With social distancing restrictions, or at least suggestions, it’s likely you’re finding yourself in front of a screen more than you used to. (Zoom, anyone?) Or maybe life for you hasn’t changed that much, but your customers’ lives are a lot more limited. Whatever your circumstances, these days are great ones for going live! Live videos are taking over social media streams. Perhaps you are a live video lover. Or maybe you’ve never even tried one. Odds are you have watched at least one. But whatever your past, you might want to think about including live videos as part of your business plan going forward. Here’s why.
4 Reasons You Should Embrace Live Videos
- People love them.
The first and maybe most important reason to do live videos is that people love them! Live video has fascinated audiences for as long as it has existed. After all, anything can happen. So for that reason alone, your live video will attract attention and draw your followers in. Besides that, 80% of consumers would rather watch a video than read a blog post. That’s not to say blogs have no value. We wouldn’t be putting this out there for you otherwise. It does mean that with live video you’ll capture a wider audience, broadening your influence and impact.
- You can have a conversation.
Don’t overlook the value of being able to interact with and respond to your customers in real time. As your followers hit like or post questions, you can respond to them. You can talk to them. You can show that you hear them and then provide the information they are asking for. This, in essence, creates a conversation between you and your audience. A conversation that likely wouldn’t happen in any other way. And conversation builds trust and engagement, and that means better business.
- They see the real you.
There is a reason television programs and movies use professional makeup artists and stylists. People always want to look our best for the cameras. Except having that perfectly polished look doesn’t always attract your customer. What people want these days is authenticity. When you go live, you may take time to do your makeup beforehand, but odds are your broadcast won’t be perfect. There may be pauses, stumbles, or quirks that your customers get a chance to see. Besides that, audiences don’t expect fancy productions from live videos. They expect the rough edges. These things make you come across as a real person rather than a polished persona. It makes you less of a perfect face and more of a friendly one that they can trust. And this is what will endear your audience to you. This will foster trust and affection and help you build a better relationship between your customers and you.
- Social media platforms prioritize live videos.
How many times have you found yourself stressing over the newest algorithm and how to get your post to the top? With live videos, the mathematical equation of the hour doesn’t come in to play. Most social media platforms prioritize live videos, bumping them to the top of your followers’ feeds. So without having to remember that calculus you studied back in high school, you can get your post boosted to the top of your followers’ feeds. And who doesn’t want that?
Do's and a Don't to going live
Just like shabby isn’t the same thing as shabby chic, there are some dos and don’ts for successful live videos. Take these points into account before you decide to go live.
- Do give your audience a heads up.
While many of your followers will simply find you in the middle of your live video, giving them warning that you will be going live will pull in more viewers. Plus you can promote on one channel that you’ll be going live on another so your audience can catch you on the right app.
- Do keep your videos current.
Though evergreen content is always valuable, (isn’t that what evergreen means after all?) live videos are even more valuable when they relate to current events. These events could be current events in the broad sense, but they can also be current events for your business. A one day only sale. A conference where they can come meet up with you. A behind the scenes look at an event you are ramping up for.
- Do clue your audience in on what you are talking about.
The reality with live videos is that your audience will come and go. They may jump in on your broadcast late or leave early. If you can, help your audience know what you are talking about by periodically referring back to your topic or having a visual (physical or digital) that tells them the reason for your live.
- Do engage with your audience.
As we have already said, part of the great value in going live is interacting with your audience in real time. So be sure to keep an eye on the comments and the likes, and respond to your audience as you broadcast. Answer their questions, say hi and welcome, help them see that you see them.
- Don’t be at your worst.
Your audience will love getting a glimpse of the real you, but you still need a plan for what you will say during your broadcast. And you want give thought to where you will be broadcasting from. Make sure you have enough lighting and that you have direction and progress in what you say to your audience. Stay away from rambling and make sure your viewers are getting value from what you are saying.
What could be more motivating than love, relationship, trust, and attention? These are the things live videos can and will bring you and your organization. When you’re ready to go live, and believe us you will be, take a moment to choose the right place and the right platform. Where do most of your followers hang out? Who are you trying to reach? Rather than trying to do everything all at once, think again about how you are trying to reach and then go where you can meet them. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn – all of these channels offer the ability to go live. So use your time and your efforts wisely. Start small. And don’t be surprised if you find you actually like being on the front side of the camera lens.