COVID-19 has, without a doubt, turned our worlds upside down in every way. It’s impacted our physical health, our mental health, our surroundings, and pretty much everything we were used to doing.
And for brands, that means their marketing strategies.
With offices and studios shut down, brands are finding themselves unable to do in-person photo or video shoots. They need to be extra creative with their resources—and at Likeable, we’ve been doing the same. We’ve been setting up mini studios in our photographers’ and videographers’ apartments, pivoting to graphic design and motion graphics as much as we can, and being scrappy by bringing new life to previously captured content.
But another thing that could be a game changer for your content is… LIVE. While live streaming has been around for quite a while, it’s seeing a huge uptick recently with so many of us practicing social distancing. In the past month, Facebook Live has seen a 50 percent jump in viewership—and in just one week during that time, views on both Facebook Live and Instagram Live doubled. During a time when viewers are home all day and eager for anything resembling a real-life interpersonal interaction, going live may just be the way to maintain a direct line to your audience while giving them the connection that they want and need. So, with that said, here are a few live streaming best practices.
Before You Go Live
- Give your audience advance notice. You can do this on Instagram by using the countdown sticker in Stories, or on Facebook by scheduling the live stream ahead of time. Though users may get a notification immediately after you begin your live stream, some may have this setting disabled—so it’s best to let them know as early as possible.
- Cover all your bases. While the production quality of a “quarantine live stream” will certainly be judged less harshly given the circumstances, you’ll still want to make sure things like lighting, background setting, and internet connection are all sorted out before you actually go live.
- Do a dry run. Just as you would hold a dress rehearsal for a concert, play, or musical, you should also hold one for your live stream! We recommend practicing by going live internally with a test account. This will help you prepare for potential hiccups or technical difficulties—without having to resort to improv.
While You’re Live
- Interact with the community in the comments. If you’re doing a Q&A that relies solely on the audience’s comments/questions, it may be easier to keep your eye on the comments section and choose from there. But, if you’re busy discussing a specific topic and just answering questions every so often, you may want to designate a member of your community management team to interact with commenters and/or choose questions for you to answer throughout the stream.
- Be authentic. Live video, especially in these times, is all about authenticity and forging a real, direct connection with your audience. Don’t write a script or sound too rehearsed. Unfiltered, behind-the-scenes content thrives in this style, and imperfections are not only expected, but embraced.
- Consider adding a donate button. A donate button allows you to raise money during a live video for a nonprofit or charitable organization, whether it’s your own or just one you support.
After You Go Live
- Save your video. On Instagram, you can save your live video and upload it to your Stories—and you can also add a Story Highlight so your audience will always have access to it. On Facebook, you can create a separate video playlist just for your live videos.
- Keep spreading the word. Let your audience know that, even if they missed it the first time around, they can still view the live stream. You can do this by linking to your live video in social posts, email newsletters, or blog posts.
If your brand hasn’t considered adding live video to its marketing strategy, now is the time to do so. It’s important to note, though, that you should think long and hard about the message your brand is putting out during these scary and uncertain times. If you’re hoping to jump on the live video bandwagon to push your newest product, you may want to think again. Right now, what’s most important for brands is to show compassion and focus on the health and wellness of their communities.
Need help with live video, community management, or any aspect of your brand’s social media during COVID-19? Let’s chat.