Live Video: What, Why, When, and How to Use It -

Live Video: What, Why, When, and How to Use It

Over the past two years, the most popular and influential networking sites and apps; Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, have added live video features. Live videos are a valuable outlet for social media marketing, they allow the user to broadcast to their global audience with nothing more than a mobile device and internet connectivity.

New to live video? Here we’ll go over best practices, and how you can utilize this powerful tool in your content strategy.

What is Live Video?

Live video allows users to simultaneously record and broadcast via social media channels. For most platforms, live videos appear in the normal feed, however each varies slightly. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allows viewers to leave public comments that are visible in real time. Snapchat’s entire platform is essentially ‘live videos’ in the sense that you can record instantaneously and content is only available for 24 hours, however they’ve yet to introduce a traditional live feature. Facebook also offers an immersive Live 360 option (you do need to download a separate program). Facebook, Twitter & IG all show stats of those tuning in during the live video, and offers analytics on the backend after the video has concluded.

Live videos offer fantastic visibility and promotion for your account. On Instagram, followers receive a notification any time an account goes live (they need to physically turn off this feature in settings if they don’t want to be bothered). Facebook live videos are also posted on your wall with viewing stats after the video has concluded.

Why should you use live videos?

The numbers speak for themselves

As a marketer, the benefits of using live video on your social network are countless. According to recent studies, 74% of millenials find video helpful when comparison shopping, while 60% prefer to watch a video over reading a newsletter. That is a very large market that would rather see a video when shopping your product. Furthermore, videos are more shareable, they turn viewers into brand advocates - 92% of mobile video consumers share video. Social videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined!

Ease of use

Live videos are not meant to be overly-produced or staged, they are truly raw coverage for the audience, which conveniently equates to minimal cost and effort for a marketer. While it is important to utilize live video for interesting topics, and have some framework before hitting record, letting videos organically progress makes for great programming. Perhaps an interview or Q&A isn’t going according to plan, a successful marketer can pivot and see where it takes them. BONUS: it also offers a really humanizing and honest depiction of your brand to your audience.

Unique interactions

The ability for followers to submit feedback in real time (specifically in Q&A type segments) allows for distinctive engagement with your audience. When live videos feature a down-to-earth narrator who speaks off the cuff, followers can connect and identify with the content.


You can include call-to-actions within your live video posts that can convert interested viewers to sign-ups or sales, or push users into sponsored posts. All interactions and insights will be captured on the backend analytics. So while live videos offer an unique engagement with your audience, they can also offer valuable insight on your digital strategy, and monetize content!

When should you broadcast live?

Just like any other content within social media schedules, live videos should be dispersed throughout your calendar. Do not flood the market, that’s a quick way to lose followers. The idea is to capture a dynamic event, or deliver an on-message video that is in line with your product, service or brand. Check out a few examples:

  • Product Launch- Whether it’s a large event happening in conjunction with the launch, or you’re a small company offering a new service- using live videos is a free marketing announcement service to reach your fan base.
  • Q&A or interviews- The features available with live videos make it the perfect platform for this type of interaction with your audience; by either asking them questions directly, or interviewing a personality and allowing them to participate. A brand representative can pose questions to the audience and receive instant feedback, with all chatter publicly visible.
  • Events (sporting or otherwise) - Professional sports teams use live video to show clips of games, as well as press conferences. Red Bull is very adept at broadcasting live from sponsored events. Bonus- if you save videos you can use them later in your story (which would be available for an additional 24 hours) and add overlays and graphics, see Boston Red Sox example below.


  • Influencer take-overs- influencer marketing is not only a fantastic way to piggyback on the following of a popular personality, but an ideal use of live video. Influencers can take over your social media platforms for a period of time, and post live videos that align with your digital strategy. You can have daily series at a set time, for instance Lululemon uses yogis & brand ambassadors to lead live meditations or short practices.


How do you utilize live video most effectively?

Entrepreneur Brent Hieggelke refers to live videos as content conversations. “Brands are figuring out ways to modernize their entire go-to-market process and using live video [is] an agile way to bring content to audiences.” In your content conversation, it’s imperative to share fresh and spontaneous material.

  • Live videos should not consist of the same repetitive sales pitch and messages that are available across your social profiles.
  • Live videos should authentically extend your brand marketing, while still offering unique content that viewers wouldn’t necessarily find elsewhere.

When engaging with your audience via live video, really listen to your followers, a human two-way exchange is truly invaluable- it shows your audience that you care, and instills trust.

Ready to go live?

Live videos are a fantastic tool to use in your social advertising and content campaigns. Videos are proven to offer better interaction with your audience, combined with a CTA this not only equates to extending your brand message, but more conversions as well.

Now that we’ve explored the ‘What, Why, When, and How’s of live videos, are you ready stream?

By Amanda Disilvestro on April 26, 2018

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