It’s Live Video Month! This article is the second in the series in which I’m going over:
- Strategy and Planning
- Processes and How-To
- …and include a few examples.
This week is all about what happens when you push the “GO LIVE” button and what you do through to the end of your video, and what you do afterwards, too.
But first, a quick recap:
My earlier article, “Facebook Live Video – Getting Everything Ready To Go!” is all about Strategy, Planning, Content Format ideas, and the Hardware / Software you can use. If you haven’t read that yet, follow the link and it will take you through the pre-process, getting you to…..
How To Start
Actually, you start before you start, so to speak.
You need to tell people ahead of time when you’re going to broadcast. This will build anticipation and allow your fans to set aside the time to view your feed. If you promote on a different channel than Facebook, don’t forget to include a link to your Facebook page telling people where they can find your video, and don’t forget to include date and time! Give folks a sense of what they can expect (Q&A, guest interview, instructional session, snake handling, whatever…).
If you’re doing this from your desktop or laptop, you can access everything from your page (you can do this from your phone, too, although the placement of all the various fields and buttons is different…). Your status update (where it says, “Write Something”) has several options underneath for things you can do. Choose “Start a live video”:
You will see a brief message saying that Facebook is accessing your camera and microphone. Once that happens you get a screen that features:
- your smiling face
- a panel on one side with the heading “Create a Live Broadcast”. Beneath that you have several fields:
- Choose where to post your live broadcast – this is where your video will be seen. The default is the page from which you launched the video, so your business page is what you want.
- Say something about this live video – Not exactly a title for the video…that comes a bit later. Kind of like a contextual comment when you make a post of an article, this is the hook to attract your viewers. The four icons beneath that allow you to:
- Add what you’re doing or how your feeling
- Check-in, so adding an actual locale for your broadcast
- Restrict who can see the video – very much like creating a custom audience for a boost or ad. The default is PUBLIC (everyone)
- Support non-profit – allows you draw attention to your favorite non-profit.
- Camera and microphone icons – if you have more than one, allows you to choose which to use.
- Title – Write a compelling title. Together with “Say something about this live video“, these will capture the attention and help your viewers understand what your broadcast is all about.
- Tags – Think of these as keyword phrases, like cats, make-up, woodworking, comedy that make the video more discoverable. These are NOT visible to the public.
- Video game – You can go live with your gameplay and broadcast from multiple screens or cameras. This is where you would tag a specific game.
Hit the Button, Buddy!!!!
There is a 3-second timer, then you “are a GO!” You can broadcast for up to 4 hours (WOW!) and the recommendation is for at least 10 minutes. The longer you broadcast, the more likely people are to discover and invite their friends on Facebook to watch the video. You should also remember a few rules of Live video that you might not think of if you’re used to typically produced videos:
- Take the first few minutes to let your viewers log into your broadcast – They will receive the notification that you are LIVE, so give them a chance to finish up watching that cat video and then scoot over to your page. During this time, welcome them by name as they show up.
- Audience members could join you at any time. Make sure to occasionally welcome new viewers and give them a brief recap of what they’re watching.
- Mistakes will happen during anything live! Just go with it and know that your audience also understands you’re live and things won’t be perfect – that’s part of the appeal of the medium, after all!
- Pay attention to the live comments coming in to see if there are any questions you can answer or feedback. People might tell you things like “your audio is wonky” or “you’re too shadowed” that you might not realize when streaming. Also, if your broadcast includes Q&A, you may choose to answer them right then, group them until the end, or mention that you will answer that question a little later in the broadcast.
- During your broadcast your followers will see in their Newsfeeds that you’re conducting a Live video. They can also sign up to be notified of your future Live events. Even better, your followers’ friends will be able to see that their friends are watching your video (depending on their notification settings), so you can get some virality if friends of followers start to tune in. During your live stream, promote links to your video to drive traffic to your Facebook page.
- Make sure you have a strong connection! – Depending on a number of factors, you need to be sure that you have a strong connection AND that you have solid bandwidth. Streaming video can eat up your upload data, especially if you are broadcasting remotely and relying on your phone as a wireless hotspot. Higher resolutions and bitrates require a faster internet speed. I won’t go into the blow-by-blow here, but this article by Max Wilbert of DaCast gives you plenty of information on optimizing this so your broadcast quality is what it needs to be.
