses and entrepreneurs an unparalleled advantage to invite their target audience into an exclusive and intimate environment.
Which format will you start with? How do you plan to involve your audience in the conversation each week?
Leave a comment below and let me know how you plan to start creating your own live video streaming strategy.
Also published on Medium.