12 Ways to Get More Out of Your Business’s Live Video Marketing

To explode your live video engagement, follow these tips.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

There’s a reason that brands have engaged in video marketing for years now: From sponsoring television shows, to making commercials, to running YouTube channels, entrepreneurs have few ways to tell a story that are more powerful than the visual way. Which is why the rise of live online broadcasting has been so successful. Adding to the natural video has, brands that use it can add a new sense of urgency and even audience participation.

It’s a whole new world. Here’s how to get even more out of it.

Related: 5 Video Marketing Trends You Should Follow in 2019

1. Use third-party add-ons.

Although both Facebook and LinkedIn provide great platforms for live broadcast, they’ve left room for other companies to offer even more. Companies like BeLive let broadcasters match the look of their screen to their brand, make interviews and even talk shows a breeze and  provide a way to add captions and chyrons. When you’re broadcasting as a professional, you’ll find that it pays to use professional tools.

2. Get the timing right.

Although your broadcasts will stay online after they’ve been live, you want as many people watching and participating as possible when you go out. Check your stats to identify the time that your largest numbers of users are online and make sure that you’re hitting the biggest possible audience. Alternatively, broadcast to different markets at different times to reach everyone at a time that works for them.

3. Trail the broadcast.

While live video is so easy that you can hit your broadcast button whenever you feel like it, to get a big audience, you’ll need to tell people when you’re broadcasting. So, choose a regular hour. Remind your audience when you’ll be live. Send out a reminder an hour or half an hour before you begin, and build excitement so that people won’t want to miss out.

4. Keep the broadcast focused.

You can broadcast about anything that strikes you but try to stick to one subject in each broadcast. Know what topic you’re going to discuss. Know what you’re going to say about that topic. And know what problem you’re going to solve for your audience or what impression you’re going to leave. Each broadcast should put one strong idea in your audience’s head.

5. Leave time for questions.

One of the biggest benefits of live broadcasts is that they’re participatory. Audiences can use the comments to ask questions that the broadcasters can answer in front of the camera. That’s a huge value. Answer any urgent questions that come up but be sure to leave at least a third of the total time of the broadcast unscheduled for in order to answer questions.

6. Greet arrivals.

As you’re broadcasting, you’ll be able to see the names of people joining the audience. Some will also greet you and other audience members. Greet them back. Mention their names. You might not be able to greet everyone by name but you’ll create a closer relationship and build a deeper sense of community.

7. Ask viewers to follow you.

Most of the people who tune in to your live broadcasts will be your social media audience. But if you’re doing your marketing right, you’ll find that you get plenty of new people: friends of your followers who also want to know about your services. Before you sign off, make sure that everyone watching is following you. That will give them a notification next time you’re live.

Related: Content Marketing Tips: How to Use Live Video to Build Your Brand

8. Go long.

There’s something to be said for short, snappy videos like one-minute tips from CEOs, or five-minute product reviews. But when you’re broadcasting live, you need to allow time for the audience to build. People will come in late. They’ll leave early. They’ll see the notification only after the broadcast has started and might be able to tune in only when they’ve finished whatever it is they’re doing at the time. There’s no ideal length for a live video, but to get the most out of it, you’ll want to aim for at least ten minutes and no more than an hour.

9. Consider your surroundings.

You don’t need a dedicated studio to broadcast a live video but do think about what your audience will see around you. When politicians Skype into news broadcasts, they often make sure that they’re seen surrounded by biographies of world leaders. Authors put their own books in the background. Before you hit the broadcast button, look around you and ask yourself what your room says about you. Make sure that it shows what you do and how you do it.

10. Create a content plan.

A live broadcast shouldn’t be a one-off. It should be one of a series whose segments together turn your audience into a community and your brand into a leader. Before you begin broadcasting, make a list of between five and ten topics that you could discuss during your broadcasts. Just creating this list will force you to think about what you’re going to say and help you to segue from one video to the next.

11. Interview your friends and colleagues.

One easy format for a live broadcast is an interview. BeLive, for example, lets you broadcast a split screen. Audiences see both you and the person you’re talking to, just as they would a live show. Although interviews mean that you have to share the screen time, they offer benefits. The person you’ll be interviewing will give your audience some new content and new insight. You’ll have to give less content of your own. And best of all, when your interviewees market the broadcast to their own audiences, you’ll get to meet a whole group of new customers.

Related: 5 Low-Cost Ways to Get Started With Video Marketing

12. Use the sign-off.

Finally, before you’re done, thank everyone for tuning in. Use the sign-off to remind people to sign up for notifications. And tell them exactly when you’ll be broadcasting next.

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No, Video Isn’t Dead — It Still Boosts Sales Conversions When You Put It on the Right Pages of Your Site

Every business site has at least one page that could probably be beefed up with a video. Here are the big 5.

6 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Despite the brouhaha surrounding Facebook’s metric discrepancies, video isn’t dead, on life support or even headed to urgent care. In fact, it’s very much thriving on corporate websites, where businesses have discovered it belongs more than ever.