When you’re finished with your broadcast, just click the “Finish” button. Facebook will automatically prepare your video for archival (after-the-fact…) posting. You’ll get a screen with a few options. You can post it to your wall, delete it, download it, etc.
More for After Your Broadcast
As soon as you hit the button to stop broadcasting Live, you’ll be able to optimize your video for posting in a ton of ways. From your Business Manager page, go to your Page and find the Live video you recently uploaded on your Timeline. Click the drop-down arrow on the top right side of the post and “Edit Post.” You can also find your all your Facebook Live videos by visiting your Page in the Business Manager, then clicking “Video” in the left sidebar. Navigate to the video you want to edit, click the title, and when the post pops up, click on the date of the posting. This will take you to the post in your Timeline, where you can click the drop-down arrow. Select “More Options” and “Edit Post.” From the edit screen, you have some options for optimizing your video. Make sure you:
- EDIT YOUR TITLE & DESCRIPTION – Here’s your chance to edit your title and description. This is helpful especially if you do research and discover you want different keywords in the title, or if your video ends up being a little different than what you originally planned.
- MAKE IT SEARCHABLE – You can add tags to help people find your video if they’re searching on Facebook.
- UPLOAD A THUMBNAIL GRAPHIC – You have the option to upload up to 10 thumbnails to go with your video. This is crucial for making sure your video is shared with a relevant image – you don’t want a blank wall or an embarrassing still frame to be the main visual in people’s’ Newsfeeds!
- SHARE YOUR VIDEO – Your video will post directly to your business page timeline when you upload it. It will look just like any other video you post, except that you’ll see a small “was live” tag at the top. People can watch it, read the comments, and react to the video long after the fact. You can also share the URL of your Facebook Live video on other social networks, through email, and additional channels. To find the URL of your video, click on the title of the video, then right click over the video, and select “Show Video URL.”
- REPORT ON RESULTS – Don’t forget those important goals you set and the benchmarks you looked at when planning your Facebook Live push! After your video is completed and your post-promotion is done, remember to check in with Facebook’s video metrics platform to see your stats. Go to the Insights tab of your Business Manager page and click “Video” on the left sidebar. Then scroll to find the specific video. You’ll be able to see performance metrics such as Peak Live Viewers, Minutes Viewed, Unique Viewers, and Average % Completion.
After looking at the stats on your Facebook Live video, there are a few things that you might conclude –
- Your Live video completely rocked. You blew your expectations out of the water, it resulted in all kinds of views, buzz, and traffic toward your goals!
- Your Live video performed as expected. You got the amount of viewers you wanted, you accomplished the goal you set out to complete, and you feel like you got exactly what you needed from your video.
- Your Live video’s performance was…ahem…disappointing. You didn’t get anywhere near the viewership or results you hoped for.
Regardless of which of those three you’re feeling when it’s all said and done, think about how you can keep getting additional value from your video. Here are a few things you can do to capitalize on the momentum of your Facebook Live video:
- REPACKAGE & RELEASE SHORT CLIPS – You can download your Live video file and create lots of smaller piece of content out of it. If you live streamed an entire event, try creating small clips to use in various social media posts or blog posts in the future. If your video is longer than 10 minutes, you likely have at least a couple of smaller segments you can turn into clips and repackage with other types of content.
- LINK TO IT FROM RELEVANT CONTENT – Treat your Facebook Live video just like an article. If you write a blog post or create another video that’s relevant to the same topic, mention or link to your Facebook Live video and give people a chance to rediscover it. You can also embed a Facebook Live video into your website.
- DISTRIBUTE IT THROUGH OTHER CHANNELS – Your video itself can be a story. You can cover it on your blog or other marketing channels and talk about the process of the video coming together, analyze comments or reactions, do a follow-up piece based on questions you didn’t get to during the live broadcast — there’s plenty of opportunity if you adopt the mindset that your Live video was just one piece of the puzzle. You can also distribute it to content partners or place stories in industry publications related to the events in your video.
Don’t just THINK outside of the box…..take up residence there!
And after all that … remember that it’s easy to fall victim to preparation paralysis. Be prepared, have a plan, practice, but then you just have to go for it!
The good news is that like podcasting, like video, like social media, once you start using Facebook Live and discovering the types of videos that work, you and your brand will hit your stride and be able to tap into this effective marketing tool. So take advantage of the changes that are taking place, get out there, and GO LIVE!!!!
Oh, if you’d like to see who’s LIVE right now, go to the Facebook Live Map and check it out!