In our previous post about optimizing YouTube videos for SEO, we stressed the importance of seizing online video’s potential, especially since YouTube holds the status of the world’s second largest search engine.
But considering that Facebook has reached 2 billion monthly users, and video has become such a significant part of their platform, overlooking Facebook in your video work could lead to a lot of missed opportunity.
Let’s take a look at what Facebook can provide for companies, along with some ideas for what to try in a Facebook Live campaign.
Before we dive into the particulars of Facebook Live, it’s important to know the value of the tool. Some quick facts:
- Facebook users watch live videos on the site 3x longer than non-live videos
- Facebook Live videos are given preference in Facebook’s news feed algorithm while the videos are live, making them more likely to appear higher in the feed
- Facebook’s algorithm favors long videos which users watch to completion over shorter videos, or longer videos which are quickly exited
All of these points correspond with two key aspects of Facebook’s current strategy—keeping users on the site for as long as possible, and increasing Facebook’s competitiveness with video sites such as YouTube.
Since it’s in Facebook’s best interest to emphasize video for engagement, it’s in your best interest to incorporate live video whenever you can.
The Benefits of Utilizing Facebook Live
In addition to tapping into Facebook’s algorithm preference for videos, using Facebook Live can provide companies with a variety of advantages, such as:
- Standing out in the Facebook timeline in comparison to pictures, links, and text posts
- Generating interactivity with those who have liked your page, building a stronger online brand
- Appearing in the news feed of potential customers when their friends like, react to, comment on, or share your video
- Gaining a wealth of viewers due to the autoplay feature, which is activated when someone comes across a video while scrolling through their feed
- Showing a human side to your company and allowing your customers and fans to get to know your operations, abilities, and values
Lastly, one of the best aspects of Facebook Live videos is that the quality of video is not as important as the substance. People watching Facebook Live aren’t expecting the high production value they would from a television commercial. Your video can, therefore, be more informal, and in turn, more personal.
With so many ways to have an impact with Facebook Live, it’s clear it’s time to get to work. So just what are the best ways to use the platform?
Ways to Use Facebook Live
Facebook Live is a terrific sandbox for companies and marketing departments to play in, and a little bit of creativity can go a long way. You can think of it as like having your own news or TV station, but be sure not to neglect the engagement factor.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Showcase your facility and operations to give people a behind-the-scenes look at the everyday environment of your company
- Provide giveaways that you can heavily promote beforehand. As we recently wrote about, the clothing company HOMAGE unveiled a prize wheel in a creative giveaway campaign for their followers and had great success with it
- Offer product and service demonstrations or tutorials that can help users see exactly what you are able to provide for them
- Produce live polls with simple graphics, allowing users to vote via reactions such as “like,” “love,” “wow,” “haha,” and more. These polls could be directly related to your business, or just fun posts like “What’s your favorite thing about fall?” designed to boost engagement
- Stream footage live from a tradeshow you’re attending or presenting at to highlight your industry expertise
- Get creative and develop fun and eye-catching events. As an example, we convinced one of our coworkers to try to eat 80 donut holes for vacation time and live-streamed the results
Of course, these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to incorporating Facebook Live into your marketing, and the more creative you can get the more likely you’ll elicit a worthwhile response. Consider your business, and the products and services you provide, and think about what you could put onscreen that people might want to see.
- If you’re looking for something to inspire you, check out Blendtec, a blender manufacturer who, in the mid-2000s, began the long-running series of web videos, “Will It Blend?”
- The series features a variety of objects, from pool cues to iPads to Rubik’s Cubes, being “blended” while hokey gameshow-esque music plays and the host makes tongue-in-cheek jokes.
- Incredibly cheap and easy to produce, and able to showcase the blenders’ capabilities to boot, the “Will It Blend?” videos have become an internet staple with millions of views, all stemming from just a little creativity.