Marketers don’t always take a video-first approach when it comes to their social media strategy — especially in the B2B space. There are common misconceptions that B2B marketing is formal or even stuffy, which would seem to preclude video altogether.
In reality, marketing across all verticals has one basic thing in common: You’re talking to people. And what better way to talk to someone than to use engaging video that they can see and hear?
Incorporating video content into your social media strategy can inject energy into your marketing and bring your brand’s story to life in a way other content simply can’t. Video can also humanize your brand and showcase the friendly faces behind your company.
We know what you’re thinking — video sounds great, but how do I get started? How do I decide what types of videos to make? And don’t I need professional video equipment or a production studio? (Spoiler alert: While those things are nice to have, you certainly don’t need a Marvel-level setup to create stunning social videos.)
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you rethink the way you approach your social strategy. From creating and editing video content to distributing your videos across multiple platforms, to measuring the impact and success of your social videos — we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn how to start and scale your social video efforts!
In this comprehensive guide to social media, it’s also crucial that we cover why live streaming is useful for B2B brands today.
During the pandemic, live streaming became an important way for brands and businesses to engage their audiences. And, according to research conducted by the cloud multistreaming service Restream, 91% of businesses plan to keep streaming after COVID and 81% say it will be a social media priority in 2021.
“91% of businesses plan to keep streaming after COVID and 81% say it will be a social media priority in 2021.”
When it comes to the benefits of investing in live streaming, there are a number of reasons why it doesn’t hurt to find a place for it in your video strategy:
- It’s less expensive than pre-recorded video. The only expenses are the upfront costs of your gear, which will vary depending on how important achieving professional-quality streaming is for your brand.
- Algorithms love live video. Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn, and Twitter have altered their algorithms to account for live streaming. These platforms are essentially encouraging their users to go live more often, and in turn, they’ll expand the audience reach of your videos to get more eyes on your content.
- Engage with your audience in real-time. With chat functions that can spur a natural back-and-forth between you and audience members, you have the opportunity to build a strong community for your brand.
Moving on to where you’ll host your live stream, choosing the best platform boils down to whether or not you have the right community on that platform. You should pick a platform because it makes sense for your audience and your intended content.
The most popular live streaming platforms for businesses and marketers today are Instagram Live, Facebook Live, LinkedIn Live, and YouTube Live. Software, like Open Broadcast Software and live event platforms, also exist that allow you to stream to a bunch of live streaming platforms simultaneously.
Here’s an overview of the four big live streaming platforms marketers and B2B brands can use to deepen relationships with their audience and reach new fans.
Instagram Live allows you to stream a live feed to your followers. No pre-recorded or edited videos allowed! This keeps live streams natural and authentic. Nervous about going live on your own? No sweat. Instagram Live makes it easy to invite another user “on stage” with you.
Going live is also a great way to increase discoverability. Followers will receive an in-app notification when you go live, and your live stream will be bumped to the front of their Stories screen for enhanced visibility.
And after you finish the broadcast, your Live video will stay on your Story for 24 hours. This gives more folks a chance to check out your live content well after the cameras stop rolling. You can even share your IG Live to IGTV after you’re done recording, giving it an even longer shelf life.
Now, let’s chat about Facebook Live videos. Live streaming has become an important way for brands and businesses to actively engage their audiences; however, according to one Socialinsider’s study, just 12% of brands go live.
We already talked about the Facebook algorithm favoring long videos, and this same study indicates that people do, too. They found that live videos lasting longer than one hour saw 350% more engagement on average, regardless of the size of a business’s Facebook Page! Just another reminder not to restrict yourself when it comes to time (if the content is relevant and high-quality, of course).
The longer your live stream, the larger the audience you are likely to reach. Not to mention, viewers will be more likely to discover and share your event while it’s happening.
Live video streaming on LinkedIn is a surefire way to tap into an extensive network of active professionals and increase your brand’s visibility.
Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn requires that users submit a request to become a live broadcaster, so make sure you plan for this in advance. Criteria for approval to go live includes having enough followers (500 followers for Pages) and posting original content on the platform regularly. You’ll also need to download and install a third-party tool for your stream, as LinkedIn doesn’t currently offer a native solution.
Attracting viewers by creating a high-quality YouTube Live event allows you to connect with new folks and attract more attention.
Before going live on YouTube, there are a few requirements to keep in mind. First, you need to verify your channel at least 24 hours before your event. You’ll also want to prepare a title, description for the video, and thumbnail image in advance. Finally, you don’t need your live video stream to look perfect, but you should still aim for a presentable setup. More specifically, check for decent lighting, a clean background, and a relatively quiet space to record in.
Finally, it’s time to run through some types of live stream events your B2B business can consider for your social video strategy:
- Webinar: A live stream webinar is a perfect vehicle to teach people about larger industry topics and how your product can be useful to them.
- Interview: With live interviews, you can bring more eyes to your B2B brand by speaking with noteworthy industry experts and thought leaders. These conversations can uncover relevant insights and help you promote your video content through the other experts’ channels as well.
- Product launches: Streaming is a great way to reveal new products or services that are coming out.
- Q&A: If you’ve picked up on whispers of questions from your audience about your products or recent business decisions, a live Q&A can help clear up any inquiries. Q&As also offer a unique opportunity to engage with your audience directly and build a sense of community.
- Conference or event: Live streaming is ideal for hosting B2B conferences and can expand your reach to folks who wouldn’t be able to attend in person.
- Big brand moments: Businesses are smart to leverage live video for big PR moments. If you’re making history in some way, it could be worth live streaming it!
If you’ve made it to the end of our social media video guide, we hope you’ve learned a thing or two that can help your business start using video in your social strategy. Remember, video should be used to support your larger social strategy and business as a whole!
Be sure to explore our individual guides for Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube for a more complete look at each social platform’s video placements and what types of videos work best. Each guide will also help you get inspired by other B2B companies using video in their social strategies right now.
Whichever platforms you choose to share your videos, we can’t wait to see them out in the wild. So, what are you waiting for? Start experimenting with social media videos!