A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Live for Marketers

A Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Live for Marketers
Jay Gross

phone showing facebook live

You’re sitting at your computer thinking to yourself: how on earth do I get on the cutting edge of marketing; how do I do something groundbreaking for my company; how do I get an influx of people swarming to me?

It’s a conundrum because there are endless options.

Do you go the route of the proven long-term success of blogs?

How about the proven following you can gain by posting on one of the (many) social media platforms?

Maybe start a YouTube channel? After all – video is king, right?

None of them are bad options; in fact, they are all proven methods (if you do them right) – read more in our Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing.

But they’ve all been done to death – there’s no cutting edge there.

But how about a newer kid on the block?

How about something that’s video but not rehearsed. It’s raw, unedited footage. If you screw up, you screw up, burp, or blunder – everyone is there to see it.

And that’s what people love about it.

Because it’s live.

Even more – it’s Facebook Live.

I’m sure you know by now, but Facebook Live isn’t just for the kids anymore.

Individuals, businesses, and brands alike are finding major success using Facebook Live.

And people are starting to take notice.

So if you want to be cutting edge, the time to hop on this train is now because it’s filling up fast.

And we care about you here at Digital Marketing Tools, so we want to be sure you have a chance to hop on before it’s too full.

Read on for everything from how to use Facebook Live to Facebook Live tips, and everything in between.

What is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is a Facebook feature that allows you to use the camera on your phone or computer to broadcast real-time video to Facebook.

But, let’s start at the beginning with a better question:

What is live streaming?

Live streaming started in 2007 with a company called (what else) Livestream.

While many videos are streamed – think vlogs and YouTube – live streaming comprises being simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time.

With video being a marketing king and some early tests and successes showing Mark Zuckerberg that people watched live streams three times longer, and commented ten times more, the seed was planted.

And Facebook had found its dedicated niche for video.

In April 2016, Facebook Live launched. As if anyone needed to know more than “Facebook+Video = success,” but Facebook made history when, in September of that same year, they partnered with ABC to live stream the presidential debate, which drew a Super Bowl-sized audience.

Even further proving Facebook Live’s potential, as if we needed it, the live stream’s latency was better than FoxNews stream, CNN.com, YouTube, Twitter, and even Satellite TV.

If only we, as marketers and business owners, knew what the implications would be.

Facebook Live Ads for Your Brand

a lot of brand logos

So what does that mean for your business or brand?

Can you boost your live stream to get a larger audience, just like you can your posts?

Can you create Facebook Live ads to promote your business?

Why yes, yes, you can.

In fact, Facebook Live is a great tool for your business – there’s even a special Facebook Live Ads category that can help you target your audience and create fantastic live videos for your brand.

But know that there are certain restrictions, so the options may not be available to you.

To be able to promote your business fully, the following must be true:

  • You’ve been live for at least four minutes.
  • You have more than 50,000 followers.
  • You have reached 300 or more concurrent viewers in a recent live video.

So If you want to run Facebook Live ads for your business, or boost a live stream, you may want to start streaming now so you can begin to gain that following you’ve always wanted.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg – what has marketers all up in a tizzy about Facebook live streaming is the power and potential of uniquely communicating their brand stories, their unique selling proposition and showing what makes them stand out from the competition, and building authentic relationships with their audience.

And if it fits with your brand or business, you certainly want to, because Facebook Live videos receive 3x the engagement of a video that’s no longer live.

It’s one of the most exciting new ways to connect with viewers and grow your audience. But despite its increasing popularity, not many people have mastered the art of successful live streaming. Don’t be one of them.

So, how do you get started?

Read on, my friends…

How to Use Facebook Live with Your Phone

We’ve become a phone first nation, so that’s where we’re going to start our journey into how to use Facebook Live.

Facebook Live Streaming from Your Personal (or Business) Profile

  • Open your Facebook mobile app and go to your News Feed. Click on the camera in the upper left. (Note: if you live stream from your business page, the camera may be in the upper right).
  • Note: The first time you do this, you will have to give Facebook access to your camera and microphone.
  • You will see the live video on your screen. Once you’re ready to roll, click the ‘Live Video’ button at the bottom of the screen.
  • But wait! Before you do that, write a compelling description that will show up on people’s News Feeds. A compelling description will get more people to tune in!
  • Add an activity, tag specific viewers to watch, and add locations to get more people watching.
  • If you want to add any effects, such as lenses or filters, hit that magic wand button to the left of the ‘Start Live Video’ button.
  • Once you begin, you can then invite viewers to watch, or some in your friend’s list may already see that you’re live and start watching.

And voilà, you’re live-streaming!

Of course, there’s more to a successful live stream than that, which we will cover in our Facebook Live tips, below.

Facebook Live Streaming from Your Business Page

If you want to Facebook Live stream from your business page, then the process is pretty much the same.

The ‘Live’ button is on the upper left, but otherwise, the process follows the steps above.

