Give your brand LIFE through LIVE STREAMING which adds AUTHENTICITY and helps you CONNECT with your audience.
You don’t want to be seen as robotic...unless you sell robots….or are a brand built by robots.
Social Media live videos can be a great tool to provide followers an authentic, interactive experience with your business. Live streamed video is a raw, unedited form of content that makes the host vulnerable and more approachable.
Before we start listing ideas, you should be sure that the following is true:
- Your topic is relevant to your audience. As you plan out content, this should be true at all times. We recommend making profiles for your ideal audience. An ideal audience is someone who is profitable and great to work with for your business. You can explore this concept more on our Ideal Audience blog post.
- It adds value to your audience. In its simplest form, value on social media can be providing entertainment. Some posts you do will simply be entertaining; a way for you and your audience to connect. Other live streams will have more direction and messaging. One way that we suggest you keep a good balance between your live posts is to categorize them based on their purpose. We dive into this on our types of social media content blog post. A pitfall to watch out for is talking too much about yourself. You aren’t Oprah honey, people don’t care what you had for breakfast. So even when you are doing a more informal live video, try to engage with the comments coming through or have a little note handy of points relating you to your business so that you don’t ramble about why your waffle was on fleek this morning. You feel us?
- It is relevant to your business or industry. The purpose of your content is ultimately to pose yourself as a trustworthy professional in your industry and for some of your audience to convert into customers. If you are chocolatier posting about tractor recommendations - it simply doesn’t convert. Possibly the only time this becomes applicable is if you’re establishing rapport by discussing shared interests with a popular portion of your audience or if people in the tractor industry are a part of your ideal audience that will convert to customers.
In case you’re wanting to take the bold step to live stream a video but you’re not sure where to start, we’ve compiled a list of 9 topics to consider covering.
- How your product is made. You would be surprised at how much ‘brand buy-in’ a behind the scenes look at the process might provide. There is power in showing the process and the people behind a brand. One example of a successful ‘behind the scenes’ is YouTubers. Jeffree Star, CEO of Jeffree Star Cosmetics (17.4 million youtube subscribers), and Shane Dawson, a well-known YouTuber (2.86 million subscribers), collaborated on a makeup line in 2019. They built up anticipation by filming the ENTIRE process from the first meeting to after the product launch nearly a year later. They released videos every other week to give a glimpse into the creative process, the packaging selection and even the factory process along with the business side of the makeup industry. To say the launch was a success is an understatement. Their site crashed, due to the overwhelming number of visitors, before they were even able to launch all of the products. They sold out quickly after the site was back up. Providing transparency of the process encourages followers to be involved with the brand and adds a level of transparency. A similar tactic can be used with live video.
A watercolor painter or artist might give a full-on behind the scenes of how the end product comes to life. Depending on the craft, it might mean that it is a very long live video or even a series. (Don’t be afraid of long content! Video is on the rise and you won’t know if the long content will work until you give it a try!) Pro tip: Be sure to gauge performance off of results not just the numbers. For example, if a live video sells a painting but only has 10 views - your video was successful! That means your ideal audience is watching.
There is power in sharing the authentic struggles, wins, and processes behind every product or business. Try it out. You won’t regret it.
- Host an Interview. Interviewing someone else related to your industry, relevant to your product or service, or even a customer, adds value by providing an opportunity for a differing perspective. The content can be more engaging when there is a conversation going on instead of one person talking to the camera. Co-promoting the live video stream to the audiences of both the interviewer and interviewee is an exceptional way to increase views and introduce your brand to new followers. If your followers have seen a lot of your face or you’re running low on content to serve up, an interview could be a great route for your next live stream.
- Announce something. The build-up to an exciting event in your business will help to bring others along on the journey. Whether you are introducing a new product line or expanding your footprint, including your followers on the journey will aid in brand loyalty. When promoting this style of live video, you might consider only hinting at the announcement and not disclosing full details until the live to build suspense and curiosity.
