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Why you need to embrace live content today (and 5 examples for inspiration)

Live Social Media Content

If you read my blog about organic vs paid social media the other week, you would have seen that social media platforms are giving video (especially live video) organic preference or larger organic reach than other post types.

Practically all social media platforms have adjusted their algorithms to show live content first. Some have even added features to make it easier to create and consume live content (Instagram stories, Facebook stories and Facebook Live, for example). This is in line with the platforms’ objectives of improving the users’ experience and keeping people on their platforms longer.

If you open the Facebook app and see a post from three days ago from a brand you hardly engage with, a long whinging spiel from a distance cousin and a photo of some food from someone you met overseas four years ago, you’re not going to be very pleased with your experience. Live content makes users feel connected and it’s easy to engage with. From a brand’s point of view it’s a meaningful touch point.

Former Disney CEO Michael Eisner says: “A brand is a living entity – and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.”

In an online environment where customers are wanting to connect with you socially, you cannot rely on traditional forms of marketing to engage. No longer are one-off billboards or newspaper ads enough to make your customers choose you over your competitors, and nor is the traditional social post.

Improve the thousand small gestures

If a customer or potential customer has liked, followed or connected with you on a social platform, you have the opportunity (or in my opinion, the responsibility) to nurture that person into a customer or an advocate of your brand. Now that doesn’t mean you have to post strategic content on Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, Instagram and Pinterest every day. You do need a strategy to make sure your voice, goals and content pillars are in order, but outside of that, it can be a simple touchpoint with your brand.

Social platforms are literally handing brands free airtime with live video and story content. You don’t have to pay for reach, and fans are much more likely to engage than with a normal post. A finding that came out of the recent Social Media Marketing World conference was that 70% of Instagram’s daily users were using Instagram stories and just this week the number of daily active users creating or viewing Instagram stories hit 250 million.

These people are watching stories take place as they happen. And what better way to connect than to slip your brand’s story in a non-disruptive way right between your followers’ friends. Instagram for business just got a whole lot more meaningful.

Play to the platform’s strengths

It’s not just Instagram giving brands this opportunity, almost all channels have a comparable product. Here’s some of my favourite examples of brands’ using live content.

Miss Bliss‘ Instagram Story

Why it’s good: Miss Bliss has used its Instagram story to feature a new blog with a recipe for vegan spelt cookies – a sure hit with the Miss Bliss audience. The easy access (simply swipe up to see more) makes it a seamless yet high-value experience for the viewer. I’d give it a 10 for relevance and a 10 for customer experience!

Visit Brisbane’s Facebook Live of the lighting of the Christmas Tree

Why it’s good: If you hit play on the video above you will quickly noticed the length of the video – almost 40 minutes. Now, in most cases this would be a big no-no. Holding peoples’ attention for that long is generally unattainable and you would expect a lot of negative comments. But what actually happened is that it gave people a long enough time to see the video live, experience the atmosphere of the crowd and participate in the conversation – tree lit or not. The tree lights don’t come on until 35 minutes, probably not intended by the videographer but a success none the less!

The Design Files‘ Instagram Story

Why it’s good: Repurposing content is genius. You don’t have to be out in the field making content every damn day if you simply can not be. The Design Files has taken a collection from its website and turned it into bite size chunks for its Instagram story. Again, you can swipe up for more.

Thankyou’s Facebook Live of the launch of its baby range

Why it’s good: The engagement on this video is average, but the views are modest. Thankyou has used Facebook Live to amplify the launch of its baby range. Now an extra 3512 know about it, i’d call that a win!

Doodad and Fangango’s UGC Instagram Story

Why it’s good: Using UGC (user generated content) on Instagram is a no brainer (I could write another whole blog on that!). It’s a really easy way to connect your brand to your audience, and Doodad and Fandango have done just that. I’d give it a 10 for authenticity.