When it comes to engagement, live video wins hands-down. Live video has a certain allure that pre-recorded content cannot match. It allows you to connect with your audience in real-time, showcase your knowledge, and turn your content into an experience.
Combine live video with Facebook, the world’s most powerful social network, and you get a social media magnet that’s bound to draw views and shares.
According to Facebook, users comment 10x more and watch Facebook Live videos 3x longer than videos that aren’t live. Therefore, it’s crucial for brands to use Facebook Live to reach out to their audience and engage them to enjoy new business.
Read on to learn how to craft an effective Facebook Live strategy to create a more engaging, and ultimately, more profitable brand experience for your audience:
A key part of a successful Facebook Live strategy is knowing what you want to get out of it, since this will drive your actions and help you measure how well each video performed so you can see what’s working and what’s not.
Look closely at your company’s overall needs and base your goals on them. Ask yourself what you seek to accomplish with Facebook Live videos. Grow subscribers to your blog? Attract new visitors to your site? Drive sales? Reduce calls to customer support? Once you determine your goals you can accurately plan your Live videos and engage your audience effectively.
For example, if you want to increase your audience’s awareness about your product you might want to give a live demonstration how to use your product as opposed to a Question & Answer session.
To help you eliminate the guesswork and set the right goals for your Facebook Live strategy, use Hubspot’s goal-setting template.
Create Engaging Content
Facebook users see a lot of content pass through their news feed in a day so your Live video needs to be interesting enough to be worth their time. Additionally, highly shareable content can give your business a boost, leading new people back to your site and increasing conversions.
Here are the keys to creating Facebook Live content that engages your audience and helps you achieve your goals:
Make it visually engaging.
Because Facebook Live videos auto play on mute in people's News Feed until the viewer manually turns the volume on, it’s vital to be visually engaging to entice people to join and stick around for the complete broadcast.
Consider buying a tripod, especially if you’re moving the camera around, to avoid a shaky live-stream, dress professionally, and use three-point lighting (light up three areas: your subject, the area behind the subject (back light), and the area opposite your subject (the fill light)) to ensure you’re portrayed in the most flattering way.
If your audio is garbled or inaudible, viewers are likely to give up and walk away. Speak loudly and clearly and invest in a good quality microphone to ensure your audio is clear so viewers can hear what you have to say.
When starting a broadcast, be sure to introduce yourself and what value this video will provide viewers so they'll want to continue watching. For example, if you’re hosting a Q&A session, let everybody know what topic your speaking about and why, mention it a few times throughout the broadcast for those joining late.
The more real you are, the more viewers will identify with you and care about what you’re doing. Relax, smile, open up to the viewers, and have fun!
Invite questions and comments to engage your audience and build a relationship with them. Remind viewers every 10 minutes that their questions are welcome. When you’re answering questions or reacting to posts, refer to the person by name so they know you are watching the feed comments and ask people where they are from to provide a personal and memorable experience for your viewers that will make them more likely to come back.
Use different formats.
Try different types of broadcasts to keep your audience engaged. Here are some of our favorite formats:
Ask Me Anything (AMA) and Question & Answer (Q&A) Content: The interactive nature of Facebook Live makes it the perfect platform for you to communicate directly with your audience, answer their burning questions to attract and engage prospects as well as generate sales.
Behind-the-Scenes: Give a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Share how you create a product, how the team works and relaxes, etc. This will get your audience engaged since people love watching everything that's typically off limits.
Demos/How-Tos: Show off your products and teach your audience how to use them to catch users’ attention and familiarize them with your business.
Product and Service Announcements: Go Live for a big announcement or the launch of a campaign to build anticipation for whatever it is you plan to tell your audience. Be sure to tease the live-stream in advance and let fans know to tune in for some big news.
Interview Industry Experts: Interview well-respected industry experts to boost engagement, build brand awareness, and increase Facebook reach by providing unique and valuable information about your industry to current and potential customers.
Organize Your Content in a Winning Publishing Calendar
A publishing calendar organizes the way you curate and create content, and cuts extra time out of your Facebook Live strategy while helping you allocate your resources wisely to ensure your brand consistently publishes high-quality and high-performing Live videos.
Use a separate sheet for each month, with activities further broken down by month or day, depending on the volume of content you plan to publish. Make sure it’s easy to read and contains all the necessary information for your content marketing strategy.
Develop themes based on your buyer personas and their pain points. This ensures your Live broadcasts are relevant, useful, or educational to your audience, and helps prospects become paying customers.
Check out CoSchedule’s free editorial calendar template to help you manage your Live content production efficiently.
Write a Solid Video Script
Broadcasting live, by its very nature, means you can’t plan precisely what’s going to happen. But that doesn’t mean you should just wing it.
Plan your Facebook Live content by writing a script with the main points of your video to ensure your messaging aligns with your goals and objectives and that you communicate your thoughts clearly.
Include any information such as close-up shots of products or small breaks to give the audience a chance to weigh in before continuing, so you remember each step you want to incorporate.
Use Google Docs to collaborate on the script with team members. Your revision history will always be there for you in case you need to revert to a previous version and your teammates can use the comments feature to add their two cents without changing the actual script copy.
Once your script is written, read it carefully, fine-tune it and get rid of anything that is irrelevant to your message.
Your Facebook Live broadcast is like any other event; if you want anyone to show up, you’ve got to let them know it’s happening.
Build anticipation by letting your audience know when you'll be going Live with a written post. Facebook suggests a one day's notice gives people the right amount of time to tune in. If your Live video is important enough, you can boost your announcement posts with paid Facebook ads.
Invite your blog readers, email subscribers, and followers from other networks to join the stream and include a link to your account, business page, group, or event so they can easily find it.
Remind your audience you’re going live in another written post right before you start streaming and include a catchy description for your video explaining the benefit they get from watching it to capture their attention. A bad description—or worse, none at all—makes it more likely people will keep on scrolling.
Monitor and Measure It
Monitoring the reach and engagement of your Facebook Live broadcasts lets you see what’s working well and what you need to do to improve your results.
Pay close attention to metrics like number of views while you were broadcasting, peak concurrent views (the highest number of viewers who were watching the video while it was live), number of shares and video engagement to help you understand the performance of your video, analyze viewer feelings, and identify the most compelling moments so you can replicate the things that viewers respond well to.
To reap the benefits that Facebook Live offers you need to have a clear plan. Start with these 6 steps and you’ll be well on your way to creating killer Facebook Live videos that will improve your visibility and make you and your business more relatable, so you can develop relationships with current and future customers.
Let us know how you use Facebook Live to reach your audience. We would love to hear from you!