Is Facebook Live the future of online video content?

01 Sep 2017

Is Facebook Live the future of online video content?

It’s been almost a year and a half since Facebook Live was launched widely. The appeal of the service for brands is clear: it allows them to stream and interact in real-time with their target audiences. But, beyond the obvious engagement value, how well does Facebook Live perform as a revenue-generating marketing tool for brands?

While there are plenty of examples of brands using Facebook Live for product-focused campaigns, there is little public reporting on how this has translated into tangible sales and revenue – an issue also faced (to a lesser extent, now that Facebook has introduced Ad Breaks) by media companies and publishers, and addressed last year by Facebook Director of Product, Fidji Simo.

“It’s early days, and as with all products at Facebook we build people-first, but we are committed to finding a sustainable monetisation model for partners sharing live video on Facebook.”

Brands such as ASOS have reported impressive engagement from Facebook Live activity. Their 2016 ‘100 layers of ASOS’ broadcast – where two staff members had 30 minutes to dress a model in 100 layers of ASOS clothing – reportedly received 60,000+ views, a figure comparable with those enjoyed by top publishers like the Daily Mail. Meanwhile, makeup brand Illamasqua ran a successful eye tutorial campaign with live product demonstrations from their in-house artists, which racked up a comparably modest, but still considerable 5,875 views.

And yet data on how these views translated into sales remains elusive – suggesting that, while Facebook live streaming is an effective tool for engagement and brand awareness, its ability to deliver ROI in terms of actual sales remains unproven. The business case for other forms of online video content, on the other hand, is easier to make.

According to marketing, sales and CRM software provider HubSpot, having a video on a site landing page can increase conversions by up to 80%, and 64% of users are more likely to purchase a product online after watching a video about it. The same study found that 90% of users say product videos are helpful in their decision-making process around a purchase.

For businesses that are keen to harness the power of video content – but in a way that demonstrably delivers a return on investment, driving organic traffic and online sales – other types of video content, positioned on-site at the point of browsing and conversion, may be more effective. For example:

– How-to guides – Instructive videos explaining a process, technique or product.
– Collection & trend highlights – Topical videos highlighting hero products in a retail collection or delving into a current trend.
– Shoppable videos – Interactive visuals that showcase key products, while giving the viewer the option to click through to product pages or add directly to basket.

To find out more about how Quill can support with video content strategy and production, explore our visual content offering or fill out the form below to request a call-back.

Lauren Johnson-Ginn @ Quill ContentHead of Marketing Communications at Quill, passionate about all things content and digital.

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