Note: CCI is deeply saddened about recent videos featuring violent and tragic events posted to social media accounts. As we address the topic of video for social media, our hearts go out to those who’ve been affected by these senseless events. As always, we believe every form of communication should build and strengthen the lives of others and the communities we live in and never to destroy them. 

It’s no secret that video is devouring the internet. Cisco estimates that by 2019, 80 percent of the world’s internet consumption will be video. Facebook reports 8 billion video views on average per day.

But now, the latest trend is live video.

In March 2015, Twitter launched the Periscope live-streaming video application, and one year later Facebook launched Facebook Live. Snapchat Live and the whole host of additional live-video applications are available, giving anyone with a smartphone the power to broadcast live video to anyone in the world. Live-streaming video has become the new frontier of social media.

At a recent Public Relations Society of America chapter meeting, Karla Khodanian digital community manager for Big Communications in Birmingham, Ala., addressed the topic of live-streaming video, or “live storytelling.” According to Khodanian, the number of options for live storytelling across social media platforms exists because social media platforms are competing to keep the user engaged within their platform. And they’re all offering live storytelling to keep the viewer engaged within their platform.

Companies that take advantage of video – and live video in particular — can reap big results online and in social media. Posts containing video have higher reach and engagement than others, and current Google algorithms favor video — important for companies wishing to optimize search engine rankings.

One way to incorporate video into your PR and marketing mix is at trade shows or other industry events. If you’re exhibiting, consider a video of a product demo or an interview with a product expert. Want bonus points for your effort? Try a Facebook Live video, and position your brand on the forefront of social media know-how.

As you incorporate video, Khodanian reminds us to consider:
1. Your audience and what they want.
2. Bandwidth. You don’t have to be present on every platform – only what makes sense for your audience.
3. Your content. Produce different content for each platform. The audience is more than likely following you on multiple platforms, so give them unique content in each space.

Often, people have a misconception that video is expensive or difficult. But this isn’t the case in today’s smartphone-obsessed culture. The average camera app on most smart phones today can easily produce the quality needed for online viewing. Click here for more tips from CCI on video basics.

Once you’ve decided to press record, what should you cover? Khodanian offers the following suggestions:

  1. Behind-the-scenes coverage
  2. Guest interviews
  3. Breaking news
  4. Live event coverage
  5. Q&As
  6. Product reviews
  7. Performance sneak peeks

At CCI, we encourage our clients to add video into their social media and marketing mix. Now that the next wave is live video, how do you plan to incorporate video as a marketing tactic? Contact me! I’d love to hear your thoughts.