Live video – it’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
What if you look silly? What if you trip over your words, a pavement, or a cat? What if you say the wrong thing? Won’t your friends take the mickey relentlessly?
And why put yourself through all that embarrassment and effort anyway?
These are all completely understandable fears and concerns. And everyone has them.
I did, when I did my first ever live video on Facebook. From a pub car park. It was awful. But I did it, and now I’ve made hundreds of live videos. They aren’t perfect; some of them aren’t even that good. But I’ve done them, and they form a body of work that is a real asset to our agency.
Why live video?
After all, recorded video is much easier, less stressful, and you can edit it. So, why do your videos live?
Before I explain why, let me show you a little experiment I ran last year.
My Live Versus Recorded Experiment
As some of you know, I live near the lake in Windermere.
So one morning I took a little video of the lake shore looking frosty and beautiful. I did it as a live video, uploaded it to our Facebook page. It was only a short video – 37 seconds – and I didn’t expect it to make much of a splash with my audience. We got 267 views of my little video, and that’s when I thought of running an experiment.
I wanted to see whether if I took a similar video, but didn’t do it live, just recorded it, what the results would be.
A few days later, I trotted off to the lake with my dog, and heard a woodpecker doing his thing. I captured Woody for a few seconds, saved and uploaded it to our Facebook page. This one was 23 seconds, and it only got 135 views.
As almost all of the factors between the two videos were the same, it was a pretty good ‘A-B’ test. (This is where you test two different marketing methods, keeping all factors the same but one.)
The result? The live video got almost twice the views.
You may be thinking, “yes Sam, but it’s only 132 views extra; does it really matter?”.
Fair point. 132 views probably don’t matter, in the grand scheme of Facebook marketing.
But it’s not just 132 views. It’s twice the number of views. And if you have a very popular video, this could make a massive difference.
Our most popular non-live, non-boosted video on Facebook in the last quarter has had 7,000 views. If we’d done it live, potentially it could have had 14,000. That’s massive.
The lesson? Go live. It’ll give your page the reach and engagement it needs to grow.
More reasons to go live
When someone watches your video live, they get a deeper connection with you. There’s something urgent about watching a live video that you just don’t get with recorded video. Even when they are watching the live when it’s not, if you see what I mean. Facebook favours live video, because their users do. And because their users prefer live video, Facebook will show your live video to more of your audience, creating a virtuous circle. Video done right creates educated clients, lower cost lead generation and higher conversion, and all these benefits are compounded when that video is live.
Convinced you need to go live?
Great. Now let’s dive into the ‘how’.
How to make your live videos look good
We do use some equipment, but it’s minimal. A tripod, a light and a phone, is all you need. You can manage without the first two, so long as you place your phone somewhere firm, (not hand-held, as it’s a bit shaky), and you face a light source (not from above – very unflattering). We find it easier to use a bit of equipment so we don’t have to worry about placement and light, but if you don’t have these to start with, it’s fine. Don’t let a lack of equipment stop you from making a live video. It’s not a good enough excuse…..
Now that little obstacle has been squashed, let’s look at what the heck you are actually videoing on your live videos.
207 videos and counting
What content makes the best live videos?
On my Add £100k with High Value Homes Programme, I teach something called the Five Step Social Media Formula. It goes like this:
Behind the Scenes
A Day in the Life
Tips and Advice
Handily, it spells ‘BLAST’, so that might help you remember it. Here’s how to use my BLAST Formula in your live videos:
Behind the Scenes – show your latest brochures being unboxed, something interesting on a viewing (not just the house), or thoughts from an property-related event.
Local spotlight – make a local business or cause the hero of your video, including running a competition with them.
A Day in the Life – an interesting peek into your life, not related to estate agency. Could be a local river in flood, a community event or a happy birthday video for one of your team.
Sneak Peek – your chance to show off a ‘coming soon’ but just a peek of it.
Tips and Advice – local market update, an ‘Ask the Expert’, or a practical ‘how to’ like property styling.
Who should be on your live videos?
Everyone in our team is an admin on our Facebook page, and can post anything they like, so long as it follows the BLAST formula above. It’s obviously easier for our client-facing team members to do, as they are out and about, but you can have some fun with office videos too. Key handovers, someone’s birthday, or just a quick intro; they all add to the rich tapestry that is your Facebook live video library.
