We’ve all seen stories of teenage YouTube sensations making a small fortune from their online videos, and admired their creativity and talent for self-promotion. Yet, whilst most small businesses have accepted that social media is now a vital part of their marketing mix, only a small number have so far dabbled with video, and even the mere thought of using live video for marketing purposes fills many business owners with fear and trepidation.
With video now the fastest growing content medium online, though, it’s perhaps time for SMEs to grasp the opportunity and plunge headlong into live video.
In contrast with standard video, live streaming is casual, unscripted and unedited. Those three things can be intimidating for the business owner who likes to be in control, but they can also be incredibly liberating and empowering. Live video gives businesses the chance to show that they are human, to be genuine and authentic in their message, and to connect in real time with real people.
Live video is also a low-cost marketing strategy and one that doesn’t need a huge amount of time or resources. That’s not to say that live video doesn’t require planning to be successful. It’s still important to have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve and to keep the video professional and organised.
The key here is to plan, but not to produce. Take considered risks with your live videos, and be human, but stay on message and act professionally at all times. By letting your audience in, and showing that your company is powered by real people, you can build a real and sustainable connection with your potential customers.
If you think that live video is not worth the effort, because it has such a fleeting existence, think again. There’s no reason why you can’t download your live videos from Twitter or Facebook, and then add them to your Youtube channel, for long-tail SEO benefits.
Live streaming ideas for SMEs
When coming up with ideas for live video shoots, it’s worth taking a look at what some of the big boys are doing in this area. From launch previews of new cars or the latest fashion collections, to Q&A sessions with industry leaders and product ambassadors, corporate marketing teams have latched on to the power of live streaming, and are using it in a big way.
Smaller firms can take these ideas and fit them to their own businesses. As an example, the #unboxing hashtag has been wildly popular on social media, with people creating videos of themselves unpacking their latest online order. Small businesses could easily adapt that concept to showcase new product lines that have just arrived in store.
Alternatively, they could stream live from a trade show, asking the audience to help them select new lines for the coming season.
Other ideas for live video might include Q&A sessions, on the fly product demonstrations and live event coverage for conferences, trade shows or outdoor events. Even something as simple as a behind the scenes look at your office or warehouse could appeal to viewers, especially if you let the personality of your company shine through.
With video content set to dominate the internet for the foreseeable future, any business owner who puts their head in the sand on this could find themselves left behind. Live video is inexpensive, quick to produce and fun – why not try it today?