In 1951, the first live televised broadcast took place when former U.S. President Truman spoke at the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in California. The world has come a long way since then; many things have come and gone, but live video has remained steady as a popular mode of mass communication and source of entertainment.
Events like the Super Bowl, presidential debates, Saturday Night Live, and a few ever-so-fascinating car chases (does “white bronco” ring a bell?) are best enjoyed live, in the moment. And just like these events capture the attention of millions and millions of people, livestreaming video for your business can capture your audience’s attention too.
Sure, you may not “go viral,” but that’s not the point of live video. You want to capture your audience’s attention to give them a reason to follow your brand, to buy your products or services, and above all, to trust in your company.
If you’re interested in live video but you still aren’t sure if it’s worth it, what it truly entails, or how to get started, we’ve got you covered.
Quick Facts about Live Video
- Over 1/3 of online activity is spent watching video.
- Online video streaming will make up over 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2020.
- Users watch over 100 million hours of video on Facebook each day.
- On Facebook, people comment ten times more on Facebook Live videos than regular videos.
- Over 25 percent of people are interested in watching live-streams by brands or companies.
Why Live Video Matters in Today’s Marketing Landscape
Video--and live video in particular--is changing the way companies approach digital and social media marketing altogether. Here’s why:
1. Audiences today are aloof
Reaching audiences through TV is not exactly a cakewalk. One in five households have said goodbye to cable or satellite TV, opting instead for streaming and on-demand options. With audiences being so fragmented and tougher to reach, we must find new avenues to achieve maximum return on investment (ROI). Livestreaming can help.
2. Video is a favorite form of online content
Our friends at HubSpot conducted a survey in mid-2016 showing that Internet users, for the most part, consume video content thoroughly instead of skimming it. This ability to keep people’s attention creates a big impact on your marketing in the long run, making video the best place for online content.
3. Live video increases engagement with your audience
Consumers today can sniff out advertisements in their sleep. Because live video is usually off-the-cuff, audiences are less likely to find it intrusive or overtly advertise-y, if you will. Plus, since live video occurs on social networks, people can join the conversation and take part however they’d like. Authenticity means a lot to viewers, and live video is much more authentic than the pre-recorded variety.
4. The rise of mobile-first
Ah, smartphones and tablets. What would we do without them? These powerful computer-in-your-hand devices have played a big role in the rise of live video. With the ability to be online to find live video at any time, the surge in mobile device usage will continue to make live video matter for marketing.
5. Millennials/Generation Z don’t watch TV like others
This just in: younger generations do things differently–and TV is not exempt.
These generations get lots of entertainment on their mobile devices (40 hours each month, to be exact), and the majority pay for streaming services like Hulu or Netflix. Live video is a great way to bring these younger users to the same place to start a dialogue about your brand.
Experimenting with Live Video
Like most unchartered territories, a great deal of testing, tweaking, and experimentation is necessary to perfecting your live video marketing strategy. While no two businesses are the same, we’ve compiled some starting points for your live video strategy. Here are some ideas for your first stream:
1. Go behind the scenes
Giving a look of what happens behind closed doors is a great way to show users something they aren’t used to. People are intrigued when they have an opportunity to see anything “off-limits,” which creates a memorable impression for your audience.
2. Promote an event
What better way to break the news about an upcoming event than by going live? Once you have your event planned, go live to let your audience know about the special announcement.
Pro tip: share and post a memorable URL during your announcement to drive audience traffic to your landing page or website for the event.
3. Answer questions
Customer service is an important part of every business (duh). Customers will always have questions, and what’s cool about live video is you can now answer these questions in real-time while captivating your audience. Plus, if you’re a large enough business, you can talk to your customer service team to find out the most common questions they receive, then go live to broadcast the answers.
4. Go live from an event
No one likes feeling left out. Next time you’re at an event related to your business, go live with it. This way, you can create a real storyline; you can show what’s happening and let the users be a part of it. Walk around the event, talk to your users, address any questions or comments. Even ask viewers what they would like to see. You want to immerse them in the experience as much as you are.
5. Training video
If you have a product or service that can be a little difficult to grasp, conducting live training sessions via streaming video is a great way to become one of your audience’s go-to resources. You can stream anything from graphic design tips and tricks to mechanical training. Lead your audience in a step-by-step process and be sure to answer any questions along the way. Training sessions can be an easy way to educate your audience, making your company a thought leader in your respective industry.