You’ve used regular Facebook posts and videos to put up a lot of promotional material so far? Studies show that 80 million business pages on Facebook belong to small and medium sized businesses. The social media platform has also been termed as the best place for B2B and B2C businesses to be at. You’ve maybe even used to solve pain points your customers are facing.
But have you ever used Facebook Live for your brand marketing efforts?
If you haven’t yet, it’s high time you do!
Facebook Live is more than just a live streaming platform for everyday users.
It’s a powerful marketing tool that you can use to further your marketing efforts and increase engagement with your audience.
I’m sure your next question is going to be ‘how can I use Facebook Live for my business?’
Look no further! Your quest for that answer ends here as I’m going to show you how to make Facebook Live a part of your marketing strategy.
Go Live: A 7-step Action Plan to using the tool in your marketing efforts
A lot of marketers are daunted by the live nature of Facebook Live, thinking that it’s difficult to really make a sell via live streaming. And that’s true. It’s difficult compared to your regular Facebook posts. But it’s certainly not impossible! You simply need to plan it out a little.
Here’s a 7-step action plan you can use to include Facebook Live in your marketing strategy.
Step #1: Outline your target audience
The first and foremost step to any marketing strategy is defining the target audience. And it’s pretty much the same when it comes to Facebook Live! Now you might think you can simply target the audience you usually target. But you can’t.
Here’s the thing – every member of your target audience is different and consumes content in a different way. With your Facebook Live stream, you have to target the section of your audience that primarily consumes video content. You can use your analytics to figure out the kind of people you’ll be engaging with live.
Step #2: Determine the goal of your Facebook Live stream
Since Facebook Live is very different from the regular social media content you put up, you’ll have to put in extra thoughts into what you wish to accomplish with it. Having clear goals will help you strategize the type of content you need to create.
Again, analytics play a major role here. With analytics you can find out the kind of videos people watch, for how long and why do they leave during your broadcast. This information can be useful in devising a solid, goal-oriented strategy. And your goal could be anything – from generating leads to increasing revenue, selling merchandise or even a product for that matter. You can accomplish all of these with Facebook Live.
Step #3: Pick the type of content you would like to share
You can use Facebook Live to put up multiple types of content. But the type you eventually settle on should depend on what your audience wants to see. Focusing on that kind of content will increase your audience’s engagement rate. As a general rule of thumb though, it’s best to put up a wide variety of content – be it tours, tutorials, interviews etc. That way, you cater to all needs while collecting information on the type of content that performs best.
Step #4: Plan your Facebook Live posts
All marketing plans rely on a single concept to achieve success – consistency. That’s why you need to put a lot of thoughts and planning into your Facebook posts. Plan your live streams on a weekly basis or so and ensure that it goes on air at the same time each week. This is how you will manage to get a loyal audience.
You can even schedule your live broadcasts. Facebook gives you the facility to schedule your live streams up to 6 days in advance. Scheduling a post can help you stay right on track. If you intend to schedule your posts, ensure you put up a catchy title along with a solid description and the right tags.
As for the technological aspect of planning a Facebook Live post, not much goes into it. So don’t be scared of the tech involved. You simply need a strong internet connection, a microphone and webcam to go live. It’s really that easy.
Step #5: Promote your upcoming live streams
Since this is a live stream, the next step after planning is promotion. You have to ensure you desired audience watches your live broadcasts so you can achieve your goals. How can you promote it? Here are a few ways you can try:
- Use other social media platforms
If your brand has its online presence on multiple social media channels, why not use those channels to promote your live stream? It’s a simple way to maximize your audience.
- Create a new Facebook Event
On your Facebook page, just go ahead and create a new event to let your followers know you’ll be live broadcasting on a particular date and time. Facebook ads are also a great way to promote your upcoming live stream.
- Conduct Facebook Polls
Apart from creating a Facebook Event, you can even use Facebook polls to increase audience engagement. You can gauge the sentiment of your target audience with these polls as well as ensure they interact consistently with your brand in a positive manner.
- Make the announcement with Messenger Bot
You can reach your audience and inform them of the upcoming live stream via Messenger bot. This gives you the potential to grow both your Messenger bot and email list. And more subscribers is always good news.
Step #6: Optimize the broadcasted video
This step will take place only after you’re done broadcasting. Edit the broadcasted live stream so you can search engine optimize it and make it a part of your SEO strategy. That way, you can make the most out of the content created.
Editing involves adding an attention-grabbing title, updating links and tags, uploading a custom thumbnail on Facebook. Facebook will automatically generate a caption for the video. Then, you can add the video to your library and into the right playlist so people can easily find it.
