From text to images and video to live streaming, content has had a particular lifespan around engagement. Brands continue to look to engage audiences faster and more effectively. And now plenty of brands are starting to use Facebook Live for business.

But is this type of content truly for your business? The age of instant content makes Snapchat, Instagram Stories and Facebook Live big players for reaching core audiences. If you’re hesitant–that’s fine. But there are perks you should know about using instant content for your brand.

Don’t write off live streaming just yet until you see our seven legitimate benefits when brands use Facebook Live for business.

1. Provides Absolutely Unique Content

Easily one of the biggest nuances to social media content is live video streaming. In late 2011, Snapchat emerged as something completely new by providing live video sharing. From there, services like Periscope and Meerkat developed live-streaming content, taking mobile video to a whole new level.

For brands using these tools, they were able to provide completely new and unique content to their viewers. And now that Facebook Live is commonly used across the world, businesses have to take advantage of its freshness before it’s too late.

Research from Livestream discovered 81% of internet users said they watched more live streaming content in 2016 than a year prior. Your audience is already there, but brands have to use social media to push new content.

By implementing Facebook Live into your content strategy, you provide an instant, real-time source of content for viewers that’s like nothing else. Brands are still trying to figure out how to use Snapchat correctly, but with Facebook Live, you can produce unique content the second you start a stream.

The biggest problem is coming up with content your audience actually wants to watch. It’s smart to plan out your live content just like you would anything else. Live streaming has the benefit of providing unedited and unfiltered content. However, this doesn’t mean brands should start a live video with no plan of action.

2. It’s a Cost-Effective Video Strategy

It doesn’t matter who you are, brands always look to cost-effective strategies when it comes to social media marketing. And with the influx of video, it’s hard to stay on budget and provide beautiful, attention-grabbing content to your followers.

However, Facebook Live relieves a bit of that stress. Most users enjoy the live-action and unedited approach to live videos. This means you don’t need a fancy camera, set design or editing skills. Facebook Live is all about living in the moment.

Simply use a smartphone to post content to your Facebook Live feed. On the other hand, don’t let the low-budget appeal weaken the quality of your content. That means while recording might be cost-effective, you still need to provide content viewers will actually want to watch.

Facebook Live shouldn’t be used for every type of visual content on your business Page as well. The last thing you want to do is reveal a major product update, service or company news with Facebook Live. Instead, try to use the live video to highlight small wins, company outings, your employees or other on-the-spot content.

3. Creates More Excitement Around Product Releases

To continue the previous tip, Facebook Live can be used for many special events, but not all of them. One event in particular where we see success from Facebook Live for business is with hyping product releases.

Live videos are raw and often unedited, which means you as a viewer don’t know what to expect. Brands can use that same emotion to evoke excitement around a new product or service release.

If you correctly hype your Live videos, customers will come back to see updates or get more news on the release. For example, Target uses Facebook Live to promote its newest line of affordable home decor themes that are aimed at a younger demographic.

In this example, Target highlights college dorm decor for the move-in season. You can tell Target clearly prepared the video to be talk-show esque, but going live still leaves room for error or fun unscripted conversations.

The consistent and ritual experience of the new live videos excites and encourages users to come back for more. We all know it can be tricky to build your Facebook organic reach, but anything you can do to create a consistent audience is extremely helpful.

4. Better Connect With Your Audience Directly

Easily one of the best benefits to using Facebook Live for business is its personal approach to content. Many brands use Facebook Live just as a quick Q&A session without all the big production behind the content.

For example, The Weather Channel will sometimes go Live on Facebook with videos answering real-time questions about a specific storm. The meteorologist will answer questions, as well as give advice and updates about the situation in real time for viewers.

This not only makes their Facebook a great source for news, but a place anyone can get their questions answered when participating. The Sprout Social Q2 2017 Index discovered only 1 in 10 social messages gets a response.

consumer sentiment q2 2017 index graph

What’s even more telling is 90% of millennials and 79% of baby boomers say answering social media questions is cool instead of annoying. This means you have to put in the effort to respond and engage with your audience.

5. Increases Awareness Around Community Events

We’ve mentioned this before, but Facebook is a great network to promote community events and other discussions. If you’re looking to use Facebook Live, a great introduction could start with promoting a community event.

Some brands even like to offer online-style classes and promote them in Live videos. Social Media Examiner does just that on Facebook Live by offering discount codes to join their online community, the Social Media Marketing Society.

Promoting events, gatherings or groups can be difficult for brands because of the constant updates. This means users can go numb to ads and other visuals that continue to ask users to join. However, Facebook Live presents opportunities to discuss the upcoming events with others to get them on board.

Real-time videos create a deeper connection between brands and users, which means you can directly address upcoming events more effectively. Try using Facebook Live to increase awareness around special events, especially if your ads are running a bit dry.

6. Drives More Traffic to Your Facebook Pages

Another benefit to Facebook Live is it can be a true source of traffic for your Page. Live videos simply drive more engagement and if you promote your content well, it could keep users coming back.

In fact, Facebook Live videos drive more engagement than standard video content. Facebook recently said Live videos can drive 10 times more comments because of the real time connection between users.

reuters facebook live screenshot

One of the best ways to drive traffic to specific site is to continually publish fresh and updated content. For example, Reuters uses Facebook Live to push breaking news on the channel. Without anything new, your Page quickly becomes stale and out of date for customers seeking information.

That’s how Facebook Live can come into play. Try creating a steady stream of content on Facebook with Live videos. The more you’re able to draw in users, the more likely you will create a source of traffic to your Facebook Pages.

7. You See Real-Time Engagement & Keep It

Last but not least, Facebook Live gives you the benefit of seeing real-time engagement. If you’re worried about whether or not a specific piece of content will perform, Facebook Live could be a great testing spot.

As you get started, track your Facebook Live videos engagement metrics by noting Likes, reactions, shares, mentions and comments. Facebook Insights provides this after you’ve completed your stream, but having the data show in real time can help your content strategy.

For example, you could ask questions like:

  • Were there enough comments to garner a true Q&A?
  • Did users like an section of your video more so than another?
  • Did anyone comment after the video ended?
  • How did Live compare to other Facebook content?
  • How many new followers have you gained since using Live?
New Facebook Page Report Video Performance

While all these questions are important, it’s a time-consuming effort to track and monitor these statistics on native platforms. Luckily with Sprout Social, our Facebook management tools allow users to track multiple Pages and all your content to ensure you’re on top of what works and what needs improvement.

Sprout inbox with Facebook posts filtered

Whether it’s scheduling content, reviewing Facebook analytics or tracking comments, your business can do it all with Sprout. Ensure your Facebook Live strategy is effective and benchmark your efforts today!