The Metacake Checklist For Creating Successful Videos For Facebook & Instagram Live

I don’t know if you’ve seen our Youtube channel lately, but we love using video to communicate concepts. And it should be no surprise that Facebook’s algorithm loves video content. Facebook Live took off like a rocketship when it launched in 2016. Three years later, some brands are wondering if this is still a relevant channel for marketers and business owners to utilize. We’re voting yes. Why?

Facebook (and Instagram) Live are a fantastic way to show authenticity as a brand. Now more than ever, customers seek transparency. Is anything more vulnerable than broadcasting live in front of a large following? Live videos are inherently unproduced and raw, and those are the elements that can help build trust.

With that in mind, read on for our favorite ways to use Facebook & Instagram Live, our checklist for creating a successful video, and a few words of caution!

Ways to Use Facebook & Instagram Live

How you use Facebook Live and what you use it to promote depends on your brand, but here are several ways we’ve seen success for ecommerce brands:

  • Behind the scenes at your office, headquarters, or store
  • Broadcasting company events
  • Webinar-style live events educating on how to get value out of your product
  • Engaging with brand partners or customers
  • New product sneak peeks
  • Interviews with team members
  • Answering FAQs (this may sound boring, but it’s a big one!)

Best Practices for Facebook Live

1. Plan thoroughly

We’ve all heard the saying “if you fail to plan, plan to fail.” Even though live videos are unproduced, you need to have a purpose and a strategy like you would on any other channel.

2. Outline your content ahead of time

Definitely think through what you’re going to say prior to going live. What is the purpose of engaging with audience today? What is a clear call-to-action you can provide at the end of the video? Of course, you’ll want to be sure your message is relevant to your brand and appropriate for your audience. Practice and rehearse ahead of time if needed, keeping in mind the short attention span of this medium. If it’s clear that this was a spontaneous video with no real purpose, the audience will drop off in the first 10 seconds.

3. Use a calendar

“Planned spontaneity” may be an oxymoron, but it’s necessary for Facebook and Instagram Live. Schedule your live videos on your marketing calendar alongside other important dates. A great way to build engagement is to go live at the same time each week so your audience will come to expect it and look forward to it.

4. Promote ahead of time

Make sure your customers and brand fans know about your live video ahead of time so they know to tune in! You can invite them via email, post about it on your Facebook page, or encourage them to spread the word. We recommend announcing that you’ll be going live and introducing what will be covered a week in advance. Remind your audience a couple more times throughout the week and the day of.

5. How long to stay on?

Facebook recommends staying on for at least 10 minutes, but you can technically stay on for up to 4 hours. If you still have interesting things to say, keep it going! Keeping an eye on how long your customers stick around to watch will give you a good idea of how to long to talk as well.

6. Engage with your audience

Encourage your audience to interact with you by commenting, asking questions, or sending reactions. When they do, thank them by name and engage! Fans love the personal element of Facebook and Instagram Live, so use that to your advantage. Keep in mind that people will likely join you throughout the video, so it doesn’t hurt to pause mid-way and briefly bring newcomers up to speed.

Your video will also remain on your Facebook page after the Live video ends, and it can keep accumulating reactions and comments as more people watch it.

Bonus: Words of Caution

Understandably, using Facebook and Instagram Live comes with some risk. The rawness of it means room for huge mistakes if the video is not carefully planned and executed. Be careful who is running the show! This isn’t for the new social media intern to run or for someone who only dabbles in Facebook from time to time. Mistakes on a live video can put your brand reputation on the line, so make sure it’s run by someone who is familiar with this space.

At the end of the day, like any other marketing channel, Facebook and Instagram Live videos are all about the content and making sure it’s engaging for the audience. You have the opportunity to communicate things that your fans and potential customers will care about so plan thoroughly and test a variety of options to find what brings the best engagement!


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