by Robert Imbriale
The conventional wisdom of live online video is that it’s “a great tool for any business!” But is that really the truth?
I know, as a person who has had a life-long love affair with technology (and video) that it would appear that any business, any person, any product, or any service could benefit greatly from using live online video such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Periscope, and others.
At least that’s what I’d like to think. While it’s abundantly clear that live streaming video is very popular and it’s already proven to be valuable tool for many types of businesses, it has also proven to NOT work for other types of businesses.
What makes the difference?
To understand what it is that makes the biggest difference, let’s first agree on what it means to have a live streaming video that works. For most business owners, if the effort results in sales, then it’s generally considered to be a tool that works. Now, there are exceptions, but we’ll stay focused here on using actual sales as a measure of whether or not live streaming online video works.
In the mid-1990’s I got hooked on watching “infomercials” those 30-minute long television shows that were more like 30-minute advertisements. These caught my attention because I was passionate about marketing and saw these shows as a great way to see marketing in action.
Fast-forward to today and our conversation about how to use live streaming video for your business and not surprisingly, the rules of engagement are very similar to those used to create infomercials.
Here’s what I mean.
In order to have a powerful impact with live streaming video, something has to happen on the video. If nothing happens, the video won’t work as a sales tool because it will be boring and most people simply won’t watch.
It all starts with what you’re trying to promote in your video.
You can start by asking these questions:
1- Is this a product or service that can be demonstrated on camera?
In other words, the best, most successful live streaming videos are those where the product being offered can be demonstrated on camera (or on a screen capture). Think about the car wax that defies water, dirt, and even fire! Once you see that demonstration, it’s hard to doubt the product’s potential.
2- Who, other than you or your staff members, can come on camera to talk positively about their experiences using your product.
You may not realize it, but social proof is incredibly powerful in generating sales and in today’s social-media driven society, it’s even more important than ever. So always be ready to record your customers on camera talking about their experiences with your products. Thankfully, we have smart phones today that have very high quality cameras and it’s rare we’re ever without one in our pocket.
Anytime you’re with a customer who is raving about your product, pull out your smart phone and get them to rave on camera. This footage can then be used to augment your live streams and will result in increased sales.
The viewer should learn something by watching your video, something they may not have known before, or something that they may have heard before but likely forgot. Since people don’t want to be sold, think in terms of bringing them value during your video presentation.
Your viewers LOVE to buy, yet hate to be sold. Motivate them to buy from you by giving them enough real value that they see you and your products as industry leading.
4 – Entertaining.
Why do we watch television? Certainly not to be bored! We want to be entertained. That does not always mean we want to laugh, sometimes we want to experience other emotions too, which is why you should be thinking about how to keep things interesting during your live stream. Personally, I look to have at least one “WOW-Factor” in every live stream I produce.
Simply put, that means that there is at least one moment where my viewers will say to themselves “WOW!”
Can you use live streaming video to sell products that don’t meet these criteria?
You can, but the odds get harder and harder to overcome. For instance, there are a lot of life coaches who are currently using live streaming video to build their coaching practices. Let’s look at how these live streamed videos match up to the guidelines I just shared with you.
How do you demonstrate coaching?
Think of it as a live audition. If you’re a coach, you want to demonstrate to your audience how much of an amazing coach you really are. Just sharing content is a mistake that many coaches make. This only serves to demonstrate that you’ve paid attention during your coaching training, but does not show any practical application of your training, which is where the magic is.
Instead, your views see you as a teacher who is basically lecturing and nobody enjoys being lectured! By showing practical application of the strategies instead of teaching the strategies, coaches often see exponential growth.
Next, a coach should have testimonials from past clients who have greatly benefited from their work. These could be in the form of written testimonials, but better would be short videos that could be shared live and best would be to have one or two clients live on the stream to talk freely about their experience and the results they got.
And yes, there is a time for sharing information and strategies too, but it’s not the main reason to do the live stream.
Finally, keeping it entertaining could be as simple as sharing a quick anecdotal story that viewers can relate to and that is in context with your core message.
That is how I would handle what is generally consider non-tangible products.
It’s often much easier to demonstrate products like software, car wax, or other items you can see, feel, and hear on a live stream. This is why you see so many live videos that demonstrate products showing how they work, and how easy they are to use.
If you follow the basic guidelines outlined here, you’ll be head and shoulders about most every other person or company that is using live streaming video to build their businesses.