Apparently, 2017 will be the biggest year for video marketing yet. In fact, video is expected to take up over 70% of all internet traffic by the end of the year, with video consumption increasing more than 100% from 2016.
But with these numbers comes a big change. We are now seeing a shift from pre-recorded video (of the kind seen on YouTube) to live, raw video feeds.
While pre-produced, traditional videos are still very popular, live video is definitely on the rise.
But what exactly makes live video so popular? And how can we, as marketers, leverage this popularity to achieve real sales and business growth?
Well, first let’s take a look at the evolution of live video.
Live video: what makes it work?
Statistics show that most people would rather watch a video than read a blog, especially if it’s about a product or service. This is a matter of pure convenience, as well as the fact that the video format caters to the visual nature of learning.
However, unlike pre-recorded video, live video adds an unexpected element to affairs: human interaction.
In a live video, no matter what platform you use, it’s just you and the people who have hopped online to join you. By putting a face to the name of your business, you attain authenticity with your audience. You build real relationships and foster a connection between your business, product, or message, and the people who are paying for it.
In our content-driven, impersonal world, a medium which is inherently personal – like live video – is just what people want.
Will live video work for you?
As we watch the rise and rise of live video, it’s critical to evaluate whether or not you actually have the means, the time, the energy and the audience to make live video work for you.
To start off, think about where you’re going to run your live streaming campaign. While Facebook Live is arguably the most popular platform for live video, it’s not the only one out there. There are others including Crowdcast, Google Hangouts, Periscope, DaCast, and LiveStream at reasonably affordable prices (that also offer more functions and capabilities). Even Instagram is getting in on the “live action” with its live streaming features.
Consider factors such as your audience size as well as your budget and bandwidth restrictions. As for knowing the outcomes of your live streaming campaign (and whether or not it’s worth it for you or your business), only time and testing the waters will tell.
Given the incredible popularity of live video, the odds are stacked in your favor. With the vast majority of consumers (over 80%) watching live video and less than 20% of marketers harnessing this tool in 2016, there’s a huge gap that can be filled.
How do I make an impact with live video?
To ensure that your audience enjoys and engages with what you’ve got to say, keep the following points in mind:
- Create urgency
This includes adding hype to your promotions about live video events. Try adding statements like ‘Check this out before you invest in your next startup idea’ prior to posting your live video. This way, people understand in advance that you’ve got something important to say and that they have to engage with your live video to gain from it.
- Engage your audience
This includes hosting ‘Ask Me Anything!’ sessions and verbally acknowledging people as they join your live video event, even though you can’t see them. You can use unique styles and techniques for your event, from having someone on your team delivering a speech, to holding impromptu sessions that encourage people to stay tuned to your live feed.
- Offer incentives
These might include free content upgrades, shareable infographics, one-time discounts or upgrade teasers for a new course, ebook, etc. Information that your audience can immediately implement or share is a huge incentive for live video participants that is also capable of increasing attendance.
How do I make sure that my live video resonates and gets shared?
If you’re wondering how to deliver information that won’t go in one ear and out the other, you have a few options. While live video does mean, well, live, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use a few visual aids.
This is where platforms other than Facebook Live excel, as they let you live stream in more than just a rear-facing camera view. Using Crowdcast, Google Hangouts and more, you can screen share, split screen, and even have chats with other people – all in real time!
These platforms are especially useful if you’re sharing information or data that you really want your audience to remember because they allow you to combine the visual element with the human one. That’s what we like to call the ‘double whammy’ of internet marketing.
Here are three easy tricks to combine visuals and video that will get your live event to really ‘stick’ in your audience’s head, even after you’ve stopped streaming.
- Cater to the visual learning majority. Only 30% of people are auditory learners, while a massive 65% of people learn through visuals. Don’t just rely on your video’s audio narration – combine visuals such as original photography, infographics and slideshows to highlight important information. This also serves a double purpose, as attendees can share screenshots, further encouraging others to attend your next event or sign up for your services.
- Establish yourself as an authority. The best way to do this is by sharing information only you know. This means doing research on your product, your industry, or your niche so that you can give amazing insights to attendees. Your audience will love connecting with you, and when you use visuals to share your information, they will be even more persuaded to convert.
- Diversify your live feed. Did you know that the normal human attention span is now only 8 seconds? Luckily, we process visuals (both in the form of video and images) in less than 250 milliseconds. That means you can use these visual elements to attract an audience, but generating useful, relevant, and interesting visuals is what will keep people around. This means diversifying your live feed, not just settling on rearview camera angles or product footage.
Live video, while still in its infant stages, is already a major player in the marketing arena. Because of the novel and personal nature of live streaming, it’s a great medium to push urgency, engagement, and information sharing.
The key to success with live video isn’t streaming 24/7 or even having the biggest audience. Live videos are so popular because they provide a singular experience for people interested in you, your product, your service, or your message – something they aren’t getting from your competition.
Give live video a go before the end of 2017 – you’ve still got a few months up your sleeve to see how it can expand your reach and ultimately your business.
Guest Author: Latasha Doyle, discusses all things “infographic” on Easel.ly’s blog. If you are looking for more information on creating infographics, you can also check out Easel.ly’s free ebook, “Infographic Crash Course.”