Halfway through 2016, savvy content marketers understand that video is an extremely important part of a content marketing strategy that drives results. However, it’s no longer enough to simply create compelling static video content for your brand or business; now, consumers and even B2B buyers demand more.

With the popularity of livestreaming apps, more and more brands, companies and individuals are creating live content and inviting fans, customers and consumers behind-the-scenes for a deeper, more personal glimpse into their business.

It’s easier than ever to produce live content to distribute to the masses. Meerkat exploded onto the tech scene at South by Southwest in 2015. Periscope emerged shortly after. Lesser known livestreaming apps like Blab, Hang and Stringwire followed.

And just a few months ago, the tech behemoth, Facebook, introduced its own livestreaming feature, touting Live as a way to “broadcast to the largest audience in the world with the camera in your pocket.”

Ready to experiment with Facebook Live? Here’s what you need to know.

What is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is Facebook’s answer to all the other livestreaming apps. It’s a way to connect, reach your audience in a new way and interact with friends and followers in real time immediately receiving feedback and gauging reactions.

What are some of Facebook Live’s major features?

    • Filters. Unlike some of the other streaming apps, Facebook allows creativity within videos through the use of filters and the ability to doodle and draw on videos.
    • Live videos are available and public forever. Facebook Live videos do not disappear after a certain period of time. Instead, it is saved as a video to your page or profile, allowing you to save and continue sharing that content forever.
    • Facebook Live Map. Facebook’s Live Map showcases places throughout the world that people are broadcasting live.
    • Metrics. Facebook knows that measurement and ROI are extremely important to its users (especially brands) so new metrics, including Peak Concurrent Viewers, Unique Views, 10-Second Views and more are available for those who use Live.

Why should a brand experiment with Facebook Live?

    • Engage your audience in a new and compelling way. Facebook Live requires you to be a little bit more creative, savvy and in the moment. But that demand for creativity can help to showcase your brand in a way that’s different than what you’ve done using video before, and to therefore stand out from the competition.
    • Talk to your customers and fans in real time. Want feedback on a new product or feature? Want to explain something to your customers? Want to answer their questions? You can do all of that, in real time, using Facebook Live.
    • Get more engagement. Facebook says that, so far, people comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than on regular videos.

What individuals or brands are doing a good job with Facebook Live?

    • Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps gave his fans a behind-the-scenes look at a swim practice. The first portion of the video is him swimming and the second portion of the video is him debriefing after his practice, talking about his personal life and answering viewer questions.
    • The Mayo Clinic hosts live interviews regularly with expert doctors answering questions directly from viewers.
    • Candace Payne, also known as Chewbacca Mom, went viral after she used Facebook Live wearing a Chewbacca mask.
    • The makeup brand Benefit goes live every Thursday with “Tipsy Tricks”, where women offer makeup advice while sipping wine.
    • Dunkin’ Donuts offered viewers a live tour of their test kitchen.

There’s a ton of opportunity for B2B companies looking to give Facebook Live a try. A quick search of law firms, accounting firms and other professional services using Facebook Live showed minimal results.

What are some best practices for using Facebook Live?

Facebook offers up some tips and tricks for those looking to use Facebook Live. Some key best practices include:

  • Give notice. Facebook recommends publishing a written post one day prior to your broadcast to alert your fans and followers that you’ll be going live.
  • Make sure you have a strong Internet connection. No one wants to suffer through a broadcast with bad Internet. Strong WiFi or a 4G connection work best.
  • Interact with the viewers. Facebook urges those using Live to get a little bit personal. Respond to comments by name when possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to go long. The longer you broadcast, the longer folks have to jump on board to watch. Facebook says at least 10 minutes is ideal, but you can broadcast for up to 90 minutes.
  • Experiment with different types of broadcasts. Not sure what you should talk about when you go on Facebook Live? Facebook has a list of ideas for different ways to broadcast. Try:
    • Q&A
    • Breaking news
    • Interview
    • Performance
    • Behind-the-scenes peek
    • Demo

Ready to give Facebook Live a try for your brand or business? We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Image courtesy of TechCrunch.