Facebook Live Benefits Broadcasters, Increasing Awareness and EngagementAugust 30, 2017
Live-streaming video is taking the internet world by storm, with 81 percent of online viewers watching more of it in 2016 than the previous year. And Facebook Live is quickly dominating this market, with viewership quadrupling in 2017.
Most importantly for organizations, Facebook Live is a powerful tool for attracting and engaging current and potential customers or supporters. After watching a product video, consumers are 85 percent more likely to buy. Facebook Live viewers are especially dialed-in, commenting on live videos at 10 times the rate of recorded ones, and watching them three times longer (on average).
Why? Facebook Live broadcasts are more than just videos—they’re “StreamingPLUS” experiences, allowing viewers to comment, “like,” send emojis, participate in polls and more, all from within the live-stream. Today’s consumers are constantly bombarded with app alerts and email notifications, and they crave these kinds of interactive, authentic experiences to break through the noise.
A Wowza Media Systems, we wanted to learn more about the ways organizations are using Facebook Live—so we surveyed more than 700 video-streaming professionals, and reported on the results. In the Facebook Live Streaming Benchmark Report 2017, you’ll read about the top challenges and benefits organizations are experiencing as a result of streaming on this platform.
In this post, we’ll take a look at two major benefits organizations are realizing through Facebook Live: increased awareness and deeper engagement.
Broadcasters Broaden Their Reach Through Facebook Live Video
Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform, with 2 billion monthly active users. Facebook videos (both live and prerecorded) are expected to soon pass 64 million daily views, and the search term “Facebook Live Stream” has increased 330 percent in popularity since the platform was launched—meaning viewers are purposefully seeking out streams on this channel, rather than just doing a generic search or looking on YouTube.
This is why respondents say their number-one goal of Facebook Live streaming is to reach a new audience—there’s a huge opportunity to reach a massive viewer base through this platform. With a single stream, broadcasters can get their organization in front of thousands of eyeballs, quickly and easily spreading the word for their brand or cause.
58% Say Increased Brand Recognition and Exposure is a Key Benefit
For most of our respondents, this approach seems to be paying off. When we asked about the benefits they’ve realized as a result of Facebook Live streaming, the most common answer was greater brand awareness and exposure. No wonder six times more live videos than prerecorded ones were streamed from company Facebook pages in June 2017.
Facebook Live Streaming Spotlight
“[Facebook Live] provides us with a cheap CDN solution, but also a way to attract followers. We don’t charge for our content, it’s freely available—so we need to put it on platforms that attract the most social use, and that is Facebook. We have 1.8 million followers on our Facebook page directly, and we also use Wowza to syndicate content across … as many pages as we can.
“I think the largest syndication case we ever did was when we did a panel discussion about the closure of a famous nightclub in London called Fabric. We put than on about 17 different Facebook pages using Wowza, which was great, because it allowed us to reach more people, and get that message out about not closing that club. And I feel like we did help contribute to that, and [to] saving the nightclub from closure.” —Larry Gale, head of broadcast at Boiler Room
Facebook Live Video Streaming Brings Unique Engagement Opportunities
Not only do our respondents want to reach new viewers, they also want to better engage with existing ones, which is the second-most common goal of Facebook Live streaming.
Again, Facebook Live is more just than a distribution platform—it also lets viewers directly participate with videos from within the live-stream. This real-time interaction between viewer and broadcaster has many benefits, including:
- Adds a layer of authenticity, both for the video and the broadcaster.
- Builds personal relationships between audience members, broadcasters and the organizations posting the content.
- Grows online communities around the organization’s products, services or causes.
A survey by research consultancy Magid is proof: Respondents’ top reasons for watching live-streams are to stay informed and updated; to feel like part of the event; and because live videos feel more authentic.
41% Benefit From Deeper Customer Loyalty and Engagement
The second-most common benefit our survey-takers see from Facebook Live streaming is deeper customer loyalty and engagement. That’s because audiences engage with live-streams on a personal level: Watching Facebook Live streams on mobile is more likely to make viewers feel inspired and excited than watching broadcast TV content. Mobile users also say they associate watching Facebook Live streams with feeling happy.
Keeping viewers happy, engaged and excited will keep them coming back to broadcasters’ content again and again. What’s more, Facebook Live allows broadcasters to capture valuable customer information and get instant feedback on their content. This helps them gauge what’s working and what’s not, both in terms of campaign effectiveness and customer satisfaction.
Facebook Live Streaming Spotlight
“When we stream to Facebook Live, awareness of our events goes through the roof. Everyone gets more excited. We’re a policy school with a mission to involve communities locally, globally and nationally. Facebook Live allows us to reach alumni around the world who … may not stay updated through email, but will check the Facebook page now and then. That global outreach is why Facebook Live is becoming a key part for us.
“It’s all about brand awareness and engagement. … For the events we’ve done to Facebook Live, awareness has gone up by 700 to 800 percent, or more … [and] engagement has increased by 300 or 400 percent.” —Jonathan Schwartz, director of video productions and operations, University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy
Broadcasters are seeing big benefits from streaming to Facebook Live. However, the experience isn’t without its challenges. Even though many of our survey respondents use professional-quality equipment and advanced video-production workflows, most of them report errors and connection problems. To learn more about these difficulties, read the next post in our series on Facebook Live streaming—and download our complete report.