Friday, June 22, 2018
  • Wednesday, May. 17, 2017
POV (Perspective)
Facebook Live: The New Branding Tool

Facebook Live is one of the most under-utilized marketing tools. Used first by celebrities and influencers streaming simply through smart phones, Facebook Live’s updated API and publishing tools enable a brand to stream broadcast quality productions right from its Facebook page. This new ability to use a multi-camera high quality live production setup allows every brand has its own instant broadcast channel.

Having just recently completed a Facebook Live broadcast for the launch of the GMC Terrain, here are some thoughts when engaging Facebook Live.

You need to craft a story. Script out the production’s story, create a narrative or run of show that will drive the piece. Make it entertaining. There is nothing worse than dead airtime or awkward moments. Streaming a live event doesn’t mean viewers will simply like it. It is better to have a concise piece that might be shorter, than a minute of dead air.

Plan for everything, and having redundancy in your production is essential, especially when it comes to your Internet connection. Just because a venue might have a hard line Internet for you to patch into doesn’t mean that it’s going to be strong enough to carry the stream consistently. I strongly recommend a 2 hardline redundancy or a satellite truck be explored in preproduction to insure a consistent quality stream.

Use traditional broadcast tools, such as roll-ins, b-roll packages, and lower thirds. It’s important to remain connected to the live event at hand for those just tuning in. For the Terrain launch, we employed picture in picture, allowing viewers to remain connected to the live soon to be revealed vehicle while running pre-recorded packages. It gave viewers valuable insights while keeping the feed live.

Build your audience prior to launch. Give people time to log on and tune into an event before festivities begin. This can be as simple as a countdown clock, creative social media packages or teasers of what’s to come in the live event. 

Be wary of hiring an Influencer with no hosting experience. Every jump cut you see in their online videos is to cover a mistake made, and you can’t edit out a mistake when you are live. You need a live television host; someone with experience who knows how to fill dead air time, someone who rolls with the punches and unknowns that occur with live TV. A good host is not only worth it but the way to go, the experience most of them bring to the table will ensure a smooth production. It is also important for the host to grasp a brand’s core messaging and keep the storyline.

Running through the show a few times will get some of the kinks out and allow for adjustments to be made. There is that moment when you go live and even with all the prep in the world you still have to be ready for what ever pops up. Make split second decisions and adjust accordingly. Keep it fun. Whether it’s brand direct or agency, get everyone on board with all of the foreseeable possibilities and know how to adjust.

Facebook Live is a great tool to push brands out directly to their followers and even gain new ones.  The ability to up the level of production quality is going to be essential to successful engagement in this new medium.

Ross Grogan is the founder amd executive producer of The Cavalry Productions.