)Since the decline of modern television, the industry has been scrambling to find a home for live TV in today's digital landscape. Despite so many streaming devices and services fighting for our attention, there hasn't been anything quite as central as your common boob tube. Facebook Live, however, is about to change all that.
On April 6th of last year, Mark Facebook Live for everyone--to make it easier to create, share, and discover live videos.Zuckerberg posted an announcement that Facebook was launching
"Live is like having a TV camera in your pocket. Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world," Zuckerberg wrote. "When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way. This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it's going to create new opportunities for people to come together."
Soon after the launch, users were joining Ricky Gervais for a bath and Lester Holt on his lunch break, asking astronauts about space, and hanging out in the locker room with star athletes.
But it was former TV host and multi-media diva, Martha Stewart, who discovered Facebook Live's true potential with her wildly popular cooking show, Martha is LIVE. Shot entirely on an iPhone, Martha is LIVE has amassed hundreds of thousands of views for each video--more than The Martha Stewart Show after it moved to the Hallmark Channel.
Others are now catching on, including Jon Steinberg, who left his post as COO and President of BuzzFeed to launch Cheddar.com and a new lunchtime talk show called Cheddar Life. Soon after the debut of Cheddar Life, the execs at AsSeenOnTV.pro (the brainchild of former Shark Tank Shark, Kevin Harrington) announced they would feature popular products on a Facebook Live show of its own starting Q1 2017.
"Facebook Live is in a unique position to deliver breaking news, intimate moments with celebs, and behind-the-scenes access in a way that live TV never could," says Lisa Vrancken, VP of Business Development at AsSeenOnTV.pro.
As more brands use the platform to engage their audience in exciting and new ways, here are 6 excellent reasons to launch your own Facebook Live show in 2017:
1. No budget? No problem
All you need is an Android or iPhone to get started with Facebook Live, although a tripod and external microphone are recommended. Each episode of Martha is LIVE is shot by a single camera operator for a fraction of the cost of Stewart's former TV show.
2. Real-time feedback
Initial data from Facebook showed that people comment 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than regular videos. This creates the perfect opportunity for brands to ask for feedback, engage their audience, and ultimately attract new viewers. By making your Facebook Live show as interactive as possible, you can get unparalleled real-time feedback while building a deeper, more meaningful relationship with consumers. It's the kind of social interaction TV execs have been trying to perfect since the dawn of the hashtag.
3. Increase traffic to your homepage
As a general rule, good social content generates more engagement, which leads to more traffic and referrals to your site. The reverse is also true: while you can migrate viewers from your show to your site, you can also easily embed Facebook Live videos on your .com using Facebook's embed code.
4. Expand your brand
Facebook recently announced that Trending Topics will include a "LIVE" icon in the search bar, making it easier for users to find your show if and when it relates. In addition, Facebook is rolling out a geographic map so users can see where people are broadcasting live around the world, opening your show and brand to international exposure.
Facebook is even making an update to News Feed where Facebook Live videos appear higher than videos that are no longer live. So the longer you broadcast, the longer your video will stay at the top of the News Feed, and the more people you'll reach. Facebook Live broadcasts can last as long as 90 minutes, but Facebook recommends at least 10 minutes to give people a chance to find your show.
5. Earn extra revenue
Not only can you produce a show on Facebook Live with zero budget, if your videos are engaging enough to attract a sizeable audience you could be eligible for sponsorships. The social media site is reportedly planning on experimenting with in-video advertising, and recently launched a program that pays publishers to produce videos for Facebook Live.
6. Be the first
Like television in the '50's, Facebook Live is the new frontier, the Wild West. Sure, Martha Stewart may have cornered the market on cooking shows, but there are many more niches to be carved.
You could, for instance, be the first to live stream debates or intense training workshops, sponsor a one-time-only event or concert, or you could strive for something more content-driven like an interview or Q&A session with industry experts.
Whatever inspires you to fire up a stream, if you can present a quality experience that viewers will enjoy, episode after episode, 2017 could be the year you establish a household name in the Facebook Live universe.