Although still in its infancy, live video has the potential to become a game changer when it comes to digital marketing. Over the last decade there has been a massive expansion of social media and growth of content marketing, which has led to a completely new way many people engage with digital marketing. This change has also led to a rise in real-time marketing, which is transforming the marketing landscape and blurring the line between marketing and PR.
Today, when using social media, businesses need to merge a mixture of pre-scheduled posts and tweets with live updates. This creates a constant social media presence that helps to make the business’ social media audience feel emotionally connected with the brand. Now with live video, this emotional connection can deepen with the business’ audience not only seeing the brand in real-time but also allows viewers to see certain personalities behind the brand.
Facebook introduced its live video function in April 2016, although it took a while for the function to become widely used. Unlike the reactions, also launched in 2016 and which quickly became a popular new feature, live video was a slow grower. This could be because the reactions were already familiar with users who were used to using the like button. Not many Facebook users were familiar with the other live streaming social media apps already around, most notably Periscope, so for most this new feature was a complete departure from the norm.
Gradually over 2016 live video became used more, both by brands and personal users, and by the end of the year live videos were a regular feature on many people’s Facebook feeds. It is predicted that during 2017 the function is only set to become more popular, so it is important for businesses to get a good understand of live video and how it can benefit their brand now.
How to use Facebook live video
One of the appeals of using Facebook’s live video both for brands and personal users is that it is incredibly simple to use. Business users simply need to ensure they are on their business page and under their status update box press the Live Video button. This will enable them to launch the streaming function and start filming.
The benefits of using live video
Live video is beneficial for companies from a range of sectors. B2B brands, for example, could benefit from hosting short webinars using this function that allows them to broadcast their industry knowledge and expertise to their entire Facebook following. Retailers can use this function to build interest in a new product launch; while simple question and answer sessions can be beneficial for some brands.
Facebook live video is also a great tool to use during key events. Product launch nights or grand openings, for example, would be more exciting with live video alongside the standard images and post of a more common status update. If your brand projects its personality through social media, internal activity days or events could also be shared via live video.
The generally consensus amongst the social media industry is that live video is only going to get bigger over the next few years. So, while it is important for businesses to not over use the live video option, not adding it into their content strategy today could see the brand being quickly left behind on social media.
Written by Derin Clark, Content Strategist