September 20, 2017
We’ve watched it evolve — from updating a simple Facebook status and live tweeting, to sending brief moments via Snapchat, and now, live video. Social media is all about broadcasting exactly what’s happening in any given moment. Live video is the latest and greatest tool for doing just that.
For marketers, video (of any kind) is an extremely effective medium for reaching Millennials and Generation Z. Live videos can further capitalize on the popularity of video shares because they add another important factor: authenticity.
A Brandlive survey found 71 percent of brands used live video as a tactic to more authentically reach audience members. Facebook reported that users spend three times longer watching live videos versus those that are pre-recorded. It’s not just the wildly alluring draw of authenticity. Facebook Live videos also appear higher in the user’s News Feed than normal pre-recorded videos. Similarly, Instagram pushes notifications to users’ phones when someone they follow has started a live video. In the moment, these videos are simply more difficult to miss.
As we watch businesses jump into producing live video, we see most of them missing a huge opportunity after the live video ends. It’s like cutting off a conversation right at the end of a riveting story, leaving no room for responses, additional thoughts, or a smooth transition to continue the interaction.
So, how do you keep your live video audience engaged after your event has ended?
To answer this question, we asked marketing experts around the world to share their techniques for capitalizing on live video events and ensuring their audience remains engaged over time.
Here are a few of their favorite strategies.
Create a Call to Action
What action do you want your audience to take after the live video broadcast is over? Would you like them to visit your brand’s website? Share your Facebook page with their friends? Sign up for your email newsletter?
Focusing on a call to action (CTA) prevents you from looking at a live video as a one-off event, and instead makes it a strategic extended sales pitch and opportunity to cultivate a lasting relationship.
Marketing consultant James Pollard has used the CTA strategy to help dozens of people increase their income.
“A live video is a critical time to get people to a landing page that you suggest. Once they visit your website, you should have a retargeting pixel installed and preferably labeled as ‘live video viewer’ so you can retarget those people for future live videos and related events,” he advises.
Think of Apple, one of the very first brands to host live video events. Millions of viewers worldwide would tune in to watch Steve Jobs introduce the latest Apple product. More importantly, after watching and listening, consumers were compelled to buy that item. The CTA was clear and the energy Jobs brought to his live video events directly supported the action he wanted his audience to take.
This is the kind of follow-up that businesses need. Think action and reaction. If your company creates a live cooking video to advertise your new cookware, make sure customers know they can find the products at a certain place on your website or in your store. If you’re displaying your latest line of handmade jewelry, use the live video to announce that viewers can get 15 percent off if they visit your online store once the broadcast wraps up. Giving your audience a suggested action will keep them thinking about your live event after it’s over.
Promote the Recorded Video
While it’s true that live videos get more views than pre-recorded ones, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share the recording of your live video after the fact. Since it’s much faster for users to process video content than text content and video encourages an emotional connection, recordings of your live broadcast still hold a lot of value for engaging with both existing and new audiences.
According to Sid Bharath, VP of Growth at Thinkific, there are two steps to sharing your recording.
“Once the video is over, we start promoting it with ads. The first stop is promoting it to our existing page fans. These are people familiar with our brand, so it’s extremely cheap to rack up more views, likes, comments, and shares. At this point, our video has some amazing social proof, and we start pushing it out to colder audiences, like people who like competitor pages,” he said.
Remember to Follow-Up
You had your audience hooked during your live video — now, follow-up with these engaged viewers. This is something Robert Richardson, owner of Richardson Marketing, does with his clients when hosting live webinars.
“In general, every attendee will receive some sort of follow-up email the moment our event ends with at least a couple of calls to action,” Richardson says. “Users are also usually entered into some sort of remarketing campaign and added to Salesforce or a CRM system for the sales team to follow-up with two to three days after the event.”
Other than conveying authenticity, the Brandlive survey found the next greatest benefit of using live video is the ability to bring a human element to digital marketing. Apply this human element principle to your follow-up messaging: Address viewers by name if possible, and have marketing material sent out using the name of the person who was featured in your live video.
Whatever You Do, Don’t Leave Them Hanging
When your brand decides to broadcast a live video, you’re starting a conversation with your target audience. Those who tune in are willingly entering the conversation, eyes and ears ready to take in what you have to share. This is a powerful moment for your brand. When you’ve got your consumers in a digital conversation with you, don’t just drop the mic and walk away.
With a little effort placed in the post-video strategy, you can reap the full benefits of this medium, long after you’ve pressed the stop button on your camera. Follow-up actions like the ones above give you ways to continue the conversation; after you’ve captured your audience’s attention with a compelling and authentic story, you have the perfect opening to turn a viewer into a customer.
Read more about strategies to engage your audience at TechCo
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