The era of live-blogging is upon us with new services and platforms such as Facebook Live Streaming which provides an excellent way for us to engage our target audience. You should absolutely take advantage of the live-streaming trend and give your brand an opportunity to engage with clients, customers, and/or fans in new and exciting ways.
Fortunately, there are numerous tools you can use to create your own live stream. Facebook Live is one of those tools and the majority of digital marketers consider it to be the best.
In this Comprehensive Guide to Facebook Live Streaming, we’ll review the streaming service and I’ll offer some tips and best practices about how to best use it for your brand’s digital marketing endeavors.
What Is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live Streaming is Facebook’s answer for a communications tool to connect people who are interested in live streaming what they’re doing. Facebook live lets you live broadcast on Facebook via video from your desktop, laptop or mobile device.
Facebook Public Figures
You can broadcast using Facebook Live and tie it to your business page, only if Facebook considers you to be a public figure. So who’s qualified to be a public figure by Facebook standards? Celebrities, actors, musicians, sports figures, etc.
Basically, if you’re reading this, you’re more than likely not going to qualify as a public figure. Sorry, Mom. If you think that you should qualify as a public figure, you will need to submit your business page to Facebook for consideration and verification. You’ll also need to upload a copy of a government-issued ID card so Facebook can officially verify who you are.
Now, while Facebook says this, it’s not always as hard as it seems. I was able to do a Facebook live stream from my own page, so you just never know with Facebook… Certainly worth a try.
The Follower Option
For those that are interested in using Facebook Live as a tool to building your brand, it’s a great idea to enable the “Follow” feature. To enable the Follow feature, head over to your Facebook settings and click on “Followers.” Next to “Who Can Follow Me,” select “Everybody.”
How to Broadcast With Facebook Live
So how can you tell if you have the Facebook live feature? Easy, all you have to do is open your Facebook app and touch the status section like you would do with any other update. You should see some icons below the status section that offers several options (such as uploading a pic, tagging friends, setting your location, etc). When you see a stick figure icon with a halo around its head, that’s Facebook Live.
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Before you hit the play button, you should write a quick description of your live feed in the status update section. This description indicates to your viewers what your Facebook live broadcast topic of discussion will focus on. Additionally, you have the option to choose the target audience prior to going live. If you only prefer your friends & family to view your Facebook Live stream, select that option. However, if you’re promoting your business page, and you’re using Facebook Live for online marketing purposes, you will more than likely want to open your broadcast to everyone in the Facebook community. At this point, your Facebook Live broadcast is just like shooting video.
Build Your Subscriber List
Facebook Live offers an excellent way for you to boost your professional image online, even when you’re broadcasting with your personal Facebook account. Other Facebook Live users can easily subscribe to your Facebook Live streaming broadcasts. Here’s what this means: people who follow you on Facebook can opt-in in order to be alerted any time you start a new Facebook Live broadcast. At any point that they are online at the same time as you’re broadcasting, they can jump on and start viewing your Facebook Live broadcast.
So how can fans subscribe to your broadcasts? It’s actually very simple. Whenever you host a Facebook Live broadcast, your viewers will see a large “Subscribe” button at the bottom of their device screen. All they have to do is click on the button and they’ll become a follower of your Facebook Live video audience.
Save it for Later
Of course, it’s very probable that not everyone in your target market will be active on Facebook at the exact moment you produce a live broadcast. In the majority of cases, your average subscriber just won’t be able to join your Facebook Live stream because they have other responsibilities, work and family events that they have to attend to.
But, here’s the cool part of all this! The smart guys at Facebook have already thought of this and they provide a solution to overcome. Your Facebook Live stream is automatically saved as a video in your profile news timeline. This means you can link it out, share it and even embed it like you would any other type of video you discovered on YouTube for example.
Once you complete your Facebook Live stream and Facebook then saves your video, you still have the option of editing it.
To edit your video, just click on the date of the post in your timeline and select “Edit.” You can choose a thumbnail image, select a category, and even add a call to action.
Facebook Marketing Tip of the day: Your call to action button should match the call to action you used in the Facebook Live broadcast.
Create a Video Ad
If you’re Facebook Live broadcast was a huge success and you’re confident that it provides a great opportunity to advertise your brand, you can create a Facebook video ad from it.
All you have to do is navigate to the Ads Manager page and follow the option to create a video ad. Select your own Facebook Live broadcast as the video of choice. Make sure to target your specific audience so that your video will only appear to people who you believe will be interested in watching it.
Facebook Live Streaming Tips
How would a professional digital marketer use Facebook Live? Here’s a couple different ways in which I would.
