Live & Wired are a digital agency that creates and produces live social media video content for Facebook, Instagram and other major social media platforms and have racked up over 20,000 hours of live content production since launching. Founded by Head of Production Sian Hainsworth and Head of Creative Sophie Kostrowski, Live and Wired have worked with major brands including Primark, UGG, Alt Press and more. Her the guys tell Mandy News how they got started, what live video production is like and more.
Tell us a little bit about yourself before Live & Wired.
Live & Wired was founded by Sian Hainsworth & Sophie Kostrowski. Sian has produced live TV, radio and has made digital video for some of the UK’s biggest titles and broadcasters. Sophie has been presenting live TV and radio since she was 12 and is an award-winning videographer. Together they have been live for over 20,000 hours.
When live video hit social media they launched Live & Wired and have been producing live social video for brands and agencies ever since .
How and when did Live & Wired come about? What do you guys do at L and W?
A digital agency called Impero produced a Facebook live Christmas event for Primark. It was an awesome idea that we were proud to be part of. It reached over 5 million Facebook users in one day and saw such success that several brands and social agencies became interested in what we could do with them. Since then, things have been busy!
Sophie is Head of Creative. She comes up with ideas that resonate with audiences and helps agencies and brands tailor their ideas so that users will engage with them. Sian is Head of Production and makes sure that everything runs smoothly and that the creative is delivered correctly and makes an impact when we’re live.
Tell us about some of the projects you’ve worked on so far.
We have produced work for a range of completely different brands since we launched, one of our favourite live activations was a couple of months ago.
UGG wanted to showcase their Spring collection this year so we produced "Spring Into Spring"; A fun, live game on Facebook. We shot 20 pairs of UGG shoes and made a video where viewers were shown a different UGG every 60 seconds. We played this post-produced video on Facebook live and – using live graphics – we asked users to find the name and colour of each shoe on the UGG website and comment with their answer. Each of the 20 pairs of shoes was won by a viewer who commented with the correct answer and their names were announced live at the end of each minute.
This is one of our favourites because it was a post produced, on-brand, fashion video used to create a game-ified live event with live audience interaction at its heart - a first on Facebook live.
Why Live & Wired for live social video over a traditional production company? What is it that you guys do that perhaps another company – or client even – might not understand or be able to offer?
We mentioned earlier that we have been live for over 20,000 hours. The experience we have had in making things work in the heat of live filming is unrivalled. Live is completely different from pre-recorded, post-produced video. In order to make it work, you need to embrace the fact that it is fully interactive and a two-way conversation between the brand and the audience. Not only do we know the best ways to do this, but we love it and brands who have previously been worried about going live with us end up having a fun, exciting experience with us when we’re live .
Many readers will likely think, “can’t we just use our phone or tablet for live?” Can you tell us why it can and/or should be so much more?
You can just use your phone or tablet to go live – and you should! You can get great results doing this and loads of people and brands have great success reaching lots of users going live with a simple phone or tablet set-up.
But it depends what you want to show the audience that you reach. Do you want your live video to look as good as all of the post-produced videos on your page that you’ve carefully cultivated? You could take a picture on your phone and put it on a billboard, but if you were reaching that many people wouldn’t you want it to be the best picture you could take rather than one with a phone camera?
We also know how to increase your reach, your engagement and, importantly, we can ensure that the comments on your live video have great sentiment. So we encourage everyone to go live, but if you want it to look great and get positive engagement come and chat to us.
You offer a pool of Live Talent – presenters, influencers and audio specialists – as well as production and creative. Tell us a little about all those.
Talent can make or break a live video! We have a pool of talent who are all experienced in being live so they know how to roll with whatever happens when they’re live. They’re not used to relying on the edit like vloggers are and they know how to connect with an audience and champion that two-way conversation that live video should be between the audience and the brand.
We also work with many presenters, YouTubers and vloggers who haven’t been live before and we have a host of tips and tricks to help them out when they go live for the first time. Sophie often works closely with the talent in cases like this as she’s able to support them with her many years of live presenting experience
What are the challenges of live social video? Which particular areas or businesses do you think can most benefit from it? Presumably live music is one area in desperate need of getting it right?
There are lots of challenges, but the one that is unique to live social video is that your audience are able to express their opinion on everything that you’re broadcasting and their comments sit right next to your video live as they happen for every one to see. Their reactions even overlap your visuals.
For example, if you’re putting out content they dislike the comment section will fill up with negativity and angry emojis will fill the screen, if it’s content they like hearts and thumbs ups will flood the screen and positive comments will pop up constantly. So it’s important to embrace their feedback, be prepared to involve them in your live video and be ready to cope with whatever reaction your audience have to your content.
The areas of business that will most benefit from live are brands that want to connect with their audience and to engage them. Live video is your chance to face your audience with personality instead of a logo.
Live music is great for live video, but not necessarily live social video. Live social video is about active engagement and interaction not about passive viewing. So gaming is great for it, fashion, lifestyle and sporting content where viewers are passionate and opinionated.
Live videos have been popular for a while now and is a mainstay for so many companies, but for those who may not have considered it yet – or are thinking about it – tell us why live videos for Facebook, Instagram are important to a business or individual.
Facebook and Instagram are saturated with video, but live social video is able to cut through all of this noise. This is because it is the most engaging content on social channels right now.
Over the last 12 months Live & Wired’s videos have had an average of a 40% engagement rate. Mark Zuckerberg stated this year that “live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos”. This shows how compelled viewers are to interact with live video. If you want to turn passive viewers into an active, engaged audience then live social video is exactly what you need.
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