facebook live videoApril 7, 2016: If you’ve ignored the marketing possibilities of live video, it’s time for a second look, because Facebook, the world’s largest social network, is rolling out Facebook live video streaming to its entire 1.6 billion users.

There’s no question that Mark Zuckerberg believes that live video is Facebook’s “killer app” (and the fact that its success may kill Snapchat, Meerkat, Twitch, Periscope, Ustream, and perhaps even YouTube has likely dawned upon him as well). And while the new feature hasn’t rolled out yet, it’s not too early for marketers to begin thinking about how live video can benefit them.

Live Video marketing applications
Live video is a medium that harkens back to televisions’ earliest days, before videotape changed TV’s vibe from exciting and unpredictable to canned and polished. Its feel — raw and authentic — is native to today’s audience. Live video also revives “appointment media” — the long lost phenomena of people orienting their daily lives to “must see” broadcast events such as the Oscars, Olympics, and live political events. What’s different, of course, is that internet-delivered live video is interactive in a way that old-style analog live video never could be.

Brands, including Adidas, Doritos, Dunkin’ Donuts, GE, Mountain Dew, Nestles, Red Bull, and Wendy’s have already dipped into live video on Periscope. Programming has included live music, improv comedy, real-time drone flights, and live giveaway contests.

Your own brand may lack the experimental video budgets enjoyed by these big brands, but that’s no reason to conclude that live video isn’t for you. However if you’ve never created live content before, you might feel overwhelmed — just by the choices. For example, here are just a few of the many live video applications you could choose:

1. Live interviews (with your company’s executives, partners, clients, or suppliers)
2. Live product walk-throughs and webinars
3. Live events (for example, a store opening, a product unveiling, or an event you sponsor)
4. Live contests (conducted with the stipulation that the winning entrant must be online at the time when the winner is announced)
5. “Behind the scenes” live reportage from an industry event you attend such as a trade show.
6. Live “installations” of your product in real-world conditions.
7. Q&A sessions with the public (similar to Reddit’s AMA events)

These are just a handful of live video applications that marketers are already using. I’m certain there are more less obvious ones that might actually be more interesting, given the quirky nature of live video popularity (contrary to all expectation, the Drummond puddle became a strong viral hit earlier this year – go figure!).

Where to start?
One good way to start focusing on the live video application most likely to deliver your company real benefits is to take a look at your existing content marketing. What kind of content has performed best in the past? “How to” content? Content that focuses on strategy rather than tactics? Humorous content? Or interviews with important people in your business niche? Obviously, the more you know about your past content performance, the more likely it is that a live video extension of this content will be successful.

Another way to go about the process is to watch what other marketers in your business niche are doing, learn from their strengths (and mistakes), and create a superior version. Given that your audience will actively be talking back to you (or ignoring you), you’ll know pretty quickly whether your approach hits or misses the target.

Live video is here to stay and the expressive possibilities of the live channel are limited only by the imagination. As a marketer, you should prepare now because early adopters in any new marketing channel tend to benefit more than those who jump onto a platform late.

Didit will be actively exploring the possibilities of Live Video as a marketing vehicle and we’ll be sure to let you know of our successes (and possible follies) as they occur, so, as they say — please stay tuned!

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Marketers: it's time to get ready for Facebook Live Video
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Marketers: it's time to get ready for Facebook Live Video
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Live streaming has been a hot social media topic, and Facebook has joined the conversation with Facebook Live Video. What does this mean for marketers?
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