As 2016 comes to a close, we’ve begun looking at what trends will dominate content marketing and PR in 2017. Live video is certainly one to watch, especially since it will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic next year. Facebook has been tweaking its algorithms to favour video content since early spring. With the launch of Facebook Live this year, the social network made it clear that these videos will receive more organic reach than video content hosted elsewhere. They haven’t left us much choice.
Facebook has been tweaking its algorithms to favour video content since early spring. With the launch of Facebook Live this year, the social network made it clear that these videos will receive more organic reach than video content hosted elsewhere. They haven’t left us much choice.
Here’s a look at our content strategist, James Rubec, taking part in a live Q&A with Adrienne Arsenault from CBC. The pair discussed the influence of bots, trends in online conversations and the importance of social media in politics today, while taking questions from viewers from Facebook.
If you want your video content to receive any views at all on this platform, get using Facebook Live. Here are some items to keep top of mind:
Plan your Facebook Live video content just as you would any other content in your marketing strategy. Add these videos to your editorial calendar so you can see how they will shape your content marketing strategy as a whole, and where and when you can promote the broadcast on your other channels. Don’t post a Facebook Live video if it’s going to compete with or cannibalize another initiative.
Have a purpose
Always have a reason to go Live, and think like a producer to layout the game plan for your video. Write a script, know how long the video will be, how the presenter will transition from point to point and how you’ll manage questions from viewers.
Treat the live broadcast as you would treat an event: let people know the details of the broadcast in advance and invite them to watch. Promote your live broadcast on your blog, Twitter and of course on your Facebook page itself to you spread the word!
You do not have the luxury of retakes on live video, so be sure to practice beforehand. Don’t wing it or you run the risk of looking unprepared, unpolished and worse, lazy. Show your audience you’re willing to put in good effort. Filming the segment on your smartphone prior to the live broadcast will allow you to get used to seeing and hearing yourself on camera and adjust lighting, location or even your outfit, to ensure the best viewer experience. Remember to keep the camera steady. Nothing looks more amateur than a wobbly video frame!
Make your video a little longer
Facebook Live broadcasts can be a little longer than a typical prepared video, because audiences may need a little more time to discover, tune in and engage with your video. If it is only 30 seconds long, you risk missing viewer who hadn’t noticed you yet. Remember, your audience has come to Facebook for their own purposes – to post an update or react to a friend’s update – and when they’re finished that, they may choose to see what you’re doing. The maximum length of a Facebook Live post is 90 minutes, with the social network recommending going live for at least 10 minutes.
This is contrary to prepared videos, which need to be compelling right from the start to attract and keep audiences watching – and which need to be kept tight to ensure important messages are not missed as viewers click away.
Make your content exclusive to Facebook Live
To encourage views to check out your Live video, Facebook recommends using the platform for exclusive content. Viewers are more likely to check out your Live video when they know they won’t be able to view it anywhere else.
An interesting approach is to create a series, such as the series “Tipsy Tricks” hosted by the beauty brand, Benefit. Every Thursday at 4.15pm, a new episode goes live. Locking down a set time works well, according to host Laura Vanderkam, because it capitalizes on existing TV watching behaviour, where viewers get used to tuning in at the same time each week. Consider viewer habits when experimenting with Facebook Live.
Analyze your results
It may take a while for your audience to discover that you use Facebook Live. Track, as best you can, how they’re finding you and modify your promotion accordingly. Tweak, test and edit your video length, description and time slot to see what works best for your audience. Of course, while the goal is for viewers to watch your broadcast live, the video content is also archived on your page and will still accrue views over time. The insights tab on your Facebook page will detail all of the results so you can optimize your Live posts going forward.