They’re everywhere. Insta Stories. YouTube. Facebook.
Live video is clearly taking the lead in Internet content. 80% of users would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. (Ironic, maybe I should turn this into a video instead. haha) Marketers from every industry are realizing this preference and are taking advantage by hosting their own videos.
Some of them are well done. Live videos that are done well achieve high viewing statistics, they’re entertaining or informative, and you feel like you benefitted from watching. However, some of them are just horrible– as if they were an afterthought or put together at the last minute, and they don’t really bring out the best in the host. You know what type of videos I’m talking about–the ones where you finishing watching them and think, “Well, crap. I can’t get those 30 minutes back.” Heck, sometimes I even think that about videos that are only 30 seconds long. It’s so rude to waste someone’s time with a crappy video. Just don’t do it.
If you’re considering hosting a live video, you don’t want to fall into that latter group! Here’s how to avoid it.
On many platforms, hosting a live video can begin in just a couple of clicks. You can plan and host a video in only a few minutes, and an impromptu video can be fun–especially if it’s something fascinating like a concert. (Which btw, 67% of live video viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to a concert or event after watching a live video of that event or a similar one.)
However, you can typically have a much better turnout with a little planning. And your plan must include promotion. Don’t think of promotion as an icky thing, either. When done tastefully, your audience will be glad you promoted. How else will potential viewers know that you have something useful for them in the pipeline?
Let your Facebook groups know about upcoming events. Send an email to your list. Post a blog about the forthcoming video. You could even consider running sponsored ads for your upcoming event if there’s the potential to add to your list or increase your sales.
Basically, don’t just throw a party without sending invitations to your friends!
Engage with Your Audience
One of the biggest draws of live video is that viewers have the ability to interact with the host. Viewers want to get to know you better. They want help with a problem they think you can help them solve. They want to be entertained by you. They want to engage with the other participants.
So, don’t make the mistake of ignoring your viewers/attendees. If you ignore them, you’re essentially telling them, “You’re not important to me.”
Instead, take the time to chat with the audience, acknowledge their comments and say “hi” when they post a greeting. Ask them questions that elicit a response from them, and then answer their questions. Don’t worry about it taking you out of the flow and you lose your place for a second, it’s worth it to make viewers feel respected and as if they’re a part of the party rather than just a passive viewer.
If your video is viewable after the live event is over, remember to go back after your video has ended to check the comments. Encourage further conversation in the comments to get as much life out of that video as possible.
Rinse and Repeat
You have many options when it comes to live video. Insta Stories, YouTube, Facebook, and others all have their places, and I encourage you to try them all. But in the end, you’ll want to focus on what’s working.
If your audience seems to love Facebook, but can’t figure out Periscope, it makes no sense to broadcast on Periscope. The same goes for the length of your video, topic choices, and the day and time of broadcast. Play around with all the variables, record and analyze your results, and do more of what’s working.
What not to worry about when it comes to live video: Perfection.
Despite what you might be thinking, no one expects for you to look like a super model or to speak like a professional news anchor. In fact, being too perfect might actually negatively impact your results, just because your audience loves to feel connected to you. They want authenticity. They know they aren’t perfect, and need to know that you aren’t perfect either. If you can show off some of your imperfections, it will help create a stronger connection.
So, have a plan, promote ahead of time, present valuable content in a professional, yet not necessarily perfect way, and you’re setting yourself up to have happy viewers.
Happy viewers = Loyal Viewers = Potential Conversions Into Customers