Video content is booming. From top corporations to up-and-coming bloggers, people all over the internet are using video to build their audiences. But video doesn’t have to mean perfectly scripted YouTube videos. Depending on your platform and your personality, you might be better suited to using live video to grow engagement with your audience.
Are you ready to give video a try but not sure where to start? It’s time to talk to an expert.
Bobbi Rebell knows a lot about getting content out across multiple platforms. In addition to hosting her podcast Financial Grownup, she also co-hosts another podcast called Money in the Morning with Joe Saul-Sehy. But Rebell does something else really unique: she mixes media across platforms. She and Saul-Sehy actually use Facebook Live to create live videos, which later turn into audio for their podcast and also end up on YouTube.
Rebell stopped by with insight on how to get started with video, especially live video content. She talks about choosing the best platform, how to find the perfect software, and the power of creating consistent content. And once you’re on a roll using live video to grow audience engagement, Rebell has some advice on what to do with the haters, too.
How do you know which platform to use?
When you are first figuring out where to start, ask yourself where you will find the most support and engagement. Don’t pick a platform based on headlines, success stories, and what you see other people doing. Instead, capitalize on the audience that you’ve already built.
Why Facebook Live instead of Instagram TV or any other platform? For Rebell, the answer is simple. She and her co-host use Facebook Live because that is where their audience started. Saul-Sehy built an audience for Stacking Benjamins on Facebook, so it was logical to leverage that audience for Money in the Morning.
Another benefit to using Facebook Live is the type of audience engagement Rebell sees. Because the audience can fully participate in the live video, they are very active. That allows her to actually use their participation on the show.
No matter the platform you choose, there’s something else to remember. Rebell points out that wherever you start isn’t necessarily where you’ll end up. Rather than changing platforms, though, she thinks brands will add them.
For instance, Money in the Morning started on Facebook Live, and they have added other platform options. The live video is now transformed into an audio-only version so audiences can access content using platforms like Stitcher. There is also a YouTube component as well. This is all part of learning to adopt and adapt, Rebell says.
How do you choose the right software for video?
Choose a software that will be useful for your live video platform. Rebell uses Be Live because this robust program fits Facebook Live. It allows for double boxes and multiple people on screen. In fact, it has broadcasting modes for solo shows, interviews, and even talk shows. You can also bring up photos and guest comments on the lower third.
Another important consideration is how the software lets you promote your brand. Be Live allows Rebell to work in custom logos, frames, and colors to keep branding consistent. Using live video to grow engagement would not be nearly as meaningful if your brand wasn’t memorable to your audience. Grab other ideas to boost your brand from Tai and Talaat McNeely.
How does consistency grow audience engagement on live video?
One of the best ways to grow your audience is to share good work consistently. Audiences should be able to depend on a brand to create content on a schedule. That frequency is up to the content creator. But Rebell points out that audiences don’t want to have to guess when there might be a new video or a new live stream. Consistent content creation and scheduling eliminates guesswork. Don’t miss YouTube expert Chelsea Fagan share more video content creation strategies.
Another perk of choosing the right software is how that can actually help with consistency. Rebell enjoys the feature of Be Live that allows the audience to get calendar notifications for the next show. Audience members can basically make appointments to interact with them on the show. That kind of consistency with your content allows the audience to depend on you more fully.
How do live videos boost audience engagement?
One of the most powerful aspects of video is the live component. Audience members pick up on the intimacy. Whether video is pre-recorded or filmed live, Rebell says that audiences appreciate video that isn’t perfectly polished. People are looking for authenticity, not a Hollywood production.
The best video that will boost audience engagement is the kind that feels conversational. It’s the same reason that personality-driven podcasts have such high engagement. People are interested in successes, struggles, and stories.
Another way to hook your audience is to let them be involved in the video. When it’s a live stream that invites audience participation, people show up for it. Rebell says it’s because people love shout outs and to watch things play out in real time. Of course, she knows that this isn’t always something that everyone can do or wants to do.
Check out how YouTube star Joseph Hogue works live streams into his YouTube content strategy.
How do you get comfortable on camera?
Not everyone is comfortable on camera. The best way to get more comfortable is to keep producing content. But if you’re just getting started, focus on your audience. Rebell says that audiences are naturally supportive. They wouldn’t follow you and show up for your videos if they weren’t interested in what you had to say.
Plus, audiences aren’t looking for a flawless product. They can sense when something is genuine. Little things like vocalized pauses and filler words can actually add authenticity to your video. If someone wants something to be perfectly polished, they probably aren’t very interested in platforms like Facebook Live to begin with.
Take comfort in your audience. Then, it’s time to get over yourself. Rebell says that there is a psychological hurdle to overcome. However, once you acknowledge that video is a learning process like anything else, it gets easier.
What should I buy when I’m first getting started with live video?
This is kind of a trick question. Of course, you want to make sure that you’re investing in a software that does what you need it to do. But Rebell has some other advice for new content creators to consider.
No amount of fancy equipment can make up for choosing a platform that is disconnected from your audience. The best sound quality in the world won’t make up for a software program that doesn’t have the layout options you want. The saddest thing Rebell sees are people who spend hundreds of dollars (or more!) and then don’t create a single video or move onto another project right away.
So instead of pulling out your wallet, there’s something else to do. Rebell says the very first thing that new content creators need to do is research. Often times, there might be people in a mastermind group who are willing to share experiences and even resources. This strategy lets you try things out or at least get first hand advice before you start buying things. Plus, once you start to grow your audience, you can always upgrade your equipment.
What happens when the haters arrive?
If you create content online, you’re going to end up seeing or hearing some negativity. It might be an internet troll. It might be someone who simply doesn’t understand or appreciate your content. The first thing to remember about haters is it means that you’ve built an audience. A hater is one other way to know you’ve arrived.
There’s another reason not to take ratings too seriously. Rebell points out that we’ve all seen a one-star review that didn’t make sense. Whether you’re shopping online or leaving a comment for a content creator, you’ve likely seen a bad rating with a really positive comment. Rebell jokes that it’s the one-star of love. Sometimes people don’t even understand what the star system means. That’s another reason to focus on your loyal audience, instead of the negativity.
Still nervous? Check out advice from other YouTubers like Sarah from Budget Girl on dealing with haters.
Final Thoughts on Using Live Video to Grow Engagement
Live video is another way to share your message and your brand with audiences. Audiences love the sincere peek into the lives and minds of their favorite content creators. Plus, the format of live video is ideal for growing your audience. It gives audiences a chance to learn and be entertained, in addition to being heard. With these tips from Bobbi Rebell, you’re ready to flip on the camera and start recording. Just don’t forget to do your research first!
What platform is your audience already build around? How could you use video to grow it even more?
To hear the full interview with Bobbi Rebell, tune into the latest episode of the Money & Media podcast.
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About Our Hosts
Bethany Bayless is a public speaker and emcee who co-hosts the podcast The Money Millhouse.
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