Introduced as a “rock star” at April’s SMB program, Nick Palkowski didn’t disappoint. He ran the first all-live streaming program and presented about the benefits of live video.
The freelance videographer demonstrated best practices that engaged online viewers and addressed some of their concerns about producing videos.
Nick admits that the process isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort. He challenged attendees to post short live videos during April using the hashtag #LiveChallenge.
At other SMB events, Nick provides live streaming for a virtual SMB audience. But now, due to pandemic precautions, all watched the program through Facebook Live.
Video Connects Us
Because of COVID-19, we now communicate in new ways. Professional and personal virtual meetings fill our days. We’re following physical separation rules but still need social connections. Live streaming fills that void.
Nick’s firm produces quality live stream events and presentations for clients, increasing their impact and income.
A New Reality
The pandemic, Nick says, “let the cat out of the bag” regarding the value of live video. It allows people to connect with their audiences in real time.
“Showcase what you’re doing,” he suggests. For instance, viewers can now see how workers prepare takeout meals at restaurants. Or you may have a client who wants to broadcast a product reveal to generate interest.
Check out Nick’s SMB Live Stream Breakdown. He takes viewers to his studio and explains the equipment and process he used during the Facebook Live presentation that included multiple remote guests. Nick announced that he will soon post more live streaming tutorials at this site.
Through his live streaming experience, Nick’s learned some best practices. He shared five of them with the enthusiastic SMB virtual audience.
Element One: Weekly Show
Want to build your brand? Consider producing a weekly show. Nick advises broadcasting at the same time and day each week. The practice, he says, will “build up your content creation muscle.”
To avoid becoming overwhelmed with the process, create a show flow. That way, you’re following the same pattern for each show. Nick suggests the following template:
- Hook: for 10 to 30 seconds draw in viewers with an enticing teaser that will prompt them to watch the show.
- Bumper: spend 7 to 10 seconds building your brand by featuring your logo and noting what your show is all about.
- Introduction: announce who you are, what this show is all about and introduce the topic.
- Main Content: offer content designed for your target audience.
- Wrap-up: summarize your message.
- Close: provide a compelling call to action for viewers.
Need episode ideas? Consider the following: educational content, thought leader interviews, case studies, or experiential programs where you take people behind the scenes of events or show you at work.
Does the weekly show concept sound like too big a leap?
“Just get started,” Nick advises.
Take your phone and record a video. Hold the phone at eye level and face a window to get good light.
Do you have concerns about what gear to use? Nick also handled those worries. Check out his Gear Guide and live streaming checklist at http://NickPalkowski.com/SMBmad.
Nick emphasizes that live streaming can help drive leads and sales, but it can be confusing to get started. In his gear guide, the outlines the five steps you need to consider for the best results.
Element Two: Driving Audience
Use social media platforms to help grow your live streaming audience, Nick advises. Take an inventory of your assets:
- Email list
- Other social media platforms
- Relationships with influencers
- Network of friends
“What’s your biggest marketing asset? Use that,” he says. Develop a weekly promotion plan to draw viewers to your weekly show. Actions could include emailing your list or featuring your show through an Instagram story or post.
Element Three: Creating Engagement
Where will you post your live streaming show? The channel depends on your business and what you’re trying to accomplish. YouTube offers the longest life. Nick reports that Instagram live now enjoys a considerable resurgence. Where’s your audience?
Initially, don’t expect to engage many viewers. But keep going and commit to producing a show for at least six months, Nick suggests.
Element Four: Funnel Development
Consider your sales funnel. Live streaming can build awareness at the top of the funnel. But what you’re probably seeking is increased sales at the bottom of the funnel.
At the SMB session, Nick encouraged viewers to develop a nurture sequence to develop a business relationship. Actions could include:
- Creating a lead magnet
- Offering a resource guide
- Sending out an email series
- Providing a free consulting call
Element Five: Beyond Video
After you go live, don’t let your content die, Nick advises. “Find ways to repurpose it and use it in a different way.”
- Turning the video into a podcast
- Developing an email sequence that you’ll send to prospects
- Rewriting the content into a blog post
- Running related ads
Don’t get overwhelmed. Just take one concept and go with it to broaden your reach once you’ve posted your live video.
Why use live video for your business?
“It allows you to create a solid connection with your audience and build relationships, so people are more than followers. They become a community,” Nick says.
Check out the Facebook Live presentation to see comments and more details about creating live video.
Don’t Miss SMBMad in May! Tune in from the comfort of your home.
Special thanks to Nick Palkowski, the presenter, sponsors, volunteers and all in attendance.
At the program, SMB recognized two nonprofits.
Badger Bots promotes STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programs for all ages. The nonprofit also provides summer camps, after-school programs, workshops and spring break camps.
Chrysalis Pops supports mental health recovery through work opportunities that encourage hope, healing and wellness. Participants grow, create and sell organic, frozen fruit pops through the region.
The May session will feature ”Brand Storytelling with Love Wisconsin.” The program will be held online. Learn more at SMBMad.org/events.
Leslie Blaize wrote this post on behalf of Winbound, a manufacturing marketing firm. Winbound provides an all-in-one content marketing and conversion optimization package specifically designed for small manufacturing and industrial marketing departments.