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Will Facebook dominate live streaming?

2015 saw brands and businesses realise that one of the most important strategies in content marketing today is video. The big trend was the rise of in-the-moment updates, including live video streaming. Periscope and Meerkat are the current market leaders, but all the big social networks are not far behind.

Whether on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or YouTube, you need to be thinking about producing engaging video content for your business.

Last year Facebook launched their own live streaming platform, Facebook Live. The aim of Facebook Live allows you to connect with your audience and followers in real-time, sharing a live video of what you’re doing. With digital marketing trends into 2016 to be dominated by content, many are predicting that the use of video will become increasingly popular. Therefore, it’s hugely important to think about how you might incorporate video into your marketing, and stay ahead of the curve as well as your competition.

Facebook has made numerous changes to its algorithm in regards to how many followers your posts reach, but taking into account the sheer level of Facebook users makes it still the most popular/valuable social platform. If your target audience resides on Facebook, as many target audiences do, Facebook Live may be an interesting addition to your marketing efforts.

Essentially, Facebook’s larger audience and having the option for permanent replays may convince big brands to do their streaming there, since is probably more likely to get more views, both immediately and over time.

How Does It Work?

The new feature, now appears in the ‘update status’ menu next to the check-in pin. You will need to follow the on-screen instructions to get started, then select the Facebook page you want to start live streaming from by clicking the ‘Add Page Tab’ button. Click ‘Add Livestream’ to start the installation process.

When you click on the Livestream button, you’ll need to set up a Livestream channel for you to broadcast on. Create a username, password, channel name (which will most likely be your business name), and enter your email address. In the Channel Settings page, you can customise your channel, by adding a description and a cover image.

What Are the Benefits?

You can use Facebook Live to share all sorts of updates from your business, such as new product launches, broadcast live events, behind-the-scenes insights, interviews, or product demonstrations. There are so many possibilities, all with the aim of engaging your followers and expanding your reach on Facebook. It could be a great way of adding a human element to your brand.

Facebook Live also has other benefits which are worth considering:

Reach Your Already Established Audience – Compared to Periscope and Meerkat, where you may have to build your audience from scratch, you will most likely already have followers on Facebook who have liked your page, and would be interested in watching your videos.

Videos Stay Online – On Meerkat your videos are deleted immediately after the live broadcast. On Periscope, 24 hours is a videos lifespan. On Facebook Live however, videos stay on your wall for as long as necessary. They can be deleted if you want to stick to ‘in-the-moment’ updates, but over half of video views on Facebook come from shares, so it’s worth keeping the videos for a while.

Videos Appear Quickly in News Feeds – Followers of your page will see the video in their feed while the broadcast is happening. Anyone who has recently interacted with your page will receive a push notification.

Comments – Facebook Live places comments onto the screen during the broadcast at a steady pace. Meaning you can interact with viewers in real time.

Top tips

It’s important to have a specific focus for your broadcast. You need to know what you’re going to talk about before you go live. You don’t want to find yourself rambling on and going off topic.

Engagement is vital in this day and age; you need to acknowledge your audience. When you go live, be sure to mention followers who are viewing, and also respond to any comments, if it seems reasonable.

Do not forget to end with a call to action. Live video should be an integral part of any social media marketing. What is the purpose of your broadcast? Direct your audience to a specific place.

As with all other marketing content, you’ll want to repurpose your video in as many places as possible. Look at all other social channels, and why not embed the video in blog?

Finally, brands need to appear completely personal and transparent with their target audience, who are mainly customers, through live posts.

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