10 Things You Need to Know Before Going Live on Facebook

SinceWhat Small Businesses Need to Learn From Facebook Insights its launch in April 2016, Facebook Live video has swept the world.

As a platform, Facebook Live has unparalleled reach when it comes to reaching fans organically. Facebook’s News Feed algorithm highly prioritizes Live video, meaning your followers are way more likely to see one of your Live videos than any other content you post.

That’s why it’s not a half-bad idea to consider making Facebook Live a part of your social media marketing strategy.

You might be wondering where to start and what to do. That’s why we’ve put together this list of 10 Things You Need to Know Before You Go Live on Facebook!

Let’s get started.

10 Things You Need to Know Before Going Live on Facebook

1. Set a Goal

While celebrities, influencers, and more prominent brands have the gravitas and fanbase to use Facebook Live for more casual purposes, like broadcasting their surroundings or going Live for a few minutes at a time to interact with fans, chances are you don’t have the same resources.

Because of this, you need to focus the time you spend on Live.

Ask yourself what goal you’re trying to achieve with the video, as well as if and how the broadcast will help you make it.

If you can, try to choose an objective that’s more specific and results-driven than “social engagement” or “brand awareness.” Though these things are great, they should be secondary to other goals like lead generation or sales.

Once you and your team have settled on an objective, plan your video with that objective in mind. It should reflect in the topic you choose, as well as the way you present it.

For example, if we were putting together a Live video for a fitness center that wanted to highlight the benefits of personal training, we might choose to do a Live Q&A with one of our trainers, showing off his knowledge and encouraging viewers to sign up for a training session.

2. Have an Outline or Direction

Even though Facebook Live is relatively spontaneous as far as content mediums go, it’s still a good idea to craft at least some sort of outline, depending on the intent of your video.

This goes hand-in-hand with having an objective in mind, like the way you organize your speaking points should point Live viewers towards your goal – don’t go Live for the sake of going Live!

Before you go Live, outline your talking points and go over them with your co-host (assuming you have one). Get at least a rough idea of what you want to say, as well as any specific points or examples you’re sure you want to include.

My colleagues did a Live video a few months back about using content upgrades to generate leads for our sales team. Though it wasn’t without its hiccups, one “victory” of the broadcast was the way we organized it. It was clear and structured, highlighting the different steps of the process and the tools (within our product) viewers could use to generate leads for their own team.

Having an organized outline based on the goal of communicating the value of Wishpond and driving signups helped immensely with the quality of our broadcast.

That being said, don’t be afraid to go off-script – it is Live, after all! Be loose and have fun with it!

3. Prepare a Pre-Show

Even after you’ve announced your live video, many of your would-be viewers won’t show up right at the start of your broadcast.

Because of this, you’ll want to put together some sort of pre-show to fill time in your Live broadcast leading up to the start of your presentation (whatever that may be).

Don’t jump right into the meat of your content the moment you go Live. Either go Live 15-20 seconds before your scheduled start time to let people come in as they get notified, or start on time but don’t get into your content until a decent amount of people join your show.

You can do a couple of different things for this “pre-show” portion. If you’re not up to entertaining, feel free to pop in a countdown timer to get people ready and waiting. If you do feel like interacting (and we recommend you do), talk to your viewers. Welcome them to the broadcast, answer their comments, and get them excited for the show to start.

This is also a prime time to get your viewers to share your video – remember, Live videos get a massive boost on News Feed placement, so getting your fans to share your Live broadcast can significantly increase its organic reach.

4. Interact with Your Viewers

One of the principal benefits of Facebook Live is the fact that it allows you to interact with your fans in real-time, meaning you’re about as close to face-to-face as you can get without actually meeting them.

Though it’s not necessary, we’d recommend you put at least some effort into responding to fan comments and answering questions! It’s an easy way to make your Live broadcast super engaging, and it makes fans feel appreciated, meaning they’re more likely to stick around and watch.

At the start of your broadcast, greet people by name as they join. You don’t have to get to every single person, but acknowledging your viewers gets them pumped up for the upcoming broadcast.

