Top tips for creating a Facebook Live video event

Facebook Live video is a very effective route to engage with your audience. It’s a brilliant way to talk directly to your followers and - used well - opens up new ways to market your products and services.
A few of our favourite uses for Facebook Live include:
  • Giving a sneak peek behind the scenes at events
  • Trailering a forthcoming face-to-face event
  • Launching and demonstrating a brand new product
  • Answering audience questions
  • Creating educational events specifically for your Facebook audience
If you’ve used or considered live webcasts in the past to reach your audience, Facebook is a more engaging and inspiring way to deliver content. Here are our top tips for getting it right.

1. Choose and build your audience

Always start from your audience and then work from there. If you build the topic, choose the speaker and design the visuals with your audience in mind, you’re far more likely to create an event they will love. Know your target viewer, what they need and want to hear and what’s going to send them away asking for more. Consider the time and day for your audience carefully – find out whether they will prefer to watch during the working day or after hours at home (why not ask them - polls are great on Facebook!).

2. Choose your topic and speaker carefully

Make sure your topic is of genuine interest to your audience. Stay away from promotional topics – make it educational, interesting and genuinely insightful. And choose a speaker who can carry this off charismatically, and can cope with the pressure of live presenting. 

3. Market the event EFFECTIVELY

Once you know your audience, building targeted marketing begins. AB test your ads and create a buzz - Facebook Live events are still quite new and exciting for many audiences. Make sure your advertising is professional, visual and engaging. You will need to explain exactly what is involved in watching a Facebook Live event – do not assume that your audience will understand where and how to view the video or how to ask questions.

4. Practice!

Even if your style is informal, you still want to be slick and professional with the way you handle the live event. Practice with your team and your speaker. Know who is managing the technology, whether and how you will answer questions, what the viewer will see when.
Facebook Live video
Creating Facebook Live video events

5. Get the technology right

In its simplest form, you can go live from the camera on your mobile phone. If you’re aiming for a large audience, however, you’ll need to be a little more sophisticated than this. Think about whether your presenter has slides or a script – if so, you’ll need a camera with autocue. Do you want the viewers to be able to see the slides? Then you’ll need a vision mixer. Want to up the ante and include messages and reminders on the screen? Custom-built graphics will enhance the viewer experience.

You also need to think about the encoding and streaming of the feed. Make sure you have back up encoder options and that you’re on a fast and stable internet connection – ideally dedicated to you rather than shared with others. The more effort you put into getting the technology right, the more stable your broadcast will be and the better the viewer experience.

6. Respond to comments and questions in real time

The wonderful thing about Facebook Live is the ability for viewers to join in there and then via the comments. You might decide that your presenter(s) will answer questions and comments as they go, or you might save them all up for the end (you’ll need a team member to collate these). Either way, have someone on hand to respond to any comments and questions which don’t need to be addressed by your presenter, whether these are technical issues, off-topic questions or just friendly hellos. The best Facebook Lives create a thriving community discussion - between delegates as well as with your presenter.

7. Archive the event afterwards for maximum lifespan

Our experience suggests that you'll get 5-6 times the number of viewers if you leave the video available as an archive stream. By all means take it and edit it if you need to, but ideally leave the live event available for people to share and rewatch. If you’ve done a great job with the event, your engaged audience will share the video and help you to reach many, many more people.
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