If you’re working on marketing your small business likely you have discovered there are thousands of marketing tools to use. But since you don’t have all the time in the world you must somehow choose the most effective ones, such as Facebook Live. This may give you pause and wonder how you missed such an extraordinary tool, particularly if you’ve spent any length of time on Facebook, but most likely you’ve already seen it but not been familiar with the name.
Facebook Live offers anyone the opportunity to post a live streaming video that people can watch, and interact with the presenter through comments and likes.
Why Do I Need Facebook Live for My Business?
Most likely you’ve seen celebrities or friends post fun Facebook Live videos, but it can be an effective marketing tool too. The videos can never be longer than ninety minutes, but two or three minutes is best to hold your audience’s attention. People are hardwired to view visuals more easily than reading a paragraph of text.
A video allows your customers to see that there’s a real face behind the business. It also allows for a large amount of creativity on your part. Videos should also be fun to watch, so you don’t want to create an old school video where you put everyone to sleep.
Here’s how you can build your business using Facebook Live in 7 Simple Steps.
1. Choose your video content.
Some people just pull out their phones, click the icon and start filming, while others create entire scripts. You may wish to do a bit of both. Remember that you are live, and there will be no do-overs. Of course you can take that video and edit it for later, but you really should choose your content in advance.
If you’re an entrepreneur, how can you get started with ideas?
• Try an introductory video just to say hi. Let your audience know your name, business name (if you have one), and the purpose of your video (a great product to simplify your life). Your viewers can sit in on your project and can hear your thoughts.
• Take a video of where you work or do a behind the scenes video and let events unfold. People are always curious about workspace. You can also do this at events, conferences, or conventions. You can share what you’ve learned from other speakers and give your thoughts. This is also beneficial to people who couldn’t find the time to attend an event but are curious as to what is happening.
• Hot news topics. Share your thoughts.
• Do a product demonstration video. You can teach people how the product works, or how to make something.
• Do a watch-with type of video. This can be you watching your favorite movie, show, webinar, or other type of video, and sharing your thoughts.
• Film a video of your city. Not every video has to be business-oriented. You don’t want to inundate your audience with every video that says “buy now”.
• Show your pet in the video. The internet is totally dog and cat crazy.
• Share stories about other people. Source them from Instagram or the net.
• AMAs—Ask me anything or a question and answer.
• Interviews—Interview an expert in your field.
2. Create excitement for the event.
Announce to your fans or potential customers that you’re going to be trying out this new Facebook Live video function at x and x time, and how you’d love to see them tune in. This will build anticipation in your audience. Right now, not enough businesses are utilizing Facebook Live. It’s a new thing to many people. At any given point in time Facebook is inundated with text, photographs, gifs, and video posts, but rarely do you see a lot of Facebook Live videos happening.
This is why it’s the best time to do your Facebook Live video marketing now! Things may change in a year, and that market could be flooded too. The savvy business owner stays on top of the latest trends and uses them to their advantage.
When planning your Facebook Live video you should give people at least a day’s notice to tune in. This gives a chance for people to enter it into their calendars and you’d be surprised at how many will adjust their schedules to do so. On the day of, remind people in the morning. Then about an hour before the broadcast, and then a few minutes in advance, remind people again to tune in.
3. Sign in to Facebook Live.
Facebook Live is a simple and easy feature to use. If you already know how to operate the video camera on your smart phone, and can switch to selfie mode, you’ll find the Facebook Live function simple too.
Open up Facebook on your smart phone. You’ll see at the top of your Newsfeed something that says “What’s on your mind”. Click on this, then select Live Video. You’ll see a red icon there. This is the live streaming icon.
If you can test your WiFI signal in advance, do so. This is particularly important if you have advertised that you’ll be broadcasting live from a trade show or special event, as the FL won’t work if you have a weak signal. In these cases, the icon will be greyed out. Of course you can also use your own 4G connection if you have an unlimited data plan package.
You also have the option to get a friend to film you in action. This is particularly beneficial if you’re doing a product demonstration and want to keep the camera on what you’re doing.
4. Write a catchy description.
Type in a short description of what your live video will be about. You can also choose your audience: friends, public, and then click on the “Go Live” button.
