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The idea of live video fills many people with a sense of dread, with no opportunity to edit and re-record footage, there’s very little room for error, and virtually nowhere to hide. So why are we seeing such an influx of live-streaming in recent years? 2011 saw the birth of Twitch, an online video hosting site that focuses almost entirely on live video. And although it sees most of its traffic from gamers streaming their video game sessions, it’s popularity and diversity has been steadily growing. And as of 2015, Facebook has launched it’s own live-streaming feature, giving millions of people the chance to unleash their own stream of consciousness out into the world wide web.

Facebook initially only allowed certain celebrities to livestream footage directly to their followers, but after an initial rollout period they’ve opened up the platform to the masses, and of course, this has meant that businesses are taking the opportunity to market themselves in a whole new way.

Not only does live-streaming appeal to a large audience purely from a novelty factor due to its recent development, but it also has the added bonus of being favoured above standard video, photo and text posts by Facebook’s sorting algorithm. Meaning that you’re live video will be given priority over other posts and remains on more people’s news feeds for far longer.

There are a number of different ways that you can use live-streaming to promote your business. In fact, the possibilities are virtually endless, but we typically see companies doing one of the following:

Q&As.

This first one is pretty self explanatory. Having a live stream means that viewers can interact with streamers in real time, using the comment section to ask questions and having them answered straight away.

Behind the Scenes

Some companies like to give their followers a sneak peak at the inner workings of their world, be it a photoshoot or a factory tour. Having these led by a real person in real time gives a much more personal experience for the viewers, as well as increasing trust between company and consumer, showing that they have nothing to hide.

Breaking News

Sometimes news is better shouted from the rooftops than condensed into a dry, 600 word press release, and facebook live-streaming is our nearest modern day equivalent. It allows followers to get the latest news as and when it’s happening, and allows companies to address and package information in a way that best suits them.

Of course, these are only some of the most common uses of the live-stream function. Facebook allows videos to last up to 90 minutes, so you’re only real restriction is your imagination.

When it comes to creating your own live-stream video, here are our top tips:

Our Top 5 Tips for Live-Steam filming on Facebook

1.Be Casual

People embrace live video because it feels like a much more natural and personal experience than a pre-recorded film. If it feels like you’re reading from a script it’s going to turn people away from you.

2.  Don’t Rush 

Remember, you have up to 90 minutes to get your message out. And whilst we wouldn’t recommend using the full 90 minutes each time, the longer your streaming the more likely it is that people will catch it on their feeds. Between 10-20 minutes is probably ideal.

3. Be Entertaining

This step is easier said than done. For some people, talking to a camera for 15 minutes will come naturally. For others, it may take some practice before you perfect your on screen persona. Make sure that you have enough planned to keep the viewers watching for as long as possible, without simply reeling off a script.

4. Check Your Surroundings

Remember, with a livestream it’s not just you on camera for the world to see, it’s everything around you as well. If you’re doing a breaking news announcement from your back office, it’s worth having a quick check to make sure you’re presenting your business in the best light possible. Whilst you might not need an immaculate work space to run your business, people will associate what they see with the service you offer.

5. Edit

Once your live-stream is over, the whole video is posted onto your wall along with its comments. Facebook allows you to edit down this video, so it may be worth watching it back and removing any awkwards lulls or slip ups.

If you can follow this advice, you’ll be well on your way to creating an engaging and professional live-stream. And with the constant changes and development at Facebook, the sooner you jump on board, the better.

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