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Live Video Marketing: Yes, You Can Do It!

We have talked about live video before, however we’ve never taken an in-depth look into the genre.  It seems everyone, including some pretty hefty brand names are dipping their toes in the preverbal live video waters. From major media organizations like Buzzfeed to independent beauty product sellers, streaming video’s potential to reach an engaged, real-time audience has propelled it to the top of most everyone’s “Need to do” list.

First at the starting line, was Twitter with Periscope.  Then came Facebook with a new fangled built in Live video experience that lives right there on your newsfeed. Finally, nipping at everyone’s else’s heels are Snapchat and Instagram with apps made specifically for anything and everything live.

At this stage of the game, many companies have begun asking their own marketing departments to give Live video a whirl.  The results have been mixed: some companies have had instant success and found audiences waiting for their messages, however others have come away with a totally opposite outcome when they failed to gain traction from the get go.

Sure there are already hundreds of go-to prescriptions for success popping up all over the web, the problem with these so called “fail-proof” how-tos is that like other digital marketing channels, live video marketing is also being poorly served by a one size fits all approach. So instead of putting out feather in the same cap as others, we are here to offer more of a road map to better decision making in building your own live customized campaigns.

Choosing a Platform

First things first, where you decide to focus your efforts will help dictate much of your approach. Unlike tractional social media marketing, live video can only be streamed live to one channel at a time (well unless you have several mobile devices). Rather than trying to create content that can be remodeled for several platforms, it’s best to make video experiences that are channel specific.

Your choices:

  • Facebook Live
  • Periscope (Twitter)
  • Snapchat
  • Instagram

Facebook has quickly established itself as the most indispensable social media platform and that doesn’t stop with their newest Live addition. It offers significant influence, provides multiple methods for user engagement, and gives companies numerous methods of spreading their reach through user notifications and the ability to save live video sessions as a media item to be watched at anytime on their brand pages.

If your audience is already highly engaged in your brand, Periscope would be a great option.  However, if you believe your brand would be better supported by more of a “storytelling” approach then Instagram and Snapchat would be the way to go.  

Go with the flow

Instead of spending hours, days, or even months producing the perfect piece of content and then publishing it after it’s completion, live streaming video can literally be improved or directed by the viewers feedback as you go.  Most platforms offer instant feedback in various forms such as allowing users to Like and comment as the session takes place. This creates a conversation between the video host and his/her audience.  This allows the viewers the ability to shape the content they are watching.

Test, test, and test again

Just like all other marketing avenues, you should start with broad experiments, trying a wide range of content that explores a vast amount of possibilities while at the same time testing your audience to see what they are most attracted to.

As Forbes pointed out, not every brand will have success with the same types of live content.  For instance, cooking brands might have great success with instructional type videos that showcase recipes and/or products; while sports brands have more success with a Q&A session. You will likely need to test a wide range of video content to see what work best for you and your brand. Ultimately, your audience will dictate the type of content you create.

Ready, Set, Go

Start with a rough script so that you aren’t stumbling over what message you intend to deliver. Keep your content fresh and relevant.  Your live stream shouldn’t feel like a infomercial. Users are more likely to engage with content that is genuine and not a direct pitch. And above all, remember your brand.  Your live stream is meant to represent your company’s brand, so be sure to stay on point.  


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