By Kathy Hester
There is no better way to get the word out about your latest product than to promote with live video.
Why? Imagine how easy it would be to make a sale if you were able to meet face-to-face and talk with all your fans. Live video allows you to make eye contact with your viewers and even answer questions that they type into a chat. You are talking, asking questions, teaching and reeling in your audience. They feel like they are hanging out with you and are in your inner circle.
You can go live on any of the platforms from your phone. You can go live on your computer for Facebook, YouTube or Tiktok, but you cannot go live on your computer to Instagram. (To stream live on Tiktok and mobile YouTube you need 1,000 followers.)
A product could be a new cookbook, class, course, retreat, conference or a recipe or blog post.
Here are my five tips for how to promote with live video:
1. Involve your audience in the creation process.
Use live video to invite your audience to look behind the scenes as you develop your product. They want to support you as you create your book, class or other product.
You probably already do this in static posts on your social media. Live video just makes it more personal. Invite them into your kitchen for a coffee chat, and entice them to be invested in your project:
- Show cookbook cover options and let them vote, or just share the final cover.
- Ask for recipe requests for a book, class or even for your blog.
- Let them help you decide between recipes.
- Tell them when your book is listed for presale–even if there’s no cover yet!
2. Give them a little taste so they will crave more.
One question I get asked often is whether to demo a recipe that’s in a class or book. Many authors and teachers think that giving anything away will keep people from purchasing.
While I’ve heard that from publishers in the past, even they allow a small percentage of the recipes to be reprinted in blogs and in the press.
The way I look at this is that every product is not for every person. Demoing a recipe gives your audience an idea of your teaching style and an opportunity to see if it’s a fit for the way they learn. By giving a taste away, you reel in the right people for your book.
Don’t give the whole course or book away, but here are a few ideas:
- Demo a recipe to drum up interest for a cooking class or book launch.
- If you have a small 10-recipe ecookbook, demo a similar recipe instead of one of the 10,
- Show how you prep to get them interested in buying your cooking class. I did live cooking video while I talked about my upcoming class. My audience got to see some of the process, but I did not give the recipe away.
- Offer a PDF of a recipe or two that you will demo (ask your publisher first if you have a traditionally published cookbook). Set this up as a lead magnet in your email software and drop the link in the live video. Viewers will be funneled into your email list.
3. Borrow other people’s audiences.
Partner with colleagues or brands to do a talk, interview or recipe demo on their social channels. This is especially effective on Instagram or Facebook. Choose a partner with a larger audience than yours.
Weave your product into the talk, showcase your expertise and give lots of value. You will gain new followers, as well as potential sales. Here are some ideas:
- Offer to do a demo from your product.
- Offer to troubleshoot or give advice about the subject of your book.
- Do a show and tell. Pick a question that lots of people have: What flour should I use in biscuits? What size Instant Pot should I buy? What’s the difference between polenta and grits?
Provide a list of questions for an interview if they ask for it, but my personal preference is off the cuff.
4. Add even more value and authority with guests.
Start a regular, weekly, live show where you bring on guests to interview, do demos or cook with you. It’s another way to widen your audience and increase awareness of your expertise. I just started doing this myself, and it’s also a nice way to network with your peers.
It’s almost the opposite idea of number three. You are using other people’s expertise to make your live video more valuable to your audience. These collaborations will grow both your audiences.The guest will share about their appearance through their social channels, and the more regular your show, the more viewers you will get.
I recommend a weekly show. If that doesn’t work for you, try once a month. Make sure your show is at the same date and time to make it easier for people to show up. Here are some ideas:
- Do an interview with a brand that supports your product. For example, if you did a pizza cookbook, reach out to a pizza oven manufacturer or a canned tomato maker.
- Have your guest cook one of their recipes.
- Do a cook-a-long. Decide on a recipe, and give it to your guest and both of your audiences.
- If you run out of ideas, do something related to a holiday or ask on your social platforms about what people want to see.
5. Include perks and bonuses no one can resist.
People love to get a little something extra. This point does not only apply to how to promote on live video. It works for any product no matter how you promote it. I can’t tell you how many books I’ve bought because of pre-order perks. I have used perks to boost book sales in my own marketing too.
If you go this route, ask people to email you the receipt of purchase if you do not see the email address of your sales. For example, in Podia software, I can see a class sale. But, if it’s a traditional book sale, I wouldn’t know unless they email me. Here are a few ideas to offer customers:
- Attend a live cook-a-long if they buy by a certain date.
- Attend a live mini-class months before they get the actual book.
- If you sell pre-recorded classes, use them as a perk. I have 50 or 60 now, so it’s easy to give them away. It takes very little time, and buyers get a $35 class for free.
- Hold a Q & A for buyers the day the product arrives or launches. Maybe unbox it with them and do a quick demo.
- Partner with a gadget or food brand, so they mail out a coupon or item directly to the person who ordered. You have to collect mailing addresses. I did this with OATrageous Oatmeals. The publisher sent out a pre-order package that was worth as much as the book. It had samples, brand coupons and more.
I know this is a lot to take in. If you are new to promoting on live video, the first thing is to practice going live. Make a private Facebook. The most important thing is to learn to look directly at viewers and that takes more than one or two tries. Remember that you don’t need to, or even want to, be perfect. These are the people who already follow you and like you. They are an easy audience, and they want to get to know the real you.
Finally, I know you might think that you don’t have time for one more thing. I get that. Being a blogger, instructor, author, YouTuber and live streamer is a lot. The most important step is the first one you take. Go live to test it out. Make the easiest recipe you know or talk as you unbox your groceries. My audience loves it and yours will too.
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Kathy Hester is a published cookbook author, food blogger and recipe developer at HealthySlowCooking.com and PlantBasedInstantPot.com. She is also an online cooking class instructor. She helps people learn to be comfortable on live video and use it to increase their income. You can book a 30-minute one-on-one session if you’re interested. Or take Kathy’s self-paced Jump Into Live Video course to learn the basics and start growing your audience.
(Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash.)