You’ve decided to take the leap and embrace Facebook Live for your business. As you imagine your fans fully engaged with the Game of Thrones-level plot twists of your live sessions, or at least as obsessed with your how-tos as people remain with Bob Ross's happy little tree videos, you’re confident it’s the right next step in your marketing plan. However, when your smartphone starts rolling, the reality might feel very different. You’re suddenly wondering whether reading aloud from your company’s product manual will bring in the leads and use up the 15 minutes you promised customers to connect.
Never fear. If you’re struggling to come up with content ideas that are engaging, the Facebook Live team has shared some of their favorite examples. Here’s a closer look at five of the videos and actionable strategies you can immediately use to get started with live-streaming platforms or shake up your current content mix.
Q&As with an authentic thought leader
All-star science expert and chimpanzee advocate Jane Goodall reported in from Gombe National Park in Tanzania to answer questions on chimpanzees and her work. From Goodall’s quiet authenticity to the intriguing glimpses of the area’s lush jungles behind her, the video provided a fascinating glimpse into the life of a wildlife biologist. More importantly, it gave fans a lifeline to ask her anything—from what her life was like to specific scientific queries about chimpanzees. Even if you’re not spending your life in exotic locales with fascinating primates, the Q&A format is a great way to start with Facebook Live. Use these tips to help make a Q&A session work for you:
- Choose a location that’s a natural fit for your work and provides insight into how you spend your days
- Invite audiences to ask questions, which lets you be responsive to their most urgent concerns
- Prepare a few questions and answers you can present yourself (in the form of FAQs, perhaps), if the session slows down and you have empty airspace
Interview about a recent book or insight
Many people will tune into Facebook Live for exclusive insights, tips, and the chance to hear from people they’re interested in. However, an interview is a great alternative to a Q&A with a single thought leader. Wharton professor Adam Grant interviewed Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy about her new book “Presence,” and hundreds of thousands of people watched. When you’re conducting an interview for Facebook Live, you can take a few tips from their playbook:
- Start with an actionable example that draws people in and gives immediate value. Cuddy talked about how to use Wonder Woman-like body language to prepare for difficult meetings.
- Structure a conversation which takes a deep dive into topics that really interest your audience. Prepare your questions ahead of time to ensure a good conversation–and consider letting your guest know what you’ll be asking so they’ll be concise and on-message.
- Consider opening it up to viewer questions, which helps you take advantage of the real-time nature of the event and can help take pressure off the organizer.
Demonstrations: Make it fun
Martha Stewart took to Facebook to present a real-time pretzel demonstration just in time for Valentine’s Day. She had a celebrity guest, but her approach to realistic and engaging demonstrations can be used by any business to show how to complete a project or use a product. Some best practices to consider include:
- Keep it targeted. Often, for Facebook Live, shorter is better. If things get rolling, the questions are pouring in and your guests are having fun, it’s fine to keep things going. But build your how-tos around a core skill that people can learn.
- Keep it real. The problem with demonstration videos is that they’re often polished and skip over the challenges people may realistically face. When you perform demos in real-time, it’s easier for viewers to connect and see the issues that can arise—even for the professionals.
- Offer insider tips. You can only share so much information in your product documentation, but a how-to live-stream is the perfect place to impart small tips that can help people get better results. Think about small touches, like how you hold your paintbrush in an art class. A how-to video is the perfect place to show those expert-level insights that benefit from a visual aid.
Go behind the scenes
Sometimes your team just needs to have a little fun–and customers actually love to see that. Clemson’s Football team offered fans a behind-the-scenes look at the team blowing off steam after a game. Music played in the background, and players–and even coaches–showed off their dance moves. The video was short and provided a fun look at team dynamics and a “day in the life” of the players. Today’s customers want to get to know the people behind a business. Whether it’s an intense brainstorming session or an after-hours gaming event for your design company, providing a behind the scenes look at your team and how they work can help viewers feel more connected to your company. When taking this approach:
- Keep it short
- Try to focus on a fun angle–what would delight, surprise or make people laugh?
- Don’t be afraid to start simple, with a quick tour or by asking members of your team questions
- Finally, use good judgment. Facebook Live is a flexible and informal medium, but make sure that what you’re broadcasting reflects positively on your brand. If in doubt, take a pass.
Give an inside view at an event
The Facebook Team highlighted a video where user AJ+ posted footage of a climate rally, providing a look at the events as they unfolded and offering interviews with interesting attendees. Are you planning to attend a conference, trade show, or lecture? Consider whether you might be able to live stream parts of the conference that would interest your audience. Always get permission if you’re streaming speakers and stay in compliance with event guidelines, but many will be excited to have you share the event with your audience. Some ways to bring viewers into the moment at an event are:
- Share snippets of keynote speeches or panels
- Conduct short interviews of just one or two questions with attendees
- Consider a theme that connects with your audience
- Provide quick summations of the best insights and tips you’ve learned during the conference, in a span of just a few minutes
- Make it feel like your audience is there with you for the best parts of the events
If you’re ready to explore how Facebook Live can help you connect with your customers, download Infusionsoft’s new e-book, “The Small Business Guide to Generating Leads with Facebook Live.”