Step #7: Spread your live stream on different social media platforms
Congratulations on completing your first live stream! Do you realize what it means? You have a brand new video that you can use and reuse this piece of content in different ways to further your marketing efforts.
For example, you could use one-liners and sound bites as Tweets, Instagram stories and more. You could also email the video to your subscribers list and get some traction. Or you could embed the broadcasted video on your website. Maybe even turn it into a podcast? The possibilities are endless!
On-air in 3-2-1: The kind of content that works on Facebook Live
As you can see from the action plan above, you should have clarity on the kind of content you can broadcast on your live stream. Not only should it be engaging, but it should add value to your user as well and uphold your brand image in a positive light at the same time.
If you are not sure about the kind of content you should put up, here are some ideas that work:
- Live tutorials
Establishing yourself as an authority in your niche is always good for business. Live tutorials are a great way to show your audience that you really know your stuff. By conducting live tutorials, you get the chance to demonstrate your expertise and place yourself as a rich resource of useful knowledge. You could also host live online classes to keep your audience engaged.
- Q&As and interviews
Interviews and Q&As are instant attention grabbers; more so when they happen live. Non-scripted, live interviews are viewed upon favorably as they have a layer of authenticity to them. Heck, Mark Zuckerberg does them for the very same reason! You could turn into a regular talk show where you bring in both the powerful and the common man, giving everyone the chance to be heard.
- Webinars and events
Webinars are crucial for online businesses. However, most online webinar platforms are expensive and complex, which makes Facebook Live a very viable option. You could host live events and webinars on Facebook, offering people access to key happenings in your industry. You could also live stream events you attend so your audience knows what you’re up to.
- Brand tours
Do you have an offline presence? Maybe a store, an office space or a studio? Facebook Live is a great way to present detailed tours of your space to your target audience. Knowing how you and your brand function helps in engaging your audience on a personal level. Besides, it shows transparency and honesty – qualities your audience values.
- Product launches
A lot of hype surrounds an impending product launch – you can leverage this excitement by conducting launches on Facebook Live. Since most of these events are extremely exclusive – only VIPs and the press get access – a live stream of a product launch serves as a VIP pass for your audience to witness the magic that’s about to take place.
- News bytes
Share community news, breaking news, rules and tools with them, anything that is relevant to your niche market. Watch their engagement with your content soar.
- Influencer tie-ups
Co-marketing is one of the most powerful ways to achieve your marketing goals. Teaming up with an influencer who belongs to the same niche as your brand can expose you to a much wider range of audience. Featuring an influencer in your Facebook Live stream will lead to greater engagement and a newer audience for you.
Get inspired: Successful Facebook Live examples to learn from
As you can see by now, using Facebook Live is really not that difficult. Especially considering how great the benefits are – more followers, increased audience engagement, higher revenues, enhanced brand awareness and more. However, if you’re still stuck and could do with some inspiration, here are some real world examples of the use of Facebook Live in brand’s marketing strategies.
One of the best examples of using Facebook Live to expand digital presence is Martha Stewart. The queen of crafts and cooking has used Facebook Live extensively to stream recipes, How-To’s, BTS (behind the scenes), AMAs (ask me anything) and more. She also does a Q&A at the end of each video. However, her most successful live stream ventures have been the tutorials she offers to her large audience base.
Martha’s festive tutorial featuring Kevin Sharkey did particularly well. She used the video to advertise her own merchandise, reminding her viewers where they can purchase it from, throughout the course of the video. It was a great advertisement of her product line along with being a useful tutorial.
AMAs do really well on Facebook Live. Sephora is a great example of how to use AMAs in order to increase audience engagement. The beauty brand has conducted several AMAs in collaboration with leading experts in the field. They use these individual 30-minute sessions to offer tips and hacks as well as discuss the latest trends in beauty products. Besides, every time a user asks a question, Sephora makes sure to reply back with a recommendation of their own products, thereby subtly advertising their brand.
To prove that Starbucks is more than tea and coffee, the brand regularly conducts live Facebook streams that touch upon on a wide variety of subjects. Back in 2016, the brand teamed up with Common, the rapper, to hold its own live event in NYC concerning the importance of voting. They live streamed this event on Facebook. Before the start of the event, Starbucks representative asked viewers to send in questions in order to increase engagement. And as promised, they answered these questions later so that viewers would stick around until the end.
Don’t hesitate to share your own examples of successful marketing campaigns using Facebook Live by commenting below.