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FB Live or Podcast: What’s Best for Your Business?

Reaching new audiences is a must-do to grow businesses. Small business owners who communicate directly with their audience stand out on social media and see increased engagement - and sales! There are many ways to tell your story and engage with your target audience on social media - and 2 of the biggest and most successful ways to talk directly to your audience and reach new audiences are through FB Live and podcasts.

What's The Difference Between Facebook Live and Podcasts?

Facebook Live lets you talk to and engage with your followers in real-time - or later if you save the video on your Facebook page. Podcasts are digital audio recordings that listeners can download to hear on their own schedule. There are big differences between FB Live and podcasts, and pros and cons to both.

Is Facebook Live or Podcasts Better to Build Your Business?

In many ways, which platform is better for you business depends on what your goals are, your budget, how much time you have and how comfortable you are on a live mic. Here are the pros and cons of Facebook Live and podcasts.

Facebook Live
In some ways, FB Live is like a Facebook podcast. If you have a large, active following or if you manage a Facebook Group, Live is a great opportunity to talk directly to that audience, face-to-face, and answer their questions.

Pros:

  • Facebook Live is free!
    If you have a computer or smartphone, you can go live at any time and talk directly to your audience. You can buy a good mic or some better lighting to enhance your broadcast, but the basics are free.
  • Save the Video
    You can save your FB Live video to your videos for anyone to view later, or download it and repurpose it.
  • Great Analytics
    FB Live gives immediate feedback on who is watching live, and who watches later.
  • Reach Your Target Audience
    If your audience is on Facebook, it's a great way to reach them and encourage them to promote your business to their family and friends.
  • Interactive
    You can talk directly to your audience, and bring in other guest speakers to your Live event.

Cons:

  • Facebook Live is on Facebook.
    You can share links or download it then repurpose it and upload it to YouTube to grow your audience, but your broadcast "lives" on Facebook until you delete it.
  • Technical Issues
    FB is known to have a few technical problems, such as blurry videos or poor audio that are difficult to address while you're on the air.
  • It's Live!
    Live streaming is great - but it's not for everyone. Live streaming doesn't let you edit a mistake or retake a bad message.
  • Distracting
    Facebook Live is on Facebook - and there is a lot happening on Facebook, which can distract your audience.

Podcasts
Podcasts can be live, but many brands tape their podcasts and upload them on a schedule. Podcast mobile app usage has jumped 60% since January 2018, and the percentage of Americans who are podcast listeners grew from 26% last year to 32% this year. 22% are weekly listeners. 

Pros:

  • Prerecord
    You can prerecord a month's or year's worth of podcasts and release them on your schedule.
  • Portable
    Podcasts can be downloaded and played at the listener's convenience.
  • Exclusivity
    When someone is listening to your podcast, they're listening to you only - and not distracted by pops, ads and status updates.
  • Convenience
    Podcasts can be hosted on one source but heard on many different podcast listening apps.

Cons:

  • Cost to Host
    The podcast has to be hosted somewhere, and someone needs to edit and upload the files.
  • Equipment
    Listeners have a higher expectation of quality on a podcast versus a Facebook Live. A quality mic and professional editing are additional costs that should be considered.
  • SEO
    Google has recently started crawling audio material and including podcasts in it's search results. 

How to Promote Your Podcast or Facebook Live

  1. Develop an editorial calendar of what you're going to record and when
  2. Create a marketing plan to promote your
    1. Both FB Lives and podcasts can be promoted before and after they go live
  3. Promote your stream and build your audience on social media, in your newsletter - and anywhere else you can!
  4. Create a landing page for each episode to send your listeners to your website for more information.
  5. Read your analytics to determine what your listeners like - and don't like!
  6. Modify your content to make sure it's relevant to your audience.

Whether you decide that Facebook Live or podcasting is the better option to reach your audiences and grow your business, it's important that you commit to what you promised. Don't tell them its a weekly podcast if you only release a new episode every other month, and don't tell your Facebook Live audience that you're going live at 2 pm... then do nothing for days.

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