How to Use Facebook Live with Your Computer

Some of you may want to go live on your computer, and that works too! While Facebook Live was built with the app in mind, it’s now just as easy on your computer.

Go to Facebook.com, click on the ‘Live’ button on the top left, and follow the prompts on your screen (don’t forget to allow Facebook to access your camera and microphone, it’ll prompt you.)

Facebook Live Tips

facebook binoculars to help you

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

So you’re tossing around going live and showing people a different side of your brand. Hopefully, a side of your brand that gets you some Facebook Live viewers that will increase your followers and get more potential clients in the door.

Sometimes it can be hard to see the forest for the trees, so how about a few Facebook Live tips to help you out?

You got it.

Plan out Your Facebook Live Streaming

Take the proper time to plan out your live stream, what it’s about, what you want to say and do, and why you’re focused on doing this on Facebook Live rather than a YouTube video, for example.

Make Your Videos Visually Engaging

It’s important to be engaging right away, but don’t just stop there.

Rather than just sitting still and recording the video, move around, have a good background, or have visual props. The more visually engaging your video is, the more people will join and ultimately stick around.

And the more video engagement you get, the more your broadcast will show in other people’s News Feeds, and the more views you’ll get.

It’s a great cycle of engagement.

Make Your Video Spontaneous

The very meaning behind live video is spontaneity, and you should embrace that. People love the spontaneous and interactive nature of a Facebook Live video, where anything can happen, so use that to your advantage, don’t worry so much about making the perfect video, instead just be yourself, and show the world what your brand is really about.

Don’t Fret over Live Blunders

jet ski trick didn't go right

Photo by Quino Al on Unsplash

In much the same way, don’t worry about mistakes you may make. Think of this like a live speech; there are no do-overs

And that’s a-ok. They’re part of the live appeal that draws audiences in; as long as you move on like it’s no big deal, then that’s precisely what it’ll be.

If you slip up, make a joke about it; if you get photobombed by a random person, just go with it.

Everything that happens makes you that much more real and more human, strengthening the connection with your audience.

Say Your Name, Say Your Name

Don’t just say your name at the beginning of a video. That may work for a scripted video, but people can tune in for a Facebook live stream at any time. So keep casually mentioning your name and/or business and what you’re talking about. If you have a guest on the video, do the same.

Like and Share – on Repeat

In much the same way, giving a viewer just one call-to-action (CTA) may not be enough in a live video. Since your audience is much more engaged and focused on your video’s live aspect, it’s worth giving CTA’s more often than usual. In the beginning, near the end, and sprinkled out throughout the video.

Don’t be scared to ask people to Like or Share the video.

The more its shared, the more popular it will become.

Make Your Facebook Live Video Personal

Engage with people commenting on your Facebook Live stream by answering their questions and calling them out by name. Live streaming is another great way to get personal with your audience, and they’ll be ecstatic to hear you call them out by name when answering their questions.

On that note, encourage your audience to engage with you, ask questions, or even introduce polls.

Just Be Yourself

As we mentioned, these videos are raw and unpolished, and that’s what people want to see. More than that, you have the opportunity to make vital connections for your business by just being yourself.

10-Minutes of Live Stream

The longer you go, the more views, comments, shares, and likes you will receive, and the more stock Facebook puts into your Live Stream within its algorithm.

Brand Your Live Stream

Since people will be joining part-way through, it’s not a bad idea to find a way to brand your background or even give your video a watermark. It can help your audience that joins later to understand what your live stream is all about.

So try to keep your videos to at least 10-minutes.

If you don’t want to go that long, there’s some concrete evidence that three minutes is the minimum your live stream should be; if you want help from Facebook and it’s algorithm, that is.

Facebook Live Ideas for Your Brainstorming Session

magnets attracting Facebook 'likes' as you will by doing a live video

The hardest part can be just getting started, so below is a quick list of Facebook Live ideas that will help you attract a larger audience and convert some to customers.

  • Product demos
  • Holidays
  • Behind the scenes from your office
  • Product tutorials
  • Campaign launches
  • Interviews
  • Question and answer session
  • Host a live show
  • Breaking news and announcements
  • Collaborate with influencers

Use these ideas to gain Facebook Live viewers and convert them into followers and maybe even customers.

Have any other great ideas? Let us know in the comments section below.

All You Need for Your First Facebook Live Stream

cup of coffee saying 'begin'

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

So you didn’t know Facebook Live could be such a great marketing tool, did ya?

It’s ok; we didn’t either.

But that’s what makes marketing so great. You never know what the next big marketing tool will be.

And sometimes they come out from the most unexpected places.

Does Facebook Live fit your brand? Does it go hand-in-hand with your business?

Do you think you can implement Facebook Live into your marketing campaign and get in on this while the getting’s hot?

Then it’s time to read through the steps above and try your hand at it!

If that’s the case, then it’s time to read through the steps above and try your hand at it.

And hey, sometimes, you’ve just gotta start and see where it goes.

And when you do, let us know how it goes!

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