In Basics, Brand, Business, Business Model, Community, Content Marketing, Credibility, Influence, Social Media

Here’s Why Live Video is Your Personal Brand’s Secret Weapon

Live video (and the way brands use it to amplify brand awareness and more) is an evolving modality – and one worth investing in.

When it comes to your content marketing, perhaps you have a weekly blog, a weekly email newsletter to your list (and some evergreen marketing email campaigns running to your list as well). You have a social media calendar with a range of value – third party posts, sharing your lead magnet, driving people to your blog,  preloaded training video, and more.

You’ve got the engine running smoothly, but are you meeting the expectations of your audience? New York Magazine and Livestream conducted a survey with consumers, and found that over 82% prefer live video from a brand over social posts.

The secret weapon in your content marketing strategy is live video. If you want to increase traffic, views and engagement across your social media platforms and website, going live regularly across different platforms is the way to go.

For example, Facebook Live is a great platform to increase exposure! In fact, 70% of marketers use Facebook Live to reach new people, and 58% of them increased awareness and reach by integrating this into their content marketing strategy.

Read on to find out why live video should be a core part of your content marketing strategy and even your logical product progression.

Why live video?

#1. Live Video Offers Your Audience Increased Authenticity

We live in a world where your consumer is accustomed to automation and email blasts to hundreds of thousands of people.

It’s the impersonal landscape of the personal. I receive emails all day long from thought leaders, publications, political candidates and causes addressing me directly.

Your name is but a form field in email software, and most consumers know it.

Authenticity through Access

Live video allows you to reach people as a more full, real ‘you’. And they appreciate your presence and attention on those terms.

According to New York Magazine and a study they conducted with 1000 consumers, over 87% would prefer to watch video online if it meant more access to behind-the-scenes content.

Consumers want more access to YOU and your life. They don’t want the polished video content (at least not exclusively).

They want to access the full spectrum of your life. Just look at the flooded market of ‘reality’ television: even though much of this programming is scripted or partially scripted, people are seeking access to realism (even if that realism is an illusion).

Authenticity through Imperfection

This authenticity comes with the imperfection, so brace yourself. When you do live video, you may need to speak extemporaneously, and you most likely will make some mistakes (be it with speech or technology). But guess what: your audience actually LOVES that, so lean into it fully.

Take your audience on your journey and invite them into the imperfection that is fostered by live video. Your journey could be a brand launch, or the launch of a new digital product, or the journey leading up to your first live event.

Go live, and share about your butterflies, share about your snafus leading up to it, share about the excitement and suspense of launching that thing you’ve been working on for 3 years!

Authenticity through the Temporal Framework of Spontaneity

As you explore the lifestyle aesthetic using live video on social media, you get to do so by leveraging spontaneity.

With live video on socials, you don’t need to just keep your engagement to training. You can take them into your LIFE – are you going on a nature adventure? Share that with your audience. Are you at a professional development seminar? Go live in the hallway and share 3 things you learned that day that may help your audience achieve XYZ. Take them on the road with you, and add layers of expression and identity to your relationship with your audience.

People want to see you live more than they want to see your pre-recorded videos, and the numbers show that. For example, Facebook Live’s users spend 3 times as long watching live videos vs. pre-recorded videos.

And the thing about capturing your lifestyle for your viewers is that, your life is happening all day long. Maybe you go live at 2pm at the gym while you’re working out with your trainer. Or maybe you go live on socials right when you wake up, to share the huge insight that dawned on you while you were sleeping.

There’s a level of spontaneity that can be captured with live video that shakes things up and pings them to join the live conversation. The predictable is easy to find on the internet and from brands today; give your audience the unpredictable, which is a whole level of value in and of itself.

#2. Live Video Fosters Community

It’s ALL about community when it comes to audience building and sharing your products and services with your clients and audience.

Live video is a community experience, and your customer wants community.

Remember when TV shows would broadcast at the same day and time each week each season? People used to tune in for that media experience, sharing in a communal cultural experience.

