Live video and digital marketing: how to get it right

Research shows that one third of all online activity is currently spent watching video and according to predictions by Cisco, video’s share of consumer internet traffic will grow to 80% by 2020. No digital marketing campaign is complete without an engaging, irresistibly shareable video, but now the stakes are even higher.

Since the launch of Facebook Live and other similar live streaming platforms, online marketing now regularly features live video – used to maximum effect by brands such as Red Bull, Nissan, Experian and Nestle to name just a few.

If you want to hop aboard the trend for live video, here’s how to get it right (and avoid some pretty embarrassing mistakes):

  • Get to grips with the technology. Before you hit that ‘go live’ button, make sure you understand the ins and outs of how the platform works. This leaves no chance of starting filming when you’re not ready or committing another technical blunder that’ll put viewers off.
  • Choose your platform. There are a few to choose from, including Facebook Live, Periscope (Twitter’s live streaming app) and Instagram Live Stories to name just a few. Which platform to pick? This is simple – go where your followers are. Wherever you’ve got the most engagement, activity and following, this is where to start your live streaming adventures.
  • Consider getting a microphone. You can go live on most platforms with just a smartphone. But if you want to improve the quality of the video, a plug-in microphone will work wonders. Another good tip is to ensure you have good lighting.
  • Have a plan. The joy of live streaming is that it’s spontaneous and unscripted, or at least appears that way. This doesn’t mean you should simply hit record and hope for the best. You need to at least sketch out a plan of what you want to film, who you’ll talk to and what the main focus of the video will be. What will viewers get out of it, and what’s the main message of the content? If you don’t at least have these essentials planned out, your video could turn out boring and uncomfortable to watch.
  • Go behind the scenes. If you’re struggling for ideas for your live video, one of Digital Doughnut’s top tips is to give viewers a glimpse behind the scenes (of your business, your event, the making of your product etc). This is a great way to hook in the viewer as well as building trust.
  • Create a policy for live videos. To avoid major gaffes, make sure everyone involved in your live video is on the same page. For example, establish a policy in relation to the use of certain words (i.e. branding terms to use and avoid) and standards of behaviour in videos. What do you want the viewer to see and crucially, not to see?

Have you tried live streaming yet and if so, do you have any tips for success? What did you choose as your topic, and how did it go? Please feel free to share your thoughts.

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