September 27, 2018
13 min read
Reach your congregants wherever they are by streaming services live on Facebook. This guide will show you how.
A Telestream Ebook
Welcome to the exciting world of social broadcasting on Facebook. Facebook Live is being called one of the biggest social trends of our times. To encourage more original video content to be created, Facebook has an on-going effort to improve and enhance its platform. And the universe of Facebook users-now two billion strong-continues to grow globally.
It's now possible to"go live" anytime, anywhere- via your Facebook business page or personal profile-and create an intimate, authentic connection with this growing global audience in real-time from your phone or computer.
Anyone can turn on his or her smart phone and begin sending live video via Facebook Live. But producing a high-value Facebook Live event- that attracts viewers and achieves the results you want-takes special Facebook marketing strategies and technical know-how.
Your live videos don't have to be elaborate, but your overall strategy needs to be cohesive. This information will show you how to leverage the tools within Facebook to attract and engage the largest possible audience for your live stream. It will not go into depth on how to produce a great live broadcast, but rather, will talk about all the things you should do before and after the live show to ensure success. Whether you want to monetize your content directly, or use it to help supplement other channels, use this information to help you unlock and maximize the power and potential of this innovative live streaming platform.
Why Facebook Live?
Forbes has reported that, "Brands that fail to incorporate visuals and videos will be left by the wayside." Facebook Live as a platform is-in its early days-comparable to where YouTube was 10 years ago.
In a way, the "first screen" and "second screen" experiences are essentially merging. Facebook is steadily becoming a lucrative digital streaming platform-that competes with traditional broadcast-to deliver original series, specials, documentaries, movies and other high value entertainment to a global audience.
* By 2019, the U.S. digital video ad spend will be $14 billion, half of which will be devoted to mobile video (eMarketer).
* By 2020, TV ad spending will drop to below 1/3 of total media ad spending for the first time in the U.S. (eMarketer)
* By 2020, online videos will be 80% of all consumer Internet traffic (Cisco)
That means that Facebook Live presents a compelling opportunity for you and your company to engage with your customers, raise the visibility of your brand in an exciting way, and take command of a powerful marketing vehicle that will serve you now and well into the future.
As part of its strong commitment to video, Facebook has packed its platform with many features and tools-for advertising, marketing and analytics-designed to support end-to-end streaming from content creation to delivery.
Here's a look at how that's going:
* Between January and May of 2016, Facebook saw a 300% increase in live videos from media companies. (Mediakix.com)
* 1 out of 3 Facebook videos is a live broadcast, and Facebook video posts have increased by 94% annually in the U.S. (Mediakix.com)
* People spend 3x longer watching video that is live compared to video that is no longer live. (socialmediatoday.com)
* Video posts have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts (socialmediatoday.com)
* Users are lOx more likely to comment on Facebook Live videos compared to regular videos (www.meetsoci.com)
Start with the End in Mind - Monetizing Content
Marketing is perhaps the most complicated and misunderstood aspect of Facebook Live streaming, especially when you want your live video efforts to produce bottom line results. Your impulse might be to focus intently on the video you want to stream. But, If you're looking to monetize your content, you must take time up-front to lay the groundwork to capture the largest possible audience. Then, after the broadcast is over, you need to capitalize on the video-which will be placed on your "timeline"-to build your audience and push viewers to comment on it and share it with others.
To do this you should learn how to use:
* Facebook notifications to alert fans of your live event
* Facebook advertising before and afteryour event
* Call to Action links and buttons to drive traffic to websites
* Websites that support E-commerce, for orders and sales (if you're selling online)
* Ways to handle processing charitable donations (if this applies)
If you have at least 2,000 followers on your Page-and your live video runs at least four minutes to an audience of 300 concurrent viewers-you can sign up for Facebook to insert ads into your video, which generates revenue for you, the producer.
Facebook is also experimenting with new uses of in-stream advertising and ad breaks as they try to encroach on the traditional "advertising industrial complex." And those with Business Pages have deep, powerful ad tools they can use. There are many articles, blogs and tutorials available online that focus on advanced strategies and techniques that can be used to maximize Facebook Ads and amplify your reach.
