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Going Live

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How much of your marketing strategies revolve around video? Video is a great way to share information, go in-depth on a topic, and to connect your audience with the real people within and without of your company. Live Video is great way to do all of these things while also creating synchronous interaction with your audience, social media followers, and interested parties. Whether it’s a Q&A, a how-to, or even a webinar, Live Video helps boost your active engagement and bring your audience into the loop with you and your business. This article will break down the concepts of going live for you so that you know just why, where, and how to take your business’ social media and video content to the next level.

Why should you go live?

Going live, as mentioned above, is a great way to engage your audience in the moment. Whether it’s a spontaneous live session or something that is planned and advertised in advance, going live gives you and your audience the opportunity to share a platform and interact in real time. This is a great place to demonstrate not just the products and services that you have to offer but also the people that make up your organization and make it great. Letting your followers see the real people behind the business helps to build personal connections and impressions to their interactions with your company. Instead of seeing John Doe Inc, they now see John Doe himself. This is a great way to not only gauge but to build the enthusiasm that they have for you and what you have to offer.

Where should you go live?

Most people are camera shy, and it’s a learned skill not to be. That’s okay, but because of this shyness people can be averse to trying out new platforms or may be confused about where to take their live content and ideas. When it comes to live video, there are three major platforms that stand out from amongst the rest. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are all primed for live video content. However, each platform comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses, meaning that each platform might be great for live video content, but it might not fit the needs you have for a particular video. Often times you’ll find that your live videos can work across multiple platforms, but this article will help you better understand the strengths and weaknesses of each platform.

Facebook

Facebook Live is perhaps the most commonly used and easiest to navigate. Since most businesses start their social media presence with a Facebook account, it is easier to make the leap from posts and shares to live video. The greatest benefit to Facebook live is the real-time commenting and reaction features. Facebook is designed to put you and your audience into conversation and Facebook Live shares comments and reactions with you the moment they happen, allowing you to directly address concerns, questions, and praise as soon as it is offered. Facebook is also typically the most accessible platform for business page owners and average users alike. With a widely used desktop version as well as the mobile app, Facebook Live can be used with external cameras as well as the one on your phone. It is a versatile platform that connects you to the largest base of social media users with real-time features and a quick learning curve.

Instagram

Instagram is Facebook’s sister platform, and it is designed to augment the visual medium of photos and videos with a streamlined approach. If Facebook is the social media jack of all trades, Instagram is the master craftsman. Instagram is solely designed for photos and videos and so it comes with its own unique set of tools. It also comes with tools that are similar to those on Facebook but that are taken a step further on the Instagram platform. A perfect example of this is the story. While both Facebook and Instagram utilize stories as a way to share content with other users, Instagram has a wider variety of tools and enhancements available when creating stories. This allows you to change filters, add music, and even add other graphics in order to enhance your 24hr post.

With Instagram Live videos you have the added focus of stories, allowing you to notify your users that you have gone live on stories and taking that live story after it has ended and putting it into its own 24hr story for users to view later on. Whereas Facebook is designed for longer formats to be displayed then and there, Instagram helps you squeeze the most out of your short-form content within a limited 24hr window.

YouTube

YouTube is not a part of the Facebook umbrella and so it operates differently and serves a different purpose for live content than either Facebook or Instagram. Facebook and Instagram are social media platforms and they originated in a slightly different digital age than YouTube. These two are designed for in the moment, contiguous interaction between users and content. This means that feeds are constantly updated and that content is typically shorter in length. YouTube, on the other hand, isn’t designed for in the moment new content. YouTube is instead designed for longer videos that stay relevant for much longer than the typical 24hr cycles of social media. Users typically put out content less frequently, but it is easier to access over a longer period of time.

For example, a Facebook live video will sit at the top of your feed for a day or two but will quickly become buried under new posts that you make and eventually be lost in the social media feed. YouTube, on the other hand, allows you to curate playlists and the focus of your webpage. Content stays relevant as long as the information in it serves its intended purpose. Your live content can go much longer, but it also requires more time and energy into making sure that it looks and sounds professional.

Technical Tips

If a video is of poor quality, it won’t matter how great the information within it is. There are certain considerations that you must make when creating video content. Here we’ll discuss some of the things that any one can do, whether they’re experienced or not, to make their videos and live streams look professional.

Make sure that you have good lighting. You might not find it practical to invest in studio lights, but even a bright desk lamp can do wonders for your live video content. Make sure that your subjects have light on them so that the camera can record the highest quality and sharpest looking image.

If you don’t have good audio, you won’t have good video. Poor sound quality is a massive turn off for most viewers. Make sure that you invest in a microphone to ensure that you are recording audio that people want to listen to. Even a $30 microphone from the local tech store will do wonders in helping improve your audio quality.

Lastly, make sure that you have a stable and strong Wi-Fi connection. Live videos that have large buffering times, dropped connections, and other Wi-Fi hiccups will cause viewers to get frustrated, become disinterested, and leave. Set yourself up for success by double checking the strength of your connection and hardwiring in via ethernet or choosing a better location if necessary.

Conclusion

Live Video is a wonderful tool in your marketing belt. It allows you to present yourself in real time to your audience and to address them as questions and concerns come in. It is a great way to humanize your business and to present the people that customers and clients will be working with. Make sure that you utilize the right tools and right platform when creating your live content and watch it work wonders in building engagement and interest with your business and what you have to offer.

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