Video is huge right now. The average internet user is exposed to around 32 videos per month, and a full third of all time spent online is now spent watching video.
We’ve talked before about video, and how it has increasingly become crucial to include video as part of your overall content strategy. This is particularly true when it comes to increasing engagement, as 75% of online video viewers interact with a video ad in a given month, and 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others.
Now, there’s a growing trend in video: Live Streaming.
You’ve probably heard of services like Ustream and Periscope. Earlier this year, YouTube made it easy than ever to create live streaming video, and Facebook got in on the live streaming game by introducing Facebook Live.
The idea behind all of these services is the same. Creating and streaming video to your audience in real-time, the same way a live news broadcast would. Putting live video in the hands of everyday consumers is not a new idea, but the recent advances in broadband, smartphone and cellular network technology have made it possible on a massive, mainstream scale.
There are number of reasons live streaming is great for businesses and increasing engagement with users, especially when compared to traditional, produced and posted video content. For one, almost every streaming service includes some kind of mechanism for viewers to chat or comment live along with the video. This allows people to interact with their community of fellow viewers, as well as ask questions and provide feedback directly to the live stream’s host, becoming part of the video experience themselves. Periscope even layers a live feed of comments right on top of the video in the bottom corner, while Facebook Live shows a flurry of audience “reaction” icons. Just imagine how much more likely people are to comment on a video if they might get a response, live and instantaneously, from the video’s creator. This is like video engagement overdrive.
So how can you and your business take advantage of live streaming?
Here are a few great situations where a company can utilize live streaming to reach their audience:
It could be a product launch, a new hire, or a major company announcement. Whatever your business’s “breaking news” is, it’s a great opportunity to create a live event for you audience to participate in. Fresher and more dynamic than a press release, a breaking news or announcement live stream can offer that same “first in the know” feel as a breaking news broadcast.
The Hot Take
What if the breaking news isn’t directly from your company, but industry related? Your followers or customers still might look to you for a reaction as an expert in the field. Providing your “hot take” on relevant news and announcements can help position yourself as a leader in your industry, and can help showcase the unique philosophy and point of view of you and your company.
Perhaps you have access to a live event that your audience might be interested, such as a conference, a trade show, or a seminar. As long as you have permission from the event’s organizers, live streaming your experience can be a great source of content. Not only are you providing exclusive feeling access to your viewers, you are also showcasing your literal point-of-view, as they others will get to see what it is like to experience the event from your perspective, and be able to get your instant reactions to it.
People love getting the occasional peek behind the curtain and getting to see parts of the process that they normally wouldn’t otherwise be privy to. Giving viewers a tour of your office or workspace, a trip through your studio, a walk through your warehouse – provides a look into the inner workings of your company and the people behind it. This helps to personalize your brand and your products, and helps your customers form a human connection with your company. Live streaming is particularly great for this kind of thing, because it lets your audience feel like they are really part of the tour, giving them the ability to ask questions as they see things along the way, or to guide which way the tour is going to go.
How-Tos and Tutorials
Like behind-the-scenes videos, live how-to and tutorial videos offer a unique flavor of a kind of video that is already popular and effective as produced content. The effect of an instructional video happening live is that it feels more like a webinar, where participants/viewers can help guide the discussion and ask questions if they get confused or have specific circumstances they are curious about.
Hosting a live stream Q&A is a great way to have open and free-from interactions with your audience. It gives you a chance to speak knowledgably about a topic and show off your expertise, while giving your viewers a chance to pick your brain and find out more about your point of view. Not to mention, the non-scripted nature can often lead to honest, funny, human moments that your followers will love.
Your followers won’t always necessarily want to hear from just you. Bringing in an outside expert either from elsewhere in your company or from another area of your field and interviewing them is another great source of live streaming content. Like the Q&A, it gives you a chance to show off your expertise and gives your audience a chance to ask questions and be part of the discussion, but it also provides a conversational structure and another point of view to bounce ideas off of.
Obviously, more traditional video content still has its place, and the best strategy is to strike a balance between live and produced video. But when used properly, live streaming can be a great way to provide fresh, unique content to your viewers, humanize your brand, and provide a huge boost to engagement. Consult with 10twelve and let us give you advice on live streaming for your business.