Live streaming apps have been a hot topic ever since the launch of Periscope in February last year. Indeed, Periscope has proven to be very popular amongst regular users and brands – but now that Facebook is officially on board with live streaming, we can be sure that the technology will be used by a bigger audience than ever before.
Indeed, it’s almost possible to feel sorry for the likes of Periscope and (especially) Meerkat (not that I do, mind you) – the enormous global reach of Facebook gives the world’s favourite social network a huge competitive advantage in whichever direction it decides to branch out.
And so it is true that, with 1.65 billion active monthly users, we can be pretty sure that if live streaming is going to succeed as a long-term marketing form, then it’s going to do so on Facebook, even if Periscope ends up calling it quits (though there is no indication of that).
The Power Of Facebook
Admittedly, this may all seem like conjecture. However, I am basing my assertions on a comparable scenario that is already playing out.
Video has become massive on the web. And when I say “the web”, what I’m really talking about is Facebook. It wasn’t so long ago that when we thought about video-sharing platforms it was YouTube that came to mind. Sure, a few hipsters might have grunted something about Vimeo – but, in reality, with only 170 million users compared to YouTube’s 1 billion, Vimeo doesn’t really compare.
No, in all honesty, the only platform that was ever going to stand a chance as a meaningful rival to YouTube was Facebook. And guess what – as soon as the world’s most worshipped social network entered into the realms of video and video advertising with a renewed sense of vigour, that’s exactly what has happened.
- Facebook videos have officially surpassed YouTube videos on the Facebook platform
- 70% of all video interaction on Facebook is with natively uploaded videos
- 1 billion daily views of video content on Facebook since June 2014
- Over 50% of people who visit Facebook on a daily basis watch at least one video every single day
- Facebook videos have an 875% higher organic reach compared to text posts, and 250% higher organic reach than image posts
The point is that Facebook has the power and the reach to conquer pretty much any market segment that it sets its sights on – and can even take on a giant like YouTube.
If live streaming is ever going to break into the mainstream, then I have to say that it is going to do so on Facebook, rather than on niche apps like Periscope.
The Growing Importance Of Video Marketing On Facebook
The stats above show how important video has become on Facebook – which of course translates directly into the importance of video marketing on Facebook.
I’m in a statisticky sort of mood today, so I’m just going to force a few more down your throat before we continue – just to hammer home the point of the above subheading.
Social Media Examiner’s comprehensive ‘2016 SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING INDUSTRY REPORT: How Marketers Are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses’ reveals the following (note: all stats are quoted directly from the report):
- Facebook is the most important social network for marketers by a long shot! When asked to select their most important platform, 55% of marketers chose Facebook, followed by LinkedIn at 18%. Plus, 67% of marketers plan on increasing their Facebook marketing activities.
- Video has become essential: A significant 60% of marketers use video in their marketing and 73% plan on increasing their use of video.
- Live video is hot: A significant 50% of marketers plan on using live video services such as Facebook Live and Periscope, and 50% want to learn more about live video.
- Facebook and YouTube hold the top spots for future plans: At least 63% of marketers plan on increasing their use of these social networks.
- Tactics and engagement are top areas marketers want to master: At least 90% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best ways to engage their audience with social media.
A New Way To Engage Your Existing Audience
Perhaps one of the greatest advantages that Facebook has over the likes of Periscope, Meerkat and even Blab, is that marketers already have an active and engaged audience on the platform.
As the Social Media Examiner report makes abundantly clear, Facebook is already “the most important social network for marketers by a long shot!” Your audiences are already there, ready and waiting for you to start streaming to them – it would be foolish to disappoint (especially if your competitors get in there first).
Put simply, brands will soon realise (if they haven’t already) that the supreme reach of Facebook, combined with the current popularity of video and live streaming in particular, presents an unrivalled opportunity to showcase specialised knowledge in the hottest content format of the moment directly onto the most important and powerful network in the world.
The prospects for you to grow your follower, fan, and, ultimately, customer base is huge with Facebook Live – especially with video’s massively high organic reach on the platform.
And indeed, Facebook isn’t stopping here. The platform is currently testing a dedicated video news feed in order to give its users even quicker and uncluttered access to what they want (i.e. videos) right at their fingertips.
In short, your Facebook video and live streaming strategy is going to need to be one of the strongest weapons in your marketing arsenal in the very near future, which makes it imperative to at least start experimenting and familiarising yourself with the technology now, so that you’re ahead of the game when your rivals finally realise its importance also.
This is the opinion piece, so look out next week for Facebook Live Marketing Part 2, where I’ll be exploring and explaining all the ways that you can start building a Facebook Live strategy into your marketing routine. Stay tuned!!