Yes, Facebook’s going through a lot of changes right now. But Facebook Live? You can bet that the social video broadcasting platform isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
As of 2017, one of every five Facebook videos was live, according to vice president of product Fidji Simo. And those live videos received an average of three times the watch time than prerecorded or replayed videos.
In a time when Facebook is slashing reach for business page posts and intentionally decreasing time spent in the application by 50 million hours per day, the live video opportunity is hardly one to ignore.
Much of Facebook Live’s reach can be attributed to the way broadcasts are promoted in the social platform’s interface. Facebook sends people push notifications when followed accounts go live, the dedicated Watch tab continues to keep people engaged and live video continues to outrank all other content types in the News Feed algorithm.
This is how companies and influencers of all kinds have made live broadcasts a foundation of their marketing success. From companies and personal brands using Facebook Live as a way to reach a massive audience, to existing ones that have used it to unlock new opportunities and revenue streams, it’s become one of the last remaining non-paid ways to quickly and reliably connect with people.
Here are a few examples of personal brands and small businesses that have used Facebook Live to build their businesses successfully.
Bob Heilig learns out loud
Network marketing coach Bob Heilig started going live on Periscope every day simply as a way to share his passions. What started out as an exercise to improve his comfort on camera turned into his top growth channel, and he now streams live on multiple platforms, but he sees especially significant engagement on Facebook.
Starting out, he was just streaming to build an audience on the heels of a previous business venture’s failure. That worked so well that by the time he did launch an income stream and started offering premium courses on the Kajabi platform, he made more than $200,000 in his first month alone, eventually scaling to $1 million in revenues in less than a year.
Online courses are hugely popular nowadays, especially among rising thought leaders in the marketing space, so this was clearly a wise monetization channel for Heilig’s personal brand.
“If you create your videos not from the perspective of, ‘Hey, look at me: I’m a super successful expert,’ but you take them from the perspective of learning out loud,” he shared in one recent stream, “then all you’re doing is sharing things that you’re learning that are helping you on your journey.”
Since he goes live nearly every day, Heilig ends up sharing on a variety of real and engaging topics. Instead of all highly produced and scripted pieces promoting his business, the videos are candid, vulnerable-feeling chats about topics his followers need help with.
Combined with videos more directly about his business and programs, he helps his audience break through the same problems and blocks that led him to start his daily livestreaming challenge in the first place. This keeps people coming back to the tune of roughly 17,000 daily viewers and tons of shares on his inspiring messages.
Laura Clery spoofs the vloggers
In addition to coaches, entertainers like actresses and comedians have also used Facebook Live to build their personal brands.
Laura Clery is an actress who was looking to create content online to get noticed. Competition was fierce for her niche on platforms like YouTube and Vine, which didn’t feel right for her brand anyway. So instead of trying to compete at something she didn’t enjoy, she decided to try Facebook instead.
She posts daily videos creating different characters and skits to showcase her comedic skills. Several, especially those featuring her character “Instagram Model Ivy,” have gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of views. Her #motivationmonday parodies are particularly popular.
This didn’t just get her attention as a rising talent—it got her noticed by Facebook itself, and she became part of its exclusive monetization program, which allows qualifying creators to earn 55 percent of the platform’s revenues on mid-roll ads.
“I’m making more money than I ever made as an actress,” Clery told Mashable, but in retrospect, her Facebook broadcasts were just the beginning. Nowadays, she’s also got her own podcast and a series of shorts distributed on Comedy Central’s Snapchat Discover presence, she has starred in ads for numerous brands and she collaborates on content with Kevin Hart.
Tyler Sullivan swings big
On the commerce side of things, independent golf club brand BombTech Golf uses Facebook Live and other digital channels to sell its products direct to consumers. In terms of social media strategy, in general, it goes for helpful and entertaining content over a hard sell, making for engaging live video.
“No matter what—if I was tired, if I was up all night with the baby, if I had too many beers the night before—I put myself on video,” says the company’s founder, Tyler “Sully” Sullivan, in a case study for BigCommerce. “I put a video out there of me in my backyard swinging our product just to demonstrate it, and that video, this sort of Facebook video that was new, got me about 1 million views.”
Nowadays, Sullivan’s live videos invite viewers to a genuine and casual behind-the-scenes view of his business, and the audience feels like a part of the team’s conversations when they hang out practicing their putts, deciding on new slogans and talking about current promotions.
BombTech is focused on connecting and creating a great experience. These aren’t stuffy marketing videos, which fits for a recreational brand. It is inviting you into the business, treating streams as events that customers can’t wait to tune into, instead of videos that hope to capture a few seconds of attention in News Feed.
This leads the company to soaring engagement rates, like 400-plus comments on a video with 11,000 views. And the sales follow naturally, to the tune of $9 million in annual recurring revenue, according to BigCommerce.
Chasing the real-time connection
Facebook Live is for every type of business, as brands, audiences and Facebook itself has proven. From entertainment brands to retail and services, Facebook users want that connection and engagement with your brand.
As Facebook makes it increasingly one of the only ways to reach people, these examples should prove useful, regardless of your business model.