Live streaming video on Facebook will soon become a little easier thanks to a new tool offered by the social media giant.
Facebook has allowed users to live stream video for a while now. The aptly named Facebook Live allows anyone with a Facebook Page or Profile to live stream video to their fans and followers. Rather than recording and uploading a video, users can stream their video live. And it’s apparently gained some momentum, as statistics show that 16% of marketers used Facebook Live in 2016 — a number that has likely grown even higher in the months since.
This begs the question: why are marketers eager to use Facebook Live? Well, according to Facebook, live stream videos receive 300% more user engagement than traditional recorded videos. This means you can expect to receive more user comments, likes and shares when live streaming video, all of which translates into more visibility for your brand.
Live streaming video also allows businesses to connect with their audience on a more genuine level. When live streaming content, for instance, businesses can’t edit or refine their videos. As a result, users see the “true” side of the business instead of some doctored-up image.
Furthermore, live streaming video is relatively easy to create. The popular news website BuzzFeed is the perfect example of how an otherwise simple live streaming video can produce big results. BuzzFeed live streamed a video in which they tested how many rubber bands it would take to make a watermelon explode. This stream attracted more than 800,000 viewers, which is pretty impressive considering its simplicity.
Finally, live streaming video can be converted into traditional “recorded” video. Social Media Examiner explains that content creators on Facebook can repurpose their live stream videos by downloading them from their Facebook Page or Profile. Once downloaded, the videos can be uploaded to YouTube or other video-sharing websites.
These are just a few reasons to consider live streaming video. Like any marketing strategy, it requires time, work and resources. When done correctly, though, live streaming is an invaluable marketing tool that can help businesses attract more customers and generate more sales.
As explained on the official Facebook Newsroom blog, the social media giant has launched a new tool to help content creators produce and promote live streaming videos. The Facebook Creator app allows users to add frames, stickers, intros and more to their videos. It also features a community tab for reading and responding to user comments. Additionally, the Facebook Creator app features an analytics page with detailed statistics about video engagement and user behavior.
The Facebook Creator app is currently only available for iOS devices. However, Facebook says it will release an Android version in the coming months.
Of course, you may recall hearing about the app earlier this year. In June, Facebook announced plans to launch a companion app for its live streaming service. At the time, though, it didn’t reveal any concrete information about the app or its release date.
“Creators around the world are sharing their videos on Facebook to build a community around their passion — whether their passion is comedy sketches, their favorite recipes, or even knitting sweaters,” said Chris Hatfield, video product manager at Facebook. “On Facebook, creators can connect with more than two billion potential fans and collaborators, get to know their community, talk directly to fans with Live, and monetize with products like branded content.”
Facebook Live Tips
If you’re planning to live stream video using Facebook Live, here are some tips to help you succeed:
- Let your fans and followers know ahead of time when you’ll be live streaming; otherwise, you’ll struggle to attract viewers.
- Create a thorough and compelling description that explains what your stream is about and why viewers should watch it.
- Monitor the performance of your live streams to see what drivers user engagement.
- Test your video equipment to ensure it’s fully functional before live streaming.
- Remember, Facebook Live places a four-hour limit on live streams, so keep your streams shorter than four hours.
- Create and follow a script.
- Respond to viewer comments on your stream.
- Ask viewers to follow your stream.
- Promote your live stream through Facebook as well as other channels.
- Make sure your internet connection is fast and reliable. Facebook recommends using a high-speed WiFi connection. If WiFi isn’t available, however, a wireless 4G network may suffice. You can perform a free test to check your connection speed.
Facebook Live is just one option to consider when live streaming videos. YouTube also offers a live streaming feature. To live stream on YouTube, you’ll need to have a verified channel and no live stream restrictions in the past 90 days. Assuming your account meets this criteria, access the Creator Studio tools > Live Streaming. On Mobile devices, you can simply open the YouTube app and click the “Go Live” button.