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You’ve no doubt heard that live streaming video offers seemingly endless possibilities for businesses, and you’re sure to have witnessed your competitors – and many others – jumping into the live video spotlight via Periscope (owned by Twitter) and, more recently, YouTube Live and Facebook Live. BUT…. you may still be a bit flummoxed as to what it’s all about, wondering what the POINT of it is, and if it can help your business. You’re certainly not alone if you’re dubious about live video, but I can assure you that it is a genuinely GREAT way to connect with your audience…and it CAN work for your business too!

In a nutshell, the value of live video boils down to the modern-day marketer’s favourite buzzword: authenticity.  It allows you to show your audience the “real you”, and they get to interact with your brand in a way that is immediate, direct and meaningful. It can help your business by building your audience, increasing brand loyalty and, ultimately, boosting sales.

So, now that we all know that we SHOULD be doing it, here are a few pointers regarding HOW to do it…

1. Think about what you want to share

Do you want to highlight product features? Promote a launch? Provide your audience with access to an event you are attending? Deliver a tutorial? Take your customers behind the scenes of your business? Host a Q&A session? The choice is yours.

2. Create great content that will resonate with your audience

You know who your target audience is, you know what they like and the type of content that will appeal to them, so use live video to broadcast something that will really grab their attention and “speak” to them.

3. Promote before you broadcast

Post updates and/or tweet beforehand to let your audience know about your upcoming live video to generate as much interest and as big an audience as possible.

4. Make sure you have a signal

Sounds pretty obvious, but checking that you have a strong signal can easily be overlooked when you’re preoccupied with planning your broadcast!

5. Introduce yourself

Take the opportunity to welcome viewers and tell them who you are, it’s a small thing but powerful in terms of setting the right tone for your broadcast.

6. Include a Call-to-Action

What do you want your viewers to do? They are not mind-readers, so be clear about this and make the most of the opportunity to steer them in the right direction: if you want them to subscribe to your mailing list, follow you on Twitter, like your Facebook Page or sign up for a freebie, then SAY SO!

7. Re-purpose your material

You’ll have put a fair amount of preparation, time and effort into creating a live broadcast that’s rich, engaging, fun, informative and desirable, so make sure you get the most out of it. Think of how and where you can use it again….and again. There’s a lot of mileage in a great video!

 

All in all, live video is a great way to boost interaction between you and your potential clients; it can help you to stand out online and really connect with your community. So if you’ve been nervously or suspiciously skirting around live video, it’s time to step up onto the stage and put yourself in the spotlight…the long-term benefits to your business will surely outweigh any initial stage-fright!

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