Creating a live video is now very easy. You don't need more than your mobile phone and a selfie stick. Log into your Facebook or LinkedIn account, hit the video button and you'll be talking to your audience.

But what are you going to say?

Even a quick chat with whoever happens to be online can be valuable but if you really want to get the most out of live videos, there are three basic formats that always rock.

  1. Short Interviews

Interviews are one popular way that marketers can entertain audiences live. Third party providers like Be.live even offer tools that make those broadcasts easier and more professional. You can set up a time with a guest, tell your audiences when you'll be broadcasting, and field questions over the next hour or half-hour.  

While there's certainly a place for those kinds of interviews there's also space for really short questions and answers. If you're attending a trade show, for example, you could take your audience through the stalls and stop to ask the companies quick questions about their products. The brevity will help to keep your audience watching and stop them clicking away.

  1. Chat Shows

If your audience loves your interviews with one person they should enjoy interviews with lots of people even more. Instead of talking to a single expert, you can bring a number experts to talk among themselves. It's a bit like that moment in a late night chat show, when the host brings in a second guest. The audience gets the first celebrity. It gets the second celebrity. And it gets the extra chat between the guests as well as the host.

Normally, a live chat show broadcast would mean bringing everyone together in one place. But when you're broadcasting live through a social media platform, you don't need to do that. Everyone can sit in their own offices, and the audience sees a split screen. The effect is more like a news show with multiple experts weighing in from different locations.

Again, you'll need set things up. A live chat show will require some extra organization. You'll need to make sure that everyone's available at the same time and that there are no technical difficulties. But you'll also land some useful cross-marketing as each guest tells their followers to tune in.

  1. Product Demos

Interviews and chat shows mean depending on partners--you need people to interview. Product demos are all about you. They're also closely related to your business. You get to tell your audience just what your product can do and show them how to get more out of it.

This is a particularly popular strategy for cosmetics firms. They bring in a model, or just a friend, and show their audiences how to apply their make-up. When they're done, the audience gets to see a dramatic before and after image. 

Live video broadcasts can be simple and straightforward. They can be spontaneous and they can be planned. They can include a single guest, multiple guests, and no guests at all. But they can always be a very effective way to communicate a message and engage with audiences.

Published on: Sep 17, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.