Facebook Live has become a popular resource for small businesses wishing to reach more customers. Not only does the video “pop up” on Facebook as it is being recorded, there are several documented, researched articles on the psychology of how the moving image captures our attention. This is referred to as passive attention, which is a built in mechanism designed to keep humans aware of their surroundings.
In short, Facebook Live is a now an important part of the toolkit for marketing. The following are a few tips to maximize the effectiveness of your video.
This will be hard for introverts in particular, but it really is ok to mess up. Many people fear being judged. However, the end user is aware that no one is perfect. In addition, small mistakes can actually serve to humanize the business owner. Think of it as talking to a good friend, and smile. If you make a mistake, simply own up to it, laugh about it, and move on!
Have the Right Angle
If you have taken a selfie, you likely know to hold the camera above your head for a more flattering angle. However, in this case the camera or computer angle is not about vanity, but perception. Looking down on a person gives the viewer the psychological impression that you are looking down on them. Try to place your computer or hold your smart phone at eye level, or slightly above.
If Using a Smartphone, Hold it Horizontally
Holding the phone horizontally eliminates the blurred bars on both sides of the video, which lends itself to a more attractive and appealing video, in addition to showing the background and adding interest.
Check Your Background
Is your space messy? If so, find another location. Although your mistakes may not be judged, your background makes an impression about how you do business.
Utilizing the psychology of movement once again, a changing background will keep the video fresh and the user engaged. For example, walk through your space. People like to see your workspace (provided it is neat) and get to know you. However, the background does not need to be limited to your business space. Choose an area that makes sense for your business. For example, a realtor may wish to walk around the kitchen of a home for sale. You may also choose to remain static, but have a moving background, such as a slideshow. Just make sure the background is not distracting, but complementing your message.
Don’t Get Distracted
It’s easy to get distracted when you see friends and outside viewers commenting and reacting to your video. Try to avoid the temptation to say “hi” or start making small talk.
If you are doing a Q & A format, or someone asks about your service, this is the time to answer questions. If if the answer is too long or too specific to be of use to other viewers, let them know you will answer in the comments or in another format, such as messenger or email. This also may be an opportunity to offer your business product or service, since a more in depth answer will require more time and expertise on your part and may lead to a sale.
Look into the Camera Lens
It’s is very tempting to look at yourself while filming. However, looking at yourself can be distracting, and it makes for a better experience for the viewer if it appears you are looking at them. Find out where the lens is on your device and practice looking into the camera lens instead of your image. This trick will also help you avoid looking at likes and comments.
Have a Script
This one is very important. Viewers need to know your message and it needs to be concise. However, DO NOT read your message from a script. This makes for a boring experience for the viewer, who may lose interest and move on. To prevent yourself from reading, make a bulleted list of salient points, then fill in the details freely. Having a list will help you avoid fillers such as “um” and “uh.”
If you are filming from a computer or are able to set your phone on a surface, prop your list up at eye level and as close to the camera as possible. This will make sure your eyes can quickly scan the list and move back to the camera lens.
In addition to a bulleted list, have an ending. Many time people don’t know how to end a video and this is your last impression. Recap your message, thank your viewers, give them the information to contact you, and do not prolong the goodbye.
Get to the Point
Keep it short and sweet. People easily get distracted or lose interest. It has been documented that attention spans have waned in recent years. In addition, some are simply unable to watch for long periods of time due to outside circumstances. This is another reason to have a script ready so you don’t wander from your message.