Before the Event-MarketingTasks
Facebook Notifications are useful for letting your followers know that your broadcast is now live. Be sure to regularly encourage your users to sign up for Live Notifications. Users can do this by hovering over the Following button on your business page, and then clicking the edit pencil nextto Notifications, and selecting All Live Posts.
Another effective way to notify your audience is by scheduling your Facebook Live event. Facebook allows you to schedule your live broadcast up to seven days in advance. However, this feature is only available to those broadcastingvia third-party apps, such as Wirecast on the desktop. The scheduled Live broadcast shows up on your business page Timeline as a regular post and your audience can tap/click once to get a reminder when you go live.
Your video could be a one-time event, such asa live stream of a special meetingor ribbon-cutting ceremony. Or, yourvideo could be the first installment of a series or campaign.
If it will be ongoing, consider scheduling your live event at the same time each week so that viewers cometo expect it, and make it a habit to attend. Campaigns are best if you want to build your audience and brand overtime.
With Facebook's brand new digital streaming television platform, Watch, the focus is definitely on episodic content with a large, engaged audience. If you have a goal to get your show featured on Watch, you definitely want to be thinking about multiple series with short episodes for your content.
At the moment, Facebook does not allow advertising/boosting scheduled Live posts. However, you can get creative with your scheduled postând build buzzahead of time. For Instance, share the post from your business page to your personal profile, as well as any active Facebook groups you manage or belong to, where appropriate. Also, the timestamp of the post contains the unique URL, so you can easily share the poston othersocial networks, in email broadcasts as well as Messenger broadcasts.
Fiere are some of the other marketing tasks that typically need to be done:
* Determine the target audience. No one knows your ideal audience market or segment better than you do.
* Determine the budget. Your budget should take into consideration targeted Facebook advertising campaigns, marketing and production costs.
* Write copy describingthe event. You'll need to write email announcements, notifications and reminders to your fans and contacts, as well asa brief program title and description to enter when logging into Facebook to start your live stream.
* Pre-show promotion video: Since video is ranked highly in the News Feed, posta short video promoting your live show to build buzz and boost viewership.
* Design a landing page or website to generate web traffic and interest during and afteryourlive broadcast.
* Include publicity photos for use in promotions and posts.
Before the Event-Technical Tasks
For a higherend professional broadcast, the technical tasks that need to take place prior to your event encompass managing network connections, setting up routers, encoding and streaming, and ensuring quality control. Planning for these capabilities needs to Include your main network and production infrastructure, as well as a Plan В for redundancy so the show will go on no matter what.
Fiere are some typical tasks that must be considered and addressed before the show:
* Conduct a site survey, preferably, at the same time of day that your live event will be taking place. That way you'll get the best idea of the ambient noise, lighting conditions, traffic, activity, electrical service, Internet connectivity, among other factors, and deal with them before they possibly impact yourshow in a negative way. * Verify sufficient local area network (LAN) performance and wide area network (WAN) upload speeds - upload speed is the most critical networking issue for live broadcasts. Both your LAN and WAN need to guarantee you the bandwidth and upload speeds you require and they are two different networks.
* Consider network redundancy: Even though data speeds are relatively low, streaming media requires a constant, steady data stream for the duration of your live broadcast. So Ethernet will be more solid than Wi-Fi.
* Use your ceil phone as a back-up since it's essentially a camera and streaming solution in one
For a 720/30p FID broadcast to Facebook Live, you want between 5 and 10 Megabits persecond (Mbps) of dedicated, uninterrupted bandwidth and upload speeds guaranteed. This is because a 720p stream can run between 2-4 Mbps or possibly 5 Mbps, and Facebook recommends at least 4 Mbps as their standard contribution stream size.
Bear in mind that stream rates can vary. While a talking head only requires about 2 Mbps, a busy sporting event or graphics-heavy show might be 4 Mbps, and you might be switching between these scenes in a single stream. If you have less than a 5 Mbps upload speed, scale down your HD production to a talking head, or consider producing an SD broadcast instead.
