Live video is a HOT topic, and businesses, brands, and agencies seem extremely eager to experiment with it.
In spite of this technology not being new – YouTube has been offering live streaming since 2011, the same year Twitch launched, and it was over a year ago that Meerkat and Periscope were all the rage at SXSW 2015 – it was the relatively recent launch of Facebook Live that seems to have sparked a frenzy to figure out how to harness live video.
There are also platforms that bridge the gap between truly live video broadcasting and more traditional video creation and publication, notably Snapchat and Beme.
Support of live video is strong, and it just may have a permanent place on the social web.
So, as is the case for any new technology, social media platform, or content format, some serious thought should be given prior to diving in head first with your business or brand.
Here are 8 considerations to maximize the success of your business or brand’s foray into live video:
1 | STAY ON STRATEGY
When experimenting with live video, be sure that your plans align with your strategy. This will ensure that you are maximizing opportunity for success by keeping your broadcast relevant to your business, brand, and target audience, and aligned with achieving actual business goals.
2 | HAVE A PLAN
The notion of broadcasting live video might seem spontaneous, but it is critical to have a well-orchestrated plan for your broadcast to go off without a hitch. This should account for your on-screen talent, supporting personnel, required technology, scripting or communication points, live broadcast community management, and more – really, everything should be well thought-through and decided upon prior to going live.
3 | ADD VALUE
Live video might be an exciting ‘new-ish’ technology on the social web, but just because you can broadcast live, doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best solution for your business or brand’s social media and content plan. Live video should only be considered if value is added by the ‘live’ element of the content you plan to broadcast.
4 | HARNESS THE POWER OF SOCIAL
When planning the broadcast of live video on social media, be sure to remember the ‘social’ aspect of social media. Arguably, the most powerful aspect of live video is that it truly enables the possibility of having a real-time dialogue between interested audience members and the broadcasting business or brand. Take advantage of this by involving your audience in your live video, or enabling them to influence the content of your broadcast in meaningful ways.
5 | BE READY FOR THINGS TO GO WRONG
Anticipating where things might go wrong during your live video broadcast, and having a plan in place to deal with those issues, is extremely important to mitigate risk, and to maximize opportunity for success. Live video is live after all, which is not the time to be problem solving and attempting to make smart snap decisions.
6 | PROMOTE YOUR LIVE VIDEO
In order for your live video broadcast to be a success, you will need a targeted audience to be watching and participating. When you have planned the content for your live video, use the many tools and channels at your disposal to promote your broadcast so people know when to tune in, or when to check your feed to watch the broadcast at a time that is more convenient. Here are a few ideas that can be adapted for promoting live video.
7 | BE AUTHENTIC AND TRANSPARENT
If your business is experimenting with live video, feel free to share your inexperience with your audience to help set expectations, and to encourage meaningful feedback. People tend to be receptive to authenticity and transparency, and you may be surprised at how understanding and helpful your audience can be as you work through any kinks as you begin to use live video.
8 | LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE
Following your early live video broadcasts, take time to reflect on your experience. Think about what worked well, what didn’t, and how to apply lessons learned to future live videos. Also, be sure to document what you’ve learned to increase accountability for future optimization, to educate new team members or participants in the future, and simply to ensure you remember the nuances of your experience when you decide to execute more live videos.
Are you planning to utilize live video for your business or brand?
Do you think live video will be an enduring feature on major social media networks?
What do you think the primary value is of live video for businesses and brands?
If you’ve experimented with live video, what advice do you have for others that haven’t?
It would be great to chat with you about this more in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBsocial
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