As far as questions go, we’d recommend you set aside breaks in your broadcast or save for them the end, as opposed to answering them on the fly, which could put a serious wrench in your broadcasting flow and make your broadcast feel disorganized.

5. Promote Your Live Video

A Live video is a special occasion, and as far as promotion goes, you’d be well off treating it like a webinar.

By this, we mean you should put as much effort as you can into getting as many people as possible to show up for the Live broadcast as people, even though they’ll be able to watch it back later once the replay has gone live.

Here are a few ways you can make sure your Live video reaches as many people as possible:

  • Send an email: One benefit of having a mailing list is that you can reach out to them in cases like this! Send a simple newsletter a week or so before your Live video to your subscribers, linking them to your Facebook profile and letting them know when they’ll be able to catch you going Live.
  • Post on social: If you’re doing a Live video on Facebook, it makes perfect sense to promote it there, as well. Create a set of posts that count down the days to your Live broadcast to remind fans to tune in.
  • Advertise!: Though you can’t boost a live post, you can boost an announcement in the days leading up to it. Though it’s not a sure-fire way to get people to watch as you go Live, it opens the door for new potential fans to check out your broadcast.
  • Go Live beforehand: Do a short Live broadcast informing viewers that you’ll be going Live in the next few days. Though this might seem silly, Facebook’s News Feed algorithm heavily boosts Live video, meaning more people will see it. On top of that, you can prompt viewers to turn on Live notifications for your Page so they are reminded when you go Live next (and in the future).

6. Recap As You Go

Live Videos are unique in that people can join anytime during the broadcast.

It’s great in the sense that people don’t need to be ready beforehand – they can jump in as soon as they see it on their News Feed.

On the other hand, it can be tough as a content creator because people who join your video late might not be able to follow what you’re saying.

Because of this, it’s important that you periodically recap what you’ve been talking about as you go. Every so often, you can say something like “if you’re just joining us now, we’ve been talking about [recap].” This will help retain viewers who may otherwise leave because they have no idea what you’re talking about.

7. Check Your Hardware

There’s no worse feeling in a Live broadcast than having your audio or video randomly cut out, or watching your broadcast back and realizing everything is blurry, or you can’t hear anything.

Luckily, these are all issues you can easily avoid!

Before you double-check your setup, put some effort into making it as good as possible. Aim for high quality and reliability – an iPhone 7+ camera might be better than your 2012 MacBook’s webcam, but it also has a higher chance of dying while you’re broadcasting.

Pick a reliable setting as well – bright, solid-color backgrounds work great (see below). If you can, do a practice run-through with all of your hardware to make sure it’s all working.

Here are some quicker audio-visual rules of thumb:

  • Adequate lighting: Making sure your subjects are well-lit means you’re not left with two silhouettes on an overexposed background. Use some additional lights if you need them.
  • The sound is everything: Seriously. People can deal with 360p video (remember 2008?), but if they can’t hear you, they’re going to leave. I guarantee it. If you can, use an external mic (like a USB condenser mic) for your audio – it’s dozens of times better than your laptop’s built-in mic.
  • Use a tripod: Unless you’re live-streaming an event, you want your video to be as steady as possible. Thankfully, a tripod takes care of this easily.

8. Use Third-Party Broadcasting Software

Though we don’t condone or recommend it, there is a way to stream a Facebook Live video without actually being Live.

Without going too far into detail, Facebook allows you to broadcast Live to your page using an external program, such as Open Broadcasting Software (OBS). Because OBS can stream video and audio from a number of sources, you could technically stream a pre-recorded video to Facebook Live using the software, just as Tesla did in the example below.

Third-party broadcasting programs like OBS can also be helpful if you’d like to edit your videos slightly before they go Live. These cases might include adding overlays (like logos or graphics, as you can see below) or if you’re just not sure you’ll get it right on the first take.

That being said, don’t chop up your video or stream a professionally edited video as if it’s Live – your fans will know, and they probably won’t like it.

