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Forbes sourced expert opinions from the Forbes Agency Council to bring together a collection of advice for using live video as a marketing medium. As a member of the Agency Council, our CEO, Kathy Selker, contributed a few tips. The full article appears below, or you can check it out on Forbes.
More than possibly ever before, social media is all about being in the moment. It’s no wonder then that live video capabilities have been adopted by multiple social platforms as of late. Going live is an excellent way to engage with audiences and can open up a business to new opportunities. Due to its immediate nature, going live allows people to experience what your business is doing and react in real time.
Live video can be a huge asset for companies that know what they’re doing, have a clear brand vision and are prepared. Otherwise, an unintended message, image or event may make its way through to potential clients.
To help you create a successful live video and avoid any pitfalls, we asked 14 members of the Forbes Agency Council to share their top tips for creating a masterful live video marketing campaign. Their answers are below.
1. Plan Ahead
Do your research in advance. Time your live video when your audience is most active, and promote it ahead of time as if it were an event. Include what you’ll cover in the video and tease an announcement. During the livestream, remember you’re in a two-way conversation; reply in real time to comments users post as you stream. Throughout the video, tease the announcement that will come at the end. — Kathy Broderick Selker, Northlich
2. Give Your Audience Something They'll Value
You're competing with friends, family, celebrity crushes, etc. for attention, so you really want to hook the audience within the first few seconds and make a good first impression. Be prepared. Avoid tech mishaps by testing things in advance, and give the audience an experience they can't get elsewhere or a glimpse into something they want to be a part of. Make it worth their time. — Mae Cromwell, PACIFIC
3. Optimize for YouTube
YouTube is the planet’s second biggest search engine (next to Google) and consistently outperforms other social platforms when it comes to conversions. In addition, YouTube is incredibly cost-effective when it comes to placing video ads. High conversion and cost-effective ad placement are what defines a successful live video marketing campaign. — Randy Soderman, Soderman Marketing
4. Repost and Amplify
Delivering your message to your target audience via a live video is a great first step. To keep the momentum going, repost the video to your platforms along with targeted ad buys. This ensures that the video is seen by your target audience, and they get introduced to your message in a creative, dynamic form. — Danielle Wiley, Sway Group
5. Make It Worth It
Our most successful live videos have offered viewers one of two things: a big announcement or behind-the-scenes content. When your brand delivers a moment consumers feel is fun, exciting and worth their time, they'll continue to tune in to future live videos. — Jess Cook, TMV Group
6. Be Consistent
Consistency helps with reputation, search engines and with building good customer relationships. Each video campaign should be consistent with the brand's image and include graphics/sounds that customers identify with the brand. Also, consistency in terms of content schedule can help with loyalty because people know that on that specific day, they will have something to look forward to. — Daniela Pavan, The Ad Store New York
7. Know Your Role
The reality in the live video game is that you need to know the role you play in the conversation with your audience. You need to know what your customer is expecting you to be — social and fun, corporate and informative, product-focused, culture-focused or maybe just impromptu free-form opinionated. If you choose the wrong path, you won't be able to keep an audience. — Paul E. Benninghove, Phalanx Digital Inc.
8. Give Them a Reason to Keep Watching
Start strong and give them a reason to keep watching. When users join your live feed, they decide in seconds whether or not to continue to watch. To support this, you want the number of people watching to increase, so help them stick around by making your live content engaging. Once you're known for your live content, people will want to catch it every time you go live. — Benjamin Collins, Laughing Samurai
9. Show, Don't Tell
Avoid branded content that comes off as too promotional or self-serving. Instead, use live video to engage with audiences and amplify connectivity through real-time content. Themes like how to, did you know, where to find, what we learned, steps to take, etc. offer solutions to viewers they’re likely seeking. The raw, unrehearsed content is relatable, becomes reliable and is fun to share. — Fiona Bruder, George P. Johnson (GPJ) Experience Marketing
10. Get Live Feedback in Real Time
The voice of the customer is essential in building brand loyalty. There are myriad ways to make the most of reviews. When orchestrating brand experiences in a live setting, the immediacy of customer feedback can be extremely powerful. Social media walls and broadcasting feedback throughout an event can create an authentic and organic buzz about your brand with very little effort or investment. — Chris Cavanaugh, Freeman
11. Have a Strong Call to Action
The key to any campaign is the call to action. When we're doing live video streams, it's easy to forget to plug the call to action in at some point. However, be mindful that it doesn't interrupt the users' experience and cause them to drop off. Go live about 15 minutes before your scheduled stream to remind your followers that you're about to go live and ask them to invite their friends. — Danielle Sabrina, Tribe Builder Media
12. Start With the Narrative
Live video storytelling is only as good as the story. When thinking about adding a live video component, first determine what the narrative of this program will be and why video is a good way to share that. A great video narrative is engaging and should fuel a conversation among the audience. It should inspire people to share, comment and invite others to view along. — Daryl McCullough, Citizen Relations
13. Mix It Up
By combining "talking heads" expert commentary with product photo stills and stock photography or video, you can provide the viewer with a richer, multi-sensory experience, while at the same time limiting the time and expense involved with traditional video production. It means being more creative with your storyboard skills, but it is well worth it. — Francine Carb, Markitects, Inc.
14. Use Premieres on Facebook
One of the major challenges for brands using live video is quality control (poor camera angles, potentially incorrect product claims, etc.). But the positives are increased exposure because the algorithms favor video right now. Facebook recently launched "Premieres," which lets brands premiere a pre-recorded video just like they would a live video. It's a great way to share quality work "live." — Jim Tobin, Carusele