In a previous post, we cited that Social Media and Video investments were at the top of the list regarding where marketing dollars were heading in 2017. However, one trend that ties those two areas is still proving to be tricky for most marketing departments: live-streaming video.
First, there was YouTube Live, then Facebook Live, and now Instagram Live is upping the game by allowing you to add other accounts to your broadcasts.
Instagram will be rolling out the new feature globally over the upcoming months and it has the potential to expand how brands and influencers partner online.
And even though there's a clear demand for the service and race among social channels to be the number one destination for live-streaming video, many marketing teams are still nervous to dip their toes into the water.
It makes sense since the desire for most brands is to control their messaging and image tightly, so the thought of real-time interaction without the opportunity to edit, censor, or ask for a 'do-over' is frightening.
But consider the following stats as a reason for removing some control and embracing live-streaming video:
- 82% of consumers prefer live video from a brand to social posts
- 80% of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog post
- 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.
Brands and influencers who have embraced live video have used the feature to stream big events, 'unboxings' of new products, and short interviews or conversations about their products or services. But now the opportunity to go live with a guest - be it an influencer, industry expert, or customer - provides much more content flexibility and an opportunity to immediately increase a brands audience as the followers of each account will be alerted to the live-stream.
If you're interested in adding live-streaming to your marketing mix, keep the following best practices in mind:
Don't over-script your live-stream or make it too rehearsed. Audiences want genuine behind-the-scenes access. We've heard countless times that consumers - particularly Millennials - don't want to be 'sold to,' so find someone with a great personality that's comfortable in front of a camera, give them an outline, and let them do their thing.
Live-Streaming is More About 'Show' and Less About 'Tell'
Make sure you're set-up to demonstrate what you're talking about to your audience vs. a locked-off shot of a talking head in order to keep your viewers engaged.
Time and Pacing
Don't put pressure on yourself to keep it to 2 minutes or push it to an hour. Focus on what keeps your audience engaged and let the topic and conversation dictate the time.
Promote Your Live-Stream
As much as people may love your product or service, they probably won't drop everything to jump on a live-stream. Make sure you promote your live-stream to your audience and let them help you spread the word. Engage your social channels for questions in advance and remind them a few times during the day of to ensure they show up to watch.
Think of 'What's In It For Them'
Again, your products may be great, and your content may be compelling, but you may want to have a few giveaways or promo codes in your back pocket to generate excitement and encourage participation. At the very least, consider incentives for your audience as you first start out.
Don't Forget the Call-To-Action
Have a plan in mind for what you're going to tell the audience to do next - even if it's subscribing so that they're aware of your next live-stream. Remember, this is still marketing, and we want our audience to take the next step.
Before your first live-stream, make a plan for reviewing the analytics. Plan your content around the metrics you'd like to see. If it's engagement, how are you going to structure your live-stream in a way that maximizes audience engagement? If it's viewership, how will you promote it and maintain your audience from beginning to end? You want to get as many actionable insights as possible to improve your live-streams continuously.