A successful thought leadership strategy needs to stay on top of new tools as they become available. Facebook Live is such a tool. It’s like the newest kid on the playground — and while some have welcomed him with open arms, others are more skeptical, and hold him at a distance.
If you are serious about thought leadership, though, Facebook Live needs to be part of your repertoire. Read on to find out why and the key ways to make it work for you.
Hubspot’s latest State of Inbound report reveals that Facebook Live is poised to take off. 46% of those polled said that they plan to incorporate Facebook video into their marketing strategy in the coming year.
Yet, video was also cited in Hubspot’s report as being a top challenge that marketers are still figuring out. Many see the benefits of using video, but are nervous about how to begin, or even wonder if it’s a good fit for their company.
That’s what we’re here to discuss. But first…
Why is Facebook Live So Important to Your B2B Marketing Plan?
Video has proved to be an incredible marketing dynamo for many companies. On average, one third of online activity is spent watching videos! That’s quite an impressive amount you could miss by not using video.
Add to that the fact that 90% of users said that watching a video was helpful in their decision process, and 50% of executives look for more information after watching a video on a product or service.
Video is a clear winner.
But let’s take it a step further. Combine video’s powerful impact with Facebook’s audience of 1.86 billion average active monthly users…what do you get? A perfect cocktail for success. While platforms like Youtube have live video capabilities, none can match Facebook’s reach.
Now let’s see how you can put that power and reach to work for your thought leadership goals.
While platforms like Youtube have live video capabilities, none can match Facebook’s reach
7 Ingenious Ways to Put Facebook Live to Work for Your Thought Leadership Strategy
1. Interview an Industry Expert
Try to score an interview with an expert in your field, a well-known researcher, or someone else that fits your industry and goals. This kind of interview is very popular in the world of Facebook Live.
Interviews have the potential to widen your audience, and bring others to your brand. Whether it’s the subject matter or the popularity of the interviewee, a live video can attract more than just your day-to-day followers.
Get the word out well ahead of time on social media. Use the expert’s name in your description to reach their audience. Encourage your interviewee to share the live video details with his or her followers. This kind of publicity can attract a wider audience to your brand, and your other content.
During the interview, encourage your audience to ask question, and keep that kind of engagement going throughout the video.
Live interviews can widen your audience, and bring others to your brand
2. Create a New Format for FAQs
Every company has frequently asked questions. Why make these into a long and torturous reading experience, when you can cover these same points live? The bonus, too, is that people will have the opportunity to ask auxiliary questions, and you’ll be able to deliver more thorough answers.
This can be especially helpful if there are changes to your company, and you need to quickly address tthis and your customers’ and prospects’ concerns.
3. Go Live with a Webinar
Webinars are an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and expertise that sets you apart as a thought leader. Facebook Live makes it even more accessible and engaging. Your audience gets to see you in person, and ask questions. It makes it more like a real classroom experience than ever before.
Doing a webinar live offers more opportunity for audience participation than pre-recorded webinars. Such an authentic experience can boost your thought leadership credentials exponentially.
As an added bonus, you can offer to stick around after the webinar is over to answer any final questions people have. This kind of extra-mile offering is what sets thought leaders apart.
4. Feature Your New Product Launch
In the past, product launches were exclusive, and largely depended on the venue. Facebook Live opens this experience to more individuals who perhaps did not have the circumstances to attend in person, but who can still share in the excitement of the launch.
Make the experience worth it for your live audience. This goes beyond setting up a live stream in the back of a venue. Make your live audience feel like VIP members from the comfort of their computer. Show off your new product — up, close, and personal — and show your audience what it can do.
Make your live audience feel like VIP members from the comfort of their couch
5. Introduce Your Team
From executives to employees, introducing your team can enhance your brand’s image. This should not be all about your CEO — although he or she should be included. Let people get to know the people behind the company. Bring those faceless workers into the spotlight, and show how they fit into your company’s culture and values.