- Sale or discount. Depending on your company’s product or service, you can feature a live stream sale of products (the first person to comment with their email gets the product) or run a special ‘during-the-live-stream-only’ sales opportunities. Selling products via live stream can give brands a chance to show off the product in real-time so that viewers can take a better look while also getting to know the brand’s personality. An ideal time to go live could be when new products are set to arrive, this timing allows for anticipation to build so that loyal followers or new ones have something new to view. Interaction tends to be a great way to increase sales in real-time. The latter may look like a combination of integrating an educational topic with a code that only those watching the live stream can utilize. This approach can assist with driving the viewership of a video as well.
- Host a viewer Q&A on a specific topic. Steer away from a question and answer session all about you or your business, but rather focus on the industry you are in or topics that bring value to your customers. A Q&A can pose a challenge so we’ve outlined a few things to help yours be successful! Pre-plan a topic or range so that it’s not completely wide open - this will help to guide the conversation slightly while still leaving the questions up to your audience. Be sure to have a few planned viewers chime in to get questions going and build momentum. Having a few designated people chime in can also ensure that the video has engagement, especially if it’s the first time for a question and answer. The best way to accomplish this is to ask a friend or family member to ask some questions near the beginning of your stream so you can get the ball rolling. By conversing with your audience over live streams, you are putting the social in social media! A Q&A style stream opens the conversation up to includes your viewers.
- Teach something. You are an expert in your industry and it’s okay to share what you know. For too long, professionals have tried to hold trade-secrets tight, but today many are breaking that constricting tradition and sharing them! Teaching viewers adds value because viewers will learn a skill or gain knowledge, but it also increases your reputation the viewer’s trust in you. If you are educated enough to teach the subject, then certainly you can be the go-to resource when it’s time to purchase item or service. These teaching live streams might ultimately lead to an ideal scenario where you are able to host live, in-person, ticketed events to continue to teach these skills. You might provide a few valuable pointers that give insights on what to expect from the in-person event while also providing just enough value to encourage them to make the ticket purchase. You can also highlight a simple how-to. Who doesn’t love a good how-to? These are predominantly found on YouTube, but sharing a trade or skill live can provide an opportunity for viewers to ask questions, interact with you, and associate your brand with authenticity.
- Walkthrough or tour. If you’ve got a new construction project or an event happening - give viewers a preview. This can help build excitement as the project nears its ends or provide content leading up to an event. Walkthroughs give people an inside view without them having to take the time out to drop in and tour. It also allows people to set a realistic expectation of what they will experience when they do come by. This makes your business less intimidating and more welcome.
- User product review. Have an influencer (especially a local one or someone who specializes in your specific area, i.e. have a beauty guru review your new blush brush line) go live to talk about your product or services. If applicable or relevant, the influencer might use the product during the live video or demonstrate how they’ve used it. For service-based businesses or entities such as a college, which isn’t a tangible item, the live stream might consist of a real-time review or recap after classes that day.
- Update your audience. This could be on the state of the industry, or this could be on the state of your business, but this probably shouldn’t be on the state of your feud with Katy over who has the most tea to spill (unless your business is being a drama YouTube channel, in which case, you should spill your tea on Katy before she goes live about you). The nice thing about update videos is that they can show that you are staying current with what is going on in your industry and really show your expertise without having to be very long or complicated. Just an informal live video for a designer about how “Pantone announced their color of the year for 2020 and it’s Classic Blue, and what you think that means for the graphic design industry” will show people that you know what is going on, you have valuable things to add to that conversation, and that increases their respect for you. You can also simply update them about changes in your business.
Now that you’ve decided on your first topic, you want to make the most of it. To ensure that you’re making the most out of your time spent preparing for your Facebook live, be sure to check out our Blog “How to Get the Most out of Facebook Live Video.” These same practices and principles can be applied to going live on Instagram.