How to Boost Your Marketing Reach with Facebook Live

Shama sits down with Matthew Cowling, VP of Video Production at Marketing Zen to discuss Facebook Live. This long form discussion covers many ways that Facebook Live will boost your reach online.


Shama: Happy Friday. I’ve got some hot tea and a guest, the hot tea because, as some of you guys know, I haven’t been feeling well. I have a second case of strep throat in a couple of weeks that I’ve been battling, probably because of all my travel. It’s been a little insane, but here’s Matthew Cowling.

Matthew: Hi, guys. Nice to meet you all.

Shama: Matthew is VP of Video Production at Marketing Zen and does all the production here for our show. You guys know we talk about business, and technology, and marketing, and all the cool stuff, all the content that you seem to like and enjoy. Matthew is the genius behind all of that. Even now, I wish I could show you what it looks like because we’ve got a camera, and we’ve got a phone, and we’re in the studio right now.

Matthew: Stuff all over the place.

Shama: Yeah. We’re in the studio right now, and so things are all over, but thanks for joining us. We’re going to try to do this every Friday, no matter where I am in the world, so Matthew won’t join us every Friday. Today’s topic I thought was particularly important, and it’s a little meta. Isn’t it?

Matthew: Yeah.

Shama: We’re talking about Facebook Live on Facebook Live.

Matthew: While we Facebook Live. Yeah.

Shama: Right. I’m so excited about Facebook Live. I think it’s going to be absolutely huge. The article that we did, you can check it out on the Marketing Zen blog, where we go into all these details about how Facebook Live is such an exciting platform right now.

Matthew: Yeah. It’s blowing up.

Shama: Isn’t it?

Matthew: Yeah.

Shama: Doesn’t it remind me of YouTube in early days? That’s what I’ve been telling clients. That’s what I feel like.

Matthew: Yeah.

Shama: It’s YouTube without the crazy demand, without the crazy competition.

Matthew: It’s been a while since we’ve had a big explosion in a new media platform. Even though, obviously, Facebook is not a new media platform, but Live on Facebook is so huge. Whenever YouTube came out in 2006, 2007, a long time ago, that was a huge thing at the time, that anyone could upload any video and you didn’t have to have any sort of special software or anything; you could just upload it and share it with the world. Now Facebook Live is bringing live video production to everyone just with the cell phone in their pocket. Not that live video is necessarily new; live video has been around for years, but you had to have specialty equipment.

Shama: See, that’s what I don’t think a lot of people get. This is why, guys, I’m so excited. I’m always talking about Facebook Live, how fantastic I think it is. I think we’re one of the only shows on business technology, all this kind of stuff that we do, and I think more shows will certainly follow, but the reach right now is enormous. Live streaming, the back-end stuff is so expensive and so tedious. Right, Matthew? You did this before you joined Marketing Zen.

Matthew: Yeah. I had some years behind videos and live video production previous to me coming on to Marketing Zen, and, yeah, it’s so much more expensive to do it than now everyone can do it just with the cell phone in their pocket. It’s insane. We used to spend … We used to, rather, charge clients upwards of $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 a day to do live video production. Now you can do it for free with the thing in your pocket.

Shama: Here’s the thing, though. If you’re still a company, if you still want the high-end video production, I think you’re still going to have to pay for that.

Matthew: Yeah.

Shama: That’s true, because of the technology that it takes, for example, to do it with high quality. I think there’s the individual, you-can-do-anything-on-your-smartphone Facebook Live, but what’s exciting to me in terms of not just even if you have the technology as a bigger company, a Fortune 500 who can do that entire setup and so forth, but just the reach. The reach, to me –

Matthew: The reach is insane now.

Shama: – is fantastic. That’s what it feels like, early days with Google AdWords. I remember clicks –

Matthew: To be able to reach more people.

Shama: Yeah. Clicks were so much cheaper if you did that five, six years ago. Now you might be paying $20, $30 for the same keyword that you paid maybe pennies, maybe $0.50 or something. Now we’re really going meta –

Matthew: We’re so meta.

Shama: – because Matthew is checking questions. If you guys have questions, we can try to answer them.

Matthew: Yeah, just send them in there.