With older LAN routers running about 100Mbps, and newer ones reaching a gigabit (1,000Mbps), LAN speeds are rarely an issue, especially if you're hard-wired into it. If your LAN is Wi-Fi, then "mileage may vary." Wi-Fi is prone to interruptions, bursts & interference, so even if speeds are good, it may still be an unreliable network.
Last Minute Drama
While you've planned every aspect of your production, and even deployed equipment for redundancy, things can still go wrong. Like live broadcast television, streaming is a live show, and you only get one shot at getting it right.
Here are some last-minute preparations and contingencies for failure:
* Conduct frequent signal health checks: You can't check your LAN and WAN speeds enough before and during your show. It's okay to become compulsive about speed tests because no signal-no show. One option for checking your internet speed is Speedtest.net.
* Create emergency cards for technical difficulties: If your signal or picture fails, viewers won't know whether to standby or drop off.
* Have a cell-phone handy to serve as a spare camera and/or streaming device to Facebook Live as a last-minute alternative. Of course, make sure you have the Facebook native app installed on the phone.
* Pre-record a technical "run-through" of the show to use in the event of technical failure: Yes, consider running through your show in advance, recording It, and having it ready to roll as Plan B. If your viewers are still there, and haven't dropped off right away, you can play-out this recording, or give them links to where they can access it on demand, even though it's not the live experience you originally planned.
* If your picture is lost, you can still do an "audioonly" broadcast.
* If you're counting on featuring a high-profile guest, prepare interesting content to cover in the event the guest cancels at the last minute. In this way, you look professional and don't totally disappoint viewers that tuned in.
And one more important piece of advice Is to establish a communications back channel with your on-camera talent. In this way, If something goes wrong during the live show, like the callin guest will be a few minutes late, you have a way-such as talking Into an IFB (intercom link to an earpiece, like news anchors have) or holding up a cue card or note-to let your on-camera host know without disrupting the show.
The most common pitfalls that adversely Impact live streaming are poor video or audio quality, stemming from low-quality mics and cameras, poor lighting, overtaxed computers and unreliable Internet connections. Makethe most of pre-production. As the popular adage goes, "Falling to plan is planning to fall."
During the Event
Upon going live, have someone post notifications that your show is now live to remind people to join, and duringthe show, post links and highlights of the live show, if possible, to draw people in. While you are live, it's important to maintain consistent viewer interaction since this realtime activity is a key factor in getting high rankings from Facebook's algorithms and greater visibility.
During the live broadcast, both the host and the viewers will see the number of viewers currently tuned In. This number fluctuates as viewers tune in and drop off du ring the show.
When your stream ends you can get a wealth of feedback about your live broadcast right from the post on your business page, including:
* Peak live viewers
* Minutes viewed
* 10-second views
* Viewers that watched with sound on versus sound off
* Graphs showing when/where viewers joined and where viewership tapered off
The more comments and reactions you have during your live show, the more Facebook's algorithm senses that your Live broadcast appears to be popular right now. More engagement gets higher priority in the news feed.
Start by engaging your viewers right away by asking simple questions they can easily answer. For example, "What part of the world are you from?" "What's the weather like where you live?" or "Does anyone have a question we can answer for you during our show?" This approach increases comments right away, giving you potentially higher reach in the news feed.
Also keep in mind if the audience setting for the live stream is set to "public," Facebook marks the location of that live video on its Facebook Live global map. By disclosing your location on its map, your video may attract viewers that are searching for local or regional videos to watch.
After the Event
When your live broadcast concludes, your video is automatically posted as video-on-demand (VOD) onto your timeline or the "wall" of your Page. It indicates that it had originally been shown as a live video. From the timeline, your fans can view it, comment on it and share it with others. Since your videos stay on your profile or page, they add dimension to your brand image overtime.
With a boosted post or targeted ad, using Ads Manager, your video will be dearly labeled as a "Sponsored Post." However, with good engagement, namely reactions, comments and shares, this provides much more social proof on your paid content and potential viewers might say, "This looks like an ad but people seem to really like this. I guess I'll check it out too."