Of course, Facebook does owe video a sincere apology. Thanks to its miscalculations overstating social video consumption by up to 80 percent, according to Nieman Journalism Lab’s findings, many marketers believed it was the savior they needed to restore lagging engagement figures.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Using Videos on Your Website

Hence, the giant was slapped with a lawsuit. Yet video remains a strong tool — faulty Facebook analyses aside.

How can this be true? Basically, Facebook’s numbers don’t mean much in the real world. Businesses don’t have to care about the amount of video consumed. As brands, they need to care about what kinds of videos are being watched and what users are doing afterward. Those metrics, which can be accurately measured, are far more valuable.

Therefore, the question shouldn’t be whether to invest in video, but how to determine when an eye-catching, emotion-prompting video makes sense. Most companies might be surprised to realize that the answer to video marketing usually lies within their own websites, starting with the home page.

Enhancing a business website with video

A current big trend on websites, according to Hubspot, is to have a home page featuring a carefully considered video. Typically, the home-page video communicates a specific message to visitors at the top of the funnel. Unfortunately, it’s rare to see video on other pages.

A website peppered with videos allows an organization to increase sales and return on investment by creating a more dynamic experience. No longer are readers forced to wade through written content alone or stock images to understand a product or service. With video, they can rapidly break through the noise and efficiently determine whether the brand is a good fit.

Take the case of a startup restaurant: The home page could feature a 60- to 90-second video of the head chef demonstrating techniques, discussing his or her passion for food artistry and plating mouth-watering meals. This visual tour might continue on a menu page, showcasing behind-the-scenes video of the making of molten lava cake or offering snippets of diners raving about an entree.

The opportunity for video placement exists everywhere on a business’s website. However, there are five “biggies” when it comes to the easiest places to incorporate new videos in addition to the home page:

1. Your “About Us” page

Where does a person go to find out more information about a company’s mission, culture or history? The “About Us” page, of course. Users ordinarily aren’t ready to buy just yet, so it’s fine to make a fun video showing off your brand’s personality. The founder might offer an insider look at his or her day, for instance, as a compelling way to emphasize the company’s creation story.

If you want an example of what I’m talking about, Twitter hits all the must-haves for a solid “About Us” video. Videos play in the background, talking about users’ stories and showing how the social site works in real life. Best of all, the videos work well without sound and don’t break the bank to produce.

2. Your employment page

Talented applicants don’t take branding for granted. They actively search for brands that align with their preferred office environment, right down to their potential co-workers and company benefits. Video messages from warm, inviting internal team members can influence prospective team members to submit cover letters and résumés.

Normally, a full-size, embedded, autoplaying video is a miss, but Spotify’s employment page uses it in a nondistracting way. It offers a job search call to action and a video that rests in the background and showcases the brand’s messaging and thoughtful purpose.

Related: 5 Reasons Businesses Should Focus on Creating Video Content

3. Your product pages

Try to explain with words how to put a box together, and it’ll be clunky and boring. A better solution would be to put together a seconds-long video. The same can be true for many products and services that require research and understanding to get consumers to buy. The only caveat? Product page videos shouldn’t be overly pushy. Yes, they can extol your products’ advantages such as their unique features, but they shouldn’t try to do the salesperson’s job.

They should also be short, a rule that Allbirds follows. The shoe company’s products are augmented by short videos showing what its shoes look like in action. The videos feel seamless and serve the company’s purpose without being in-your-face.

4. Your landing pages

Landing pages are destinations for qualified leads, so videos there will likely get tons of targeted traffic. The faster visitors become engaged, the better. Thus, video serves as a godsend. Generally speaking, landing pages are jam-packed with “stuff,” such as introductions, benefits, product information, lead generation forms and a call to action.

A video that makes the page less messy can encourage a higher conversion rate.

The native advertising platform Taboola has a landing page replete with autoplaying video. It introduces Taboola to viewers without committing the sin of being obnoxious. Plus, it works sans sound, allowing customers to read the captions and take in the content without reaching for their headphones.

5. Your “Getting Started” pages

How does a product work in the real world? A video can offer an initial in-depth introduction and strong impression. Obviously, the key to videos on these pages is to highlight how to use the item or service so people unfamiliar with the brand get a taste of exactly what will happen after they make a purchase (not to mention why they should care in the first place).

Zipcar handles this well: It embedded a video on its “Getting Started” page to introduce customers to the product and process. Unlike other sites’ videos, this one doesn’t auto-play. The user can opt to watch the video and then read more on the web page as needed.

Related: Here’s Why Businesses Should Focus on Video Content

Facebook video debates aside, every business site has at least one page that could probably be beefed up with a video. Best of all, the videos don’t have to be professional quality, and they don’t have to be an all-or-nothing experiment. A few A/B split tests can determine whether video is the right performer for the job on any page, giving marketers deeper insights into how to snag more leads and improve sales.

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