Shama: Okay, so we just finished this one project–this is what I’m excited about–for one of our clients at Marketing Zen, Mary Kay, and Matthew was on the ground there working with a team of people live streaming their seminar, which was fantastic. They have all these amazing people who come in and are associated with the brand and so forth. Matthew, can you share some of the numbers reach-wise that you saw that is just exciting?

Matthew: It was shockingly different. We did a number of videos. We did some where we just prerecorded it and then some where we actually streamed it to Facebook Live so everyone could watch instantly with us. You can actually see on the Facebook metrics what your reach was and what your views were. It’s important to keep the two separate. You’ll have views, which is people actually watching the whole video, and then reach is when it’s put in front of people. I was shocked at the metrics that I saw. I saw a video that we had posted the day before had a reach of about 38,000, almost 40,000, which seems like a heck of a lot of people.

Shama: It’s sure reasonable.

Matthew: Yeah. Then we had just finished a Live video only a couple hours before I had checked out the metrics, and it had already been put in front of about 175,000 people. From 40,000 to 175,000 is –

Shama: Just from live streaming.

Matthew: – ridiculous. For no extra money. We didn’t pay for anything extra. It just got put in front of so many people. If you’re not taking advantage of Live, you’re legitimately missing out. It’s a real issue.

Shama: You’re legitimately missing out. I like that. I think there’s such opportunity, too. If you’re a company and you’re looking how could we use Facebook Live, obviously if you have live events, conferences, trade shows, that sort of thing, but also for product launches, for sneak peeks, for corporate training. The other day, I was at UL and I was doing a workshop for UL. UL is this amazing company. It’s a legacy company. They have 20,000 employees. We were talking about how Facebook Live would be an amazing tool to be able to even reach teams internally.

I’m just really excited about what … It’s just the beginning. Now Facebook Live is slowly rolling out other factors like you can actually target it based on gender, on audience, demographics. If I wanted to create a video just for my audience in North America, I could. If I wanted to do something internationally, I could. These are new things, but you can see by the amount of money and time Facebook is putting on that it’s going to be huge. From a marketing perspective, I really don’t think there’s anything hotter right now than Facebook Live.

Matthew: They also added recently where you can target specifically to groups. If you want to make our Marketing Zen Facebook page, where we have the 30 or so employees in the company group together, then Shama could speak directly to all of us without worrying about it going anywhere else.

Shama: I just Slack you guys, too, though.

Matthew: Yeah, Slack or text message, but it’s another tool in the arsenal to be able to reach people. Maybe you have a company that people don’t see the CEO’s face barely ever, and it’s a way to personally get in touch with people. I know you’ve had Google Hangouts, and Skype, and stuff before.

Shama: But nothing at this scale or reach.

Matthew: Yeah, and it’s so easy. The CEO can just pull it out, and that direct interaction could improve morale around the board.

Shama: Yeah. We think there’s just … You’re right. There’s so many ways. I think it humanizes the brand in such a big way. Of course, video has always done that, but I’m just excited about live streaming. We’re going to take some questions we’ll see.

Matthew: We have a couple people.

Shama: Awesome. All right, let’s see.

Matthew: Adam Heranda says, “Hey, Shama, I’ve been using Facebook Live app.” That’s awesome. I’m really glad. What have you been using it for? Can you add in the comments maybe where you’ve had some success? I’m going to attend … I think we have on one … We’re actually live streaming on two channels now, Shama’s page and her profile. If you’re not liking both, you could definitely go over there and check that out. Some of the people are saying that the volume is little bit low on the page, so I’m going to go and see if I can tweak that real quick.

Shama: Okay. Thanks, Matthew.

Matthew: Yeah.

Shama: Guys, the volume is probably also a little low because my voice is so much weaker. I walked in and I told Matthew, “Do I look okay to go on camera?” He’s like, “You look fine, but how do you feel? Are you going to be able to be cheery?” I said, “It’s the community. They’re cool. They get it. Everyone has been there.” I didn’t want to miss it. I didn’t want to skip this day.

