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Embrace live video, the results are worth it

Snapchat, Facebook Live, Periscope. The live video revolution is here. If you haven’t already embraced the trend, it’s time to catch up.

So what do we mean by ‘live video’? Put simply, it’s a way to connect and share with your followers in real time. This publishing of live content is a powerful new way to market your brand and reach a broad and engaged audience – and it certainly needs a place in your digital marketing strategy. We’ll take a look at:

  • The benefits of live streaming.
  • How to get started.
  • How to fit live video into your marketing strategy.

The benefits of livestream

Live video has so much to offer as part of a comprehensive content strategy. Here’s why:

Intimate connection

Streaming a video live allows you to connect with your audience on a much deeper level than if you were to upload a recorded video. During a live broadcast, you can respond to audience feedback quickly and get an idea of what sort of things click well with them and what does not. It might be helpful to have someone read the comments during a live broadcast so this way you can address issues you consider important. On Facebook Live, you have the option to respond to comments after your broadcast.

Improved visibility

It’s no surprise that the digital world is a competitive one, with multiple brands vying for attention and trying to get their individual posts or pages noticed. By using live video, you’re doing your brand a great favour as it gets the opportunity to be on top of newsfeeds. Both Facebook and Periscope allow users to view the video after the live broadcast.

Stand out

We’re constantly bombarded by ads, and most of them are overproduced and don’t convey the main point effectively. Live videos give brands the chance to showcase their products or services being used genuinely and in real time.

Getting started

Want to get in on this powerful new way of attracting your audience, but don’t know where to start? Here’s a breakdown of the two major players: Facebook Live and Periscope.

Facebook Live

  1. On your smartphone, open the status bar on your Facebook profile and tap the ‘Live’ icon, which looks like a human silhouette.
  2. Give Facebook access to your camera and microphone when prompted, then press ‘Continue’ on the intro page.
  3. Choose your privacy setting. This is always going to be ‘Public’ unless you’re conducting a test.
  4. Write a description of your broadcast to entice people to view it.
  5. Set up your camera view by tapping the arrows in the top-right-hand corner and then press ‘Go live’ to start your live video broadcast. Your live stream can run for up to 90 minutes.
  6. Interact and engage with your viewers and commenters by keeping an eye on the stream of comments at the bottom of your feed.
  7. Click ‘Finish’ and the video will stay on your timeline just like any other post.


  1. Download Periscope to your smartphone and sign in using your Twitter account.
  2. Periscope has four tabs – the people you are following who are currently live, broadcasts you’ve watched in the past 24 hours, your broadcast window and the final tab is where you can follow others, and access your profile and other settings.
  3. Your image, handle and tagline are all set by your Twitter account, but you can edit these in the app.
  4. To start a broadcast, you need to ‘Enable the camera’ and ‘Enable the microphone’. The ‘Enable location’ is optional.
  5. At the top of the broadcast screen, you can name your live stream, while the icons at the bottom allow you to toggle location, public/private, chat and Twitter updates.
  6. Hit ‘Start broadcast’ and away you go!

Live video as part of the marketing mix

HubSpot found that video in an email leads to a 200-300 per cent increase in click-through rate. When you include a video on your landing page you can increase conversions by up to 80 per cent. With numbers like that the next question you should be asking yourself is, ‘How do I include video into my digital and traditional marketing mix?’ Here are five ways you could start using live video streams to engage your audiences:

  1. Use live video to generate leads: Introduce viewers to your new product or service before it’s available to the masses, give a discount to viewers of your live video or another incentive to draw them in, or offer a special only available to viewers who watch the entire broadcast. If you use this tactic, provide your viewers with a link to take pre-orders or access your special offer.
  2. Build engagement with user-generated content: A couple of ways to engage viewers would be to take your audience behind the scenes and show them something they normally wouldn’t get a chance to see, or host Q&A sessions to increase interaction and show them their opinion matters. For example, Doritos used Periscope to get people excited about their new flavour called Roulette. Randomly selected fans got to try the corn chips live on Periscope and give their feedback. The campaign garnered international attention, and Doritos now has over 20,000 followers on Periscope.
  3. Teach your audience something new: Live streaming allows you to provide an interactive lesson like no other. Comments and questions come through in real time so you can instantly see what others are saying. The person in the stream can ask a question, and your target audience can answer right away. You’re also adding value to your brand, which is free of charge and another way to score points with potential customers. GE did this well during #DRONEWEEK by enlisting YouTube personality Sally Le Page to interview astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and scientist Bill Nye. For their efforts, Drone Week attracted 20,000 viewers on Periscope – an audience registering a 15 per cent engagement rate. Follow-up content then yielded 2.6 million video views on Facebook. Overall, Drone Week logged 45 million free media impressions for General Electric.
  4. Tell your brand story in a dynamic way: According to Ad Age: “Dunkin’ Donuts used Facebook Live in February to take users inside “Dunkin’ Brands University,” where the doughnut chain creates its products.” This gave viewers a look behind the scenes and also used narrative to extend the brand’s reach and add to the personality of Dunkin’ Donuts as a favourite for time-poor coffee lovers. The post earned 4000 likes and 31,680 views, while the video racked up over 37,000 views and 4000 engagements.
  5. Release less boring media statements: Whether it’s a new product launch, media statement or crisis management, live streaming is a quick and relatively easy way to reach target consumers in a cost-effective way. At CES, General Motors became the first auto brand to livestream via Facebook when it decided to roll out the Chevy Bolt EV. To date, the 25-minute Chevrolet launch video has over 56,000 views and was liked by Sheryl Sandberg herself (along with 1.7K others).

Mix it up – record both short and long videos to keep your audience guessing. While there are numerous benefits to incorporating live videos when marketing your brand, it’s important not to overuse this method and not just record them for the sake of doing so. Take note of the popular trends and what interests your target audience. Use this knowledge and show your audience more of what they want.

Four things to remember:

  1. Live video allows you to create a deeper connection with audiences through dynamic and interactive content.
  2. Live video gives brands greater product and service visibility through demonstrations, user-generated content and exciting brand storytelling.
  3. Introduce live video into your marketing strategy by selecting one or two objectives – be it lead generation, media engagement or brand storytelling – experiment with the medium and monitor how your audience responds.
  4. Don’t overuse it. Just because you can livestream everything doesn’t mean you should. Experiment with trends and monitor engagement results. If something proves popular with your audience, home in on that.

Thinking about leveraging the power of live video? Ask our video and audience experts how.