Live social video has become all the rage lately as one of the most contemporary ways that mortgage industry brands can connect with their audiences on a very real level.
There is literally nothing else like it!
When you go live, the people watching you are actively engaged. And they know anything can happen because viewers get to ask questions and steer the conversation. So, even though a live video can be recorded, shared and viewed later, the magic happens at the time of the broadcast.
Why Use Live Video?
It’s exciting! And, it has an element of surprise and intrigue like no other content currently provides. So, it can keep your viewer’s attention much longer than a blog post, infographic or even a pre-recorded video. In fact, according to Facebook, people watch live video on average 3 times longer than they do a pre-recorded video on the same topic.
With this increase in attention-span comes significant reward.
First, it drives immediate social engagement. This means your audience can control the direction of a conversation to fit its needs. As a result, you can build a deeper relationship with your current followers and the new audience you attract.
Second, it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate true authenticity and transparency with your audience. Have a plan of course, but don’t try to be too rehearsed or polished because that’s not why they showed up! They came to see the real you, the real company, the real deal.
Show everybody your true colors. Show them your ability to roll with the punches, adapt and improvise.
Finally, did you know that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text?
When to Use Live Video
You may be thinking this great brand-building tactic doesn’t work for your business.
If this thought is crossing your mind, it would be incorrect. There are many situations where retail mortgage lenders and mortgage industry product and service providers can use live video.
Let’s look at a few right now.
Product launch: Do you have a new product you’ve been itching to get into the press and blow it out as far as possible to drive the most awareness possible with your audience? Or is it something you would like to cross-sell to your existing user base?
Well, a press release is one way to do it. Another could be an email campaign and yet another could be online targeted ads. We know all these things work. But what if you simultaneously marketed a live demo or Q&A that people could tune in to see on Facebook, YouTube or Periscope?
If you give it some thought, be creative and let yourself go a bit you may be surprised by the positive reaction you get.
And remember, live video viewers are much more engaged, so you just may attract a highly interested audience – which means higher conversions.
Seminars: There are many opportunities for conducting live seminars throughout the mortgage industry. A few that come to mind include homebuyer seminars, compliance updates, personal branding tips, marketing trends, CRM and more.
For those of you that are ready to try something new, you could take the current polished format of a seminar you’ve used in the past, turn it on its head and make it into something more exciting, authentic and interactive. And build your audience along the way!
For example, every Wednesday at 3:00 Eastern, Experian has a live chat about credit and related topics.
Customer Service: Now here’s an opportunity to give your user base something it wasn’t expecting.
Typically, when your customers have questions or an issue they need to work through, they go to your website, click on your chat feature or start an email string. In this process, miscommunications can occur which can cause frustration and waste time. This can even result in a poor brand experience which is the last thing you want with so many social media platforms and rating opportunities at their fingertips.
If you want to take your brand experience to the next level, you can offer live video as an option to your customers. This could be an especially great option for tech companies.
You might also use live video to take new customers through a how-to session.
Mentorship: This is an interesting one for those of you reading this that may have a significant social following.
With the proliferation of reality TV shows like Million Dollar Listing, Property Brothers, The Profit and so many more – in addition to coaches like Tony Robbins, Barry Habib and so forth – this is proof that people love to see how others operate in business settings and learn great habits. Whether they are scripted or not, the popularity of these shows prove that people are thirsty for connecting with real people, understanding how they think and their routines.
So, if you’re a top-producer in your field and have amassed a good following, this could be a great opportunity for you to build your personal brand and truly connect with your followers and create an authentic relationship with new prospects. Let them see and understand how you operate. Give them daily advice. Your only limitation is your imagination.
Which is the Best Platform?
Right now, live video is still in its infancy. So, no platform is edging out the competition yet in a huge way.
Some of the top platforms right now include Facebook (the leader), YouTube, Snapchat (the original), Periscope, Twitter, Instagram and some others.
If you’re just dipping your toe into this medium, my recommendation is to throw all your eggs in the Facebook basket.
Facebook has the greatest reach and is the best for engagement. It’s also considered the default platform. Plus, you can easily share it later and embed it in your blog if you wish. It’s considered great for long-form content.
Here’s how to get started now on the Facebook platform:
First, go to your Facebook company page. Then click “Live Video.”
Second, allow access to your camera and microphone.
Third, you will be able to see yourself in a preview mode, so you’re not live yet. This is a good time to adjust your lighting, make sure your hair looks great and you don’t have a milk mustache. When you’re ready, click “Go Live!”
Some of you may be wondering about Instagram. Instagram is an awesome option for short-form content that’s under a minute. It’s also great for quick, flashy updates.
YouTube is also a solid alternative…if you have the audience and use it consistently for pre-recorded content promotion. It’s also great for long-form content.
What’s most important with live video is having fun with it. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:
DO keep it to 45 minutes or less.
DO throw out the script.
DO be authentic.
DO show your ability to adapt and improvise by listening to your audience and switch away from the original topic.
DO have a sense of humor.
DO use it to discover new content ideas by listening to your audience and what they want to know about.
DO record and share it across social platforms.
DO NOT over-produce.
DO NOT use it for webinars.
When you go live, people expect authenticity. They also want to be rewarded for taking time to watch. So, make sure you have a plan to share some great information that is hot, that they can use as soon as the broadcast is over. Be fun, but stay focused. And remember to make your audience a part of the broadcast by inviting questions and feedback. If you have a mindset to talk with them rather than at them, you will be greatly rewarded!