Live-streaming video has already become the norm when it comes to online customer engagement. Any brand, wishing to succeed in today’s omnichannel world and engage with their online customers should already be investing in this technology.
Here are some interesting stats on live streaming video from different sources, which show how important it is that brands include live streaming video into their online marketing campaigns to drive better online customer engagement:
Industry leaders such as, Vodafone, Nissan and T-Mobile are well aware that live streaming video chat is the best way to connect with customers, that’s why they are all using One-to-Many live video chat on their websites, to help customers engage with their brand in real-time.
It is true that Facebook is the world’s biggest social network and it is likely to draw views and shares. But how qualified are these “social viewers”? How effective can FB Live video be and what tools does Facebook have to measure the level of engagement and the effect on your business’ bottom line? Can it be used to generate sales leads?
Here are 6 reasons why FB Live IS NOT the best online customer engagement solution on the market:
1. FACEBOOK IS A PEER-TO-PEER PLATFORM
Facebook is great! Nearly everyone is on Facebook. But why are they there? It’s mostly to connect with their friends and relatives and well… ...to brag about their amazing lives!
Even the Facebook CEO agrees with me on that:
“Think about what people are doing on Facebook today. They’re keeping up with their friends and family, but they’re also building an image and identity for themselves, which in a sense is their brand.” – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe every business should be on Facebook to build their brand image, raise brand awareness and stay relevant. But being on Facebook is just not good enough anymore, when it comes to marketing and customer engagement.
Subsequent research by Ogilvy reported that “large brands’ Facebook posts reached just two percent of their fans (a number that was falling by 0.5 percent per month)”. More research by Forrester showed that “on average, only 0.07 percent of top brands’ Facebook fans interact with each of their posts.”
If your brand’s strategy is online customer engagement, you should look beyond Facebook and try other live-video streaming for your website, one that will reach customers when they actually want to interact with your brand and are searching the web for your products.
2. FB LIVE IS OUT OF YOUR ONLINE PROPERTIES
That’s right! You can only broadcast FB Live video from the Facebook platform. As with anything in this world… is it really free if it’s free? Facebook wants users to visit and stay on their platform for longer periods. They sure won’t give it up easily, when brands have the ability to attract more users for them and grow their platform! They’ve even made it extremely difficult to embed the live stream onto your website after you have finished streaming.
How do you control something when it’s hosted outside of your online properties? What if something goes wrong? What if there are technical issues and there’s nothing you can do about it? This could mean a disaster for your brand!
Here is a great example of T-Mobile’s One-to-many live video chat streaming from their website:
3. FB LIVE IS NOT ANONYMOUS
For many customers the great thing about the internet and online shopping is that it provides anonymity. People like to participate in online discussions, ask questions and do their research, but without everyone knowing what they ask or who they are.
With Facebook Live, everyone can see your comments and people can reply to you or even share your comment/question on the network if they find it funny or strange.
This might be an issue for many, which means they would just watch the video and not interact with your brand as much as they might have if their comments or questions were anonymous. And isn’t audience engagement what you want to achieve with this kind of activity?
If you’re on Facebook, you’ve already given away a lot of privacy. According to Supporters of Internet Anonymity “it is the most important aspect of free speech on the Internet. Anonymity allows for Internet users to express themselves freely without worry of being discovered or tracked, ridiculed, or harassed.”
With Whisbi One-to-Many the users can ask questions via chat, by first typing in their real or imaginary name to introduce themselves so that the presenter can refer to them when answering their question. The customers can watch the presenter through real-time video, ask questions via chat anonymously, but the presenters can’t see them and does not know their real name or any other details, unless the customer wants to share his info. It’s perfect!
4. FB LIVE REQUIRES USER LOGIN
Facebook Live is pretty simple to broadcast, right? But to watch it you need a Facebook account! This is where it stops for many customers. Some might not be on Facebook at all (don’t forget the baby boomers) and some just can’t be bothered to log in and find your page to join in the video stream. And some don’t like that everyone knows who they are when they comment, or ask questions - they might prefer to ask questions anonymously.
Don’t you think that customers would be more likely to interact and engage with your brand if they could watch your live stream without logging in or giving you any personal information? This is exactly how Whisbi One-to-Many solution works! All your customers need is a working internet connection and a device connected to the internet! The session starts automatically once they visit your website or landing page.
