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Allison Spooner
by Allison Spooner
on April 20, 2017

If you’re on Facebook, you probably can’t get through a browse sesh without seeing a notification that someone is going live. Whether it’s a celeb taking you with them to get their morning coffee or your best friend showing off their favorite restaurant, live video is here, and users are obsessed.

The Growth of Video

Well, we already know how popular video is and how important it is to your business. It can boost brand awareness and increase ROI. And, videos are just fun. We aren’t the only ones who think so. In 2015, YouTube generated more than $9B in revenue and it sees more than 4 billion daily views and has more than 1 billion users worldwide. Facebook experienced eight billion video views a day from 500 million users. The average adult consumes more than five hours of video per day.

Obviously, that’s a lot of video consumption. It’s clear that well-made, produced, edited and flashy videos capture the attention of users. So, why the upswing in live video? Well, all those people watching videos? That number is still much higher than those producing video. Which means there is a demand that is not being met. The live video offers the opportunity to meet that demand. Live video has the advantage of quantity over quality.

With live video, marketers or companies can reach users where they are with the push of a button rather than after hours and hours of filming and production.

When the idea was introduced through apps like Periscope and Meerkat, the number of users made it clear it would be a favorite medium. Periscope has more than 10 million users and can boast 200 million hours of broadcasted vide. Facebook Live launched in August 2015, first only for verified public figures, then to select people, and finally, to everyone.

The Appeal of "Being Live"

A live video takes the idea of instant gratification to the next level. It’s the epitome of anytime, anywhere and brings users into the experience.  Bands can take their fans backstage. Celebrities can bring us into their homes and companies can walk users through their creative process.

The personal interaction that live video allows is part of what makes it so appealing to both the marketer and the audience. It offers the opportunity to truly interact with your audience because you know who is tuning in and when. Blogs and pre-recorded video don’t provide this kind of personalization. When you call out individual users, it can provide a thrill and make them feel a part of your organization. If they are customers or potential customers, you can answer specific questions they might have and may not be able to find elsewhere. Live video is the next best thing to face-to-face interaction.

How Should Marketers Use It?

The key to a live video? Have a strategy. Don’t just log on whenever the urge strikes. Hit the “go live” button when it is most useful to your brand. This means letting users know in advance (if possible) when you will be going live and promoting it as much as possible. Also, it’s important to know what you will talk about beforehand, don’t just babble your way through the video. Facebook recommends staying online for at least 5-10 minutes so having some topics lined up will help you make the most of your live time.

When you look at the kind of access that live videos give users to their favorite brands and names, it’s easy to see why we are obsessed. And, as long as the public is craving more live interactions, marketers should be utilizing the feature to optimize their social media pages.

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