The hottest trend in content marketing for business is video. It’s everywhere and with multiple social media platforms investing serious resources into video in 2016, you can assume it’s not going away.
Using Video for Your Business
The “old-fashioned” way of using video–and I mean this facetiously because it’s how we did it a year ago—was to sit down and record a video. You then would spend hours editing or paying someone to do it for you.
Today, it’s all about live video, which can then be saved and made available for your audience. People are broadcasting children opening gifts, seeing things for the first time, even zip lining. This personal increase in live video is also being experienced on the business end with businesses broadcasting contest results, office tours, and conferences for anyone who wants to tune in.
There are many reasons to use video for your business. People are drawn to it and it establishes nearly the same kind of connection you could get from face-to-face interaction. Some of the live video platforms also let you take questions as if your audience was right in front of you.
Here’s a rundown of what you need to know about the most popular video platforms and their capabilities.
Facebook Live and Facebook Live 360
Aside from the potentially large audience, why use Facebook Live? The audience is the reason you use Facebook Live, but it’s not just because of how many people use Facebook in general. Facebook has been rather open about how businesses are only seen by those who interact with their content. That means you’re lucky if 20% of your audience sees what you post. But as an incentive to get more people using Facebook Live, Facebook extends your reach while you’re live and notifies people that you’re broadcasting.
You can broadcast for up to 90 minutes on the platform but with attention spans as they are, this should be saved for only the most remarkable content. But you do want to stay on for more than 15 to ensure you maximize that extended reach.
Facebook 360 immerses the viewers in a 360-degree viewing experience. If you’re broadcasting from somewhere that the view is the show, consider using the 360 option.
Here are more details about how you can be successful using Facebook Live and 360.
We can’t forget the “venerable” video platform that is also the second biggest search engine in the world after Google. According to the site, “YouTube has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet — and every day people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views.” And more than half of those hits come from mobile. Many people think of this site as a place to “hang” videos but you also have the option of going live, as long as you don’t have any restrictions placed against your account and it is a verified account.
Twitter now offers live streaming too through its acquisition of the Periscope platform. It also features a 360-degree immersive experience (currently available to selected users but will eventually roll out to everyone). It aims at being the next best thing to being there. Here are more details on how you can use Twitter Live for business.
2016 has been a busy year for live video and Instagram is also rolling out a live feature. Instagram Stories allows businesses (and others) to create content that resides at the top of followers’ streams for 24 hours. Instagram was purchased by Facebook in 2012, so you might notice the same limitations to views. Fresh content is a way to get seen and video gets a lot of interaction, so if you’re using Instagram for business, video is a good addition. Here’s everything you need to know about using Instagram Stories and video for your business.
If you want to remain competitive in your market, at some point soon you’ll be using video. There are lots of options out there and while this article covers most of them, tomorrow there may be a few more, as well as the day after that. When you’re ready to take on video, decide what platform you feel most comfortable with. Don’t feel like you have to go live on each one. Find one you like and begin.
One final thing to keep in mind is that you don’t own these social platforms so your video should never solely reside in these spaces. Tomorrow they could disappear and all of your visual marketing would too. Instead, go live on your platform of choice and then save the videos elsewhere. The only plot of ground you can count on is your own.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect to their audience through content for higher conversions and greater loyalty. Her articles have appeared in Associations North (formerly Midwest Society of Association Executives’) Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
Christina’s an introvert who loves presenting and working with groups to help improve their storytelling and content marketing, yet she feels incredibly awkward at cocktail parties.