If you have a Facebook account you are probably aware of Facebook’s newest video feature offering in-the-moment social updates for users and marketers: Facebook Live.
Facebook notifications of people “going live” ranging from the average user to celebrities to brands like Benefit, Dunkin’ Donuts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are popping up more and more. It’s even being advertised on television! No doubt about it, Facebook Live is everywhere right now.
Our clients at Banfield are also hopping on the trend, and rightfully so! Facebook Live enables brands and organizations to connect and directly engage with their audience during some of the most important or special moments, in real-time.
Through our experience with the new tools, we have seen some pretty incredible results for our clients, including fantastic increases in engagement, reach and new fans. So we decided to share some of the lessons we learned from our successful live broadcasts.
Be true to your brand
Your target audience and your brand’s philosophy will determine what kind of videos you should broadcast live and what your audience would be interested in engaging with.
For example, Benefit does a weekly quirky feel-good video called Tipsy Tricks with Benefit where a guest and host choose a beauty topic, give advice and answer user questions live. These live broadcasts have seen 42,000 and 59,000 live viewers respectively, with an average of 2,000 people watching them at any given time.
Similarly, Banfield broadcasted a Black Friday event for a local shopping centre Place d’Orléans, where known Ottawa fashion bloggers showcased and discussed some of the mall’s best deals with a $50 contest giveaway ahead of Black Friday. The broadcast pulled in 1,485 live views with 40 people entering the contest.
Stream your events
Not every event is worth a Facebook Live broadcast. It depends if it is something that is of direct interest to your audience, or an event your audience would want to actively view and participate in from home.
Banfield broadcasted the National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa on behalf of The Royal Canadian Legion to help thousands of Canadians who were not able to attend the Ceremony, tune in live, leave their comments of Remembrance and feel part of this powerful moment, remotely. Our broadcast of the ceremony pulled in 371,907 viewers who tuned in for parts of the Ceremony with peak live views at 3,315 viewers.
Create an engaging live broadcast
If your broadcast feels too exclusive, it is most likely that your viewers will drop off. It’s important to make sure your audience feels as though the live stream is directly for them.
One way to do this is to engage with any comments or questions that come in through replies on the feed or in the broadcast itself. This will ensure your audience feels like they are heard and are involved in the broadcast. It also increases the potential for these viewers to return.
For example, Banfield helped Ipsos Public Affairs with its client Canadian Heritage to bring their public consultation on the future of Canadian content in a digital world to the public by broadcasting the events live on Facebook. An on-air host engaged the Facebook Live audience to come up with solutions that would not only be part of the conversation at the event, but part of a larger data collection. To keep on-air viewers entertained between discussions, and fully part of the consultations, key people in the creative industry were interviewed just for the audience on Facebook Live. The consultations pulled in 15,000 views.
Let your followers know you are planning to broadcast live
Communication is key to ensure viewership. Develop several pre-Facebook live promotional posts to promote on the channel so your audience knows in advance that you will be doing a live broadcast.
Make your description count and plan updates
Facebook Live requires a description of your live feed before the broadcast begins. Make sure it holds all the information necessary to intrigue your audience enough to want to join in.
You also may want to prepare comments to inform viewers about what is happening at different points of the broadcast—anyone can tune in at any time and if you’re looking for audience engagement you’ll want to keep them informed about what’s going on.
Make sure you have the right equipment
The type of equipment set-up will depend on your broadcast, but it is important to plan ahead. A run-through and equipment checks will help ensure you have everything you need and that everything is working properly.
For Facebook Live events, Banfield uses an iPad and stand that is easily adjusted with a movable head to capture all the important moments. We also recommend a directional mic to ensure sound quality if there is a lot of background noise. When in doubt, consult with a video professional (we have a whole team of them!) to advise on the best equipment for your scenario.
Check your connection and battery
If you don’t want to use data, or are unsure of the signal, make sure you have access to a strong wifi connection, or you have a portable wifi router on-hand. A back-up charger is also necessary – you never know.
Are you thinking about leveraging Facebook Live as part of your marketing mix? Let us help you make it a success!