Live video jumped onto the social media scene and steadily climbed in relevance, reach and potential. If you’re unsure of how to incorporate it into your social media campaign, let’s look at what you need to know to get started!
Did you know that the first live stream happened in 1993 when Apple, along with a handful of other companies, streamed a concert?
It may have been around for a couple decades, but live video went main stream in 2015 when the explosion of streaming apps and Facebook Live made it more accessible than ever. When Periscope and then Facebook allowed influencers to use live video to interact with an existing follower community, it changed the way influencers interacted with their audiences.
What makes Live Video so important?
In 2016, as Facebook reworked their algorithm (again), video became an increasingly important way to engage with an audience. People have a short attention span for social media and video lets us communicate things quickly. But more than that, live video gives an audience a true “behind the scenes” glimpse into the lives of people they follow.
Video is personal, direct. And the increased engagement shows that it resonates with audiences across a broad swath of niches. Facebook Live nabs 80% of video engagement, more than Youtube, vimeo & more.
Your Live Video Strategy
To start with, your videos don’t need to be complicated or elaborate. Short, direct messages to your audience. But preparing a few things ahead of time will make for a smoother Live Video experience.
Plan – You don’t have to write a script, but this is something you want to practice. Some of us will forget everything we planned to say as soon as the camera is on. You could have a script written out, or an outline of key points you want to include. I write 3 key points and a call to active on a post it note and stick to my iPad beside the camera to help me stay on track.
Connection – A quick way to reduce the effectiveness of your live video is an interruption because of a bad connection. Plan your video for a time when you’ll have a strong connection. I typically use my very strong home wifi with my iPad on airplane mode.
Stable Platform – Whether you are using your phone, a tablet or a desktop software, make sure that your camera is on a stable platform. You can grab a phone or tablet tripod, rock the stack of books like I tend to or use a stand. Make sure to test this out with some practice before hand. If you talk with your hands (like I do), check to make sure that your set up won’t result in accidentally knocking over your device. That might have happened to me when I was trying to make a particularly emphatic point.
Lighting – Good lighting is a huge part of a great live video, especially to start. Even more than what it does for your audience, it can help to give your confidence a boost. I look for a window with good, indirect light (so the sun isn’t shining directly in at full power which makes you squint). Then, I position myself so that I am at a 45 degree angle from the window and adjust from there. You want your face to be evenly lit. If you are making your videos when its dark out or you don’t have great light, consider purchasing a small ring light which are great for video!
Get consistent – Once you’ve gotten started with live video, try being consistent about when you are going live to chat with your audience. When are they online? Try to catch them when they are browsing – using those Facebook insights and your site stats to tell you when your audience is the most active.
Planning Your First Facebook Live
1 – Introduce Yourself
Start your video with an elevator pitch, a 15-30 second intro into who you are and what you do. Write it down and say it over and over until it feels comfortable. This is something you can start every video out with to create consistent branding. For your first video, have it written out and where you can see, just in case your mind goes blank!
2 – Share the Value
Immediately let your audience know what value you are offering in your video – what are you going to share with them, show them or chat about. You need to quickly convince them to stop scrolling and watch your video! I think of this as sharing my key message for the video and explaining how I’m going to help my audience implement that message.
3 – Engagement
Engagement is a key part of live video, increasing your engagement is part of why you’re going to the trouble, right?
Ask your audience questions, then respond (mentioning names!) on video. People love to hear their name mentioned! This takes a little bit of a practice. I’m still figuring out how to balance watching the comments while I’m talking!
4 – Answering Questions
Taking the time to answer questions at the end of your Live Video is a great way to extend your video and add value. Make note of what questions are asked. Your audience is telling your directly what they want to hear about! This is a perfect place to find inspiration for more content.
As you plan your videos, develop a desired outcome. Once you are more comfortable with video overall, each live video should be aimed at motivating your audience to a specific action. You could invite them to check out a lead magnet, share a series, sign up for your email list, comment to answer a question, or check out a new offer. Live video is a great way to highlight a particular blog post and drive traffic to it!
Have you started incorporating Live Video in your blog social media?