You want to use live video to promote your business. It’s a great call. According to a recent poll by New York Magazine, 82 percent of audiences would prefer to see a branded live video rather than another form of social media posting.
So you begin creating live video for your business. Congratulations! It feels good, doesn’t it? Whether it’s a high-budget endeavor or a video blog you’re shooting in your home office, nothing beats that rush. All it takes is a camera on a tripod to give you that showbiz buzz. It’s exciting. And presumably, the finished product is something you’ll be proud to show to the world.
There’s just one problem: the world (and bear with me, because the truth hurts sometimes) is statistically unlikely to care. Like, at all. That's why it might be time to rethink how your business is marketing live video.
Harsh truth of the day: YouTube channels considered to be in the top 3 percent receive 90 percent of total video viewership on the platform. Not bleak enough for you? Try this fact jacket on for size: new videos are being uploaded at a rate of sixty minutes per second. That’s right, every second, there’s another hour of content uploaded. And that’s just on YouTube. It’s not even taking into account Facebook Live, Twitch, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, or any of the new video streaming services that have undoubtedly popped up since you started reading this sentence.
Basically, think of the internet as a casting call where sixty new actors walk through the door every second. Your live stream is one of those actors. Like all performers, it’s desperate for attention. So how do you get it noticed? You do what all of the big stars did when they were getting started: throw yourself in front of the casting director’s car at an intersection and threaten to sue if you’re not in the next "Avengers" movie. Or, alternatively, you could market effectively.
Well thought-out marketing can tip your video in the direction you want it to go, and make the difference between it becoming a viral hit or an instructional video on how to make fabric wallets at home. That said, poorly planned marketing can also mean getting a million useless views from a click farm in Ukraine. Do it right. Here’s how.
Affiliate Marketing Meets Influencer Marketing
It’s like the old saying goes: if you want something done right, pay someone to do it for you.
Affiliate marketing is a simple idea: offer someone a cut of the profits to help promote your product. Back in the day, this might have meant dealing with advertising agencies and marketing firms. Today it means sending an email. And it's becoming more and more useful if that message is sent to an influencer.
There’s a good chance you’ve already scoped out the live streaming community, especially the corners of it that relate to your industry. There are plenty of hungry influencers that’d be eager to mention your upcoming event, and they generally prefer a flat fee as opposed to affiliate marketers, who tend to be paid based on performance of the video.
Aside from the money-earning technique, affiliate marketing isn't that much different than influencer marketing these days. Both forms of promotion are beginning to identify the significance in getting sales while also developing a large and loyal audience for your business. Because the latter will obviously drive more sales in the long run.
So find a few affiliates and/or influencers you think would represent you well and send them a message to see what they've got to offer. Just be sure to avoid services that say they’ll get your page X amount of views for staggeringly low prices. That’s how you wind up with ten thousand likes from fake accounts in Eastern Europe. It’s impressive to look at, but fictional people are notoriously difficult to sell to.
Market the Video Early
Whatever you’re going to be streaming, it’s not too early to start promoting it. The minute you have a concrete broadcast date in mind, get the word out. Utilize the social media following you already have. Use your company’s Facebook and Twitter pages to announce the big day. You have a built-in fan base that’s already interested in what you’re doing. This one’s a no-brainer.
Equally important: remind folks on the day you'll be streaming. We’re a mercurial society. Our interests shift. You can’t give people too many prompts.
Keep Spreading the Video News
It might seem counterintuitive to advertise a live video after it’s already aired, but it's almost as crucial a marketing step as promoting the video beforehand is.
As exciting as it is to watch viewers pour into a live stream, it’s equally important to keep that video alive after you’ve turned the cameras off. You still want the information to get out there. Make sure it’s accessible.
One great way to make this happen is to cut your video into smaller, more digestible chunks, and post them to your various sites. Even something as simple as a ten-second clip can get people’s attention. Did something ridiculous happen during the original stream? Did someone slip? Did something break? Did a gallon of melted mint ice cream fall on somebody, effectively giving giving them an accidental off-brand Kids’ Choice Award? Post the footage with a link to the full video. Keep doing this in the weeks following your stream.
As simple as these tips might sound, they can be the shot in the arm your live stream needs to be viewed by more people and bring in more clients. Make sure to let us know how they work for you, and check back regularly for more view-boosting ideas.