Tag Archives: video

Facebook Live Streaming – What is it and how do I make the most of it?

Facebook Live is a valuable new addition to the thriving and liveliest social network of them all.

Whilst other video streaming services already exist  – Periscope, Meerkat and Blab – there’s no doubt that with 1.65 billion active monthly users – the sheer scale of users gives Facebook Live all it needs to dominate the live streaming space.

So, what is Live Streaming?

Pretty much what is says it is. In just the same way you can post a status update or photo or pre recorded video to you Facebook newsfeed, you can now stream in real time.

How do I start my own live broadcast?

Creating your own live broadcast is really simple.

Go to your Facebook App (you’re probably going to be recording via your mobile – right?).

When you click on ‘Status’ – to create a post – you’ll see in the bottom menu bar to the right of the camera icon, a person in a circle – broadcast icon.

Facebook Live 2

Simply click the icon – and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can type a Title / Description for your broadcast – and you can choose who you want to see the video – ie: friends / public etc.

Then all that’s left for you to do is select the Go Live option.

Facebook Live 1

But that’s the simple bit…

So whilst setting it up and getting started is pretty simple – of course, if you’re going to be using this feature to assist with marketing your business or brand – then as with all other marketing activity you do, you really do need to do a little planning and prep.

After all – during the broadcast there’s plenty of opportunity for people to interact with your video – not only will you see a viewer count but you’ll also see the live comments and reactions.

So you if you’re doing the broadcast as a marketing activity, rather than simply a spontaneous live stream of an amazingly talented busker – then you will want to make sure as many people as possible know about the broadcast. And of course the broadcast lives on.

Once you’re streaming live – to finish the broadcast you simply hit the “Finish” button. The video will then be posted to your timeline, so those who may have missed out on the live broadcast can view it at their leisure.

You’ll also be able to save the video to your camera roll.

So you’ve got this great, simple way to record live video and have video saved to your timeline – to share with all that visit. And of course, there’s the opportunity to do some Facebook Advertising and  ‘BOOST’ your Facebook posts to broaden the reach of your content too.   So, with all that in mind – let’s look at some ideas for great content and tips to drive engagement and make your broadcasts really work for you.

Broadcasting Tips and Ideas

  • If you want more people to see your video – consider tagging friends you think would be interested when typing the video description. This will send them an instant notification alerting them to tune in. And of course, if they share it to their friends whilst streaming – the broadcast audience just got a whole lot wider.
  •  Another method is to post a Facebook status update telling friends that you’re going live at a certain time.  We suggest offering at least a days’ notice – close enough so that people will remember but also enough time to make sure they don’t miss it. It may even be that you set up a ‘regular’ broadcast slot.  For example – Small Business Marketing Tips at 10am every Tuesday.  As mentioned earlier – Facebook Ads are available for you to promote your broadcasts too – if you want more people to tune in – then in just the same way you would promote an event,  promote your Facebook Live via ads.  And of course, there are lots of other channels you can use to promote the broadcast too – Twitter, email to name just two.
  • There are so many stats advising us that engagement rates online are short. That our attention span has waned and now all videos must be short and to the point – as users are likely to drop off after just 30 seconds.  Whilst this may be the case – there’s definitely evidence to show that when a user is engaged with relevant and purposeful content – they will stick around.  Most TV programs are minimum 30 mins as are the majority of podcasts.  So perhaps it’s not about our attention span but our interest span.  It’s interesting that Facebook Live enables you to broadcast for up to 90 minutes – that’s more than you get on any other channel.   Our recommendation is that you test engagement levels – start to see when people drop out – the platform is as yet too new to provide any robust insights into what the optimum Facebook Live broadcast looks like. So for now – test and measure.

Content ideas:

Engagement is all about the content – and if the content is relevant to the audience, they’ll stick around and hopefully, come back for more.  There’s so many directions you can go with your broadcast – here are just a few ideas for you to consider:

  • Interviews with people in your organisation.  There will be expertise within your business – whether it’s the CEO, marketing team, customer service team, practitioners or IT gurus – there is useful knowledge to share.  Interviewing ‘experts’ about practical things – talking through some FAQs or tips and advice – interviewing people not only provides some useful content, but also gives some insight into your team and who they are. After all – people do business with people. And it’s a great way to build trust and for people to see the ‘whites’ of the expert’s eyes.
  • Product updates. It may be that you’ve just added a new feature to a product – perfect opportunity to showcase live exactly what’s changed – and the benefits. Often things are tricky to communicate via the written word – are far simpler in video show and tell – perfect opportunity to use live streaming.
  • Events. If the event is live then why not broadcast it. This means that even those delegates that couldn’t make the actual physical event – can still attend ‘live’ – via Facebook Live.  It doesn’t have to be the whole event – it may just be the keynote speech you want to share and capture.
  • Behind the scenes. Perfect for sharing insights as to what’s going on behind the scenes – could very well be just a regular day in the office – or some new artwork that’s arrives, the new office dog, new décor, new layout, before and after etc – the possibilities are vast.

Practice Makes Perfect

And finally, live streaming is live streaming.  The charm of live streaming is the ‘real time’ relaxed and very ‘human’ aspect of it – so you don’t want to ‘over’ polish it. However, at the same time, you don’t want to switch people off by having a camera that’s jumping all over the place causing mild vertigo, dodgy sound so that your content is illegible and odd camera angles which only showcase your forehead.

It’s worth putting in a little bit of practice so that you know that you’ve got a good ‘shot’.  Perhaps use a tripod – and experiment with different backgrounds / settings etc . Again, depending on your objective – then the prep will be different.

So that’s it – hopefully, a relatively simple explanation on how to get started – and some useful ideas and pointers.

Look forward to seeing some of your Facebook Live streams – simply tag me in and I’m there…

As always – any questions tweet me @michellecarvill or email michelle@carvillcreative.co.uk 

Michelle Carvill, best selling business author, speaker, founder and Director at Carvill – the social media marketing agency. For information about how the team at Carvill can help you – simply get in touch or visit our website for more information.

Video – The Most Consumed Media Online! What’s Your Video Strategy?

I went over to Google’s St Giles office yesterday to talk YouTube, video and content strategy.

Of course, when training for Business Training Made Simple, video content and YouTube (and Vine, Instagram and other channels) are covered as part of video content as part of our social media training courses.

This means our knowledge of YouTube (the second largest search engine in the world) – has to be right up to date.

Having met with the team at Google to talk about the latest advertising trends and opportunities available – it was good to hear stats we regularly share in our training straight from the horse’s mouth (so to speak).

So here’s a reminder of the latest online video consumption and YouTube stats to keep you up to date too:

  • 5% of our time online is spent in ‘search’ (ie: usually searching something on Google).
  • This means a whopping 95% of our time is not spent searching – but instead, browsing, watching, emailing, being social.
  • If your strategy is to dominate search – then that’s considering only 5% of the time spent online.  To pervade other areas – your ad strategy – or content strategy should consider other vehicles (eg: YouTube and other  social networks).
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
  • Consumption of content and video via mobile is growing at 84% – much quicker than any other platform.
  • The average length of a video (of all the millions of videos online) is 3 mins and 8 seconds.  However, we know people drop off after 30 seconds, 60 seconds etc – so endeavour to keep your messages succinct. That said, if you have something worth watching – people will watch.
  • Ensure the first 5 seconds of your video are the most compelling and engaging. Decisions to continue watching are made in the first 5 seconds so be sure to bring your great content to the fore and not to bury it 50 seconds in.
  • 54% of consumers research online before they buy online.  (Personally, I would say this is higher but I’m not going to argue with the mightly ComScore).
  • YouTube has 28 million monthly users which puts it on a par with TV Channels Dave and E4.

It’s worth doing some research in YouTube to see what your competitors are up to – or indeed, just type in your keywords and see what comes up.  This simple research phase is important in understanding the content that is already out there, the quality of it – and indeed any gaps you can fill.

Be sure to be objective with your video content.  Our mantra is that you consider what matters for the audience.  What’s compelling, entertaining, educational, useful and purposeful for them.

Think about pain points – frequently asked questions – what is it that you have that can fix problems for others.  Showcasing this in a visual way can provide far more insight into your product that listing out features and benefits.  And of course – think about the power of advocacy.  If you say it – does the audience believe it – if you get one of your customers to say it – then that’s likely to be far more convincing.   Testimonial videos speak volumes.

As we say, ‘if you sell someone something they may remember you again – but if you teach someone something, then you are building trust and share of mind.

As with everything you do – Plan, Listen, Analyse before you Engage.  Do the research, understand what the objective of your video content strategy is – and then start to plan and build the content in line with key objectives.