We’re really trying to put this out every Friday, and I like this. I really like being able to engage with you guys like this. It’s one of my favorite ways to connect with all of you. I get your emails and your tweets, and I wish I could respond to every single one. It almost becomes not possible logistically, so this is a great way. I enjoy being able to interact with you guys like this.

Hi, Kelly. Kelly asked, “Facebook Live is a good tool. Do you think it’s a good tool for interviewing bloggers and influencers?” Absolutely, Kelly. I think it’s a great tool. Think about it like podcasting, too, early days, and how that took off. Yeah, I think it’s great. You see that more and more. Think about the carpool stuff. Who does the carpool stuff?

Matthew: Sorry?

Shama: Who does the carpool stuff?

Matthew: Carpool karaoke?

Shama: Yeah.

Matthew: James … Sorry, I don’t actually watch. I haven’t watched the later shows. James Corden is his name? We’re blanking on it.

Shama: His name is escaping me. Yeah.

Matthew: We’ve had a long week.

Shama: One of you guys is probably going to put it in the comments and tell us. Yeah, if you’ve seen the karaoke with the stars, that’s exactly what it would be like. Maybe we should do Facebook Live in the car with me.

Matthew: We could, yeah. I think some of the people were –

Shama: I think if I start singing, you guys will unsubscribe. I will do you a favor, and I will never sing for you. I promise I will never sing. You guys have never heard me.

Matthew: That’s for the internal Facebook group only. Right?

Shama: Yeah, but you guys have never heard me. Have I ever?

Matthew: Have you sing? No.

Shama: No. I joked about being a rapper as another career, but these guys have shot that down. You guys have been mean about that. You just don’t think I have a future as a rap artist.

Matthew: Maybe we need to all pull together and be the posse behind you. Then with all of us together, the impression will be much stronger as a whole because you’ll have me with my face.

Shama: What did I just learn? You guys just taught me what’s Gucci.

Matthew: Yeah, Gucci. Gucci means cool.

Shama: Did you guys know this? Gucci. I feel old.

Matthew: There’s all these words that mean the same thing.

Shama: These guys teach me stuff every day. You guys always teach me stuff. Anyways, they’re against me as having a career as a rap artist, so I’ll probably be doing this for a little bit longer. Anyways, guys, Facebook Live, it’s a great platform. I know it’s a little meta, doing Facebook live, talking about Facebook Live.

Matthew: Cool, we got a response. This is what is so cool. This is proving the point exactly. I’m just presuming it’s pronounced Aiden. Aiden Hernandez says, “Yes, I’ve used it to promote tourist destinations and talk about social media platforms. I love to learn and share at the same time.”

Shama: Thanks.

Matthew: That’s terrific. This is even a good example of the power of Facebook Live. He chatted a bit, and then we can respond back, and then chat some more. It really feels like you’re actually interacting with people.

Shama: It’s a community. I think it is.

Matthew: Yeah. It feels more interactive than just watching the video because you’re actually able to dictate what happens. This conversation could go whatever direction based on the questions.

Shama: Hopefully positive.

Matthew: Yeah, hopefully positive.

Shama: Yeah, it is. It’s just amazing how much you can do with this technology now. What’s funny to me is that it feels so accessible to us, but it hasn’t always been that way. I really am just excited about the supply and demand equation right now. Facebook in general is a platform. Even with people complaining about, “Oh, we have to pay for reach,” it is peanuts to what Google Ads costs. We run successful client campaigns, and the ROIBC from Facebook ads is just astounding. Facebook is still a great platform, even when you’re paying. It’s still early days, and you’re just getting really good bang for your buck. Hi, Salema. This is cool. I get to say hi to you guys.

Matthew: I can answer. Jean has a question. “Shama, what camera equipment are you using to do Facebook Live, and how do you sign up and go on the air?”

Shama: Okay, yes, this is why we have you.

Matthew: I’ll start with what I used to do with my old company and then I’ll hope to prove the point of how wonderful it is everyone can do it just from the cell phone in their pocket.

Shama: If we go into that, that’s going to be … I’m doing you guys a favor. Trust me, I’m doing you a favor.

Matthew: I’ll be brief.

Shama: All right. Okay.