The business case for using live video
We have to date, 207 videos on our Facebook page, and most of these are live. This library of content has given us a massive boost above our competitors, who would find it difficult to catch up, even if they started using live videos today.
I was in my local coffee shop the other day, and a lady came over and said hello like she was a long-lost friend. She was well-spoken and nicely dressed, and looked just like the kind of client we want to attract. What was funny, was that I’d never met her before. I can only deduce that she’d watched our videos and thought she knew me, just in the way that celebrities often get confused for friends by people. I frequently get uncertain smiles or even ‘hellos’ from people in the street who know I’m familiar, but can’t work out how.
We once went on a valuation at a beautiful barn conversion. On the market at £700,000, it had a couple of acres and an amazing view. Just the kind of house we love to sell. When I went to shake Peter’s hand (age 72), he said with a big smile “Oh I know you Sam! I’ve watched all your videos”.
I have to admit, I was taken aback. He told us he was 72, and my first thought was surprise that he was on our Facebook page, watching our videos. But the fact that he and his wife had been consuming our content made the consultation so much easier. They ‘got’ us, and what we were trying to do. They had educated themselves, via our videos and blogposts, making the instruction not only a certainty, but the ongoing relationship an enjoyable one.
Just the other day, we got an email from a lady in Portugal who is thinking of selling her house in a popular village nearby. She had watched an ‘Ask AJ’ live video on when to sell, and had a couple of relevant questions. She now wants us to value her house for a potential sale in a month or so. I don’t believe she would have got in touch had she not watched our video.
The same thing happened when we did a live ‘Ask AJ’ video on what we call ‘The But List’. In it, we talked about anticipating issues or challenges buyers may raise in advance, so we can find ways of combatting or mitigating them where possible. The same day, we had a message from a lady who has a house in Ambleside with a local occupancy covenant on it. She was concerned it would affect the saleability and ultimately, the value, of her house, and wanted a chat about it. Chances are, if that house ever does come to market, it will be with AshdownJones.
Our Ask AJ ‘But List’ video
Not only does live video make attracting and converting of your ideal clients more likely, it also makes it easier for your connections and clients to refer you. Your live videos give them confidence in giving a referral to you, and the recipient of the referral more confident to act upon it.
What to do with your live video to make it go further
Once you have your live video on Facebook, don’t just let it sit there. A bit of strategic leveraging will help it reach more people and create new leads for your agency. Here are five things you can do to make your live video go further:
1.Upload to YouTube
Download your video from Facebook by clicking into it and choosing options > download. Keep a folder on your computer for these videos so you build an accessible library. Make sure you name each one carefully for easy retrieval in the future. Upload to YouTube, making sure you add a comprehensive description, appropriate hashtags and the same call to action you mention in your video.
2.Upload to LinkedIn
If your live video is less than 10 minutes in length, you can also upload it to LinkedIn. Follow the step above so you have the MP4 file on your computer, and click the camera icon on LinkedIn on the Post box on the Home page (main feed). Add the description, as with your YouTube video, and use the tagging option LinkedIn give you to make sure your video is found.
3. Transcribe your video
You can do this yourself, but it’s a bit time consuming. So either give it to a junior team member (good training for them) or use a transcription service like www.rev.com who charge $1 a minute of video time. You may have to correct the US spelling but it’ll save you a lot of time, as typically it can take up to 10 minutes to transcribe each minute of video time.
4. Create a Facebook audience
You can create a new Facebook audience of people who have watched your video for various times, eg 3 seconds, 10 seconds, 25% etc. Just go into your Facebook Ads console and click on Audiences > Create an audience > Engagement audience.
5. Boost to your warm audiences
Once you’ve created your audience, you can then boost each live video you create to the watchers of your previous videos, ie your already-warm audience. By always boosting to your warm audiences, you’ll find more people take action at the end of the video, so long as you have not made your call to action too big a step. For example, try getting them to download a resource, rather than going straight for a ‘book a valuation’.
As you can see, using live video to attract, engage and capture new potential clients can be super valuable for your agency. Don’t be daunted by appearing on camera – everyone has to start somewhere – just follow the steps above and you’ll soon be making videos like a pro.
PS if you’d like to get short, actionable tips and tactics every week, about growing your agency, direct into your inbox, just click here and drop in your email, and I’ll do the rest!