“Three, Two, One and we’re Live”. Live video is gaining popularity as a source of information and entertainment and social media has facilitated live streaming with platforms like Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram Live and YouTube Live.

When utilized correctly, Live feeds can be powerful business tools, but it takes more than simply hitting the go live button to harness the full potential of this medium. Here are a few steps to help you successfully incorporate live video into your marketing strategy:

  1. The Message Matters

Thanks to live streaming platforms making videos to share with your audience has never been easier or most cost effective.  Businesses have an opportunity to showcase their products or services without have to invest in cost costly equipment (besides perhaps a tripod for stability) or software.  In addition to this live video has made it perfectly acceptable to show raw and unedited footage over polished videos.  It is this feature that creates an authentic interaction with the audience however that interaction should still be well thought out and compelling.

The message matters, your content is incredibly important so before going live give it some careful thought.  Think about the message you want to convey with a video.  Do you want to provide information about a product or services or share customer experiences?  Do you want to feature an industry expert or provide your customers with an opportunity to ask questions? Determine these answers to help you craft your content before going live.

  1. Promote your Content

So you’ve strategized and carefully planned out your content, the next step is to ensure that it gets seen. Will you be sharing your content on one medium or across multiple mediums?  If so that may require some additional planning such as setting up an additional tripod and recording device (phone, tablet, lap top)in order to broadcast on different channels simultaneously.

In addition to this you may want to consider both organic and paid distribution in order to target your audience.  Here are the differences between the two:

Organic Distribution

Leveraging your existing audience and encouraging them to tune in by promoting live feeds via social media, email and your website.  This can be done by sending out notifications and emails or even asking them to register.  Engage them by providing updates and countdowns on social media accounts like posting “we’ll be live in 10 minutes” as well as advising when you are live.

Paid Distribution

Just as its name suggests, this entails boosting your visibility through paid promotion.  Paid promotion, similar to paid media will expand your reach by targeting your specific audience in real time once you go live.  The added benefit of paid promotion for live videos is that you will be provided with metrics and insights on viewership which is valuable for follow up afterwards.

  1. Audience Engagement

As previously discussed there are many live platforms to choose from and making a decision on which to utilize is important for audience engagement.  Looking for options like allowing for audience participation through asking questions or providing commentary is crucial to engagement.

Incentives are also great for audience engagement.  While it is not necessary to incorporate giveaways or prizes into your live video it can boost audience participation.

  1. Data and Analysis

Stats and numbers are relevant measures in any business and data collection assists with strategizing for business.  Analysis of how live video is performing as a business tool is significant to a social media marketing plan.

The data collected via social media platforms that tracks metrics like number of views, shares and comments can provide valuable insight on the effectiveness of live video helping to determine the viability of this platform for your business.  These metrics can also offer insight on potential customers which will help when it comes to marketing campaigns.

  1. Return on Investment

Conversion from viewers to buyers is ultimately the goal of a live broadcast.  Measuring this type of ROI is a process that involves engaging the audience, disseminating information about your product or service and then closing the deal by converting them into buyers.  As with other forms of social media, the live stream should be lead generating, driving traffic to your site.

Live video platforms enable you to distribute the URL of the live feed through online ad units which can track things like view time, engagement and conversions based on click-throughs and other metrics. These are useful insights when strategizing for future marketing campaigns.

As with all social media tool live video can be an effective marketing tool when implemented and utilized correctly.  In order to be successful at going live you must create a strategy to produce relevant content as well as help identify and target the right audiences in order to achieve ROI. For assistance on incorporating live broadcasts into your overall social media marketing strategy contact Social Know How.