Video content is highly engaging, and anyone who has ever binge-watched a Netflix series knows how addicting it can be as well.
In the wide world of digital advertising, marketers generally want to hook users with highly engaging content, but most businesses forgo video content creation because they simply lack the skills or means.
And it seems that there’s only one thing more engaging than video content: live video content. Take sporting events, for example. There’s just some nearly indescribable energy surrounding the game when it’s live, and it’s exhilarating to experience unfolding events with a crowd. But if you were to watch a recorded version of that same game only a few days later, it wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining.
The same holds true for live video in your marketing campaign, and with social media platforms, it has never been easier for businesses to connect with an audience. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the best uses of live video content – let’s get cracking.
1. Use Live Streaming as a Way to Directly Answer Social Media Questions
If you’re to the stage where you have a moderate following of users who regularly interact with your content, using live video is a much more personable and humanizing medium with which to address your audience’s questions. In the interest of responding quickly, I do still encourage you to reply textually on social media platforms, if possible.
But chances are if one audience member brings up a good point or asks an interesting question, other members of your audience would also see value in the answer. If you have high enough volume of customer inquiries, you could setup a weekly live stream as a Q&A regarding current events in your industry, product/service questions, or educational inquiries.
2. Hold Live Webinars
Webinars are typically live, though there are some educational courses that use pre-recorded lecturers. But do note that live webinars are superior to static video lectures, because they allow you to connect with your audience in a manner that’s nearly identical to interacting with them face-to-face.
Live webinars are really great for products and services that are highly demonstrable, which isn’t so different from a visual sales demonstration, like something you might see on QVC.
Other times, you can expound on other industry related events like news or industry trends. Just make sure that you include a healthy yet appropriate number of calls to action in your webinar.
3. Include Teasers to Build Hype and Launch Upcoming Products and Services
Live video content also lends itself well to plugs. For those of you who didn’t know, a “plug” is any time a product or service is mentioned to an audience in order to promote it. For example, when a guest on The Late Show talks about their book with the host, the show has effectively “plugged” the book to build hype and awareness.
You can use live videos to do the same thing and plug products you wish to promote. For example, if you had a weekly or even monthly live video strategy, you may want to include a “new arrivals” roundup detailing with hot new products and services that are up and coming. And if you are releasing a new product or service in the future, live video is a great way to tell your audience about it in real-time.
4. Product Reviews and Tests
I’ve also seen influencer commonly turn to live video to not only showcase new products, but to also review other products in a service or category. This could be a way for an ecommerce store to draw attention to a product or service the website wishes to promote. Other times, I’ve seen product curration websites and YouTube channels whereby the influencer shows the audience which products to buy or not buy in a given niche, as demonstrated in the review.
This could be a great way to show an audience how your product or service is superior in a live demonstration too. The real key here is to be as topical and relevant as possible, though. Ideally you want to review a product that’s fresh and new; otherwise, people may feel bored or choose to not engage with your content.
If you feel comfortable in front of a crowd and want to flex your mental muscles, you may want to consider an AMA (Ask Me Anything) event for your audience. This is especially useful if your audience is seeking personal advice, which is applicable to a wide variety of industries. The problem with AMA’s, however, is that they can become boring if the same questions are asked and answered over and over. To avoid this problem, you can simply set a theme or topic for the AMA.
6. Behind The Scenes Reveals
Human beings are curious and inquisitive by nature, and we always want to feel like we’re ‘in the know.’ Showing your audience what’s happening behind the scenes will help sate their curiosity and provide them with engaging entertainment. That’s one reason content like How It’s Made are so successful.
And there are plenty of ways to get creative with content ideas, even if your business doesn’t manufacture products in mass quantity like How It’s Made. It could even be something simple. Let’s consider a small restaurant, for example. The restaurant could easily show its audience how it makes a signature dish or menu item, or even how the restaurant bakes fresh bread.
It Doesn't End When You Click STOP
Last but not least, don’t make the mistake of thinking that live video content is ephemeral. Even after the live video has ended, you can still benefit from it by posting it online. Not only could you post it on your website for users who missed out, but you could also share the video again through social media at a point in the future, as long as the content is still relevant.
Most systems (Facebook, YouTube) will let you download an MP4 file of your video, even if it was live. Upload that to all your channels, post it on your blog, and promote it!