Here are some other post-event tasks that can help you capitalize on your momentum:
* Send out post-event emails that include a link to the replay
* Answer viewers' messages, questions and emails
* Download the Facebook Live video and create short clips or a highlight reel
* Publish the short video clips to your other social channels
* Add captions-using Facebook's captions generator, or a service like rev.com or Telestream's Timed Text Speech
* Embed the Facebook video in a blog post and create a short list of key takeaways
* Reiterate the offer made during the show
* Share Behind-the-Scenes video of cool things that happened at your event
* Share a fun 'blooper reel' if appropriate
Once you finish broadcasting your live video on your business page, you can advertise to amplify the reach of your Live video.
if your broadcast didn't get as much reach and views as you'd like, don't just immediately start boosting the post. It's better to allow up to 24 hours-to get as much organic reach and engagement as possible-before strategically allocating budget in Ads Manager to promote your video.
Facebook recommends staying away from the Boost button as it is not as effective as using the Ads Manager. Allocate no more than 10% of your total Facebook advertising budget to the Boost button. The rest is much better invested using Facebook Ads Manager as you have more options that can better optimize your Return on Investment (ROI).
Facebook Ads Manager offers a variety of options to segment and target your audience, buy ads that best reach those targets and track viewership.
Keep in mind that an overwhelming number (80% to 90%) of Facebook users access the platform primarily via their mobile devices. This means there is increasing competition among businesses for ad placements in Facebook's mobile news feed. Facebook has stated for the past year that the company is running out of advertising inventory İn the main mobile News Feed, making it more competitive to "cut through." You have to be strategic with how you buy and place ads, and how much budget to allocate.
Spending money on advertising doesn't guarantee viewers or a ROI. In Ads Manager, set a budget, which can be a one-time buy or an on-going ad campaign where your ad dollars automatically flow at the intervals you specify, such as $XX per week or month.
Leveraging Custom Audiences
In addition, you can increase the effectiveness of the Facebook video ad products and tools by making use of what are called Engagement Custom Audiences. You can build a new ad target segment using the Audience section of Ads Manager in Facebook to segment people who viewed a portion of your live video-such as 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 25%, 50% or 90%.
Longer watch times can indicate greater i nterest. Try advertising to these warmer prospects with a different video, or send the audience an offer to download a special resource, or use the Messenger Call to Action to private message your page.
KPIs and keeping it positive
When paying to promote your videos, pay attention to feed back from your target audience. Keep an eye on two metrics in particular:
1) Relevance score
Relevance score is a rating out of 10; the higher the number, the more your target audience is resonating with your content. Strive for six or more. You may need to give the promoted video 24 hours to start to see a good relevance score.
As for frequency, this is the number of times on average that your audience has seen the paid content. You want to aim for 3-5 maximum. You never want to "bug" your audience by showing up too often as an ad in their News Feed. If you do, you run the risk of receiving negative feedback.
A negative reaction could include: reporting your video as spam, or as something that violates Facebook's rights and responsibilities code, a negative comment or hiding your post altogether. If ever you experience negative feedback on a paid video promotion, pause or stop the campaign altogether and reassess to make adjustments for the next video.
Also, don't forget, some results might be intangible, but nonetheless valuable, such as building brand loyalty, increasing awareness, and establishing yourself as an expert. These could lead to an opportunity for additional positive results down the road.
Realizing the Value Proposition that Facebook Live Presents
Facebook Live is a powerful marketing and image-building platform with a growing globai base of users. Many seasoned Facebook pros are still learning, especially since the tools and capabilities are always increasing and the user base and reach are ever expanding. Your talents, track record and audience will build over time. That means this is a great time to jump in, get started, learn the ropes, and get your own show
About our experts
Mari Smith is often referred to as the "Queen of Facebook" and is widely recognized as one of the world's foremost experts on Facebook marketing. She is a perennial Forbes' top Social Media Power Influence an expert webinar leader, live webcast host, author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Flour a Day. In 2015, Facebook hired Mari to go on tour and teach at the Boost Your Business series of events. Mari serves as Brand Ambassador for several top companies, and travels the world to speak and train at major events.
Andrew Haley is a live streaming expert. Fle's also the host of "Wirecast Live," a topical interview show featuring the movers and shakers of the streaming media world. The show streams on the Telestream Facebook page every Thursday afternoon.
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Copyright Information Today, Inc. Jan/Feb 2018