Thanks to new technology, video is now cheaper and easier to produce than ever before. Even more exciting, is the ability for businesses to live stream via various social media channels to engage audiences.

What is live streaming?

Live streaming is the act of transmitting live footage over the Internet. Live stream content can be produced and transmitted via smart phone or camera, which means any business has the ability to do it. All you need is a stable Internet connection and a good camera, which most phones have. Now it’s important to note that live streaming is not about producing video. It’s not the place to worry about being perfect, and this is something that brands may struggle with. It’s a place to engage your audience and show them who you really are.

4 things to know about live streaming.

1. Is live streaming only suited for specific industries?

Live streaming can be beneficial for any industry. Whether your business produces a product or produces events, it allows you to invite your audience to experience your work in real time. In fact, the amount of businesses marketing via video is only going to increase. A study by Cisco states that by 2019, video will account for 80% of global Internet traffic. This means consumers are going to grow accustomed to engaging with brands via live streaming and may start to expect it from the companies that they give their business to.

2. Be willing to take risks.

It’s important to invest in and empower your brand ambassadors. Share ideas and trust them to help promote your business. A great example of a brand using live streaming to do just this is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). They often live-stream Q&A sessions with athletes before matches. They also stream behind the scenes to give fans a special look at the action.

It can take courage for a brand to stream live footage and trust that the people being featured will positively promote the brand. Taking the risk often leads to amazing results and will allow your business to establish strong relationships with its audience.

3. Look behind-the-scenes

Consumers know that photographs are usually heavily edited to give them a desired look. The beauty with live streaming is that isn’t possible. Consumers get a raw view into the life of a brand, which establishes trust and loyalty. People are interested in how their favourite brands do things, and live streaming allows for brands to show just that. Brands can show demos of latest products or give consumers a tour of their office and introduce their staff. It’s experiences like these that will help create long lasting, loyal customers.

4. Top live-stream tools

a. The two most powerful platforms offering live streaming are Livestream and Ustream. From the option of using multiple cameras and multiple audio sources, these two offer more options to create more professional live content.

b. Google + Hangouts and YouTube are alternates that offer less options than Livestream and Ustream but still allow users to control appearance and for multiple users to join in from their webcams.

c. Facebook Live, Instagram, and Periscope are primarily mobile-first tools and have the most limitations. With that being said, they are the easiest to use and are a great way to encourage engagement. A big advantage is that these platforms already have established audiences.

So should you be live streaming?

Why not? Live streaming is the next step forward with video marketing. Being able to create basic live streams off of platforms like Facebook don’t cost anything and can be created via smart phone. If your audience enjoys the engagement and authentic view of your brand, you can then take things a step further and start using the more complex platforms like Ustream to create higher quality content.

If you found this post interesting, check out the Top 5 Trends that will Change Marketing in 2017.

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