Learning how to live stream may be intimidating, but it’s insanity to ignore the marketing opportunities and advantages it creates for your brand and company.
Want to engage your audience beyond your written content? 80% of brand audiences prefer watching a live video to reading a blog post.
In fact, producing live videos:
- Lets you reach a wider audience
- Encourages active engagement with your brand
- Builds stronger relationships with your viewers
- Provides a wealth of content to repurpose
- Makes you stand out from the crowd
To help you take advantage of live streaming, I’ll break down the benefits of doing it, the platforms and equipment you can use, and the types of streams you can host. If you want to know why, what, and how to live stream to give your marketing efforts a boost, keep reading.
Why bother live streaming?
Live streaming is still relatively new, with the last few years in particular seeing a surge in what the general public can do.
Today anyone with a mobile phone can set up and stream, or join one to watch and talk to the broadcaster – news stories are brought to life, showing different angles of an event, confusion and all.
So why not take advantage of it?
“Clare Means was playing her guitar on Santa Monica Pier. No more than 15 people were there, but she could press a button and there would be 100,000 fans watching her. It’s a TV station at her fingertips.” – Kayvon Beykpour, CEO of Periscope, talking to WIRED
Let’s break down the main advantages of live streaming.
You reach a wider audience
Social media is, by design, filled with filter bubbles – echo chambers of news and content created by algorithms. Put simply, if you like and engage with a particular type of content or topic, you’ll see more of the same thing.
Knowing this, it’s hard to break into peoples’ bubbles and expose them to your carefully crafted content. This is where live streaming comes in, as it will increase your organic reach by 135% compared to a regular photo post.
In other words, if you post on social media to market your brand, live videos will get more than double the exposure (both to current and new audience members) of a photo post.
It builds relationships with viewers
Depending on the type of stream you host, live videos can build also strong relationships with your viewers. They’re given the chance to see and talk to you live, humanizing both your content and your business.
This is especially true if you’re interacting with the comments or chat feed while you broadcast. By responding to viewers you’re demonstrating that you pay attention to your audience, who will, in turn, remember the experience and the points you made.
That positive reinforcement can help to quickly turn viewers into customers – never underestimate the power of connecting to your audience.
Regular streaming makes you organize your time
The best results when live streaming are seen by those who plan out a predictable schedule, with the occasional spur-of-the-moment stream. If your audience knows when you’ll be live they can make a note of it and/or free up time to watch you.
To do this, you need to be managing your time effectively.
By disciplining yourself to stream at a set time, for a set length, X times per week, you can plan the rest of your tasks around that and more easily piece together your day. If nothing else, this is a great way to see where you’re wasting time and work out how you could be better spending it.
Streaming reinforces your company values and message
It’s important to have a consistent message behind your company – a rallying call to show exactly what you stand for. Unfortunately, if several people are outwardly representing you (eg, 5 different live stream hosts) this message can be diluted by different attitudes and approaches to your audience.
While that’s a negative, sooner or later you’re going to have to clearly stamp out your values, and there’s no better way to make them crystal clear than by live streaming.
Much like with time management, streaming regularly (and especially with multiple hosts) forces you to think about how you’re going to present your company, event, and team in general. In turn, your business as a whole will benefit from that clarity just by having something to center itself around.
Broadcasts can be repurposed
Repurposing content is a great way to get some extra bang for your marketing buck. For example, you could turn a successful blog post into an infographic and SlideShare to get even more traction without needing extra information.
Live streamed content is no exception. From a single live stream, you can create:
- A raw video recording
- Edited highlights
- An article based on your topic
- An article drawing from the comments your audience made
- An infographic from your topic
- A SlideShare
- A podcast episode with your audio
- Pretty much anything you can think of in terms of publishing visual content
All of that, from one casual live streaming session – bargain.