This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.

If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.

Instagram for Business – Part 3 – Video

In our blogs Instagram for Business – Part 1 and Instagram for Business -Part 2 we’ve walked you through setting up an Instagram account and shared some great tips for leveraging Instagram for business.  Now we want to turn to the relatively recently launched ‘video’ element of Instagram.

It was introduced not that long ago (July) and has now gone viral – some believe it has even taken over Twitter Vine.

Instagram video is described as “everything you love about Instagram — and it moves,” it is designed around three core principles:

  • Simplicity — It needs to be easy to use and edit
  • Beauty — “We need to do to video what we did to photos.”
  • Community — Instagram continues to look and work the same way when it comes to sharing and viewing content.

Instagram Video had the advantage over Twitter Vine as it came to iOS and Android at the same time and it supports 13 custom filters just for video where users can edit the frames of their videos to remove certain segments of the footage.

How to set up:

Make sure you have downloaded the latest Instagram App – and then you can start recording video straight away!
To record a video:

  • ‘Tap’ at the bottom of the app to switch from either camera in the middle or video on the right.
  • Press and hold the camera button to start recording.
  • Lift your finger off the button when you wish to stop recording (so on for recording off to stop).
  • Then tap Next to beautify your video by adding a filter,
  • Then you can go on to sharing your video!


Benefits compared to Vine

There’s no doubt about it, the launch of Instagram Video is now in direct competition with Twitter Vine, the Twitter – backed video app.

But what are the differences between them? Has Instagram Video taking over?

That is for you to decide, there are however many advantages of Instagram Video. Advantages that Twitter vine doesn’t have!

Take a look at some of these features that are noticeably absent from Vine:

  • Clip Editing

The greatest advantage of Instagram Video is the fact that it includes editing features. It also allows users to delete unsatisfying past frames, by clicking the delete button marked with an “X” to remove the last frame (or two).

  • Effects of Filters

It wouldn’t be Instagram without filtering options – 13 different ones to be exact. They perform very similarly to the photo filters but with different names.

Vine on the other hand keeps everything raw – all ‘editing must be performed in video, meaning you all have to think about the lighting and exposure.

  • Length

Instagram also offer up to 15 seconds of video – more than twice as long as Vines 6 second videos – there really is so much more you can do with a video in 15 seconds!

  • Tap to Focus

When capturing videos in Instagram, all you have to do is tap within the frame to focus your depth of field; this makes more professional looking footage!  Whereas when you tap with Vine it means you are filming and there is no option for focus etc.

  • Image Stabilisation

Instagram also has a brand new tool: Cinema – which is a custom image stabilisation product which is meant to smooth shaky footage for a more professional, streamlined result. Impressive!

  • Cover Image Selection

Instagram lets you scroll through the still of your video and select the best cover photo for you video.  This is a very important feature as it gives the first impression of your video and therefore will entice your audience.

Why good for business

Video marketing these days has become more and more of a hot topic, where about 46% of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video.

Vine was the latest craze and was Twitter’s attempt at making video easy to create and share – the only problem with Vine is that it requires a lot of creativity to make videos look great…

Now with Instagram Video, your door is open to a whole lot of new different things! Take a look at just some of the ways Instagram video could be useful for your business:

  • Announcement of a new product or sale

Using videos is a great way to showcase the message you want to get across to your fans, with 15 seconds there’s so much you could do.

If a picture of your work is worth a thousand words, imagine what 15 seconds of video communicates. They can also be useful to answer FAQ’s – where a simple how-to video can answer your customers’ questions quickly and efficiently.

  • Your office in action

We often hear about how brands “need to become human.” Social media has blurred the lines with real-time, real-life engagement between companies and customers, creating a need for companies to be transparent and more open.

Instagram videos offer an opportunity for brands and businesses to do this to showcase their culture and style. They can help differentiate your company from its competitors.

  • Great way to boost your interaction on Facebook

Videos and photos inspire the most engagement on Facebook – so will sharing your Instagram videos on there – it can be a tool smart marketers use to boost community interaction on Facebook.

So there you have it – Instagram video can help you out with just about anything! We hope that this Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of Instagram for Business – and that these posts have helped answer any questions you may have as well as increasing your knowledge about Instagram.

Happy Instagramming folks!

Be social…share your favourite Instagram accounts with us. We’ll share on our Facebook Page to inspire.