Over the past three years, Facebook has made a substantial pivot to video. It will become an exclusively video-based platform within five years. Facebook Live is a live streaming feature on Facebook in which individual profiles and organizations can broadcast live to whoever happens to be tuning in.
What are the advantages of Facebook Live
Advertising with Facebook Live differs significantly from video marketing. Because live video is unedited and occurs in real-time, it reads as more authentic, and exclusive. Going Live is excellent for brand building, showing off your company culture, or going behind the scenes for an impromptu interview with a standout employee or manager. Live video also gives audiences a sense of immediacy—the possibility of being able to interact with you and your brand is exciting to them.
How do I get started?
It’s easy to get started with Facebook Live. All you have to do is click the “Live Video” button in the “Create a Post” window on your Facebook homepage. However, it’s not recommended that you start your Live video without developing a substantial plan of action: remember, there’s no editing out your flubs if they’re Live!
First, you should identify the goal for your Facebook Live campaign. Live video is an excellent way to build your brand, but that’s not all it’s good for. You can close sales, introduce an influencer or a brand ambassador, launch a new campaign, or conduct giveaways. Live video is also optimal for quasi-editorial content such as interviews, tutorials, and how-to series. By providing educational or informative content for free, you prove that you care about enriching your customer’s life.
To get the biggest audience possible, you should promote your Livestream. Facebook will float your Livestream quite favorably in your audiences’ feeds, but you can boost the odds by creating a Facebook event, sending out messages to your followers, and cross-posting your Livestream on your other social media channels.
You should also do an environment check. A little bit of clutter in the background is good—it will make you seem more authentic because you won’t look like you’re trying too hard. However, if you’re backlit, or something is distracting, embarrassing, or worse, incriminating, in the frame, you’ll want to make the necessary adjustments before you go live.
Facebook likes it when your audience engages with your Livestream. You should encourage interaction, and talk directly to your audience—answering their questions, and responding to the comments that they can send you in real-time.
After the Livestream
Facebook archives your Livestream videos, and it’s up to you what you want to do with it. It would be a shame to let it all go to waste, but leaving the Livestream up in-full makes diminishes the exclusive aspect of the Livestream. A happy medium here is to re-cut the “greatest hits” of your Livestream—particularly funny or informative moments—which can then be uploaded within your conventional video marketing pipeline. This allows you to continue to make the information presented in the Livestream available in a succinct, accessible manner.
Unfortunately, the extended rollout of Facebook’s robust video content marketing system has corresponded with increased criticism of the company for many different reasons, most notably their lack of oversight of how third parties such as Cambridge Analytica were able to exploit Facebook Ads during the 2016 presidential election. Facebook has responded by placing increasingly stringent content restrictions on advertisers. This includes archives of live videos. Facebook wants to float original content by independent creatives. Longer content is preferred—as long as it’s engaging, of course, and holds a viewer’s attention for longer than three minutes on average. Facebook is still an incredible resource for advertisers, but success using Facebook Ads requires you to play the game a bit more and to make every optimization possible. Livestreaming is a format that is afforded a favorable place in Facebook’s News Feed, and by making sure that you have a clear goal, a plan for execution, and a process for archiving your Livestreams, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of this young and exciting advertising channel.