The ability to transmit and receive live video over the Internet is not a new concept. Live streaming video games have been going on for years. But in the first half of 2015, live streaming moved to the masses with the launch of apps and Facebook’s subsequent announcement that it would test live video capabilities among celebrities.
As the social media giants roll out live video, social media influencers and brands have been the first to embrace the trend.
My first video on Periscope, Twitter’s live streaming app, was well received and exhilarating. Over fifty people went with me as I narrated a test drive of Ford Motor Company’s 2016 Mustang, and I answered their questions in real time.
At a recent real estate conference, a luxury realtor shared with me that over 2,000 people had tuned into her first live tour of a South Florida home. I expect her numbers will increase over time and eventually one of those viewers will become a buyer.
As the platforms grow in popularity, businesses are beginning to question if and how live streaming fits into their marketing plans. Here are five factors to consider before deciding to go live:
1. Find your live stream theme.
Viewers want to know what they are tuning in to. To identify a theme for your live stream, ask yourself how your business sets itself apart and what you can add to the conversation that is different from your competitors.
2. Identify a company spokesperson.
The person in front of the camera doesn’t have to be the CEO or a member of the communication team. He or she should be a leader that everyone rallies around. These people are perfect for live streaming because they have a likable personality that comes across on camera.
3. Promote on social media.
Live streaming is a visual social media party. Pre-promoting live streams on social media serves as an invitation. It builds interest, drives views and creates a loyal following.
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4. Be willing to accept mistakes.
Live streaming provides the accessibility, transparency and trust equity demanded by today’s consumer because it isn’t scripted. Provide guidelines and protocol to avoid big blunders and embrace the small errors.
5. Decide on mortality.
In today’s society, content is quickly consumed and discarded. The same rings true on live-stream apps where content is removed after 24 hours. Companies that want to capture or share videos for longer periods of time can save and upload them to YouTube or use services like Katch to streamline the process.
Businesses should embrace live streaming technology while proceeding with caution, understanding the risks and rewards – and create a clear game plan before going live
By Katherine Doble