Seth Godin once said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but the stories you tell.” In a nutshell, that is the Herculean task every online business now faces.
In today’s digital marketing environment, stories have become the foundation of a successful marketing campaign. You need to engage users on a personal level and on an emotional front. More than ever, your brand needs to be humanized for people to connect and care.
This is, in part, why live streaming video is becoming wildly popular. Platforms like Blab, Periscope and others have given online users a way to connect face-to-face and in real-time, which provides as intimate of a setting as you can get online. And brands are catching on to the appeal.
Like wildfire, everyone from GM to Taco Bell is joining one live streaming site or another to help push their brand to new heights of engagement, loyalty, visibility, and connection with consumers. For a brand that is currently floundering, live streaming video might be your best bet at a second shot. And the best site to accomplish this on is Facebook.
Since Facebook Live was recently rolled out to the general public, the feature has become a massive hit due to its simplicity and integration with the Mentions app. People on the platform have been eating up video content as the social behemoth recently announced that its users are consuming more than 100 million hours per day.
As a small business, you are already working with limited funds, have smaller social followings and are likely not capable of reaching as far as your strongest competitor. It’s for these reasons, and many more, that you need to turn your social following into a full-scale community. You need to engage your followers on a more personal level than the larger entities. You must tell stories that inspire, cultivate real relationships and transform customers into deeply devoted advocates for your company.
You can do all that and more with Facebook Live. Here is how this new little tool can save your business:
The Power of Live Video
Video is currently in the same transitional phase that mobile was a few years back until it finally toppled desktops when it comes to search volume. In a mere three years from now, it is predicted that video will account for the vast majority of all online traffic. And this is likely to come to fruition as nearly every social media channel, housing anywhere from hundreds of millions to more than a billion users, adopts a live streaming or video feature of their own.
With Facebook, the largest and most ubiquitous social network to ever exist, you have the power to reach the vast majority (if not all) of your followers without having to drive traffic to some external source. Through that you can hold various Q&A sessions, promotions, behind the scenes looks, and a variety of other content through live video. Facebook, unlike any other platform, allows you to take these interactions even deeper with live streaming to Group and Event pages. This can create an even more personal setting for individuals because you are not simply blasting out a live video to all of your followers; you are engaging a smaller group of individuals who are highly interested in a certain topic or affair. And in that setting, you can develop profoundly intimate connections with the audience, tell meaningful stories, and really expose yourself and your business as you truly see it. As you begin to open up and connect with people, they will become increasingly attached to you and your brand. And this heart-felt bond is what will allow you to create a community of advocates for your brand.
The Power of Advocacy and Word-of-Mouth
You may have heard of advocacy marketing before. Influitive, one of the leaders in the field, defines an advocate this way:
“Advocates are not just satisfied customers. They are enthusiasts who embrace your company’s vision and willingly advance your interests through their interaction with others. Whether by sharing experiences online, referring new business, or recommending your products, these supporters have enormous influence on your brand, demand generation, and pipeline efforts.”
And this is what Facebook Live can achieve for you. While your business may not have the funds to employ services like those that Influitive provides, you can nonetheless convert customers of your business into social promoters of your company.
Word-of-mouth advertising is the most persuasive form of marketing you can generate because consumers no longer trust brand messaging. By connecting with your audience on a personal level, you take a step away from people seeing you as a faceless business and, instead, view you as a person trying to run an organization. Granted that you have a great product and stellar customer service, you can confidently ask these folks in live chats to share your pages and content, write a review, and express their thoughts about your offerings to their audience. Incentivizing folks to share doesn’t hurt either. Do this by providing special offers, discounts, and so forth. Highlight customer reviews and experiences with your Facebook Live viewers. Show your audience just how much they mean to you and they are far more likely to reciprocate.
This is how you begin to breathe new life into your business. Connect deeply with your following, no matter how small, and incentivize them to share the gospel of your business to friends and family. The more you connect with your audience through live video, give shout-outs to people, answer questions, and interact on a human level, the more people will love you for it, tell their friends, and bring outsiders into the fold of the community that will in turn, do the same. And that’s how a grassroots powerhouse company is born.