Matthew: Okay. I’ll give you a 30-second thing. We used to build some boxes that we could bring around with us to different conferences where we would do the live streaming. We would have routers inside and similar devices to what we’re actually using now. We would have video switchers that we could switch between cameras. It was very expensive. Each one of the boxes would cost us roughly about $40,000, which is a lot of dollars, very expensive. Now with anyone’s phone, they’ve updated it to be across the board, iOS, Android, everyone is made accessible now. You can just pull it out; you go to update a status; there’s a little red silhouette of a human with a halo around.

Shama: It’s open to everyone now.

Matthew: Yeah. It used to be open to just some beta partners that were testing it out through the Facebook Mentions app, but now it’s accessible to everyone. Go to your Facebook page, do a post. There’s a little red silhouette of a human with a halo around him, looks like some signal bars. You click that and then press go. It does all the back end for you.

Shama: Technically, you could still just use your phone and do it. Right?

Matthew: Oh, yeah.

Shama: You can just use your phone, and you don’t need any extra equipment, but it depends on the level that you’re doing it with. That’s basic ground level. You can just whip out your phone and do that. Then we also have a little microphone that we use that Matthew got for me that I use when I travel. We’ll show you guys this one.

Matthew: It’s called a Rode VideoMic Me. It is a little microphone that plugs right into the headphone jack of your smartphone. It just picks up sound from one direction. Instead of being omnidirectional, sound picking up from everywhere, you can actually target it. You can have it just on yourself, so you sound much better than if you’re picking up the sound of the whole … if you’re in a train station or wherever. They made it so easy. Whenever I saw this came out, I was actually really jealous because I spent the last three years lugging huge boxes around, and my back is killing me after all that. Now people can just do it right from their thing.

Shama: It’s so easy.

Matthew: Jean had another question. She uses a Log. I assume you mean a Logitech camera like the ones on YouTube. There are some software solutions you can use to live-stream through to Facebook, but honestly, the best and easiest way for people to get up and running with barely any actual configuring is just use it straight from your phone.

Shama: It’s easy.

Matthew: It just goes off your cell signal.

Shama: That’s level one. Then level two, guys, if you’re wanting to do this, want to have the quality a little better, you can use that mic. We’ll put it in the comments, the actual …

Matthew: What the mic is.

Shama: Yeah, the mic, if you guys are interested. Then the third is really the setup that’s appropriate for companies and such. That’s very robust. Don’t worry, I won’t let Matthew go into all of that. For a lot of our clients, especially if you’re a Fortune 1000 company or really even privately held companies that are doing this and looking at this from a marketing perspective and as a marketing strategy and tactic, there’s a whole suite of things that you can do, not just by creating the good content, but knowing when to go live, how to distribute it.

Social amplification is a thing that we’ve been doing a lot at Marketing Zen, and playing with. There are just so many options. You can promote the live feeds, as well, after it’s done. You have so many options, and I’m excited about it.

The last thing I’ll say is I feel validated, Matthew. I feel validated because one of the first principles … I like that you have Momentum placed right here. One of the first principles I talk about in the book is agility through analytics and it all being about how we should look at the data and go where the numbers tell us to go. That’s a big part of what we do at Zen anyways, and we look at, but analytics from all sorts of things. Of course, with Facebook, if you actually look at the key studies for Facebook Live versus Facebook video and so forth, it’s astounding. You have to be able to pivot and go that direction.

When we first launched the show, and I’m using that almost loosely just because my goal is to create more content for you guys that’s useful rather than stick to some sort of framework that doesn’t work and being able to pivot, we thought YouTube would be a good platform. While we still have videos on there, the community really seems to be on Facebook and Facebook Live for us, so we’ve shifted gears and really applied the principle of agility through analytics. If you guys haven’t checked out Momentum, by the way, do check it out. I would love to get your thoughts.

Matthew: You can put a link here for them.

Shama: Yeah, awesome. We’ll put a link for you guys. Okay, guys, keep asking. Okay, there’s one quick question. All right. Hey, Eves.

Matthew: Gene says that his cell phone doesn’t have a camera on it. Can you use another camera? There’s a whole article that Facebook has out on how to do Facebook Live from start to finish, and they list some software solutions for being able to publish to Facebook with software and a computer hooked up to a webcam, I guess. If you check out –

Shama: Can you just put a link to that too?

