William Joseph Communications

Marketing Do or Don't: Live Video

It’s no secret that the current social media landscape can be a confusing world for brands to navigate. Its ever-changing nature can make creating effective marketing strategies difficult – one minute Facebook reigns supreme, the next it’s Instagram. Not only are the platforms constantly filtering through, but consistent upgrades and new added features can prove to be less user-friendly than developers hope they would. Take for example the Instagram feed; developers changed it from chronological order to a seemingly more tailored experience for each individual user. This resulted in major backlash as many found their posts were not being seen by their followers, ultimately forcing users to shift focus to Instagram stories rather than traditional posting.

Another feature recently introduced on multiple platforms that has brands confused is live video. It is now possible to create live streams on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, allowing audiences to see what you are doing in real time. But, as with nearly all new social media features, many brands begin to experiment without concrete strategy, which can result in lost time and effectiveness. So, is live video right for your marketing plan, and if so, how do you execute it effectively? Here are a few ways to get started:

Know your audience

This should be a first step in any marketing strategy – live video or not. In order to effectively communicate with your audience, you have to know who they are. What platforms do they use? When are they most engaging? What kind of content do they respond to best? It wouldn’t make any sense to do a ‘behind-the-scenes’ type of video on Facebook live if your audience are consistently sending you questions through Instagram direct messaging – try a live Q&A on Instagram instead. It’s important to do the preliminary research to understand what your current (and desired) audiences are looking for – demographic research will go a long way here.

Consider your industry

When developing a plan to execute a marketing strategy, consider what it is you want to communicate with your audiences. If you’re planning on sharing valuable industry information, consider whether you want to be a thought leader or if you want to keep trade secrets, well, secret. Is a behind-the-scenes look into your brand’s operations going to make for an enticing or boring video? Be brutally honest with yourself and think about live video content from a consumer’s perspective – what is it you’d want to know?

Be prepared to improvise

The nature of live video is exactly that – live. It’s meant to be in the moment and real, meaning there’s no room for rigid, scripted content. That’s not to say there isn’t a place for this produced content, it would just be better suited as a post. If you’ve decided to use live video as part of your marketing strategy, use it as a tool to give audiences an inside scoop into your brand, whether that be answering live questions or giving an in-the-moment sneak peek into specific operations. The beauty of live video is the authenticity is gives brands, making them more relatable – take this time to truly connect.

Look, live videos are tricky. Not only do you need to consider all of the above, but you also need to have insight into what time of day and week your audiences is most active on social media to be able to time it correctly. A live video won’t be effective if no one tunes in. Luckily, our marketing expertise will not only help you identify is live video is right for your brand, but also the best course of action for executing that plan. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you navigate the world of live video.

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