Are you still sitting on the sidelines, missing out on all the marketing and branding opportunities Facebook Live has opened for businesses around the world?
If yes, it's time to let go of your apprehensions and recognize this opportunity that has already changed the way people use Facebook.
Facebook is quickly transforming into a video-only platform, and one of its top executives has already predicted the near end of the written word in a few years' time.
Facebook Live is a major step in that direction.
Source: Facebook Live Stats 2016
Facebook is intentionally giving more organic exposure to live videos, which is why Facebook Live dominates the News Feeds of most of its users these days.
What does that mean for businesses and B2B marketers?
Some 60% of B2B marketers already use pre-produced video in their online marketing strategy, according to the annual B2B content marketing survey by MarketingProfs and CMI. It's safe to assume livestreaming is going to be a growing part of video use in the future.
Leading B2B brands and marketers have begun using Facebook Live to engage with their audiences and build a deeper connection with their target customers. If you're short of ideas on how Facebook Live can benefit your business, here are some tips to get you started.
1. Help your customers find success with your product
The human brain processes images, visuals, and video much faster than it does text. This is precisely why video is an excellent medium for helping your customers to understand your product better, and use it to achieve their business goals.
Facebook Live takes video to a new level by giving you the ability to do live product demonstrations and interact with your audience while doing so.
You can take questions in the comments of your livestream and answer them live in your video. You can ask your customers for real-life examples of how they're using your product to achieve their business goals.
This approach is ideal for B2B SaaS companies, because they have tech-savvy customers looking for various ways to expand their businesses online. For example, email marketing company AWeber routinely uses Facebook Live sessions to share ways customers can use their platform to build a more targeted and engaged subscriber base for their businesses.
Using live video in this way not only helps your customers use your product more effectively but also builds loyalty for your brand since you're always there to listen to your clients and help them out.
2. Build your subscriber base with content upgrades
Building a loyal subscriber base is one of the most important things both for B2B and for B2C companies with an online presence. More than 83% of B2B marketers consider email list building an essential part of their marketing strategy, according to Campaign Monitor, and e-commerce marketers who use email retargeting recover more than half of abandoned-cart customers.
In short, email needs to be a key part of your marketing strategy.
Using content upgrades to generate email subscribers has been one of the top marketing techniques over the last 2-3 years.
In simple words, a content upgrade is a free downloadable resource (usually a checklist or a 2-3-page e-book) placed in the middle and at the end of a blog post on the same topic. It offers additional value to the readers in exchange for their email addresses.
You can apply the same strategy to build your email list with Facebook Live.
Finalize the topic of your Facebook Live session and create a free downloadable checklist or e-book as a content upgrade. Make sure it's relevant to the topic of your livestream and offers information or tools that you don't share during your video. Set up a simple landing page (if you use WordPress, you can use a landing page plugin) and integrate it with your email marketing tool to collect emails. The URL of your landing page should be easy to understand (for example, yourdomain.com/fblive)
Once everything is ready, start your live session and share the URL of your landing page in the middle and at the end of your live session by reading it out slowly and adding it as a pinned comment on your video.
Social Media Examiner recently shared how Amy Porterfield used this exact strategy to turn hundreds of Facebook users into email subscribers.
3. Turn proven topics from your blog into live videos
Blogging is a key component of any content marketing strategy. It not only helps you demonstrate your industry knowledge and build your brand image but also makes it easier to create a pool of loyal readers and subscribers who turn to your content whenever they need help.
Now, with Facebook Live, you can use your blog content to reach a wider audience and drive more traffic to your website.
The idea is simple.
Identify your most popular blog posts, and use the same content to create a Facebook Live video. This approach works well since you're taking a proven topic already popular with your target audience.
If your post covers a large number of points, you can even break it down to create multiple Facebook Live videos.
Because livestreaming is highly interactive and allows users to ask questions and share comments in real-time, it will help you improve your most popular content by including the feedback that your live video gets.
So it's a win-win scenario for your business and your customers.
4. Host expert interviews to expand your viewership
An easy way to expand your brand's reach and grab the attention of your audience is to borrow credibility from other established influencers in your industry. That person could be a successful entrepreneur, a well-known researcher, or a celebrity related to your industry.
Interview them in a live Facebook video and ask your audience to send their questions as well.
Shopify, for example, did a Facebook Live session with Tim Ferris, a renowned author and entrepreneur with a huge following. It's used such sessions to skyrocket the growth of its subscriber base and Facebook audience.
Inviting industry experts not only boosts your brand image and credibility but also acts as an endorsement from those experts and introduces your product new prospects.
5. Use live video to share social proof and testimonials
An ideal use of Facebook Live, especially for B2B brands, is to take clients backstage and give them a glimpse of how your company operates.
It's also an ideal platform to share social proof to strengthen your brand's image. For example, if an executive from your company is speaking at a conference, why not broadcast the speech live on Facebook?
And if you're participating in an exhibition, share a 5-10-minute live broadcast of your company booth or the activities of your staff over there.
You could also broadcast live interviews of your loyal and satisfied customers who've used your products to excel in their businesses. Ask them exactly how your product helped them and its contribution to their success.
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Facebook Live is still evolving, but it has already become one of the most frequently used features on Facebook. For B2B brands and marketers, it opens the door to exciting opportunities and gives them the ability to get much closer to their target audiences.
So if your brand has yet to take Facebook Live seriously, now's the time to change your mind.