Live Social Video: Everything You Need to Know
"Forget everything you know about video; live social video plays by its own rules."
Sophie Kostrowski, head of creative at Live & Wired
Live & Wired is the UK’s first dedicated live social content agency, delivering creative, production and talent for brands. Founded by Sophie Kostrowski and Sian Hainsworth, experts in live content and production, both with over 20,000 collective hours of live on-air experience.
Here’s what you need to know...
Right now, live is the hot word amongst agencies and brands, and those wanting to really experiment will talk about 360 Live. Live is a powerful tool, it is how people are talking on social media right now and it’s a great way for brands to make their competitors look old fashioned overnight. Live can help you create an event that people will feel the need to watch, giving brands an engaged and active audience. The flip side is that if not executed correctly it can get lost in the digital landfill and be about as weird as your Dad telling you his new “Yeezus kicks are lit!”
The biggest mistake we see time and time again is brand's going live for no reason. If you use a typical video structure and go live all that happens is you add jeopardy, and end up losing all the reasons that live is such a success. Before every live project, you should ask yourself ‘can this be pre-recorded?’ and if the answer is yes then it is not worth going live.
When to go live/ Why live works:
The moment to go live is when you decide you want to create a piece of content that resonates and connects your audience. Gen Z and Millennials are very similar in their demand to be spoken to by brands in the same way they communicate with friends, they want a dialogue and to be heard. Using live means, you can have the audience affect the outcome and direction of your content, this could be done through using techniques such as voting or Q&A sessions.
Live can also help you achieve instant reach. On Facebook, you will have an organic boost in visibility. On Instagram, you will sit in Insta Stories so people are more likely to pass through than they would in a post. Live increases reach so you are guaranteed bums on seats, so it's up to your content to keep them engaged. In our work, we inject FOMO (fear of missing out) into many of our projects, because we have the audience, our job is to keep them watching. Some of the ways we achieve this is by using techniques such as teasing the audience with what is coming up in the live show, or letting the audience vote on a later segment.
Primark cut through the Christmas online Christmas clutter with this great use of Facebook Live. It creates strong FOMO and constant entertainment:
Most production companies can help you go live, as the technology is easily accessible, for instance, you can more than likely go live on your phone right now. However, when we talk about going live we see a much bigger picture; we look at the content of each piece and focus on how to constantly keep the audience engaged. There is nothing on this earth that feels as exciting, immersive and interactive as live video.
How to turn your idea into one that works for live:
The best place to start is with an idea that was designed to be live, but if you have a video idea and want to make it live why not add in these elements.
∙ Audience interaction - This is the backbone of live content and can be done with techniques ranging from a competition, Q&A session, through to an audience vote. Check out this Nike Football LIVE video:
∙ Exclusive access - This can be access to anything from an event to insider information. Instagram LIVE provides a great platform for this type of approach. River Island did this well when they went LIVE from the BRITs red carpet, allowing exclusive access to the A-listers and all the fashion:
∙ Pace - One of the best techniques of this can be seen in television. People often confuse pace with energy. The pace must be fast and evolving but that does not mean your video needs to be reminiscent of Saturday morning TV. You can create a high-end energy whilst still appealing to people's short attention span, without giving them time to scroll past your content. This live-streamed workout
from Lucozade Sport is a great example of pace:
Live and 360º video:
We often get asked about 360º live. A strong 360º live idea will grab and immerse your audience. To be honest with you, stay away from 360º unless your idea is something your user can't experience in their day-to-day and the idea was specifically designed to be in 360º. When coming up with 360º ideas people often gravitate towards live music, but this alone simply won’t cut it anymore.
Technology isn’t the key:
Be aware that the way you create an event in any video is with great content, not the latest technology.
No audience member will go “WOW this cost a lot of money, now I value that brand more”, they are more likely to go “meh” and scroll past. If you can combine great content and exciting technology however, this is when you will see huge success.