The opportunity for live video is clear.
If you’re a B2B or B2C marketer looking to build a stronger connection with your prospects, customers or even internal stakeholders, live video is an essential tool.
Many Enterprise marketers complain that they’re not confident in the production value they can provide, but with amazing smartphone cameras, that feels a bit like a cop-out, doesn’t it?
Live video can be scary because there isn’t the ability to go back and take out the flubs in your last sentence. But that’s okay – you’re not a robot! The fear of making a mistake in real-time is holding your brand back! Meanwhile, audiences aren’t there to watch you fail, they’re tuning in because they’re interested in what you have to say!
Keep reading to find out how to give audiences what they want.
Why You Need to Try LIVE Instead of Just Producing Another Corporate Video
Since video has been an option for a long time, why all the hubbub around LIVE?
Live streaming creates a sense of urgency and immediacy that’s hard to replicate with on-demand video. All live video feels like breaking news. People want to be part of an event while it’s happening (they love seeing their sentiments and reactions on the screen) and place greater value on an event when there’s only one chance to be in on the action. Curiosity peaks – what will happen next? What will they tell me that I don’t already know? (ie. I hope I’m not missing anything!)
Now, thanks to our mobile devices and low-bandwidth video, viewers can access live events from wherever they are. Furthermore, with the right talent, you can push out videos real-time as they’re necessary. Video production can be timely and expensive.
How to Stay Comfortable in Front of a Live Audience
Simply put? Don’t over-rehearse your content.
People are more relatable when they’re not reading a script or having their comments edited. While you want to be prepared before producing a quality live video, you should use that preparation as your strong foundation, not a line-by-line guide. Let your personality and unexpected moments shine through.
Other ways to be more personable and shine in front of the camera?
Treat your audience like they’re a favorite colleague: Put on a friendly face! Pretend you’re talking to your best friend – or that really kickass lady from the Bejing office that you only get to see twice a year. Those meetups are always nice, right? Adopting a conversational tone, versus a corporate one, you might find that the corners of your mouth naturally tilt up and you listen a little more intently. Yes, just like that. Perfect.
Don’t get ahead of yourself: Try not to talk too fast and become comfortable pausing. Common “verbal bridges” like ahs and ums don’t serve any purpose other than allowing you to think. Instead, be comfortable with silence. They’ll wait. I understand this can be a difficult habit to break, so I suggest practicing before you go on-air and asking friends to hold you accountable. Practice makes perfect, try speaker training or join a local Toastmasters group to improve your speaking skills. But in the meantime, keep filming!
Project confidence and passion: Live video builds authority. Essential qualities for being on camera? Knowing and liking what you do. It’s as simple as that. Live video personalities should be subject matter experts (SMEs) and love diving into their work. Don’t let insecurity take away your authority. Leave the imposter syndrome behind and practice power posing if you have to. Yes, someone may ask a question you don’t know. It’s okay to say, “That’s a great question and I’m going to find someone who knows the answer for you, and circle back.” Coming back to a Q&A session at a later date might be a great follow-up video to shoot live, host a Twitter chat, or you could send out an email with this on-demand content.
Think these tips are just for live video? Think again. With video communications becoming a more integral part of our day-to-day lives, it’s an essential professional skill to deliver ideas in front of a camera. I like to call it “video fluency.” You’re already a Zoom star, right? Get into it!
More Quick Tips to Create Better Live Video for Your B2B
- Grab attention quickly: My least favorite part of a live event like a webinar is when the host delays starting to let more attendees “come in”. When social video creators do this, they’re wasting time and opportunity. Channel a broadcast mentality – start with energy and deliver your mission statement for the video. Why is your audience there? What are they going to learn? As you continue to shoot, you can re-state certain items as more attendees join the video cast. Again, take your cues from the live TV newscaster. It’s okay to say, “If you’re just joining us…” and then quickly summarize what is taking place.
- Make it easy to interact: Live video is popular because digital natives want to interact! They’re more engaged during live streaming events than any other, making use of sentiment buttons and chat rolls. Solicit the interaction as well. I have seen some fantastic live streamers say, “give me a heart if you’re into that or want me to talk about that more.” It’s a quick way to poll your audience and let them drive the direction of the content.
- Source the best reactions: Enlist some help and have team members on hand to pick out the best questions to answer or comments to mention. This shows your audience that your brand is listening, not just broadcasting (read that again, its important). Try pausing throughout the live-stream to answer questions. Test the effectiveness of when it’s best to give these breaks for interaction, for both internal and external live streams, so you can optimize content for the most engagement.
Live streaming brings value to brands because it gives you an opportunity to interact with audiences in real-time, forging more personal relationships, and growing audience engagement. It’s paramount to forgo any fears or hesitations and explore live video as a component of your video marketing strategy.
A the end of the day, show consideration for your audience and making them feel included. Live video is inherently about community – start building your b2b community today.
Want more? Check out how we break down B2B videos that are bringing creativity and fun to the field. Each post features three or more examples and creative concepts you can steal!
The Creative B2B Video Series
Retention: How to Use Video to Retain B2B Customers
For those that are a bit more technical or looking to try interactive video, here are some resources to get you started.
Advanced Video Concepts
A version of this post appeared on the Brightcove Video Marketing Blog June 29th, 2017. It was edited for clarity, brand impartiality, and relevance and republished April 3rd, 2020. Enjoy!