If you’re a small business owner who cringes at the thought of making a video, it’s understandable. However, by not using video to promote your small business, you’re missing a powerful promotional trick – as the success of YouTube, embedded videos and live-streaming events have proved.
So why not dip your toes in the water by using the video facility of a platform your business should already be firmly established on – Facebook?
Facebook Live as a platform is great for a number of reasons. For example, It’s immediate. People know that, and don’t expect the professional, edited look of a podcast (although quality is still important). The immediacy is part of the appeal.
You can also see, while recording the video, how many people are watching, plus their names and any comments they make. This is great for encouraging engagement.
Also, once you stop recording, the video is automatically saved to your timeline and unlike videos on some other platforms, it doesn’t instantly disappear or delete itself after a limited time.
Once completed, you can share or tweet your new video or embed it in blog posts – straight from your timeline. Of course, if you really hate it, you can delete it!
If Facebook Live sounds promising to you, here are our 10 ways to use it to promote your small business.
1. Giving customers a glimpse behind the scenes
There’s nothing more enticing than sneaking a peek at something you’re not normally given access to, so now and then, let customers see what goes on day-to-day in your business. If you can make it funny or entertaining, even better.
2. Promoting or teasing an event or offer
Get some anticipation going with short, intriguing snippets of video that hint that something big is about to happen. You could give a clue a day for a week. Be imaginative and make sure the event or offer is worth waiting for; an anti-climax will result in some disappointed and potentially resentful customers.
3. Announcing new products or services – or highlighting existing ones
Video is a great way to show off a new product or service – or highlight one that’s either a great seller or overlooked. Unpackaging a product and showing its quality or how it works can remove any doubts customers have about buying it.
Filming a service allows them to see exactly what happens – for instance, if you’re a dressmaker, you could live stream a session in which you sew beads on a wedding dress etc. This helps customers feel more connected to you and your employees and gives them confidence in your services. Seeing is believing!
4. Answering FAQs or blog comments
Show customers you’re listening and respond to several common questions or comments at once. This can be much quicker and easier for you than typing replies to each one, and more entertaining for your customers, too.
5. Broadcast live events
Hosting a charity event or a special shopping evening? At a conference or festival related to your business? The let your customers enjoy the experience with you.
6. Q and A Sessions
This is another great way to involve customers. You can even include customers live in your video streaming if they’re local and available. If not, you can answer their questions as they pop up on your screen. This kind of live stream can be the most unpredictable, but it can also be the most fun and engaging!
7. Demonstrations and how-to Sessions
Demonstrating how to use the products you sell or filming ‘how to’ videos that show products in action and finished projects can add real value to what you’re providing, and it keeps customers engaged.
8. Interviews and profiles
You can profile big names, events, advances or products in your industry, delivering relevant information to your customers. You could also interview employees, clients, or important people in your niche – and find someone to interview you, too. Putting names to faces is a good way to make your business and service more personal for your customers.
9. Testimonials and reviews
If you can get clients and customers to be part of this kind of live video, that’s ideal. Hearing a testimonial about the products or services you provide from a real customer can have a powerful effect on would-be purchasers. If not, can you live stream a video call or phone call with them?
If both these options aren’t viable, you’re left with the option of reading out testimonials and reviews, which is still worth doing. Include the products or services in the video if you can.
10. Driving traffic to your website
You can give customers a guided tour of your website, showing them how to find important information and offers. Also, you could try focusing on one particular category of product or service in each live stream, giving extra detail and mentioning any positive feedback you’ve received on them.
Still not convinced you should even be using Facebook Live?
In June, Facebook estimated it had an average of 1.37 billion daily active users – and Facebook Live videos see three times the engagement of traditional videos. Can you afford to ignore it?