So, you’ve heard the buzz and the excitement and you want to get involved with Facebook Live. This is a great decision no doubt and one that can give you a great edge over your competition while helping you to connect with your audience in whole new ways.
All that’s left to do is to get started! So the questions is: how do you use the new tool? What tricks do you need to know? And what features are there to take advantage of?
Getting started fortunately couldn’t be easier. Simply open up your Android or iOS Facebook app and then find the box you would normally type in to post new content. When you click this, you will be presented with a number of additional options along the bottom which include posting a picture or a video. And now you also have the option to post live videos – which is represented by an icon that looks like a person with radio waves emanating from their head.
Click this and you will be taken to a new screen where you can enter a description for your video, or where you can decide who gets to see the content. If you chose to post from your Facebook page, then the video will automatically be public meaning that anyone can watch it either from the Facebook Live Map or if they find your page/see your post in their homefeed.
If you posted the video in a private group meanwhile, then it will be visible only to that private group by default. And if you posted from your personal Facebook page, you can choose very specifically who you want to share your videos with.
The only other options on the page at this point are the option to switch between front-facing and rear cameras and the option to go live when you’re ready!
Once you’re live, you simply talk into the camera and aim it where you want it. Note that you can see comments left by viewers as well as their ‘reactions’ which may be a ‘like’ a ‘love’ or another expression. You can also see how many people are viewing and when someone new joins in. It’s a good idea to mention people as they tune in as it can help them to feel more involved and increase the intimacy and engagement of your videos!
When creating content for Facebook Live – or any type of live video for that matter – you will quickly learn that some types work better than others. Some content is simply more engaging in a live format and works better that way, while other types just aren’t suited to this type of video.
For example, you probably wouldn’t create an advert on Facebook Live. This wouldn’t really benefit from the platform at all and you wouldn’t have the ability to edit or format your video in the way you would expect to be able to for an advert.
So that’s an example of what doesn’t work. Now for what does work…
A ‘top ten’ list is an ideal format for a live video for a number of reasons. For one, it gives you a structure that you can keep coming back to while still letting you speak relatively freely. At the same time, it will provide enough structure that someone joining you halfway through will know what the video is about and be able to catch-up: especially if you use a whiteboard as a prop with your list.
This could be an interview with yourself, or with another person. Either way, you’ll have a great format for an engaging piece of content and you’ll additionally be able to get more questions from your audience. This is a great way to take advantage of the live format.
If the interview is with you, then you can call it an ‘AMA’ – Ask Me Anything.
Seminars are very popular among internet marketers and work particularly well as part of a sales funnel. By taking this well-known format and putting it in a live video setting, you can actually make it into something much more exciting and unique for your visitors. Additionally, this will give your viewers the opportunity to actually interact with you and ask questions – significantly increasing the value of the seminar. And if you want an even more interactive format, consider looking into ‘Blab’ as well.
Reviews are a great way to sell a product and again, the live format will only add to this. That’s because a live review once again means you can answer questions and show off features you might otherwise have missed! Plus, this is the closest you can come to selling something to your audience face-to-face!
Facebook Live is a platform that should appeal to anyone who is trying to build a personal brand and establish themselves as a thought leader in their niche. This will encompass a very large proportion of digital marketers and make this a platform that a lot of people start making use of.
What this also means is that some of the people reading this and planning on creating live content won’t have much experience with creating video content. So if you’re not an experienced YouTuber, read on to learn some of the tips of the trade that will help you to create more engaging and professional videos…
Video quality makes a huge difference on YouTube. On Facebook Live of course this isn’t such a big issue (seeing as everyone is recording from their phones) but you can nevertheless make a big difference if you invest in a high quality camera phone.
What’s arguably even more important meanwhile is that your videos be bright. Even a low quality video will look much clearer crisper if the room has lots of light! Either invest in a light box, or try to use natural light strategically. Aim for ‘Rembrandt lighting’ which means lighting your face from one side more than the other.
