Live content is becoming more and more prominent compared to pre-recorded video among users. Social media platforms made a brilliant move by introducing lives based on the preference of their users. In 2008, YouTube hosted its first live event named YouTube Live. In 2011, the gaming-centric streaming platform Twitch was founded. Afterward, many platforms adopted the “live” feature, and live streaming gained popularity.
Why Live Streaming Has a Place in Your Marketing Strategy
Videos are one of the best ways to deliver a message to your viewers. Live videos work as a cherry on top of the cake. There are no cuts or retakes, and viewers can actually see and become a part of the program.
Since live videos have the users’ attention for longer, it attracts marketers. In fact, 81 percent of businesses use live streaming for marketing purposes, according to findings from Wyzowl Research. According to a 2020 Restream market insights piece, 36 percent of enterprise streamers said their revenue improved after adopting live streaming for their events. According to the same piece, 91 percent of streamers said they’ll keep live streaming even after the pandemic, while 81 percent “consider it a social media priority.”
Live Streaming Platforms: The Basics
Many platforms exist today that allow you to live stream globally. Here are a few of the most popular live streaming platforms:
Facebook introduced live streaming in August 2015 with access to verified users only. In 2016, Facebook live was made available for almost all users across the globe. Facebook has over 2.89 billion MAU (monthly active users) in 2022 — and it has the highest number of active users out of the most popular social networks and has managed to acquire audiences across age groups.
B2B and B2C businesses have the opportunity to reap unique benefits from it. If you’re a B2B business, you can use Facebook Live for product demos, launches and Q&A sessions. It may not get guaranteed leads, but it can help build trust and engagement for your brand, which may lead to sales. B2C businesses can consider event marketing, newsjacking or any national occasion. Additionally, you can get better results by combining live with traditional Facebook videos.
Any business can utilize Instagram Live to gain the attention of its audience. Based on my experience, Instagram is one of the most widely used social media channels among brands because it’s home to two of the largest demographics: Gen Z and Millennials. Like Facebook, Instagram Live can be used for product launches, Q&A sessions and interviews.
As per 2021 findings from Pew Research, 95 percent of adults between 18-29 years old and 91 percent of adults 30-49 years old use YouTube. YouTube Lives mainly revolve around hosting interviews with prominent personalities. But, businesses can use it to broadcast live events. Live events may include press meetups and product or service launches.
Twitch is a popular live streaming and on-demand video platform that boasts 140 million MAU as of 2022. It allows users to broadcast directly from their PC or console. Brands can partner with streamers for awareness campaigns and garner more followers. Additionally, brands can also collaborate for a specific campaign.
Do’s and Don’ts for a Business Live Stream
Irrespective of what social media channel you use for live streaming, ensure that you do it right. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to remember for a live stream.
Is Your Equipment Plugged In?
Before beginning your live stream, ensure that all equipment is functioning and wired. Check your internet connection as well. As a brand leader, you don’t want your microphone or camera to stop working suddenly during a product demo. But, uncertainty can occur. Thus, you must call off your live stream and arrange it for another day if all your alternate options don’t work.
Inform Your Audience
Whether you have to call off the live stream or your schedule changes for any reason, inform the audience. You can do it by posting on your social media channels and emailing/messaging your audience if that’s available to you.
Create and Stick to a Schedule
Live streaming is now a big part of brands’ and influencers’ marketing strategies. In this case, one must create a schedule depending on availability and goals. A brand can stream once a week or multiple times a month to improve their engagement and build trust. Showing up consistently on scheduled days will show your commitment and build trust.
Don’t Lose Morale
You may not find a bunch of viewers on your first few live streams. But don’t become discouraged with it. Developing a following for a live stream may take time. You have to be consistent with digital marketing efforts like live streaming.
The pandemic pushed live streaming to a great extent. It also helped businesses engage their audience, which they might lose otherwise. Live streams have shifted the way content creators and brands communicate and collaborate. People have become comfortable with videos. And so businesses must leverage it with their marketing strategy.