Your headline or description will help your audience to understand what your broadcast will be about.
You don’t want to have a boring video like “water filter demonstration”. That’s boring and no one will tune in. But have something like “Most People Don’t Drink Enough Water—How to Consume Recommended Daily Amount Easily”, or something like that and people will be more interested in stopping by. If all else fails, do a video of your cat drinking the filtered water.
Your descriptions works a lot like a catchy headline. You want to draw viewers in. It’s what they’ll read before they decide to tune in, so you need to make it accurate and compelling, so they’ll drop in.
5. Go live!
There will be a three second countdown before your video goes live.
Any people on Facebook who have been following you will be able to tune into your video.
If you don’t have a smart phone, you can still utilize Facebook Live on your computer. You can download special software from OBS Studio which makes this simple to do on your computer.
Once you’re done with your video, you can click “finish” which will end it. Remember that you have ninety minutes of time in Facebook Live.
You may also wish to consider the length of time you are live before you Go Live. While it’s said that the longer you are live, the more people you’ll reach, you don’t want to bore your first set of viewers who may drop out before you’ve had a chance to complete your message.
When Facebook Live started, it gave people thirty minutes to do their videos. Now it’s ninety minutes, which is akin to a feature film. There are some instances where you can broadcast for 90 minutes—perhaps at a conference or trade show. But 10 minutes is considered the ideal length of time to drop in to say hello to your fans or do a quick product demonstration. If it’s a new product launch, you may get away with 30 minutes.
6. Engage with your viewers.
During the entire process you’ll need to engage with your viewers, from start to finish. Besides the early promotion, you’ll want to engage with viewers during the video too.
You’ll see when you’re doing your live video that like and love icons will flow across the screen. This will encourage you to keep going. Viewers can also post comments underneath. Be sure to thank your viewers for tuning in.
You can also ask questions of your audience during your video. You can ask for feedback, or whether your viewers have any questions. You can then read out a question that was asked, and respond to the questions. It’s up to you how many questions you want to take, as you likely have a script to follow. But it can be beneficial to have a participatory type of experience for your audience.
During your video broadcast you’ll also see your commenter’s names along the bottom of the screen. You can say hello to these people by name. It offers an additional way to connect with your audience.
There is also another great function to Facebook Live that you may not be aware of. You can ask viewers to subscribe to Live notifications. When they’re watching your video, on the screen will be a “Follow” button. This means that your fans or followers will receive a notification that will let them know the next time that you go live.
Right before you end the video be sure to use a closing line. You don’t want to surprise people by suddenly leaving them hanging. Be clear that this is the end, and that you’d love to connect with your audience through social media, email, etc. later. You’ll then hear a ping after your video has ended.
After the video is done, be sure to thank people on Facebook for participating. You can also post a random update every few days or so about how successful your Facebook Live event was, and how another FB Live event is in the works soon.
7. Save and promote your video.
Even though your video is done you still have the option to save it to your smart phone. It will also be posted as a permanent feature on your time line.
There are benefits to using Facebook Live over other video products such as Meerkat or Periscope because Facebook Live lets you not only save the video, but to retrieve it at any time for marketing purposes.
You can keep your video on your Facebook wall so that your customers can pop in at any time and watch it. You can also put it on your website, or do a post with the link in it, in case some of your followers haven’t seen it yet.
The additional benefit of cross-promoting your Facebook Live video is that most of the work has already been done, and it takes only seconds to post a link to it in the future.
Once you’ve done your first video, you’ll start thinking about how to make a better one for next time. You don’t want to do videos all day long as you’ll overwhelm your audience, but you can encourage your fans to at least pop in once a week. It’s up to you if you wish to do one video at day, but if you choose to do so, ensure that each daily video is unique and different than the last one.
Once you try Facebook Live for the first time you’ll begin to see many possibilities that can be utilized in building your business. It begins with 7 simple steps that you can adjust to fit your business. Remember to regularly post videos as you’ll build up your audience each time you’re live.
Start thinking up ideas for your next Facebook Live series of videos and soon your customers will be eagerly awaiting what you have to say next. Your next video may just convert a few more paying customers to your product line too!
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