Matthew: Yeah, I’ll link that for you here, Gene, in just a few minutes. Then you can do that.

Shama: Aisha has a question: Can you test out the camera positioning without going live? Yeah, absolutely, you can.

Matthew: That’s how we did it just right here.

Shama: You don’t want to see what it looked like before.

Matthew: I can explain real quick how to do that. With your cell phone, you prime up the video with your description. Before you actually hit ‘go live,’ you can see what it’ll look like. You can line it up there if you’re going to hook it to a mount or something, or you just want to check and see if your hair looks nice. Also, there’s a way for doing it with –

Shama: Matthew does that a lot. He wants to know what his hair looks like.

Matthew: Yeah, I’ve got to make sure the wave is just right. The way that we’re actually doing it, I guess we didn’t quite touch. We’re actually using one of our studio cameras, but it’s hooked up to what’s called … Teradek is the brand, and it’s called a VidiU. I can put the link for that here as well. It’s another piece of hardware that you attach to it.

What you can do with Facebook is in your page you can go to the video section, and there’s a plus Live button that’ll queue up a new Live session. You can take some specific numbers that are associated with this Live session and then hook that up to where your hardware is connected. Then it’ll give you a preview of where it is. There are ways if you’re using hardware or just the software that’s built into your phone.

Shama: Matthew is so technical. I’m so grateful for it.

Matthew: I could go on for a while. This could be a long one.

Shama: He could.

Matthew: Yes, there are ways to prime it up. Yeah, definitely.

Shama: Awesome. All right, cool. You guys, keep putting your questions in there. We will check them out later if we haven’t already addressed them. I’m excited about Facebook Live. For more information, guys, definitely check out the Momentum book. Some people are already posting links to that. Check out We have so much awesome information on the blog. I can’t tell you how much time and effort goes into that from our team, from these guys who research it. We have case studies. One of the latest posts is all about Facebook Live.

Matthew: A huge post about it.

Shama: If you have more questions, a lot of case studies and stuff, so you can see behind the scenes in that way. I would say check that out and subscribe. If you haven’t already subscribed, how can they subscribe to the channel, Matthew? There’s a little buzzy button somewhere.

Matthew: I think they’re shifting the way that they do it. There used to be a button right up here in the top right corner, but you can also go to, whenever you are on someone’s page or profile, whenever you’re following them and it says either following them on the profile or liked on the page, there’s a little drop-down arrow under that like, and you can customize how you’d like to see notifications from that page. If you only want to see … If you want to see every new post Shama puts out, you can do that, or the default amount. Right under there, they added Live subscriptions, so you can get notified whenever it goes Live.

Shama: Nice.

Matthew: It’ll come up as the little red number in your notifications, and it’ll also give you a buzz on your phone if you have it set up that way.

Shama: Cool.

Matthew: If you don’t want to miss an episode whenever you go live, it’ll alert you instantaneously. It’s super easy; it’s just underneath the liked drop-down menu on a page or under the follow on a profile.

Shama: Nice. Matthew, can we do a screenshot of that later and maybe just put it in the comments, so people can see. I’m really visual, if you guys are, as well, and so it helps me to see things. We’ll do that for you guys

Matthew: I’m also working on a much longer, more in-depth Facebook Live post that can be maybe insightful for a lot of people if you want more nitty gritty into the equipment and stuff like that. We do have one that’s live right now on, a new blog that one of our awesome content writers put up.

Shama: Awesome. All right, guys, check out that content. I know you guys have more questions. I promise we will check out the comments and answer in the comments or also next time on the video, so do subscribe. Thanks, Matthew. Thanks for joining us.

Matthew: Thanks for having me. I’ll be on occasionally to talk about some tech stuff, but you can definitely expect to see more Live videos from Shama every week.

Shama: Thanks, guys.

Matthew: Cool. All right, we’ll see you guys later.

Shama: Hope you enjoyed this.

Matthew: Bye.

Shama: Bye-bye. Have a good weekend.


–Episode Links–
Momentum: How To Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age

Rode Video Mic Me


–Connect with Shama–
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