Digital Dudes Livestream Series
In week 11 of the weekly Facebook Livestream Q&A, hosted by the FUEL Digital Dudes™, we looked back on the lessons we learned from the last 11 weeks of coming to you live every Wednesday at noon. Facebook Live is an invaluable tool for your business, and we think you’ll find our experience with it invaluable as well.
Why Should You Be Using Facebook Live for Your Business?
The answer is pretty straightforward – because it works. Here are some of the results we’ve seen so far from our completely organic efforts on Facebook Live.
- Our videos were viewed a combined 2,640 times. We found that our videos had a shelf life well beyond when we were live or even a day later. Many videos continued to get steady views for as long as a week after they were published.
- The Digital Dudes Livestream had a 23% conversion rate on our Digital Trends Report link posted in the comments of each livestream.
- Traffic from the livestream was very interested and engaged. They spent four minutes longer on our website, on average, than traffic from other sources, visited more pages per session, and had a lower bounce rate.
- The word got out. We had people outside of the office, who didn’t already like our Facebook page, recognize us and ask us about the livestream. We saw the same happen at events around Greenville with other local agencies taking an interest in how we were taking the lead on Facebook Live video content.
- These livestreams have helped fuel our content machine. In fact, that’s why you’re reading this blog post right now. We were able to efficiently repurpose each livestream into content that could live in multiple places and provide ongoing value to our SEO and email marketing efforts, to name a few.
Are Your Competitors Using Facebook Live Already?
Live video is a game-changer in the social media marketing scene, and it has seen significant growth on Facebook since being made available in 2016.
- Facebook Live use has increased by 330% since its rollout.
- Facebook Live drives more than 32 billion daily video views.
- Facebook Live videos are watched 3x longer than video content that isn’t live.
- Users engage with Facebook Live videos at a rate 10x higher than non-live video content.
- Since 2016, daily watch time for Facebook Live has increased by 400%, and Facebook reports that 1 in 5 videos is live.
Start Out By Setting Your Goals
Consider your goals with the livestream – Is it to connect with customers? Is it to share helpful information? Are you trying to grow an audience? Are you selling a product? Your goals will determine format, time, and platform.
We wanted to provide helpful information about digital marketing to small business owners and entrepreneurs that don’t have the resources to hire digital marketing strategists. So we chose to use Facebook Live, to deliver a semi-produced show sharing digital marketing tips for anyone interested in this crucial element of business success.
Some questions that could help you get started are:
- Who is your target audience and how do they use the platform you broadcasting on? Do they want to share in a conversation or view a production?
- What would be interesting to folks who have no idea what your business does?
- Where can you let folks “behind the scenes” or give them a look at the process?
- What information or expertise can you give away for free?
- What is a strong call-to-action for those interested enough in taking the next step?
What Equipment Will You Need for Facebook Live?
The good news is you don’t need a lot of expensive equipment to get started. Use what you have – a mobile device with Internet access and a camera is the only gear you absolutely have to have.
If you are going to spend money on gear, high-quality audio can really elevate the quality of your live videos. We would absolutely recommend prioritizing audio equipment over better video quality. Mobile phone cameras are already of reasonably good quality, but the built-in microphones are not as good for anything beyond a simple phone conversion.
How Do You Prepare To Go Live on Facebook?
There can be a lot of preparation that goes into getting ready for a successful livestream. Over these 11 weeks, we’ve found ways to minimize the number of technical issues that impacted our livestreams and reduce the amount of time it takes to prepare.
- Always test your equipment before going live. It doesn’t matter how many times everything has worked perfectly before. Go live on a test page to make sure your lighting is good and you can be heard.
- Keep in mind that if you do add more gear, external cameras, microphones, or sound mixers, you’re adding complexity and creating more opportunities for a problem to occur. See point one again: you should always test before going live, but the importance of testing grows exponentially as you add more equipment and complexity to your setup.
- You definitely won’t be able to monitor your audio during the livestream, so if something comes unplugged, stops working, or if some ambient noise that sounds fine to you becomes overwhelming through the mic, you’ll have no way of knowing. It’s helpful to have someone nearby who can monitor the audio and video situation during your livestream and alert you if any problems crop up after you’ve gone live.
- If you’re going live frequently, setting up all of your equipment can eat up a ton of time. You can cut down on prep time by having a designated area where you stream each week. Not having to set up lighting and mics and frame your shot will reduce the time spent setting up and testing.
How Do You Deal With Nerves and Forgetfulness?
First of all, have some rough idea of what you want to talk about. When you’re not used to being on live video you’re going to be nervous. You may miss important details of a topic you wanted to cover or just lose your train of thought. The last thing you want is to stare at the camera with no idea what to say next.
We always prepare outlines ahead of time. It doesn’t have to be anything expansive; in fact less is more. Include a bulleted list of the topics you want to cover. This will keep you on track, help you avoid missing any key points, and prevent you from ending up in everyone’s worst nightmare – stammering in front of the camera as you struggle to remember what you should say next.
Why a bulleted list? Because the other extreme is for you to spend the entire video with your face buried in a piece of paper, reading from it like you’re a middle schooler reciting Shakespeare. A bulleted list is a perfect medium to keep you on track without monopolizing your attention.
What Content Should You Include in Your Livestream?
1. Make it visual. Our visual aids started as a way to help us explain some really deep, complex pieces of digital marketing in a way that would be easy for anyone to understand. While they were an effective tool, we also found that whenever something was happening on camera, any sort of action, viewership stabilized and even increased as people who were scrolling through their feeds stopped to see what we were doing.
2. Balance the action with a consistent format. You’ll want to strike the right balance between keeping your format familiar to repeat viewers and also changing things up so it doesn’t get stale.
We’ve anchored our livestreams with a consistent format by always delivering new, helpful information on how digital marketing can help your business grow and presenting our consistent weekly updates that keep you informed about the latest happenings in the world of digital marketing.
To prevent that format from becoming stale, we had a new, creative visual aid each week that tied in with our topic, conducted on-site livestreams from other locations (like Barley’s Taproom and Pizzeria in downtown Greenville), brought more members of the team into our livestreams, and changed our shooting location for livestreams within the office.
3. Shorter content may make more sense. The average watch time for a live video on Facebook is 18 seconds. We experienced watch times that were higher than that. Your mileage may vary, but it’s important to know that for a longer stream (10 minutes+), you’re going to have a lot of different viewers coming and going. Few are going to stick around from start to finish.
4. Update new viewers and include multiple calls to action. Looking back on the previous point – considering your audience will be constantly shifting during your livestream, you’ll want to provide multiple updates on what you’re talking about throughout the stream. While opening and ending with a call to action is a great idea, it’s also important to include calls to action in the middle of the video too, as you may be talking to a completely different audience at the start than at the end of your livestream.
Now that you have (some of) the knowledge of what it’s like to go live on Facebook, it’s time to start building on our lessons with your own experience. Get out there and start livestreaming!
Want to learn even more? Watch the recorded livestream below. And if you need help with your Facebook Live strategy, you know where to find it.