Your audio is equally important. Make sure that you record your sound using a lapel mic or a phone with a clear built in microphone. Speak slowly and clearly and think as well about the acoustics of the room you’re in: this can make a surprisingly big difference! Avoid echoing spaces where possible and think about your background noise. If people can’t hear what you’re saying, they’ll leave quickly!
Being a good presenter is about being engaging and clear. It’s also about being charismatic and smart. Try to dress for the occasion but likewise don’t look overdressed as this will just make you look desperate – which is never a good look! Go for ‘effortlessly smart’ and try watching your favorite YouTubers for tips.
Finally, think about your ‘set’. The area you film in is very important and will make a big difference. In particular, try to avoid filming anywhere where there’s too much activity behind you that could be distracting. Likewise, avoid filming anywhere that looks untidy or unprofessional. Your living room is not a good choice if there is lots of rubbish strewn around the place!
Facebook Live is a relatively new platform that offers some amazing and incredibly exciting opportunities for marketers.
But while Facebook Live is a new player, live streaming itself is not so new. In fact, several other live streaming services have been around for a while now and have been making big waves in the last year. Let’s take a look at what those platforms are and how they compare with Facebook.
Specifically: if you could only invest time and effort into one of these platforms, which one would it be?
Let’s take a look.
Other than Facebook Live, the two biggest live streaming platforms are:
These are two dedicated platforms that work very much like Facebook Live but with a few differences in terms of features. Periscope is owned by Twitter and is the larger of the two platforms, while Meerkat is a little way behind.
Both these platforms have very similar feature sets but with a few key differences. Videos stick around on Periscope for 24 hours after you create them for instance, while they disappear instantly from Meerkat. Periscope also has a very handy map-view that makes it easy to find new content. In its favour, Meerkat allows you to use images as slides during your live feeds.
While these are the two biggest platforms, there are some other options. YouTube has a live streaming service for instance but this is isn’t yet a major focus of the service. Twitch is a huge service that focusses on streams of computer games, while Blab is an interesting program currently in beta that allows you to have conferences and invite multiple viewers to take part.
Facebook comes out on top when compared to these platforms in almost every respect though.
For example, Facebook actually allows you to keep your videos indefinitely once you’ve streamed them; and even do some light editing.
Most important though is the far bigger audience that Facebook Live gives you access to. In order to watch Facebook Live videos, an audience doesn’t have to sign up to anything. Any Facebook user will conceivably be able to watch your live videos as long as they’re following your page. At the same time though, you still have all the same advantages in terms of the engagement and excitement of live video.
There are specific use-case scenarios where other platforms come out on top… but if you had to bet on one platform now, Facebook would be the smartest choice!
Once you try creating content for Facebook Live, you will very quickly recognize just how great the format is for really connecting with your audience and offering something different and more exciting compared with your competition.
And once you realize that, you’ll no doubt want to ensure that your content is seen by as many people as possible. This is why it’s so important to start building your viewership and making sure you have as large an audience as possible. And after all, isn’t that the MO of any internet marketer?
So the question then becomes: how do you go about growing your audience on Facebook and getting more people to read your content? Let’s take a shot at answering that question…
Anyone who follows your Facebook Page should be able to see your live content on their home feed. And happily, Facebook has commented that its algorithm puts live content above most other types of content. Thus, the easiest way to get more people to see your videos is to grow your following for your page. And the way you do that is the way you handle any social media marketing: by building your brand across multiple channels and making sure that you are consistently offering high quality and establishing yourself as an authority.
You can also use Facebook Advertising to build more likes for your page. And actually, the best way to do this is with ‘CPA’ or ‘Cost Per Action’. This means you only pay when someone takes action through your advert and in this case, that can mean liking your page.
If you can work out how many of your followers see your video and how many of your viewers buy your products, you can then calculate a budget for your CPA ads and actually guarantee a good ROI! CPA combined with Facebook targeting is one of the very best ways to grow your audience.
As with the title of a link, the description of your video is one of the only influencing factors you have to work with. Your aim is to make your video stand out and grab attention in a way that will make people curious!
Some people will find your videos through friends or through the Facebook Live Map. Make sure that you invite them to follow you so you can turn those first-time viewers into long-term fans!