Here at Zen Media, we’ve long been advocates of the power of video in marketing, both for our clients and ourselves.
Our CEO, Shama Hyder, has hosted an online marketing show called ShamaTV for years, in which she shares digital marketing tips, interviews other experts in the field, and takes viewers behind the scenes at some of the events where she presents:
For our clients, we create marketing videos designed to take their business to the next level and make them into industry leaders, like this one we put together for Promax Nutrition:
Video is a marketing channel that gets proven results. But up until now, most marketing video production has focused on prerecorded video. Live video just wasn’t usually attractive, or feasible, for many reasons, so businesses simply focused on using the most popular and successful platform for video – YouTube. And they got results – and still do.
But the game is changing.
Thanks to Facebook Live video streaming, marketing via live video is not just possible now – it’s wildly effective, and rapidly gaining in popularity.
While YouTube still is – and will remain – a powerhouse in terms of video marketing, Facebook Live has shown itself to be much more explosive in terms of ROI. Here are 4 reasons why this exciting new marketing platform will be hotter than YouTube for your business if you jump in now.
1. Live Video Has Unique Effects on Viewers
There’s just something about live video. It’s the reason so many millions of people tuned in to TV broadcasts of The Sound of Music, Peter Pan, and Grease live, and one of the reasons why Saturday Night Live has remained so popular for so many decades. There’s a sense that anything can happen, a kind of excitement that keeps viewers engaged.
Online live video creates that same kind of excitement, but also offers something unique – a sense of intimacy. When someone who normally seems inaccessible, like an actor, author, musician, CEO, or other influencer, sits down and speaks live to an online audience, viewers are suddenly able to feel a personal connection with that person. It’s like you’re sitting in the room chatting with that person – there’s no filter, no prepared script, no airbrushing or editing. It’s just that person, authentic and open, sharing their thoughts with viewers. And that sense of intimacy isn’t just thrilling – it also makes viewers feel that they have a personal relationship with the speaker, which is exactly what every brand works so hard to establish with their target audience.
2. Facebook Live Video Gets Amazing Reach
There’s always a lot of talk about which kinds of content rank higher in Facebook’s news feeds – links to articles, eye-catching images, video, etc. – but that conversation is moot when it comes to Facebook Live video. It’s the undisputed leader when it comes to reach, getting THREE TIMES the visibility of any other type of content in those news feeds, period.
In addition to that incredible benefit, it’s been shown that, on average, people spend triple the amount of time watching live video than they do recorded video, precisely because of that feeling that “anything can happen” – they’re willing to stick around longer than usual to see just what that might be.
And interestingly, a significant number of people also watch Facebook Live video after the broadcast has ended – since it was recorded live and never edited, that sense of interest is maintained even afterwards.
So not only does Facebook Live video reach more people during the broadcast, it retains that reach even afterwards, and inspires longer viewing no matter when people watch.
3. Competition is Low – For Now
When YouTube was in its infancy, businesses weren’t sure whether to use the platform for marketing or not, and even if they wanted to, they often weren’t sure how to do so. Because of that hesitation, those companies that did jump in and take advantage of YouTube’s possibilities enjoyed a heyday of incredible marketing ROI, because there simply wasn’t much competition. The same went for Google AdWords in its early days – businesses could get massive exposure with very little investment, because there just weren’t many others using the platform.
That is exactly the situation Facebook Live is in today. With so few businesses harnessing its power for marketing, any that do have the opportunity to explode onto the scene and make a big splash – and an epic ROI.
Unfortunately, just as with YouTube and PPC ads, this situation won’t last forever. As more and more businesses try out the new platform, competition will increase, and it will become much tougher to make a mark. That’s why taking advantage of Facebook Live now, and establishing yourself on the channel, is so important.
Our CEO saw the opportunity presented by this new platform right away, and is the host of one of the very first business and marketing shows on Facebook Live:
4. Facebook Live Video Production is Unbelievably Affordable
Not too long ago at all – we’re talking just a couple years here – streaming live video online used to cost literally tens of thousands of dollars. The equipment, technology, and platforms necessary all cost a significant amount of money, and required intense amounts of set up and prep work.
Now, thanks to Facebook Live, you can live stream video from your cell phone for free.
Of course, the quality of live video can vary wildly, so while cell phone video may fit for some companies or types of broadcasts, for others, it would be more effective to use more sophisticated equipment. But even with that kind of upgrade, the cost of producing videos for Facebook Live is nothing compared to what it once cost to stream live online. That low cost definitely has an impact on ROI.
With its budget-friendly nature, its incredible reach, its low competition, and its intimate nature, Facebook Live video is without a doubt the hottest thing to hit marketing in some time, and a tool that has the potential to be a real game-change for your business. Here are just a few ideas for ways you can use Facebook Live to market your company:
- Stream your CEO’s speech live from an industry conference.
- Interview satisfied customers and clients for live testimonials.
- Feature employees for a real-time peek into company culture.
- Stream live from events your business is hosting or sponsoring.
- Broadcast live unboxings of your new products.
- Share tips your target audience will find useful.
- Talk informally about your company’s story, as well as your own.
- Discuss insights into industry conversations.
- Stream goofy office pranks in real time.
- Express your response to events in the news.
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ways you can harness the power of Facebook Live for your business. Our recommendation is to strike while the iron is hot, and take advantage now.