Live video is the next frontier of video marketing.
Instead of posting a video that has been highly produced, you can create a more stream-of-conscious style vlog. Or you can broadcast an event as it occurs, giving your audience a unique insider’s view.
Facebook has made it easier for everyone to broadcast live video, regardless of resources. All you really need is a smart phone video and a Facebook account to start streaming video.
Now Facebook is testing out options for monetizing live video so that you can also generate some revenue from this new marketing strategy.
Facebook is testing mid-roll ads for its Live feature.
What this means is that the video will play for a certain amount of time and then it will stop and the ad will play. Then the video will start up again.
You can think of this ad like a commercial break during a television show. Publishers can use that break to get a drink of water during their live broadcast, to check notes, or to do some other important business.
The ads are short, so they are not too disruptive of the watching experience. They are only 15 seconds or less, and they appear after five minutes of the video.
As the testing continues, it’s possible that the advertising options may expand, such as placing ads in different places of the video or allowing different ad lengths.
Only a small group of publishers have been invited to participate in the testing so far, but Facebook has not shared the guidelines for how they are chosen.
At the same time, these publishers can choose to opt out of the ads.
Publishers don’t earn any revenue from the ads at this stage in the testing. Instead, they are just being given the chance to test out the ads and see how they will work once they go live. Some publishers have also been paid to live stream on the platform, so that has generated revenue for some.
Eventually, the ads would, of course, pay compensation. However, Facebook has not released any information on when it thinks the ads would go live or how the platform would work.
Publishers would also be able to choose the categories of advertisers that can appear on their videos, so they would have some control over how videos are presented.
Much still has to be seen to know how these ads would work and how effective they would be. We would also need to see what kind of metrics would be offered to track the ads and their effectiveness.
No information is available either about how people who want to run ads would sign up for the service or how much they would pay. Still, it’s an exciting development that signals the future of social media advertising.
Other Options for Monetization
Even if ads are not yet available for Facebook Live videos, you still have other options for monetizing if you think creatively.
Of course, you can include whatever you want in the video itself. That means that you can film an entire video promoting a product, such as showing off how it works or just talking about its benefits.
You can also include links to affiliate pages, your own product pages, or other pages that will generate revenue for you. Since the video is live and you don’t have the opportunity to edit it, you wouldn’t be able to put clickable links directly in the video. However, you could show signage with the links and verbally share the links frequently.
Paid content is also a great option for these live videos. Think of them just like you would sponsored posts. You would promote the opportunity on your site and charge a fee for creating a video of a tutorial, review, demonstration or so on.
Since the effort required to create a video is much greater than that to create a blog post, you could charge significantly more for this advertising opportunity.
These videos would also be native ads, which means that people are much more likely to watch them, thinking that they are organic content. That means that the ads are likely to be more effective, which allows you to charge more also.
If you are not already producing videos for Facebook Live, you are missing out on an opportunity to market your brand and to generate some revenue. This platform may be in its early stages, but it is clear already that this will be the progression of the future. By adopting the strategy early, you can build a strong foundation from which to dominate your competition later.
Of course, you’ll need to create a strong content marketing plan for your videos so that you can get the most out of your advertising opportunities later.