Surviving as a B2B business relies heavily upon your ability to generate new sales leads. A strong strategy for finding new leads will combine a variety of methods, with the aim to engage with people and create interest around your brand, products, and services. An effective way to do this is through live video streaming. If you want to add another dimension to your lead generation strategy but need some guidance on how to go about it, we’ve got some tips to help you on your way.
Far from being some social media fad, live video streaming is a valuable tool used by businesses of all sizes, from budding entrepreneurs to huge corporations. The reason why they’re a popular form of marketing is because they provide a quick way to communicate a message to your target audience for a minimal cost.
Though live videos can be used as a marketing tool, they should not be solely regarded as a way of pushing products or services in a ‘salesy’ way – their success is down to their ability to engage with people, build relationships, and open the channel of communication. Your videos are less likely to have a positive response if people feel like it’s just another sales pitch.
There’s a sense of immediacy and transparency with live videos that you don’t get with other forms of marketing, but with that comes an element of vulnerability – there’s a greater margin for error with a live streaming event, so the audience tends to be a bit more forgiving and understanding if things go awry.
That said, a poorly-executed video can be seriously damaging to a business’s reputation. A well-planned and effectively delivered video strengthens brand awareness, increases engagement, and ultimately generates more sales leads by getting people interested and excited about what your business offers.
Choosing a platform for streaming
There are many free live streaming platforms available; some of the most popular ones include Facebook Live, Periscope, and YouTube Live.
What equipment you’ll need
You can easily stream from a smartphone or a tablet, providing they have a camera. This is great for when you’re on-the-go, or at an event where you don’t want to lug a laptop around with you. You can even get a lightweight foldable tripod to free up your hands and keep the picture steady whilst you’re streaming.
Alternatively, you can use a built-in camera on a laptop, or a plug-in webcam. Most laptops will also have a built-in microphone, but If you’re using a desktop you may need to attach an external microphone.
This may seem like an obvious one, but you’ll need a decent internet connection to live stream videos. Wireless connection is best, but if you’re out and about then 4G should be sufficient.
Location and backdrop
This largely depends on what your video is about. The location and background will form part of your brand image, so think carefully about what impression and feeling you want to create.
If you’re live streaming at an event, then you’ll have a ready-made backdrop, capturing the atmosphere of the surroundings. At an event it’s worth considering the noise levels before going live, to make sure your audience can hear you clearly.
The objects, colours and textures in the background will have an impact on your audience. Whilst a plain white backdrop will be pretty dull and uninspiring, having multiple objects, clashing colours, or anything moving in the background can be distracting for people. You could try shooting the video in front of a wall with a bit of texture, such as stone or brick, or a bookshelf, to create a bit of intrigue.
The best live videos seem natural and spontaneous, but they will always have been carefully considered and planned beforehand. You don’t want to be reading off a script, but being clear about the structure and key talking points in your video will keep you focused.
As we’ve already mentioned, live videos as a marketing tool work best when they aren’t overtly trying to sell something. Make your video useful and relevant to your target audience, but on a topic which relates to your business.
Always consider your audience and their viewing experience – decide how you’ll open and close the video. You’ll should introduce yourself, your business, and an overview of what the video will be about so that your audience know what to expect. At the end of the video, thank everyone for watching and let them know when you’ll next be going live.
Be sure to mention your brand at some point during the video, and have a call to action either on the accompanying copy, or within the video itself. Tell your viewers what they need to do next and how they can find out more about your business.
Your video needs to be long enough to get a decent amount of engagement. The Facebook Live team suggests a minimum of two minutes to reach more people. You don’t want it to drag on for too long, but make sure it includes some interesting (and where appropriate, entertaining!) content to keep people watching.
Give your audience plenty of warning before the live streaming. Let them know a couple of days in advance, as well as leading up to the live event – remind your audience on the morning of the event, an hour before, and a few minutes before. The more you publicise the live video, the more likely people will be around to watch it and take an interest.
Before you go live, run through what you’re going to say, and have some prompts handy if you’re a little nervous. If you’re worried about muddling your words, have a whiteboard or a poster with key words or talking points positioned behind the screen to refer to.
Give the video a title or header that will hook your audience and make them want to watch. Include a call to action and a link to your website within the post description – if you’re streaming via Facebook then this should be on a page where you’ve embedded the Facebook Live feed.
Ask your audience to get involved by sharing the video, and encouraging them to comment and ask questions during the video. If you’re trying to build up your email list, include a link within the video description asking people to subscribe.
The whole point of live videos is to connect and communicate with your audience. Interact with people, say hello to commenters by name, and respond to their questions or comments live. Make your audience feel valued and able to be part of the live experience.
The more you can relate to people and make them feel like they’re involved, the more engaged they will be with your videos and your brand. Create an interesting, inspiring and entertaining experience for your audience that will keep them coming back every time you post. By following these tips for live streaming, you’ll build a stronger brand and show people why your products/services are worth paying attention to. Use live videos regularly as part of your lead generation strategy and you’ll start converting your audience into sales leads in no time at all!