We’ve lost that in the TV space (aside from breaking news, awards shows like the Oscars, or presidential campaigns). However, this real time media community experience is certainly re-emerging with live video on social media platforms and in private members’ communities.

It’s why you see private member areas included in digital product packages (online courses, monthly remote coaching).

Live video can and should be integrated into your monthly continuity program (your subscription program). Community-building in this specific model and with this audience of paying clients is exponential! Here’s why a subscription service is strategic for your personal brand.

If you do a monthly continuity program, going live for your paying clients each week or month is a great way to not only provide them with education and authenticity. It’s also effective in creating a felt sense of community, and to direct your prospects and clients in navigating and leveraging that community for their own benefit and personal/professional growth.

After all, you’ve curated a space where they can connect with like-minded people who are after similar personal or professional goals. You’re there live with them to invite them to engage, ask questions and connect with each other in real-time.

It’s a powerful opportunity to appeal to the humanity of your clients, while also leveraging the potential in learning more effectively in group settings.

Not only that, but going live for your community and really managing the community experience from that perch can increase subscription retention. You’re keeping things fresh and spontaneous, and if you’re good at what you do, your audience will want to stick around!

Depending on the level of curation you conduct with your clients, you can even diversify the group intentionally to allow your paying clients to learn about different industry spaces, thought movements, cultural paradigms, and more.

You may be concerned that people wouldn’t pay for your live video as part of a subscription service, since you’re going live for free on social media platforms.

Think again: 45% of audiences would pay for live video from a thought leader, brand or performer. So, get into the free and paid live video game!

#3. Live Video Offers the Portal to Real-Time Engagement (and Action) 

Increase Audience Engagement and Participation

People want to know that they’re engaging with a human being. Just as you get to share your authentic self through live video, you get to connect directly with your audience in real time in the process.

Live video provides a level of engagement that adds so much value to your community – not just to the people whose questions you’re answering, but also to those watching or listening.

These are great teaching opportunities when you field questions in real-time, allowing you to demonstrate your commitment to service, to connection with your community and to supporting them.

Providing that level of access to you only amplifies your relationship with them through diversifying the value you provide. And, people engage more in response to live video. For example, Facebook Live videos get 10 times more comments than regular videos.

Those numbers reveal that real-time engagement, and your live presence, increases user engagement.

Mobilize Your Audience to Take Action and Enter Your Funnel

Not only will you see your audience engage more, but you’ll also have the opportunity to mobilize them to take specific actions more readily (and train them to do so in the future).

One area where live video has been tremendously impactful is list building. You can go from having a dozen email subscribers on your list, to over 10K email subscribers within 6 months of doing consistent live video on social media platforms. We’re talking just a few times a week going live to experience that kind of organic growth!

Toward that end, make sure you have the marketing assets available to capture names and email addresses within your social media platforms. For example, set up your lead magnet in your Instagram bio, and drive live video viewers to opt in.

You can also leverage live video to promote your higher ticket products and services.

For example, you may go live on Instagram providing a training on how to achieve XYZ. Throughout that complimentary training, you can mention your small group mentorship program, where you go deeper into these concepts with your clients. At the end of the live video, you can let your audience know that you have 3 spots left in that mentorship program, and to click on the link in your bio to apply for a spot before Friday.

Live video allows you to capture people’s attention and leverage temporal urgency. The ingredients for converting leads into clients.

Remember: Live video offers increased brand awareness, which is great.

However, make sure to mobilize your audience to take specific actions that allow them to experience your products and services on a deeper level. Prepare landing pages and community engagement opportunities for your audience to go to after they’ve watched your video.

Final Thoughts

Remember: content is everything, and live video is the whipped cream topping that everything.

Whether you explore live video on social media platforms like Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, or Livestream , or you’re using more robust platforms like Ustream to go live for paying clients, diving into the deep end of this modality is sure to deliver you increased brand awareness, engagement and depth of action from your community that overrides all other content marketing strategies.

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