As if creating written and graphic social content wasn’t time consuming enough, brands now have a new way to engage their audiences: live video. While this new avenue presents a new set of challenges to understand, it also provides brands with an amazing opportunity to connect with their audiences in real time.

Live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. There are a multitude of reasons why live video is successful (immediate engagement, putting real faces to a brand, allowing your audience to feel part of your behind the scenes life, etc.), but today we are not going to focus on why live video is successful, but on how to make your live video content the most engaging it can be.

1. Make It Exclusive

While people love live videos, they don’t love live videos with no purpose. Promote your live video with the promise of exclusive content. One of the main reasons people love live video is the exclusivity of knowing things first. One fashion brand I partner with (Influenster) has monthly live reveal parties showcasing their products in the upcoming sample boxes they are sending out. People tune in to these reveal parties because they know there’s really no where else they can get this exclusive first-look content than through the live video. Make it worth your audience’s while to spend their real time with you.

2. Make It Entertaining

It’s just as easy to scroll past a video as it is to pause to watch the content. Make sure your live video presents your content in a way that is engaging and captivating. Talking heads are great for capturing attention, but make sure that once your audience tunes in you’re holding their attention throughout your whole video. Have an engaging background, ask for their participation frequently, and entertain them with interesting content.

3. Make It Short

I usually don’t have an entire hour in my day to devote to watching a live video, but I do have 10 minute work breaks that I’d be happy to spend watching live video content. Make your live videos brief so that your audience can easily tune in to hear everything you want to say to them. I also get incredibly frustrated when I tune into a live video to hear exclusive content and then have to go through 30 minutes of filler content to get to the big reveal at the end. If I have to spend more than 10 minutes listening to content that isn’t relevant to the purpose of the live video, I’ve already probably given up and tuned out.

Live video is an incredible opportunity, but like all social media, just because you utilize it doesn’t mean its beneficial for you. Don’t just do live video to do live video. Do live video with the purpose of providing your audience with content that will benefit them, be worth their time, and engage them.

Katie Clinebell

Katie Clinebell is a born and raised New Jersey girl living in Nashville, Tennessee where she works as a Platform Coordinator for LifeWay. Specializing in creative communications, she is fueled by the Beach Boys, Broadway, and coconut coffee.