Live video is the new marketing powerhouse. As noted by Marketing Dive, the NFL tested live streaming a game on Yahoo last season, and the league has now announced a $10 million deal with Twitter to stream 10 Thursday night games next season. But marketing with live video isn't just for big enterprises. Smaller companies can get in on the action with tools such as Facebook Live, Periscope and Snapchat. Here's what you need to know about creating compelling, consumable live video content.

The Rise of Video

If you go back a few years, you'll find that video didn't have much traction. Social media services such as Facebook and Twitter owned the internet's attention, but upstarts like Meerkat and live streaming app Periscope (which is now owned by Twitter) saw an opportunity to deliver live content on demand.

In the case of Periscope, for example, co-founder Kayvon Beykpour found that while Twitter let him read about emerging world events, he had no way to see what was really going on; Periscope fills that need by allowing anyone to live stream from their smartphone. Snapchat, meanwhile, has come to dominate the disposable content space, and according to Inc., this platform now enjoys a valuation of around $20 billion.

Go in With a Plan

Apps such as Periscope or Snapchat and services like Facebook Live can be easily accessed by small to midsize business owners (SMBs). For example, Facebook's offering lets you broadcast directly from the social platform itself and then automatically posts the video to your news feed.

As noted by Marketing Land, the problem is that companies looking to grab consumer interest often mistake "live" for "improvised" and miss the mark. While it's not a good idea to over-produce live video efforts, most SMB owners or executive staff don't have the timing and improvisational abilities of stand-up comedians or TV hosts.

As a result, you need to draft a basic outline of what your live stream will cover and how long it will last, while still leaving some room for individual personalities to shine through. It's also a good idea to broadcast regularly if you want to attract a solid following.

Speak, Don't Sell

Do you want better results when it comes to marketing with live video? According to Convince and Convert, it's important to put relationship building ahead of revenue. Talk directly to your audience, tell them how much you value their loyalty and let them see a little of what's happening behind the scenes before you champion your latest product line or service offering.

Engage With Viewers Directly

Maximizing your live stream efforts also means inviting your viewers to engage in the conversation. According to Facebook's official "Tips for using Facebook Live" page, it's a good idea to follow the Facebook comments being made in real time and — when possible — respond to comments or questions directly. Users will enjoy the recognition and appreciate the fact that you're listening.

Marketing with live video is a powerful tool for SMBs. Use it wisely by planning ahead, speaking first, selling second and making the most out of the conversation.

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