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Why live video and Top tips for creating great live video content

Why live video?
The beauty of the live video is that it doesn’t need to be perfect. Live video, by its very nature, is spontaneous and in the moment, which means less prepping and polishing. It has a very “real” and natural feel to it – something that’s often lost in pre-recorded video.
It can come across as more honest, too. This allows you to engage, entertain and build relationships with your target audience in a more authentic way. So it’s no wonder people, on average, watch a Facebook Live video three times longer than a pre-recorded one.

How to get the best results
Make sure you have a plan: Although live video takes less scripting, it still requires a bit of planning. Before you start, really think about why you’re using live video instead of pre-recorded, and what sort of thing you’d like to capture.
Try to avoid detailed or complex stories: The nature of live video means that not everyone will begin watching at the same time. Some may join late, some may leave early. It’s important to cater for this and create the best possible experience for all your viewers. With this in mind, keep your live video content simple to follow and avoid any complicated story telling.
Make your videos interactive: Live video is a great way to interact with viewers in real time. One way of doing this is to include a Q&A – i.e. get your viewers to ask questions in the comment box during your live video for you to respond to. If you can, always say hello to commenters by name as you to respond to their questions – it adds a real personal touch.
It’s hard to know what people will say, and on occasions there could be bad language used or other inappropriate comments made, but remember that many live video platforms allow you to report content that violates their standards, so be sure to do so if necessary.
Top tip: If you’re planning a live Q&A session with your audience, consider which other channels you might need to use to send and receive messages. If the platform you’re filming on doesn’t allow viewers to post comments directly to your live video, you could also considering asking your audience to send you questions in advance.
The best time to use live video
On most social platforms, when you start a live video, it will send a notification to all of your followers so they know to log in at just the right time. But you need to think about the best time for your audience to view it.
Because it’s live, they need to be available to enjoy it, as it happens. Avoid times when your audience are likely to be busy, and choose a time when they’re able to stop what they’re doing and watch. There are many platforms you can choose from, these include: Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live and Periscope.
Top tip: On some platforms, live video is only available to record on mobile. So make sure you check first.
Ways to use live video
At events: If you run any events for yourself, or if you plan to attend an industry event, you can use this as an opportunity to engage your audience. It not only allows them to feel part of the event, it helps make them feel connected to your business.
A great way of doing this could be by asking your viewers what they would like to see. Make them feel as it they’re here with you, rather than at home.
Live product launches: When launching a new product or service, live video is a great way to unveil it and generate interest. You can share a lot of information in a short time, in a dynamic and entertaining way. Why not do a quick demonstration to show off what your product does best?
Behind the scenes: Live video can be a great way to give your audience a window into your business, at things they would never normally be able to see. Perhaps it’s a “What goes into the making our product” video, or maybe interviewing different members of your team.
Top tips for creating great live video content
It’s live, so be prepared: Video that’s created in the moment is exciting, as there’s a sense that anything could happen. But the basics of video production are still important. Standing in a well-lit area with low noise will ensure your audience can see and hear you properly.
Make sure you have a strong internet connection: Check your signal strength before going live. Wi-Fi tends to work best, but if you can’t find a nearby network, a 4G connection also works. However, if you have weak signal the live video feature may not work.
Give your video an explanation: Most live video features will let you write a quick description to give your video context. This is a great way to grab attention and help viewers understand what your video is about – especially those who may join half way through.
Personalize it: With the creative tools and filters available on some platforms, it’s easy to express your business in ways that will entertain your followers and make it even more fun.
Stay live for longer periods of time to reach more people: The longer you’re live, the more likely people are to discover you and invite their friends to watch the video too. We recommend that you go live for at least 10 minutes.
Let's recap
  • Live video can be a more authentic, “real” way to engage your audience
  • It’s often easier, quicker and more cost effective than pre-recorded video
  • Always plan ahead and aim to keep things simple
  • Consider making your live video interactive by hosting a Q&A session
  • Select times when your audience are more likely to watch it

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