5. FB LIVE CANNOT DIRECT TRAFFIC FROM OTHER ADVERTISING CHANNELS SEAMLESSLY
It’s important to let your audience know about your upcoming or current live video stream. Facebook Live allows you to target your personal Facebook network, the fans of your business page (if you’re an admin), a group, or an event. You can also raise awareness through news feed posts from you FB account or business page. If you think your live video is important enough, you can use paid Facebook ads to promote your live event. Then, you would also have to remind your audience again right before you go live.
Promoting your live streaming video is important as it raises awareness of your brand or business and encourages customer interactions. So make sure you don’t forget about the world outside of Facebook!
You can invite your blog readers, email subscribers, and followers from other networks by sharing a link to your account, business page, group, or event. You could also do paid search advertising on Google or pay for display ads, which would then redirect the visitors to your Facebook page or account, but not directly to what they want to see. This brings me to the limitations of ad campaigns, when it comes to promoting on FB Live:
Firstly, the customer journey is not seamless. From the moment they click on the ad to the moment they come to your FB page to view the video, they would have to complete several steps before reaching your video:
1. Login to their social media account
2. Follow your page or your personal account (if they are not followers yet)
3. Find the live-streaming video on your Facebook page
Secondly, the customers would only see your live-stream LIVE if they happen to click on your ad in or outside of Facebook exactly at the time of the live-stream. Otherwise, they would only see the Facebook post informing them of the event or a live-video recording of the event that already happened, which can be quite disappointing after completing all of the steps above.
Thirdly, it is not possible to re-direct your audience from the live-streaming video on Facebook to your website or other landing page seamlessly! If viewers like what they see, they might want to quickly go to your website and purchase the products or services you are promoting. But Facebook wants to keep your audience engaged on their platform and not let them wander off easily to other websites. This means viewers would have to find your website through search engines or enter your website url directly and then search for the specific products or services on your site. The fact that the transition is clunky rather than seamless and leaves too much to coincidence, who is to say that while searching the web they won’t find the same products at your competitor and buy there instead?
As mentioned earlier in the post, with Whisbi’s One-to-Many solution your audience can watch your live stream without logging in or giving you any personal information. Furthermore, with Whisbi One-to-Many you can direct traffic from ALL online advertising channels SEAMLESSLY. Once the person clicks on your banner ad, Google paid search ad, Facebook ad or a link in your email marketing campaign, they will be automatically redirected to your website or landing page, where live-streaming video will start automatically.
Here are some examples of how you could leverage Whisbi in your lead generation activities:
Furthermore with Whisbi One-to-Many live video chat for business you can re-direct your viewers to any website or landing page seamlessly by sharing a link with your viewers through the chat! The link can take them to anywhere you want; the webpage with the specific collection of products your are talking about in the live stream or to the One-to-One session where they can speak to an expert and get personalised service.
6. FB LIVE LIMITATIONS IN NO. OF CUSTOMER INTERACTIONS
An example of Facebook’s streaming ability is a 45 minute video of two people exploding a watermelon with rubber bands. It reached a peak of over 800,000 simultaneous viewers who also racked up over 300,000 comments. That’s what you can generate with a social network of 1.5 billion users, but with only one channel and only one or two presenters, how can you possibly answer all their questions in real time??
Facebook Live is a fun, new feature which is nice if you want to share your day-to-day adventures (kind of like snapchat), but when it comes to customer engagement is that enough? Isn’t the beauty of live streaming video in the ability to talk to your audience in real-time and answer their queries or raise awareness of your new products?
Don’t you want real-time customer engagement for your brand, rather than spending hours after the live-stream is over, answering each question that you could not answer during the live session?
The Whisbi One-to-Many solution is the first real-time video chat designed exclusively for business! This means it has been carefully developed with your business needs in mind.
Here is a quick recap of the main differences between FB Live and Whisbi One-to-Many solution:
There are other (better) solutions for live-streaming video out there, in fact YouTube has been offering this service for some time already. Just because Facebook is the loudest, it does not make it the best. Especially not, when it comes to live-streaming video chat for business!
Interested in live-streaming video and online customer engagement? Read this blog post about how live-streaming video is impacting online customer engagement.