Global traffic from online video is predicted to constitute 80 per cent of all consumer internet traffic by 2020, according to Cisco. However, with Facebook Live seeing three times the traffic of traditional video, it’s not hard to understand why marketers are keen to maximise the opportunity to use the feature for real-time brand storytelling.
So how can brands and marketers get the best out of Facebook Live?
(1) Make the connection with strong WiFi
Nothing could be worse than planning a Facebook Live video stream, after promoting it to existing and potential fans and followers, only for a poor WiFi connection to kill the moment stone dead. Ensure there will be a strong enough connection for the live stream to run smoothly, and if in doubt, buy a kit that can handle the job.
(2) Time spent planning is never time wasted
Planning for the worst will help avoid your Live video falling flat on the day – trial filming in a busy room or in temperamental weather. Ensuring it will work in a range of scenarios will negate the chances of poor light or noise ruining the broadcast and should be an essential part of the plan.
(3) Encourage the audience to take their seats
The best planned Live video will be wasted if there’s no one to see the broadcast. Investment in planning and preparing a Live video stream needs to be maximised by making sure there’s a strong audience to receive and enjoy the fruits of the labour. Do whatever it takes to guarantee a watching audience: email your contact list and promote the stream on all other social media channels.
It’s important to bear in mind, there will be replay viewers – most people watch live videos after the event, so don’t be too down on yourself if numbers are low at first.
(4) Where you lead, they will follow
Use the broadcast time to garner more fans and followers by asking viewers to follow you during the broadcast. There’s no better time to tempt them in and build the fan base than when you’re live and in action! To reach more people and have the potential to gain more followers, broadcast for longer periods of time.
(5) Up production value to maximise ROI
Multiple cameras might be a bigger investment, but upping the production value will help to bring people closer to the event. Maximise the engagement of the live stream using software such as Telescope – which allows for real-time polling, custom graphics and branded content tools to provide personalised engagement.
Facebook Live drives engagement at over ten times the rate of non-live videos on the platform. This highlights the desire of consumers to be part of a live conversation, and presents a great opportunity for brands and businesses to evolve their audiences and engage them in a more dynamic way.
Ultimately, the future of Facebook Live lies with interactivity – from both the brand and the audience.
Outcomes should be decided, or at the very least, influenced by the participation of the audience and good community management – all of which have a role to play. But first, always question whether your audience are going to find it useful and inspirational.
Bryn Foweather is head of social at Punch Communications, a full-service social agency with an impressive portfolio including some of the world’s biggest brands.