Live streaming is rapidly rising in popularity as a marketing and business communications tool. Brands across all industries are demonstrating that live streaming for your business is a fantastic way to engage with your audience in an authentic manner. According to a survey with New York Magazine, 80% of audiences would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a blog post, and 73% of B2B businesses that use live video have reported positive return-on-investments (ROI).
Benefits of Live Streaming
It’s not overcrowded (yet).
Like any other digital channel, live streaming will become over-populated very soon. Although it’s quickly gaining traction, it hasn’t reached that point yet. For example, with Facebook timelines becoming so saturated with content, Facebook has changed its algorithm so that only a small percentage of people see a page’s organic posts, making it extremely competitive for brands to capture the attention of their target audiences. The same could happen with live streaming, so adopt live streaming now to get ahead of the crowd.
It’s cheap and accessible.
Live streaming does not require any special equipment or software. At the basic level, all you need is a smartphone or laptop with a camera, and a chosen platform such as Facebook Live (see other options below). With livestreams, you can share your message anywhere, on any device. Mobile devices are taking over desktop devices and can help your livestream reach an even larger audience.
You can reach highly targeted niches.
When you start a livestream, the viewers are tuning in on your time, not what time works best for them. This automatically filters out anyone who isn’t committed to your brand or interested in learning more about your brand and what you have to say. It also creates a sense of urgency, as viewers have a short window of time to watch and engage with the live video.
You get real-time engagement.
When viewers join a livestream, they get the chance to join a direct, real-time conversation with the broadcaster. With a blog post, however, they are reading work of the past. Additionally, your business can leverage live streaming to offer live support or answer questions from your customers in real-time.
You can repurpose content.
Livestream content can easily be repurposed into other forms of content, such as sharing a video transcript in a blog post or uploading the recording to social media afterwards for those who missed it. Repurposing content is a great way to have your message reach a wider audience.
Ways to use live streaming for your business
Hosting an interview with your CEO or a big name in your industry? Livestream it. If you advertise the livestream well in advance, you can generate buzz, raise awareness of your brand, and draw more viewers to your website and social platform that you’re hosting the livestream on. Viewers can ask questions in the comments section and have them answered in real-time, which is a more personal and authentic interaction than just reading the answer in a transcript. Learn more about how to make good interview videos for your business here.
Live Q&A sessions work for any brand in any industry. This type of livestream only requires a small room or studio, a camera, and a host. Invite your company CEO or a department head to answer popular questions from the audience and viewers at home. This is an effective tactic to generate leads, boost engagement, and share your expertise on a subject. It also helps to create a stronger sense of connection between the audience and your brand. You can sell your product, educate the audience, and entertain them simultaneously.
Live Product Demos/Launches
Product demos are extremely powerful tools for driving customers to make purchases. Seeing a product in action captures people’s attention and makes them believe in it. Live streaming product demos increases sales conversions. You can include a special offer in the livestream, and viewers can watch and act on their emotions right away. Livestreams for product launches, exclusive deals or flash sales can attract attention to the event, the brand and the product, and convert buyers quickly by creating a sense of urgency and immediacy. These live events tend to draw large media attention as well. Some great examples of brands that have done it right are Google and Apple. (Think of how much online buzz is generated every time a new iPhone is presented!)
Learn more about how to create demo videos that drive sales/results here.
Live Behind the Scenes
Behind-the-scenes (BTS) videos are great for humanizing your brand and showing the real people that exist behind your brand name and logo. BTS videos establish deeper connections with your audience and allow viewers to get to know you better. Instead of creating an edited video, go live with a BTS look to be more engaging:
- On-set of your next corporate video shoot? Livestream the behind-the-scenes to your social media to build intrigue.
- Celebrating a company birthday or accomplishment? Livestream your office and employees to give an inside look to your company culture.
- Announcing the winners of your contest? Build up excitement and anticipation by doing it via livestream.
- Are you a tech or electronics manufacturer? Take viewers behind the scenes of the process.
- Having a team-building day? Livestream the team-building tasks to show your company culture to potential clients and employees.
If your business works with influencers, a livestream with that person can drive a lot of engagement, as the audience gets to interact with a real (and well-known) person instead of a brand. You benefit by getting a boost in engagements and viewers thanks to the influencer’s subscribers. You also come across as more trustworthy because the influencer’s followers already trust them and their opinions. Conversely, the influencers can benefit by gaining exposure to your brand’s existing audience.
Hosting an offline, physical event like a conference or panel? As we mentioned above, livestream marketing is not yet being utilized at its most – especially with physical events. By live streaming your event, you can transfer a physical event to a virtual location and reach more people on social media than you could fit into the venue. A livestream can build buzz around the event and grow a community from the interactions, comments, and shares it receives on social media. If you’re seeing low ticket sales, live streaming the event can engage your online users to come to the next event by showing them what they’re missing out on in real-time (think of the success of Instagram Stories).
What platforms can you use for live streaming?
In 2020, there are several social networks you can use for live streaming. Your business doesn’t have to stick to a single platform. In fact, you should stream on multiple networks to reach a bigger audience or different segments of your audience. If you choose to only go live on Facebook for example, you could be neglecting those who only follow you on Instagram.
- Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope: These are catch-all platforms that host both general and niche audiences. You can benefit from many platform users and subsequently a wider audience.
- Instagram: Instagram reaches audiences who are likely to follow brands and influencers. This platform is great for live streaming events and lifestyle content like behind-the-scenes or influencer takeovers.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn reaches businesses and professionals. It is ideal for live streaming Q&As with company/industry leaders or speaker series.
- Video conference apps: Top video conferencing apps like Zoom include streaming capabilities. Zoom also integrates with Facebook Live and YouTube live, ensuring that anyone can view your stream anywhere. Zoom is perfect for streaming online business webinars, conferences, and presentations, and allows for audience engagement through polling, Q&A, and virtual hand-raising.
- Twitch: This is a streaming platform that is most popular in gaming culture.
Going Live in 3, 2, 1…
Here at JIL & Associates, we are experienced with live streaming video and understand the unparalleled sense of immediacy and authenticity that it produces. Next time you want your story to reach your audience, don’t forget to include live video in your marketing and communications strategy. Ready to go live? Let’s Talk.