9. Get Viewers to Subscribe to Live Notifications

If you’re considering making Live video a big part of your social media marketing strategy, it’s essential to maximize the number who show up to your broadcasts.

One way to increase the chances your fans will tune in is to get them to turn on Live notifications. We touched on this earlier in the article, but it’s important enough to merit its own point.

We’d create a post or graphic with the following information, and maybe append it to your Facebook Live announcement mailout, too.

Here’s what your viewers need to do:

  • Visit your Page on desktop or mobile
  • Click the “Notifications” button under your cover photo
  • Pressing the “edit options” pencil icon in the drop-down menu
  • Turning on notifications under “Live videos” for “All Live Posts.”

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And that’s it! It’s super simple, and you now have the benefit of having your fans be notified every single time you go live.

This increases the effectiveness of future Live broadcasts, too, and your viewers only need to do it once (though we’d add this information to every Live announcement for new fans or people who haven’t already done it).

10. Add an Ask or CTA

Finally, add some sort of CTA to your Live broadcast. This is a tactic that will give you the best chance at generating some kind of immediate return on Facebook Live.

Either add an “ask” to the end of your video (or sporadically throughout it) to direct viewers towards your ultimate goal, whether that’s your e-commerce store to get them to buy the product you’re highlighting in your video, or to a sales page to get them to book a call.

One great way to add this without needing to bring it up during your video continually is to use OBS (or another software) to add it to your broadcast as an overlay. Make it unobtrusive, so your video is still the primary focus of the broadcast, but visible and enticing enough that people will act upon it.

Either way, make sure you give viewers an avenue to convert in some way – trust me, driving a sale or demo from a social media marketing strategy is a good feeling.

Wrapping it up

There you have it – 10 awesome tips and strategies to think about when you’re planning your next Facebook Live video. Hopefully, you’ve learned something new about this rapidly growing video format!

If you have any questions about Facebook Live (or just Facebook in general), we’d be more than happy to answer them in the comments below.

If your business needs help with social media marketing in McKinney, TX., please call us at (469) 907-1057.  Luce Media has deep expertise in Digital Marketing, B2B Marketing, Internet Marketing and is a well-established Digital Media Consultant in McKinney, TX.

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Instagram to Launch Long Form Video

Instagram is reportedly just hours away from launching a new long-form video hub in a bid to take on YouTube.

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New editing tools expected to boost video upload limit from 60 seconds to an hour. At the moment, Instagram users can only upload videos that are a maximum of 60 seconds long, but the tech site says IGTV will increase that limit to up to 60 minutes.

The social network is aiming to attract internet celebrities, rather than media companies, with the new feature, The Verge reports. Instagram is also believed to be “courting individuals to start producing content”, the news site adds.

If the rumors are true, IGTV will pose a greater threat to YouTube than to video messaging app Snapchat, which features more content from “traditional outlets” such as MTV and Vice. Instagram has reportedly been in talks with content creators about making longer videos as it fights for younger audiences.

IGTV users will be able to link to existing posts and websites through the video feature, which could help social influencers drive traffic towards their online stores, says Engadget.

There may also be a financial incentive with a “monetization” option, the website adds. Some YouTubers make a living on that platform through advertising revenue. The image-sharing platform is well-placed to earn a lot of money from advertising if takes a leaf out of YouTube’s book.

If the new video features were to prove popular, Instagram might launch a dedicated IGTV app, according to TechCrunch.  This follows other recent changes by Instagram and owner Facebook.

IGTV is expected to be launched today during an Instagram press conference scheduled to take place at 9am PST.

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Social Media Marketing for Small Business – The Lucé Media Academy

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Create a Killer Content Marketing Campaign by Going Beyond the Written Word

Content marketing is an essential consideration for any business hoping to build a robust online presence today. Chances are good that when you think of content marketing, you picture techniques like blogging, social media posts, creating reports and whitepapers, and the like.