Efficient Facebook Live-Streaming Formats. There are numerous types of Facebook Live broadcasts that can boost your brand presence. 1. Share your Facebook Live events. If you’re at a conference, lecture, trade show, etc take some time to be sociable with your audience who are on Facebook Live. Talk with other industry guru’s so that you can get some valuable information for both yourself and your target audience. Ask questions to respected industry experts which can add authority to your Facebook Live broadcast, and provides you the opportunity to get trade secrets from them.
Host an interview. You won’t have all the answers to every question or problem all the time. When this is the case, simply interview someone who has specific knowledge about the topic you are unfamiliar with. Both you and your followers will gain further insight into your niche, which is invaluable on many levels.
Film Behind the Scenes Video Content. What all goes on at your company on say a Monday afternoon? What kinds of after office hour activities does everyone engage in? Provide your target audience a behind-the-scenes peek into your company culture so that they see the other, more personal side of your business.
Pay Attention to the Details. Does your target audience hear you clearly? By paying attention to the little things such as noise and lighting in the room or area you’re recording in makes things go a lot smoother and better for everyone because no one wants to look at a dimly lit recording area or one that’s hard to hear because of the street noise down below. Little details like this can make all the difference between a successful Facebook Live streaming and one that leads to failure and your flaming.
Engage & Interact with Your Audience. If you’ve been involved with online marketing for longer than a few months, you might’ve heard the buzz word “engagement” so many times that you’re disgusted by it. Though we all feel this way about buzz words, engagement is all about how you connect with your target audience within your niche. While streaming live, you’re able to view your audience’s comments who are watching you publish this video feed live. I’d recommend that you interact with them so that you start building a business relationship with them, which naturally leads to an increase in your engagement.
Add Clickbait to the Facebook Live Video Title. Clickbait in titles aren’t only reserved for blog posts. In fact, if you have a popular topic of discussion or a solid presentation for your Facebook Live stream, simply add a clickbait title so that you attract an even wider target audience which could lead to new subscribers outside of your specific target audience. Just make sure that your clickbait title is relevant to the topic of the Facebook Live stream. Last thing anyone would want is to drive away prospective customers with a clickbait title that is basically a promise you’ll never be able to fulfill.
Split Test Your Facebook Live Streams. What’s your target audiences most preferred day and time for your live stream? Let’s take it a step further and analyze the time(s) you receive more positive comments and video viewers. Without split testing and analyzing the data, you simply won’t know the answers any of those types of questions. All you have to do is experiment with formatting, multiple timeframes, and topics of discussion in order to find which combination works best for your audience and brand.
Add a Call to Action Button. Picking up on a pattern yet? As you do things over and over you will see the same techniques that are best-practices for other types of marketing (clickbait, engagement, and A/B split testing) are also industry best-practices for a successful Facebook Live streaming. Another technique that you probably have used previously and should include in your Facebook Live stream is a call to action. A call to action instructs your target audience where to click and what to do so that they can continue the business relationship you have already started with them.
Be Laser Focused. Facebook Live streaming is just another form of content marketing. That is why you should always approach it just as you would if you were planning on writing a 1,500+ word count high quality content article for your blog. You should focus on what you want to convey to your target audience watching your broadcast just like you would focus on what keyword phrases you would focus your content marketing on.
Show how You Create Your Product or Service. Unless you’re in the business of making sausage or legislation, people in your target market will likely take an interest in how you bring your product to market. Use a live stream to show your audience a little bit about what goes on at your company. Interview some of your more affable employees to make the stream a little more fun.
Conduct Training Sessions. You might not be an expert in everything, in fact most aren’t. but it’s likely that you are an expert in something. Elevate your brand by conducting free training sessions through Facebook Live. Your target audience will appreciate it that you’re providing free valuable information they crave and in return you get to position yourself as an authority figure on the subject.
Host a Q&A Session. After you do everything we’ve discussed above and have generated a decent fan base that are interested in your topic of discussion, let them ask some questions at the end of your Facebook Live stream. Just ask your fans to write their questions in the comments section. From there, simply read their questions out loud and answer them. A Q&A session is a great way to build on engagement and branding yourself as an authority figure in your niche.
More and more digital marketers are using Facebook Live streams to promote their products or services. A Facebook Live stream marketing tactic will one day be considered just as normal as a podcast is now. If you’re in a niche where a Facebook live stream could provide an opportunity to expand your audience reach, I’d suggest acting now so that you’re able to gain traction with Facebook Live or potentially lose market share to your competitors as they surely will.