The Live Video Revolution: A Virtual Roundtable Recap

What does your brand’s live video strategy look like? 

If you can’t answer that question with a clear vision in your mind about what your team is doing, who they are doing it for and why they are doing it, you might just be missing one of the most simple, cost effective ways to build your brand equity and get a fierce following by connecting with your fans.

During a recent virtual roundtable, Joel Comm, Marketing Expert and CEO of Joel Comm Inc, discussed why live video is one of the most significant leaps in social media since the creation of the iPhone. Simply put, it’s not a one-way broadcast; live video truly allows brands to take the traditionally disruptive nature of video ads aside, and turn them into engaging experiences that breed authentic connections with your audience which, in the case of Facebook, could potentially be 1.9 billion people.

Here were some of the stats Comm shared with members: 

  • Of those watching videos, people consumed 3x more Facebook Live Videos than their pre-recorded counterparts 
  • Facebook is intentionally giving more organic exposure to live videos and videos have 135% more organic reach than a photo post
  • There is an average of 8 billion daily video views on Facebook
  • 20% of all video posted is LIVE
  • Mark Zuckerberg believes Facebook will be mostly videos within five years - or sooner

The Future of Storytelling is Live Video

Because video allows us to process more information in a faster and more dynamic way, it is quickly becoming the go-to way to engage audiences and create a narrative that fits your brand. The beauty of this delivery is that it simply works, whether it’s educational, inspirational or entertaining. 

Even those short videos we scroll by on our newsfeeds took time, resources and effort to produce, though. So, while the best thing about live video is that you don’t need a huge production behind it - it just needs to be real - that doesn’t mean that you can forget to allocate time and resources toward production. Similar to the early days of social media, brands can fall into the habit of letting live updates fall into the hands of whoever is currently managing social media. Or perhaps it’s an extra “nice to have” when the thought arises.

However, the brands and marketers that are setting up a strategy and assigning ownership of the live video function now are also setting themselves up for success as technology and digital interactions continue to evolve.

That is not to say live video will replace other forms of content completely, but at this time it’s a valuable option to add to the mix. Approach live video as another way to tell your story, as if you were face to face with the very people you want to help. As a brand you can:

  • Create educational and informative videos to “speak to the head” and appeal to people’s rational side
  • Leverage inspirational and motivational topics to “speak to the heart” and cultivate relationships
  • Provide an entertaining and fun experience
  • Leverage experiential content:
    • Where are you?
    • Who are you with?
    • What are you doing?
    • What’s new or changing?

Live Video Makes Your Brand Real and Approachable

In the past, video production required a lot of time and preparation, while live video demanded a polished presentation: professional-looking set, a host with proper hair and makeup and other key elements necessary to convey credibility. Today’s consumers have had enough of this and are begging for authenticity. They want the proverbial curtain to be lifted. You don’t need a special look, set or environment to be credible and have an impact. In fact, your credibility is linked to how human and relatable you are as a brand and how you tell stories that move people.

Dramatic proof of this is the now famous “Chewbacca Mom” who garnered 165,765,751 views and 3,381,693 (and counting!) shares without even the most basic of production resources. It was just her, a mask and a smartphone. Her infectious laughter was all that was needed, she had a story to tell, went on Facebook Live and literally made history. 

The takeaway? Be real and that is what will get you noticed.

Using Live Video as a Brand

Right now, there are no set rules as to how one should act on live video (hence the aforementioned authenticity element). Simply give five to ten minutes to wait for people to join you and start with lighthearted comments - saying hello to the first participants and asking questions about who they are and where they are tuning in from to start engagement. Beyond that, test the formula of your presentation, time of day and style of delivery until you get a winning combination to set the foundation for future videos.

  • Help your customers find success with your product, show them around the facilities, introduce them to the team, etc. Anything that gives them a behind-the-scenes look is sure to build excitement around what you are doing as a brand
  • Build your subscriber base with content upgrades available to Live Video viewers
  • Turn proven topics from your blog into live video presentations
  • Host expert interviews to expand viewership and create thought leadership
  • Use live video to share social proof and testimonials of your product and/or service

Some Brands Rocking Live Video

Whether they’re sharing interesting facts about their company or work, the fans’ and team’s excitement or simply providing entertainment, these individuals and brands have been making a name for themselves using live video:

  • John Kapos - now known as ‘Chocolate Jonny’, earned Internet fame as a 3rd generation Chocolatier from Australia who started doing live videos showing customers shopping, how he makes the chocolates and caramels and simply sharing his process. Not only did he gain his new internet name, but he grew his brand so significantly that he is now shipping orders internationally.
  • Chris Ducker - created Youpreneur, a monthly coaching/membership program. By leveraging one live video per week for a month, he successfully built a list of people to promote his brand to. He grew the list by sharing content, going up to 500 contacts in one list, out of which 142 signed up for his program.
  • Philadelphia Eagles - showed interviews with fans, did exclusive interviews with the Eagles themselves and connected the two, making people feel they were part of something bigger.
  • BuzzFeed – The beginning of Facebook Live’s success started with two people, dressed in plastic covering, going into a room with a watermelon to find out how many rubber bands they could place around it before it exploded. 100,000+ individuals watched a 40+ minute video to see this! Buzzfeed is a leader in social media content and engagement that has often disrupted the status quo with their news stories, like the white/gold vs. black/blue dress controversy of 2015.

Though brands are often apprehensive about how to maintain their carefully curated brand personality and imagery in something so instantaneous as live video, it would be more harmful to not partake. If you take ownership of the narrative and apologize or laugh at yourself when you make a mistake, you will find that it will connect you even more with your audience. 

The time is now to enter the live video game and, if you don’t, odds are your competition will.