One of the BIGGEST trends in digital marketing right now is video. Yup. Video marketing is HUGE! In fact, online video accounts for 74% of all online traffic. But many businesses are still hesitant at the thought of using video to market and promote their business online. Why? Some still believe that creating videos are expensive and time intensive — and just plain scary and nerve-wracking.

Well, I have some good news! Long gone are the days where you need to hire a video production crew, purchase expensive high-tech video equipment, film in a fancy, state-of-the-art studio and waiting weeks for professional video editing to be completed. Creating online videos has never been easier!

There is a large variety of very affordable (and some not-so-affordable) software tools and apps on the market that allow you to make professional-looking videos in minutes. And more are being created and added every day. (Just ask your 14-year-old!) One tool that you probably have right now in your purse, briefcase or pocket is your smartphone! With your smartphone or a webcam, you can create amazing videos that will engage your audience – and not break the bank.

Still not convinced that video marketing is right for your business? Here are some statistics about video marketing that are sure to sway you:

Live Streaming Video

One form of video marketing is live streaming. Live video is very popular to audiences that watch videos. In fact, according to a recent study, 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. Additionally, 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.

Why is live video so popular? There are many reasons, but the main one is quite simply that the video is live! That means that whatever you see on the screen is happening in real-time. There’s excitement in watching live videos. When news happens, you see it live. The person makes a funny joke or messes up their lines, it’s real. Technical glitches? No problem. It’s live and people expect technology failures and issues every once in a while — that’s part of the fun (and the live experience.) Live videos are natural and organic. That’s the beauty of live streaming!!

Source: Yahoo and FreeWheel Video Monetization Report, Q3 2015
Source: Yahoo and FreeWheel Video Monetization Report, Q3 2015

For business owners and digital marketers, your audience’s love of live video works in your favor. You don’t need to be perfectly scripted. Your hair and makeup doesn’t have to be flawless. You don’t need to have top-of-the-line camera equipment. You can just….be!

Facebook Live is The Place to Be!

One of the best ways to utilize live video marketing is in social media.

One of the most popular types of social media post are videos. Here are some social media video stats that may surprise you:

Many popular social media platforms allow you to upload videos and more and more allow you to create live streaming videos.

Social media giant Facebook takes video marketing to the next level with their feature-rich Facebook Live option.

Start Facebook Live
Start Facebook Live

Hopefully by now you see that the combination of social media and videos should be a part of your digital marketing strategy. One way to reach your customers with video and social media is through Facebook Live.

What is Facebook Live?

Facebook Live is a Facebook feature that literally lets you to “go live” on camera using a webcam on your computer or your smartphone’s camera. Facebook Live is a great way for companies to connect with their customers. You can not only show them what’s going on at your company, but you can also chat with them and answer questions on the fly.

If you’re nervous about going live on Facebook. Don’t worry. Perfection is not an expectation that your audience/viewers have. (That’s one of the most fun things about live video – the unexpected!) You don’t need a professional studio or expensive lighting to make Live videos either. All you really need is your webcam or smartphone. However, if you want your videos to look a tad more professional, there are a few tools you can purchase:

Webcam: Typically the webcam that comes on your laptop doesn’t have that great of quality. If you plan to do frequent Facebook Live videos, you may want to spend the extra money to invest in a better webcam. Logitech makes several great webcam models (with varying prices) that work with most live streaming services and computers. There is even a new breed of video cameras on the market that are specifically designed for social media live streaming. The Mevo camera is just one of them.

Lighting: It’s best to have great lighting for your videos. White light is better than fluorescent lighting. You can also buy small lights that are created to clip on your computer screen or smartphone. Another popular type of light are “ring lights” — which are basically lights in the shape of a circle. These lights are affordable and can make a big difference in the quality of your videos.

Selfie-Stick: If you’ll be filming while you’re walking around your office, business, store, warehouse or any other place, a selfie-stick can help keep your camera steady.

Microphone: Sound quality is important. A lavalier (“lav”) microphone can make you sound much more professional. You can also get an external microphone (instead of using the one that’s built in to your computer.) The Yeti microphone is one of the most popular.

Teleprompter Software: One way to prevent stage fright is to use teleprompter software. This software lets you to upload a script that you will read off the screen of an extra computer or tablet.