Luce Media - Digital Agency & Social Media Marketing McKinney, Frisco, Plano, DallasThere’s good reason for this, too – written content is important, and can provide you with a significant return on your investment. However, there’s more to content marketing than the written word, and utilizing non-written types of content in your online marketing efforts can drive significant traffic, result in ongoing growth, and support profitability.

A Look at the Statistics

While the statistics surrounding written content are impressive, those surrounding non-written content marketing metrics are just as remarkable. Here are a few of the most important takeaways, according to HubSpot:

  • Podcast listening grew 23% between 2015 and 2016, and 21% of Americans 12 and older report listening to at least one podcast in the previous month.
  • Of the content distribution channels most heavily used in digital marketing, five have nothing to do with written content (YouTube, Facebook Video, Instagram, podcasts and Snapchat).
  • Visual content is 40x more likely to be shared on social platforms than other types of content.
  • Infographics are liked/shared on Facebook 3x more than any other type of content.

Those are pretty noteworthy statistics, and they clearly illustrate the need to ensure you have non-written content in your marketing strategy. What types of content work best, though? There are quite a few that you should know, and we’ll outline them below.

Vital Non-Written Content Types for Content Marketing Campaigns

Many of the content types mentioned below should be obvious from the statistics previously discussed, but there may be a few surprises.

Video: This should come as no surprise. Video has been, and will continue to be, the most frequently consumed type of content online. Consider the fact that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world and deals only with video content.

Three of the platforms mentioned in the statistics section also cater towards video to one extent or another, and there’s the fact that this type of content can be used virtually anywhere, from YouTube and Vimeo to Facebook and Instagram to your company’s blog.

Infographics: Infographics are interesting combinations of written text and illustrative graphics. While the text provides important information, it’s the graphic elements that really capture your audience. These powerful tools do an incredible job of breaking down complex topics into manageable chunks, explaining convoluted subject areas and connections, and more, and they can be used by businesses in virtually any industry. They can also be used as content on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram, your website or blog, as guest posts on other sites and more.

Livestreaming: This one wasn’t mentioned in the statistics section, but bears a little scrutiny. While it should not be the cornerstone of your marketing, it can be an important addition. Livestreaming is being used by businesses and organizations in every industry, from Food Network to NASA, and everything in between.

It provides a dramatic, immediate connection between you and your audience, allows your audience to interact with you (or your presenters), and can be recorded and reused later. It can also be done on most of the big social networks today, including Snapchat, Facebook Live and YouTube Live. Instagram has also now introduced similar capabilities for their users.

Podcasts: For those not in the know, podcasts are essentially Internet radio shows. They’ve been around for a very long time, but have really caught on in recent years. You can use a podcast to create a reputation as a thought leader in your industry, to explore specific topics in depth, to provide entertainment, and more. They’re heavily used by creators today, but also by many others, including Fortune 500 companies and small businesses.

Other Visual Elements: There are quite a few other visual elements that can be used in your content marketing, either in addition to or conjunction with written content. Memes are hugely popular, and can help you tie into pop culture while remaining relevant, but they are not right for all companies.

You can (and should) be using images to pepper your written content, as well. Articles and blog posts with images outperform those without by a significant margin. Then there are things like presentations, slideshows (Slideshare is an incredibly popular site), and concept visualizations to name just a few.

As you can see, there are plenty of non-written options that can be vital inclusions in your content marketing plan. Perhaps the most important consideration is that you work with a partner who understands not just the importance of content marketing in today’s world, but the wide range of content types that should play a role in building your online presence and sales funnel.

The strategists at Lucé Media can help with all types of content marketing. Click here to get a free analysis of your companies digital marketing and social media marketing efforts. We do content marketing in McKinney, TX and Frisco, TX and Plano, TX.

Source:

https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics

http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/developing-a-strategy/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/miketempleman/2016/11/03/content-marketing-trends-what-to-expect-in-2017-and-beyond/#7aba33d248bb

https://memeburn.com/2014/05/beyond-writing-8-alternative-content-marketing-ideas-and-how-to-leverage-them/