The live streaming market worldwide is projected to grow from $30.29 Billion in 2016 to $70.05 Billion by 2021
(source: Markets and Markets)
With so much noise out there, one of the most effective ways to break through is live video storytelling. I refer to the wide range of live video expressions from social live video, video conferencing, to live events. In this post, I am not talking about Webinars but any live video show with live talking heads indoors or outdoors, private or public.
Why? Simply because you got nowhere to hide!
Through all of these use cases, your authentic personality comes out with no filters or funny handle nicknames to hide behind. It’s the closest thing to meeting you in person and forming an accurate impression. True, you can apply editing or lighting acrobatics, but at the end of the day, people form their first impression on the first few seconds of viewing.
It’s your appearance, voice, outfit, location and delivery style that cause your audience’s “storytelling mind” to form an instant story about what they see. That story is typically comprised of subjective meanings that each viewer pulls from their own personal baggage of past experiences/beliefs, and a sprinkle of objective meanings – norms – that will most likely are perceived the same across a specific audience segment.
So if you’re working on building your audience either running the show for your startup or as part of a marketing team, you may want to think about your live video strategy. You start by pulling together the narrative pieces: Setup, conflict, and resolution that you’ll leverage through your live video program.
Identifying your goals (aka setup)
Like any other campaign you drive, you need to define your business goals. What are you trying to accomplish? Create a program to drive brand awareness, lead generation, establish strategic partnerships, improve customer service, indirectly boost sales? These are all valid goals. Select the one with the highest business priority and assign quantified success targets.
Establishing your audience wants (aka conflict)
A good place to start is by analyzing your audience wants – establishing the conflict your live video program will focus on. These days, your audience leaves tracks and signals all over the place for you to pick up; from the keywords they used to land on your Website, your most visited pages, popular hashtags on social, hot topics they discuss on their favorite platform/s, related news in your industry, hot topics your competitors are pushing out and stories customers share with your sales and customer service teams. For large and enterprise levels companies, you most likely have a research team, so all the above and more should be part of their mandate
It’s a good idea to run an audience audit with variant levels of depth for each of your top 3 buyer persona segments weekly, monthly, and quarterly. This intel will serve you as a “grand GPS” to direct all your storytelling activities across channels.
Aligning audience wants with your company’s solution (aka resolution)
Once you know what are the top pain points (negative) or brag points (positive) your audience cares about the most, start exploring what would be the strategic BIG STORY you want your program to achieve. This BIG STORY should align your audience problem with your company’s mission and resolution (i.e., products/services).
Define your video delivery experience
Next, it’s time to explore your live video delivery experience that would make sense. If your company plans to roll out offline events in the near future, see if you can live-stream them and include either core content or extra guests that will talk about your audience problem.
Video of a live event increases brand favorability by 63%
Another option, still under the events category, is to create a recurring live video show where you can interview experts discussing your audience problem and showcase examples.
Both options should include a signup form for lead generation and Q&A mechanism for pre and during show engagement.
Depending on your product and your audience core hangouts, with the advent of live social video like Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube Live, and as of recent Snapchat spectacles – you can also create a live video show around your audience. Better yet, you may want to identify your brand top influencers and get them to play a specific role in your show.
People spend, on average, more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video than a video that’s no longer live
For offline businesses, that’s super easy just come up with a core show theme and interview your customers at the store, down the street – in “their natural habitat.” They’ll share ideas, rants and humanize your brand in the process. For online businesses, you can invite them to meet you at a certain place at a certain time and create a local buzz with the extra help of your business partners.
The above strategy is also very effective when featuring your employees talking about different aspects of your product/service and giving your audience an authentic backstage view.
With mobile live social video, marketers today have an amazing opportunity to storytell their BIG STORY outside the office, on-location, unscripted, unedited with real people and real stories. This level of narrative transparency, allows the good and the bad to organically surface and this way elevate empathy and trust to your brand.
Your live video program will also generate a ton of content you can repurpose; from pre-show blog posts, visual memes, bite-size quotes after the show and show notes archive.
And final words…
As a brand story maker, it’s all about creating a meaningful experience for your audience that:
Thematically addresses their problem
Gives them an active role in your show, through Q&A or guest appearance;
Makes them coming back for more by constantly adding value;
And in the process, transforms them into your revved up storytellers on your behalf.