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Facebook Live: what is it, and does your brand need it?

From entertainment to education, video is fast becoming the go-to marketing medium across the world, engaging multiple audiences across a variety of platforms. And the best place for sharing video content is of course YouTube…or is it?

With live streaming becoming the next big thing, video platforms such as Snapchat, Vimeo and Periscope have been competing for YouTube's video champion title; and earlier this year, Facebook entered the ring with its latest offering: Facebook Live.

Facebook users have been able to upload videos to their timelines for some time now; but these videos were from the day, week or even year before. They couldn't capture what was happening at that very moment.

With Facebook Live Video, however, users can share live, up-to-the-minute videos of what they're up to. And while many people will use this feature to live-stream their child or dog doing something cute, it has a lot of potential for B2Bs too.

Imagine you're at a trade show or hosting an event. With Facebook Live, you can showcase new products, share footage of inspirational guest speakers, or conduct live interviews with influential members of your field - all before anyone else. Sounds good, right?

Here are a few things to bear in mind when you're planning to broadcast live video content, as outlined by Business2Community:

Choose your content carefully

Not everything is going to work well as a live video, so don't shoot something just for the sake of it. There should be a purpose to the content and some background context as well - don't just wander around filming everything you see!

Promote your broadcast

It's no good broadcasting a live video if no-one knows that you're doing it. A few days beforehand, as well as on the day of shooting, spread the word online, on social media and even by mouth - show your enthusiasm for the broadcast and people will be sure to log in on the day.

Check your connection

When you arrive at the event and just before you go live, make sure that you have a stable connection. If you're planning to walk around during your video, do a practice run first to check for areas of poor signal.

Interact with viewers

After you've posted your video, make sure you engage with your audience - thank everyone for watching then ask for their thoughts, making sure that you reply to their comments.

You may or may not think your business needs to use Facebook Live, but anything that improves your brand's visibility and engages your audience has to be worthy of serious consideration. The combination of Facebook (the world’s dominant social network) and live video (the hottest marketing medium right now), means that many brands will find it impossible to resist getting involved.