Why you should be talking about Facebook Live

Since the launch of Facebook Live in the spring of 2016, its marketing worth has not yet been fully utilised. Yet with some of the biggest brands demonstrating that Facebook Live can be highly valuable when integrated into a digital marketing strategy, there’s no time like the present to sit up and take note of the lessons that can be learned.

The latest gimmick?

When Facebook announced it was launching Live for all Facebook users in April 2016 (having previously only been available to a small number of users and verified pages), Mark Zuckerberg hailed the move as ‘a big shift in how we communicate [that’s] going to create new opportunities for people to come together.’ The idea itself wasn’t a novel one, with fans of Twitter-backed Periscope keen to point out that live video for the masses had already existed for a full year.

And yet, as with many of Facebook’s initiatives, an already large user base and high daily traffic levels meant that the launch was broadly viewed as a successful move. As early as May 2016, marketers were beginning to explore the potential value of Facebook Live for strategy, with AdWeek declaring it ‘The Future for Marketers’.

With commentators such as Business Review Europe claiming that within only eight months of launching, Facebook Live is beginning to challenge more traditional broadcast advertising and even the likes of YouTube, the case for building a Live strategy is strong.

Brands to follow

One tried and tested method for getting started on a new platform is to look to those who are doing it right for inspiration. Despite its relative infancy, already a number of influential brands have successfully utilised Facebook Live as part of their campaign. Here are a few of our favourites:

Joe Wicks, The Body Coach

A personal branding powerhouse, Joe Wicks seems to have exploded onto every screen available at lightning speed. Releasing his first book ‘Lean in 15’ back in December 2015, he has gone on to host his own Channel 4 TV show and accumulate an almost messianic following of his meal and exercise plans.

As far as brands go, Wicks knows a thing or two about using Facebook Live. Regularly using the platform to stream workouts, question and answer sessions and recipes to his almost 2.3 million Facebook followers, The Body Coach has successfully tapped into an ever growing audience of people looking to become fitter and healthier, without the time and financial commitments that many programmes demand.

Capitalising on the frenzy of New Year fitness resolutions, Wicks most recently began his January Bootcamp sessions, using Facebook Live to encourage his followers to tune in and work out with him. With his first video watched by 382,000 viewers, it is an engagement rating big enough to turn even the most seasoned brands green with envy.

Facebook itself has recognised the strength of Joe Wicks’ strategy, and has recently run an interesting article and video on his successful use of Facebook and Instagram content marketing. Facebook points out that ‘Joe and his team are quick to embrace new formats that allow them to connect with their audience in new ways’, and that by creating a good mix of pre-recorded content and spontaneous, ad-hoc reactions to events, The Body Coach team has shown that low-fi, relatable content is what audiences currently crave.

Boohoo.com

Another British brand leading the way with Facebook Live is Boohoo.com. Recently hitting the top of The Drum’s ‘20 most viewed branded Facebook Live videos in 2016’ (originally compiled by Social Bakers), Boohoo gained over 300,000 interactions with their Black Friday Giveaway.

Asking customers to comment their answer to a range of trivia questions for a chance to win prizes from the online collection, Boohoo successfully caught the attention of the huge number of online shoppers scouring the internet on Black Friday. With a chatty, informal brand voice and high level of constant interaction with players, Boohoo has shown that Facebook Live can be more than just a one-way communication tool.

For Digiday UK, Boohoo’s Live outing is ‘a prime example of a brand leveraging Facebook’s API to deliver live video that isn’t really video at all’, and a successful way to add ‘drama and urgency’ to the event.

With Facebook Live showing no sign of slowing, and in fact recently announcing new forays in the market (such as an audio-only collaboration with the BBC’s World Service and live group chat features to rival Apple’s FaceTime or Google’s Hangout), brands need to be talking about how Facebook Live can work for their marketing strategy.

As brands like The Body Coach and Boohoo have shown, Facebook Live can offer brands a personal, interactive way to communicate with their consumers and drive brand loyalty, trust and ultimately sales. With Forbes suggesting that video is ‘no longer an accessory’ but a necessity, 2017 could be the year your brand goes Live.

If you need some practical guidance on how to get started with Facebook Live, this handy HubSpot article can help you get acquainted with the basics, or contact us today to find out how OTB can help.

Why you should be talking about Facebook Live