This will help attract a more diverse audience to your company. Your employees are what humanizes your company and make it special. Showcasing your employees will help attract potential talent to work for your company.
Make this a regular piece — perhaps featuring one person a month. Then if some of your employees appear in future live sessions, your audience will already feel like they know them.
6. Educate Your Customers
Help your customers learn how to use your product. While manuals and blog posts can do a thorough job explaining this, videos have a more powerful and personal impact. The human brain processes images and video substantially faster than text — use that to your advantage!
Have a series of live videos that address the basic functions of your product, and invite your audience to ask questions as you go. As ssues and problems arise, live video is a great tool to troubleshoot.
Be sure to go beyond the basics. Especially in the B2B space, audiences are typically pretty tech savvy. Show them various “expert” features of your product that will improve their efficiency and make their jobs easier.
7. Offer a Content Upgrade
Whatever topic you decide to cover in your live video, the marketing opportunity doesn’t have to be over when the camera turns off. Point people to a content upgrade — an eBook, case study, or white paper — that follows that same topic in more depth.
This is an excellent opportunity to keep people on your content, and to introduce them to additional thought leadership material. The more they get to see your expertise in action, and the wide range of content you offer, the more ilikely they will perceive you to be a thought leader.
And if you gate your content upgrade, those “one-time” visitors can become solid leads.
Before You Go Live…
Get the word out on social media and other outlets. Make sure people know well in advance what topic you will be covering, and when. You could even send out an email if you think the topic will interest certain people.
Be prepared. Preparation is key to live streaming video. Because you can’t go back and edit out mistakes, you need to have all your bases covered before that camera turns on. Have all the materials you will need within arm’s reach. If you interview someone, make sure that person knows what kinds of questions you will ask — without it being too “rehearsed.”
Don’t Use a Script. I know, you want to be thoroughly prepared — but a script will just take away the value that a live video is supposed to offer. There’s a reason people want to watch you live. They want to see something authentic, including any hiccups that come up. Use a basic outline that will remind you of your main points, but won’t tie you down.
Engage. One of the best things about Facebook Live is the audience participation. Keep an eye on the comments, and interact with them. Answer questions. Acknowledge r remarks. This engagement is what sets this platform apart from YouTube, and makes it a home-run.
Post the Video After. No matter how good you are at getting the word out prior to your live video, there will be those that miss it or were busy at that time. Make it available on your social media networks after the camera is done rolling. Create a blog post that highlights the key points you discussed, and even embed the video within your site.
A Few Examples of Facebook Live in Action…
Take this example from AWeber, a software company specializing in email marketing for businesses. AWeber used this live video to answer a customer’s question, and go beyond the question to really educate its audience. Right from the beginning, listeners are encouraged to submit questions in the feed that they will address at the end. It’s not scripted or dull, and the back and forth between the two presenters gives it a nice conversational quality.
GE is a great example of using Facebook Live to connect with its audience and humanize a brand. This past year the company shot live video from Drone Week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to introduce its team members and talk about key developments in theicompany. Filming on-site at live stream.
Hubspot, the leading authority on inbound marketing, doesn’t just talk about Facebook Live — it gets right into the action and show us how it’s done. In this Live video, Hubspot leverages a must-see interview with Canva co-founder, Cliff Obrecht — an expert within the content marketing industry. They delve into how Canva came to be, and other special anecdotes that an audience wouldn’t be able to see anywhere else. The laid-back atmosphere and conversational tone makes this video something special.
Key Points to Remember…
- Facebook Live combines the power of video with the reach of Facebook.
- A live interview with an expert in your industry can introduce a wider audience to your brand.
- Humanize your brand by introducing members of your team in a live streaming session.
- Educate your audience with live webinars or an FAQ session where your audience can ask live questions as you go.
Facebook Live has the potential to be a huge boon to your thought leadership strategy, if you let it. Companies are continually creating new ways to use Facebook Live and seeing wild results for their efforts. If you haven’t already, you need to add this to your tool set. We promise, it’s not as scary as it may seem.
Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community