Facebook Live: What Can Brands Learn?

Facebook Live is arguably the perfect video format on Facebook. Compared to other formats, Live videos attract higher reach and engagement while providing plenty of room for creativity. But are Brands and Media companies really taking advantage of the live-stream? We delve into the data to find out.

Facebook Live was first launched in 2015 and was gradually made available to all platform users over the course of 2016. Within this time, Facebook went out of its way to encourage the use of the new format. For example, it changed its News Feed algorithm to favor Live videos and created a special video section where users can easily find Live content relevant to them.

Facebook users were quick to test out the new format which came with many added benefits, such as:

  • Longer Videos - With as much as 4 hours of video time at their disposal, marketers can create more in-depth content, such as product demos, QA sessions or event coverages. 
  • Real-time Communication - Live content allows businesses to build an immediate connection with their audience and interact with the viewers in real-time. 
  • Higher reach - According to Socialbakers data, 80% of brands receive higher Organic Reach with Facebook Live videos over native videos!
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These new perks alongside Facebook's initiative to favor Live videos quickly popularized the format. Over the course of just the past year, daily watch time of Live videos increased by 4x, surpassing the average watch time of traditional video content.



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To dig deeper into the adoption of Facebook Live videos, we analyzed the content of 1,000 of the biggest Brand and Media Facebook Pages published between January 2016 - July 2017. 

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When it comes to Facebook Live, Media Pages are paving the way. On average, 46% of Media Pages published at least one Facebook Live video within the examined time range - that's over 4x more compared to Brands!

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Media also publish more Facebook Live videos compared to Brands. While Media Pages published nearly 150,000 Facebook Live videos, this number was 23x lower for Brands.

So why can’t Brands catch up with Media to leverage the power of Facebook Live?

In short, it's because Brands struggle to find a subject worth streaming - one that would be both aligned with their overall messaging and suitable for live videos. While it's easy for news outlets to use the Live format for real-time event coverages or interviews, it isn’t as straightforward for Brands.

This doesn't mean Brands can't tap into the potential of Facebook Live. It’s quite the contrary - there are plenty of creative ways for companies to go live. And if there's one thing that Brands can learn from Media, it's to focus on the art of storytelling. Every live video should tell an appealing story that unfolds in real-time which will keep the audiences engaged.

Here are several ideas for live-friendly content that any business can implement: 

  • Branded events - streaming your events is not only a perfect fit for the live format, but it also allows you to effectively promote your company.
  • Influencers and celebrities - featuring social celebs in your videos allows your community to interact with them in real-time, which can generate high engagement and publicity. 
  • Tutorials - demonstrating how to use your products and answering your viewers' incoming questions can help you strengthen customer relationships.
  • Behind-the-scenes - giving your audiences a sneak-peek at how things work in your office is a great way to showcase an authentic side of your business. 
  • Contests - hosting Facebook Live contests can encourage your audience to actively participate and interact before the live-stream ends.
The Takeaway

Facebook Live videos offer marketers a wide range of great features that no other format can compete with. In addition, Live videos are favored by Facebook and achieve better results compared to native videos.

That's why companies should embrace the format and make it an essential part of their content strategy - especially that the Live video adoption rate is still low for Brands. Savvy marketers can jump on this opportunity and create authentic experiences for their audience that will keep them engaged and coming back for more.

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