5 Great Ways to Use Facebook Live to Market Your Small Business

  •    Celeste Altus is a business and technology writer and editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has lead San Francisco bureaus of Adweek and PRWeek magazines.

Video marketing has exploded in popularity in recent years, and should be part of every effective marketing strategy.

Live videos on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram have a way of capturing attention like no other. The live element of the video creates an urgency and importance that's hard to ignore. People watch live videos three times more than pre-recorded videos, says Social Media Today.

So the next time you see a blurry, sound-challenged, bumpy stream of a punk rock concert on your Facebook feed, imagine how much better you can use this medium.

Small businesses have all kinds of opportunity to create brand awareness using live video, and to drive more traffic to their sites. A study by Social Media Today showed video posts on Facebook have a 135 percent greater reach than photo posts. People love to watch them, and to share them. Unsure how to get started? Live videos are excellent for the following:

  1. Instruction - In this DIY culture, audiences quickly gobble up a how-to video. Everyone is looking for simple and fast ways to learn, and video is ideal for this. As a bonus, appearing in an instructional video allows you to personalize your brand, which creates customer loyalty. Cosmetics company Benefit drew in tens of thousands of viewers with its "Tipsy Tricks" how-to videos, featuring experts drinking wine and putting on makeup.

  2. Live Q&A – Customers have questions, so why not engage with them live? They will be able to interact with each other, and live sessions often grow your overall audience. Plan ahead for this. Research your page stats beforehand to find the optimal day and time for your Live Q&A, and promote it for two to three weeks. Create a casual, sit-down format so followers can ask questions about your product or service. You will come away with insights about your audience, as well. For example, Fitness gurus use the Q&A format often and their followers enjoy the opportunity to present questions on health and workouts.

  3. Live Interview - Talk live with a designer, proprietor or an expert in the industry. Think of it as a free webinar. Streaming informational content like this builds trust and also positions you as a thought leader and industry specialist. This format can be particularly effective in the "maker" space, when you are selling your own creations and can add another voice to support your brand.

  4. Announce a Product - When you launch a new product in your line, or add a new service, punch up the excitement with a livestream. Consumers like to feel they have the most updated information. It's also a good idea to reward viewers by offering a discount to those who buy that day. Chevrolet got more than 48,000 views when it went live from the trade show CES to announce the 2017 Bolt EV Model directly to customers.

  5. Live Tour – Just like going backstage at a concert, audiences enjoy a behind-the-scenes peek at your business. Where you work is part of your brand's story. Give your customers a tour of your workspace, or an area central to your business. Enthusiasm is contagious, so when you demonstrate how passionate you are about your work, your audience feels it, too. Douk Snowboards gives its customers short glimpses of snowboards being carved in its workshop, which is no everyday sight.

Conclusion

In the world of video marketing, nothing captures the intensity of live video. The ways to make money using live video are limited only by your imagination.

Give some of these ideas a try and put live video to work for you.