If you’ve been on Facebook lately, you’ve likely noticed publishers are taking advantage of the platform’s new live streaming feature Facebook Live. You’ve also probably noticed that brands aren’t.
In the last few days, I’ve seen The Atlantic, The New York Times and Slate all use Live to talk Trump, terrorism and the tampon tax. Conversely, none of the brands I follow have gone live in the past month. This surprises me, especially given how many brands utilized Google+’s Hangouts On Air back in the day.
I specifically remember Starbucks was a power user of Hangouts On Air, frequently live casting from their Seattle HQ. In a bizarre bit of cross promotion, the coffee chain even hosted a fan Q+A with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and James Valentine (their album Overexposed was being sold in Starbucks stores).
More recently, it seems almost every brand has dabbled in live streaming via Meerkat or Periscope. In a January post, we highlighted the efforts of GE, Ralph Lauren, Doritos and Adidas. Nissan, Target, Spotify, Red Bull and DKNY have also used Periscope for marketing purposes. And before it became an also-ran in the live cast wars, Meerkat had early support from Starbucks, Verizon, L’Oreal and Intuit. Out of all of these brands, I could only find one who’s ever gone live on Facebook: GE.
I personally think it’s strange that nascent platforms are receiving brand attention while the 400-lb. gorilla that is Facebook is all but being ignored. While Periscope has around 2 million daily active users, Facebook has over 1 billion daily active users. With that in mind, here are three compelling reasons why you should actively experiment with live streaming on Facebook:
- Videos algorithmically appear higher in user feeds when live
For every content marketer who’s ever expressed that the Facebook algorithm is hurting their distribution efforts, live video is a great hack. In a recent blog post, Facebook admitted they give greater priority to Facebook Live content.
- People spend 3X longer watching live video
According to a study conducted by Facebook, their users are spending considerably more time with live videos. With engagement being such a critical metric of success, this is great news for content marketers looking to justify their budgets.
- 53% of video views come from re-shares
In perhaps the greatest advantage over Meerkat and Periscope, Live product manager Vadim Lavrusik stated that over half the views occur after the live period ends. That’s because live videos are saved to a brand’s feed just like any other post. Worth considering: Meerkat videos are auto deleted immediately and Periscope videos are wiped after 24 hours.
If what’s above isn’t enticing enough to content marketers, Facebook has one more appeal: the ability to produce high-quality videos is coming soon. Digiday reports that Facebook will announce during their forthcoming F8 conference that publishers will be able to integrate Facebook Live into their control rooms, allowing for the use of studio equipment. While not every content marketer has ready access to that type of gear, those with newsrooms likely do. Does this mean we’ll see Facebook Live videos from the likes of Marriott and Intel? Yes, if they’re smart.
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