One year after opening up livestreaming to the masses, publishers are stepping up their efforts to make money from their Facebook clips.
Today, Hearst-owned Elle is running its first branded Facebook Live video for jewelry brand David Yurman. At 2 p.m. Eastern time, the publisher will stream a 15- to 20-minute video to its Facebook page, a piece of branded content that will show off the marketer’s new line of jewelry called Continuance. The clip will be hosted by two popular Instagram stylists, Erica Hoida and Lucy Hernandez, who collectively have more than 880,000 followers on the app.
“When we look at what other brands are doing with product launches, there have been quite a few instances of using Facebook Live,” said Ilana Nolte, president of WPP-owned m/Six, which handles media buying for David Yurman. “It’s one of the only instances to use influencers to tout the brand and what they’re doing—that combination of that reach in conjunction with the influencers at scale is the perfect audience.”
Here’s how the sponsored effort will work: An Elle editor will film Hoida and Hernandez in the magazine’s fashion closet while they put together a look for the weekend. The two women will comment on each others’ looks, make recommendations and try on David Yurman jewelry. Meanwhile the Elle staffer will field questions and comments from viewers to ask the two stylists.
Since live videos cannot be widely promoted with paid ads, Elle is banking on Facebook’s push notifications, which automatically ping followers when a broadcast starts. After it ends, Elle will cut the footage down to a two-minute video and publish it on Elle’s page to increase views. David Yurman is also running Facebook ads that direct to its own Page. “We’ll actually have a much larger number [of people who] will engage with it the week that follows because it’s much easier for us to promote,” explained Todd Haskell, svp and chief revenue officer of Hearst Magazines Digital Media.
Facebook has been pushing publishers like Hearst to crank out live videos on the platform. The social giant reportedly paid more than one hundred media companies millions of dollars this summer to create live videos and started testing mid-roll ads in January to help creators make money from the clips.
Hearst is far from the only publisher hoping that Facebook Live will be lucrative. Business Insider has created sponsored videos for GE, and Time Inc.-owned InStyle has created similar content with skincare brand La Mer.
For Hearst’s part, the publisher has experimented with Facebook Live videos for all of its brands over the past six to eight months and has tested branded broadcasts. When asked if Hearst’s efforts are paying off financially, Haskell said, “It’s still early days with any type of technology—we’re not doing a lot of these, but we’re excited about the opportunity.”
Elle has 4.7 million Facebook followers and Haskell said the quality of comments for videos viewed on the platform stand out compared to other platforms or Elle.com.
“The world of commenting in the internet today can be a very tricky and scary place with trolls and everything else,” Haskell said. “What we see with Facebook Live is a uniquely positive, engaged reader. We think that has to do with it’s actual people talking to people. As a result, you don’t see the negative, trolly kind of behavior that you often see in the world of comments in the internet”