A new report by Cisco states that by 2019, four-fifths of the global Internet traffic will be in the form of videos. This statistic may come as a surprise only to those who haven’t logged into the Internet in the past five years. Over the past decade, video content has transformed into the primary form of online communication thanks to the proliferation of video-centric social media sites like YouTube, Snapchat, Vine and many more. While mobile phones and DSLRs are doing their bit to ensure laymen can wield the lens like a pro, these websites are making it easier for people to quickly share and propagate their online content. And as average Internet speeds go up across the globe, more and more people are firing up videos by the dozen every hour. Blogs have become Vlogs, simple social media posts have turned into elaborate GIFs and the average Internet consuming audience is no longer satisfied with a pretty picture and fancy words. Give us videos they say; and Facebook hears, and responds.
Being the social media pioneer that it is, Facebook decided to climb aboard the bandwagon of interactive video content by introducing Facebook Live last year. Facebook Live basically offers individuals and brands the opportunity to stream live video to their friends and followers. Brands have been quick to take notice and many resorted to conventional live streaming strategies. But the point to remember here is that Facebook is primarily a social media site which means increased interaction and deeper engagement. For the first time, brands have the delicious opportunity of engaging, conversing, enticing and repeatedly addressing their audience all in one place. In the past year, not many brands managed to harness the full power of Facebook Live, but those who did, have set a blazing path for the rest to follow. Here are some of the best ones.
It came as no surprise when YouTube content titans Buzzfeed were amongst the first to demonstrate the power of Facebook Live. The New York based viral content creation company have been creating Live videos for all sorts of things but the most improbably successful one involves two fake scientists conducting an experiment on a watermelon. What’s the experiment you ask? To see how many rubberbands can be tied around a watermelon before it explodes. The 45 minute live video was watched by millions of people across the globe and has raked in 11 million views since then. The success of the video demonstrated that the live engagement factor of the experience ensured that people were willing to watch even something silly, just as long as it’s entertaining and happening in real time. The added suspense of the impending watermelon explosion added to engagement of the video.
Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ize9m_-kqGE
Chevrolet has mainly centred its Facebook Live strategy around promoting their new models and sharing tips on cars and driving in general. When Chevrolet launched its electric 2017 Bolt EV at the CES tradeshow last year, they streamed the event live on Facebook. The 25 minute long stream garnered 56,000 views and over 800 comments. While one may argue that Chevrolet did not do anything special, the takeaway here is that they capitalized on that which was of special interest to their target audience. Car junkies love tradeshows and Chevrolet gave them the opportunity to experience it live the way one would watch a live sports match. Simple yet effective.
Who isn’t fascinated by the beautiful designs baristas manage to draw on our coffees? Tastemade, a company known for producing superior food and travel related content took this simple concept and made a brilliant Facebook Live video out of it. The 16 minute video basically demonstrates how steamed milk is used to expertly draw those designs on coffees. The masterstroke however was when they started taking requests from people who were watching the video live. This created an irresistible opportunity of interaction for viewers, making this a benchmark for how Facebook Live can engage with viewers on the fly.
Grazia, an Italian women’s magazine with an international edition, has probably made the best use of Facebook Live till date. As part of a special community issue, the Grazia team headed to the London headquarters of Facebook and shot a live video which basically curated the next issue with live audience feedback. The editors went through footage from the week and encouraged viewers to send in their comments and suggestions. It also involved a live debate on the then burning Brexit topic, once again, welcoming live interaction from the audience.
While YouTube may be the new TV, Facebook Live is in fact the new Live TV. Online beauty brand Benefit understood this and created an episodic Facebook Live series called Tipsy Tricks that airs every Thursday. It basically involves beauty tips and quick makeup fixes. Again, it stands out from the rest by inviting live audience to send in requests which are then discussed on the show. It effectively manages to get people to interact with them more about beauty fixes while they subtly promote their beauty products.