Live video is BIG news and is here to stay. If you’re curious on how to use live video for your own company, read on.
In 2015 alone, we saw Meerkat, Periscope, Blab and Facebook Live burst onto the video voyeur scene. In 2016, the impact on marketing and online possibilities is undeniable—and incredibly exciting at that.
The focus on live interaction has game-changing effects for brands—especially those who sell online. Although the big names in the online space are already using it and loving it, live video is still a level playing field for those with smaller, lesser-known businesses.
The good news is that live video is a totally free resource, perfect for small and micro businesses: No big brand budget needed.
So, what opportunities does live video offer, and how can it impact your business?
Whether you are sharing breaking news, teasing us with a new product, or doing an interview, live video provides lots of value for your business.
“Watching a video consistently ranks among the top activities on sites like Facebook and Twitter.” via Global Web Index
Let’s jump in and take a look at some ways to use live video streaming, with many ideas you can try and test to market your online store and ramp up your sales.
Go behind the mask
Live video brings you closer to your audience than ever.
Jumping on to broadcast, connect with fans, customers and followers in real time helps connect on a human level.
Whether your live video content is planned or impulsive, making instant access to your followers a regular part of your week (or when you feel like it!) adds incredible value to both them and your business.
Ideas to try:
Live Q&A hour / Ask me anything session
You could try opening up the opportunity for followers and customers to ask you anything.
This is a valuable opportunity for not only hearing straight from your target market what questions they have, but how you can help them in the future with products and services. It also deepens the connection with you and your business by offering immediate, personable access.
Impromptu check-in and stories
Live videos on the fly help us see the person behind the business and brand. If your customers connect with you on a human level, it deepens emotional loyalty and connection in a way that goes far and above pre-prepared content like blogs and scheduled social media.
Jam with your friends and peers
Live video hangouts with your friends and peers in the same industry has a double whammy effect. Not only will your authority and connections be validated, but you will also be able to reach the audience of their people too, opening up a new audience for you.
Conferences and tradeshows
On the road for business? Take us behind the scenes as you share your insights.
Here, Denise Duffield Thomas jumps on for a Q&A from her car:
Show us how it’s done
Letting us behind the scenes of your product creation, process, and supply chain is an easy, clever way to amp up loyalty through transparency.
Ideas to try:
Meet the team
If you have a team helping answer customer emails, photograph your products, or an ace virtual assistant who schedules your social media, show us behind the curtain and meet them. Even if, at this stage, it’s your partner/cat/mom/postman, all the better! Your audience can watch your business change and grow.
The more we can connect with your product and process, the more your brand feels like a friend we can trust.
Say hi to suppliers
Seeing the supply chain in action really gives your customers VIP access, increasing brand loyalty. You could show products arriving, like a physical copy of your newest book, or shoot the breeze with your suppliers—it all adds to the story.
How is it made?
Letting your customers and audience in on the creation process of your product is an awesome way to get everyone engaged and excited. If you are working on an e-book, you could do a quick laptop chat as you work on the draft, or show us the cover design in progress.
If you are shooting a video course, go behind the scenes and show us your set up or jump in during a break to pique excitement, especially during a pre-launch build up.
How to’s and demos
Video is a really powerful way to showcase how to use a product, with live adding the opportunity for customers to ask questions as you go. Prime your customers for a sale by making the decision a no-brainer!
The early bird gets the worm (the feedback, and the VIP deals)
Live video offers an amazing, real-time way to get instant feedback on a product or service, and to offer exclusive deals for your early bird video fans.
Dynamic, real-time feedback
Save hours validating an idea by running a live chat and pitching an idea to your audience. Show them an idea, walk them through how it would work, and gauge the response. You just got yourself a free, live focus group on tap (with added value).
VIP previews and offers
You could also use video to offer exclusive, time-limited deals and VIP previews for your customers. Consider running a live pre-sales party and offer an early bird, live access price using a code for your store.
Spotify used Periscope to broadcast a live backstage interview and jam sesh with Irish folk band Villagers. (via Made Freshly)
Happy clients mean more sales
Happy customers mean more sales, and it’s never been easier to showcase your happy client stories.
Ideas to try:
Interactive customer support or office hours
You could add interactive customer support or office hours as a service, which not only builds in customer support but also acts as a marketing tool.
Interviews and happy client testimonials
Invite your happiest clients to jump on a live video with you and share their experiences. As well as triggering FOMO in people that haven’t bought yet, you can showcase a real, live testimonial which is a magnet to your market.
Empower your customers to spread the love for you!
Open up the opportunity to your audience to broadcast live videos of how they are using your product for a prize; not only will you gain new raving fans, but word of mouth is a strong tool for loyalty.
Extra bonus: Repurpose your videos for long term content value
Here is another super useful thing about using live video: You are creating content that you can repurpose on other platforms, setting yourself up for bumper content value in the long run!
You could consider:
- Adding the videos to YouTube.
- Having them transcribed and edited to use as a blog post or newsletter content.
- Pulling out key quotes to create visuals on social media.
However you use live video, often making your first live transmission is the biggest obstacle. Try it out and take the plunge to go live, your sales will thank you for it!
Jo Gifford is a designer, blogger, and mentor who helps people work smarter and in more creative ways. She is also the creator of Killer Content Academy, helping small business owners create content for selling online. Connect with Jo on Instagram and get more smart advice on her blog, Dexterous Diva.