The Undeniable Power of Live Video

Social Media Marketing World Insights

Social Media Examiner was one of the first publications on the scene for social. Since 2013, they’ve hosted Social Media Marketing World—a massive three day conference in San Diego that over 40,000 marketers have attended, collectively.

Among those marketers are our Director of Social Media, Brie Wristbridge, and Social Media Coordinator & Graphic Designer, Laura Rupprecht. They go every year to ensure that Haven Media & Marketing lives up to our promise to keep clients abreast and ahead of the latest trends. We’ll be posting a series of four blogs over the next two months to highlight what they learned.

The undeniable power of live video

It used to be that the only entities capable of producing a live broadcast were major networks. You needed a TV crew, infrastructure, and access to the airwaves.

Technology has flipped all of that. Most people have a powerful video camera in their pocket, and affordable data and abundant, free WiFi gives airwave access to all. It was only a matter of time before the social platforms gave us the means to reach an audience. Facebook did just that in 2015, rolling it out to high profile users first then to the public in 2016.

Once Haven had access, we included it in several of our clients’ strategies. Our biggest success story is with our very favorite restaurant client Anthony’s Creative Italian Cuisine. After returning from Social Media Marketing World in 2016, Brianna came up with an idea for a live cooking show that “aired” twice a month.

We presented the idea to our client and they were quickly on board. It took a lot of strategy and planning to put together a successful, ongoing live event. It was more than just a video shoot! The chefs spent several hours prepping food, coming up with menus and getting camera ready. But boy, did it perform. We’ve had over half a million views on our live streams since 2016 and we’ve created loyal viewers by delivering high quality, engaging content on a consistent basis.

Like any good television show, the success of the live program depends on vivid personality and quality production. Brand consistency is key as well—perhaps purposely imperfect lighting and shot framing is complementary to the brand, or perhaps it needs to be tight and polished like a daytime talk show. We’ve found that for live events, a minimum of two people on camera helps to maintain dynamism and energy—especially if they’re not running with a script!

Just how successful can it be? One study compared normal uploaded Facebook videos to live ones. Some of their initial findings are eye popping:

  • Reach: 222% higher for live videos
  • Comments: 7,000% higher for live videos (not a typo. Seven. Thousand).
  • Shares: 2,500% higher for live videos

Grains of salt: this study was done on a somewhat small sample of videos, and it is possible that Facebook throttles results to bolster a new feature. Either way, with figures that enormous we’re comfortable in suggesting that live videos generally outperform recorded and will naturally create more engagement.