Using video in your business strategy is a really great opportunity to build a connection with your audience.
Instead of hearing your voice in a podcast episode or reading your words in an email, video gives your viewers the ability to look you in the eye as you talk to them. This creates a trust factor that leads to further support and ultimately, future sales!
While using regular video itself has great benefits for your brand, incorporating live video can be an absolute game changer.
Live video creates an interactive experience for your audience and builds a community by bringing people together. No matter how great your writing or audio quality is, there’s one thing that may not be fully captured in your content – your personality.
The people that follow and support you aren’t just following an idea, product, or service.
They’re following YOU as a person as well. What better way to let them be a part of your world than with live video?
It’s completely normal to fear the vulnerability that comes along with going live in front of your audience.
Just like any other strategy in your business, it’s something you will get better at as you go. I get it. Your comfort zone may be, well… comfortable. The only problem is, there’s no room in it for you to grow.
So, should you take the dive and go LIVE?!?!
For starters, you want to make sure that incorporating live videos into your brand is right for you.
Do you see major benefits for you and your audience? What will both sides gain from the experience? There are so many ways you can use live video to your advantage.
Here are 10 tips to help you get started with live video…
#1 Just Get Started!
The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll begin to feel more comfortable. Don’t wait for perfection because that only creates room for excuses to keep putting it off. Even if you’re starting out with a small audience, don’t let that discourage you. These viewers will be your guinea pigs.
Yes, they will see you make mistakes while you build up your confidence. Yes, they might witness your crappy backdrops, poor lighting, or technical issues. But, it’s better to work out the kinks early in front of a smaller crowd. You’re only going to get better as you go and continue to build your audience.
#2 Use What You Have
Don’t worry about having the best gear out there – start small. You can start live streaming right from your smartphone, practice regularly, and get a real feel for it. Then, if you feel like you could use an upgrade, whether that’s a camera, microphone, lighting, etc., you can worry about that when the time comes.
#3 Find The Right Platform(s)
Where is your target audience hanging out? Are they mainly on Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat…? There are so many platforms out there to take advantage of, and everybody seems to be getting on board with live streaming nowadays.
Take your pick of where you want to use your voice, but just make sure that the people you’re trying to reach are there, too. Otherwise, you might hear nothing but crickets.
Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to be everywhere at once; spreading yourself too thin is not going to help your strategy. Start with one or two platforms, experiment with those, and go from there if and when the time is right.
#4 It’s Not About YOU
Hear me out for a second. When it comes to raw, unfiltered, live video, it’s easy to get hung up on the little things. Like how you look on camera for example. To be honest, most people aren’t a fan of seeing themselves on video or hearing their own voice. We are our own biggest critics.
But, remember why you’re doing your live streaming in the first place – it’s for your audience. They are tuning in because you’re providing value to them, not because you’re having a good hair day or because you never make mistakes.
Focus on these three C’s: share killer CONTENT, develop genuine CONNECTIONS, and build a solid COMMUNITY.
#5 Be Natural
Don’t try to market yourself to everyone, just focus on the audience you want to attract. Look into the lens (of your phone or camera) as you talk, since this creates a “face-to-face” conversation experience with your viewers. Let people get to know you and your personality, quirks and all.
It’s okay to amp your energy up a little more than normal on video, but don’t do anything that feels completely out of character for you.
#6 Share Awesome Content
Though kind of obvious, this one’s pretty crucial. If you’re going to start live streaming, chances are you want people to tune in and hear what you have to say. If they don’t have anything to take away from what you’re sharing, then there’s something wrong.
You don’t have to blow their minds every time you go live, but you DO need to provide some kind of value. Whether this is a quick helpful tip or an entertaining sneak peek into your life, give them a reason to keep coming back for more.
#7 Think Past The “Live” Video
With live streaming, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment of what’s happening right now. Keep in mind that once this video ends, it’s available for your audience to watch afterward as a replay as well.
You might have a good amount of people tune into your live broadcast, but you could have even more watching your video after the live stream ends. For this reason, it’s really beneficial to think of both the live and replay viewing experiences so that you can keep it interesting for everyone, regardless of when they’re tuning in.
#8 Encourage Engagement
Ask your audience questions and while you wait for responses, share your own answers as well. This helps start a conversation and also removing gaps of awkward silence while waiting for feedback.
Once you receive some interaction you can start giving shout outs to your audience members and addressing their thoughts. This method gives each side time to listen, talk, and create an engaging experience for everyone. Give people a reason to leave comments, reactions, or even share your live stream.
#9 Give Your Audience A Voice
The more involved they feel with you and your community, the more they will want to remain a part of it. Allow their voice to be heard and let them know how valuable their thoughts and opinions are to you. Including them in your business and letting them help you make some decisions (even small ones) will bring them closer to you.
#10 Be Consistent
How often do you plan on going live? It’s okay to have random moments that you want to jump on and share whatever it is that you’re doing, but be sure to also set designated times for people to tune in. You might want to have a weekly live show, or maybe even something more often than that.
If you plan ahead of time and show your audience that you’re committed to adding them to your calendar, they’ll be more inclined to return the favor. Just be sure to be consistent and remain present.
Overall, there are tons of great ways to use live video in your business strategy.
You can share behind the scenes video from both your business and personal life, promote podcast episodes or product launches, create Q&A sessions, live training sessions, share insider tips, and so much more.
You have the opportunity to get really creative when it comes to using live video. Chances are that it will really help build your brand authority and success, so why not give it a shot? Watch as a passive audience evolves into an engaged community surrounding and supporting you and your brand.