The era of live video thus far has been both an exciting and scary time for marketers. The business case is glaringly clear: video posts have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts. People spend 3x longer watching video that’s live versus pre-recorded. What this means, though, is sharing raw, unedited content with hundreds, thousands, potentially millions of watching fans and customers. Talk about pressure!

The great news is — beyond the basic logistics of set up — there’s no “right way” to do Facebook Live. With a solid understanding of your brand voice and your customer, live video is a chance for brands to have a bit of fun and let their creative flags fly.

Whether you’re just starting out with live video or are looking for a bit of inspiration for your next campaign, your best available asset is those brands that are getting it right. I’ve put together a few examples below, and what you can learn from them.

1. Benefit gives makeup tips over a glass of wine 

The cosmetics brand launched their own weekly series named “Tipsy Tricks.” In each episode, host Stephanie enjoys a glass of wine with her guest as they demonstrate makeup techniques around a particular theme.

It’s clear that the Benefit brand knows their audience well. The casual conversation injected with the fun personalities of both guests, paired with makeup tips and product recommendations, makes for a great show. Benefit knows exactly what their customers come to Facebook for: to kill time and to be entertained, for which this show works perfectly.

Why this show is successful: 

Yes, Benefit ultimately hopes that users will visit the website, but the show is not driven by any sales metrics. Rather, by creating unique content for the Facebook platform and putting on a show at the same time every week, their fans know they’re engaging with consistent content that they won’t find anywhere else. This not only builds anticipation and excitement, but a unique relationship with their viewers and customers.

2. BuzzFeed bursts a watermelon with rubber bands

How many rubber bands does it take to burst a watermelon? I doubt anyone had ever asked themselves that question before now. But when there’s a live video of 2 people trying to see how many it takes, you know you’re going to watch it.

The stream ran for 45-minutes as thousands found themselves watching in anticipation.

Buzzfeed reported that the video reached 807,000 viewers. And at the time of writing this, the video has been viewed 11,115,665 times.

Why this was successful:

Something simple, silly, and a little off-the-wall is guaranteed to catch your attention. One of the key tenets of successful content will always be to inform and educate, but entertaining is equally as powerful. BuzzFeed’s video is a prime example that a big budget isn’t necessary to create great live content.


3. Dunkin’ Donuts goes live for Valentine’s Day

The iconic donut brand welcomed viewers into their kitchen in anticipation of Valentine’s day for their first ever Facebook Live video. They geared up viewers for a surprise with their broadcast announcement: “Our first-ever LIVE TOUR of the DD test kitchen + big announcement for engaged Valentines!”

Within 13 minutes their live stream had pulled in 21,000 viewers. The video was clearly rehearsed but it found the perfect balance of structure and that unpolished feel that comes with live videos.

Why this was successful:

They gave a brief backstory of the brand’s long history — brand loyalty ✓

They showed their viewers how they made their famous donuts — curiosity ✓

They answered their viewers’ questions — engagement ✓

The announcement was that they were giving away $10,000 for the best engagement story that their viewers shared with them — incentive value ✓


4. Grazia publishes a week-long issue via Facebook Live


The popular Italian fashion magazine created a buzz in June with their Grazia x Facebook Live Edition. Throughout the week they streamed live eventsincluding a mix of fashion tips, behind the scenes info on cover shoots, and a music performance, culminating in a live stream Brexit debate, one week before the historic EU referendum.

The magazine was able to test the popularity of different video lengths and topics, and using these insights to inform editorial. Their videos throughout the week ranged from 10 minutes to hour-long broadcasts.

Why this was successful:

Facebook Live was particularly powerful for Grazia because it was a new and refreshing way to engage live with viewers that just isn’t possible through their normal publication. The common theme among all of these campaigns is each brand drawing in their viewers/fans/customers to have a peek into aspects of a brand that they wouldn’t normally see. Regardless of the fact that it’s live and public, this still adds a feeling of exclusivity and a sense of “bonding” with the brand that’s unique to live video.

The team and talent involved also made sure to create buzz about each broadcast through announcements across channels. (Even “unplanned” content needs to be planned for!)

What are some of your favorite examples of Facebook live?


Interested in hands-on learning to build and execute your video strategy? Check out our upcoming Social Media Strategies Summit in Chicago, April 24-26th for dedicated sessions on video strategy, case studies and more.

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