‘People have shown up for the party’: How the Lad Bible uses Facebook Live

Few publishers can match the reach that Lad Bible has on Facebook. Now, it’s leveraging its 13.8 million fans to rack up big numbers on Facebook Live.

The Lad Bible Group has been experimenting with live video for the last couple of months across its portfolio of brands. Now, it plans to increase output to four a week and put in place a dedicated live video team in addition to its current video team of 15.

“It’s the most radical and dramatic development recently,” said marketing director Mimi Turner. “We want to give audiences as much control of the story as possible. An ordinary person has as much a right to be heard as a famous person. It’s a real democratization of voice, and people have been showing up for the party.”

And the party takes on several forms. Gaming Bible, like Twitch, streams people playing football video games on its site. But it’s on Facebook where it has real reach: This video from last month has had nearly 800,000 views, and reached over 3.5 million people. Pretty 52, the brand’s female targeted site, went live with a vigil at Canal Street in Manchester for the victims of Orlando, and has had similarly large numbers. The Sports Bible’s live footage of football fans in Marseille has pulled in 2.5 million views and, at its peak, had 65,000 concurrent watchers.

“At one point [in the Marseille video,] a glass breaks and the police move forward. Anything can happen, and that’s the grip of it,” said Turner. “Finding an event like that makes huge content without having to be fully produced.”

Lad Bible has also shot live Q&As with personalities as well as stunts, like filming people eating as many ice creams as possible in a set time.

Lad Bible, which started on Facebook before creating its own website, has a huge presence on the social network. The flagship page alone has 13 million fans. Having that Facebook-ready audience already habituated to video has given it an edge over legacy publishers, which have fewer interactions on their videos.

With Facebook prioritizing live video in its news feed, Turner is aware that Lad Bible’s live videos have gotten a boost. As such, she said she relies on a “basket” of metrics — completion percentage, reach, peak viewers, interactions — to gauge a video’s success. “We’re getting a disproportionate amount of emojis for live video,” she said.

“The core question for us is, would I want to be there, and, if I was, what would I want to see, and what does this tell me about other human beings?” she added. “It isn’t, how does this angle look, or is everyone in the shot?”

Image: courtesy of Lad Bible via Facebook.


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