Will live video kick the s*** out of my paid social media campaigns?

3 minutes read
Adam - 16.12.2016
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The question of everyone's lips - what exactly does live video mean for your paid social media campaigns

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My nan used to always tell me, "what goes around comes around." This was mainly because I was a horrible little terror. More recently, when I was at a talk about live video during HubSpot's Inbound16 conference, the phrase popped back into my head for two reasons. 

My first thought was: Why do people seem surprised by the popularity of livestreaming? Just like my nan's favourite phrase, live video is just a result of viewing trends we have seen developing over the past few years and recycling through previous incarnations of TV.

My second thought was: Thank god this wasn't around for my nan to use during my embarrassing childhood.

So why has live video got biddable nerds panicking? Primarily because they don't understand how to identify its place in their channel mix and utilise it properly. If you're a bit confused too, don't worry. All is explained below.

It's all cyclical

When TV was first conceived, it was all broadcast live. This then moved to scripted TV, then reality TV. In recent years, it's moved to scripted reality (seen in shows like Made in Chelsea).

Now with more advances in technology, it's moving into live video broadcast, which is just a natural evolution of TV - a kind of super reality, reality TV.

This by its nature is not the same as conventional TV. Although it may be contrived at times, the lack of scripting makes it reactionary, subjective and unpredictable.

Once you acknowledge this as inherent in live video, you can see two clear strands of content begin to appear - influential content and reactionary content. In simpler terms, content that creates reaction, and reaction to content.

Why Westworld won

The best example of both these types of content working together can be seen in the recent success of TV series Westworld. This show even topped Game of Thrones' viewing figures. This was not just down to Thandi Newton (a personal favourite) but also the producers' in-depth understanding of how to create and play content mediums off each other. 

Lots of producers love to put Easter eggs in their work, little esoteric references that fans love and obsess over but are hard to catch. Westworld did this to a tee, putting extended focus on objects or scenes that had some hidden significance.

The big secret was that these scenes didn't have any significance at all. This strategy purposefully complicated the story, hooking viewers in and stoking the social media fire.

Westworld also had actors and producers live videocast during the episode viewings, increasing the social hype and creating live video Easter eggs for the fans to ponder over.

This also worked perfectly, creating hype, sparking fan theories and driving up social shares, opinion videos and every other form of media reaction. Again, the result was free advertising and record viewing figures.

So what does all this have to do with live video? Well, they understood that live video was another tool they could be used to create reaction and build hype. They found a way to build it into their channel mix and adapt it for maximum affect.

Don't panic, adapt

Biddable nerds have seen these impressive live video stats, and some I've spoken with are feeling a bit panicked as a result. 1200% higher engagement with live video! +2 relevance score with live video! What does this mean for my poor paid social media campaigns!

In short, nothing really, so long as you position your content and channels right. If you create great content, accelerate it with paid social media, then supplement with additional channels such as live video, you can nurture and convert this traffic easily.

For example, you could create a campaign to attract consumers, then run a live video Q&A session with them, using this footage as part of a paid campaign. If you repeat this process, you can create effective content while nurturing your product community to conversion.

Need help with your paid social media campaigns?

This is just a basic example, but through experimentation you should be able to fit live video into your existing channel mix.

So don't be afraid of how live videocasts will affect your paid social media campaigns. Just identify how you can use this technology and adapt it to your current processes.

Lead generation is a balancing act between consumers, businesses and a whole host of other stakeholders. But don't panic our blog "Everything you need to know about lead generation (and some stuff you don't)" will give you an outline of how you can nail your lead generation.

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