Typically reserved for the gamers of the world, live video streaming is breaking down barriers and securing its place in the online marketing realm.
If you tend to associate live streaming with the gaming industry, and not much else, then you’ve come to the right place. Today, live video streaming is every social media marketer and creator’s dream tool. It allows for real-time video sharing, which increases a brand/influencer’s authenticity; and therefore their credibility.
As an industry, live streaming is already worth billions of dollars. This is only expected to increase—by 2028, the industry is predicted to sit at $224 billion. Jumping on the bandwagon now is advised!
Wanting to get involved with live video streaming, but aren’t quite sure where to begin? This blog will cover everything you need to know about utilising this tool on social media for the sake of enhancing your marketing strategy, boosting your authenticity and promoting yourself and your products.
A stream of historic events
Even if you’re not familiar with live streaming, we’re certain you are with live streaming platforms YouTube and Twitch.
Launched in 2008, YouTube Live streamed from both Tokyo and San Francisco; a groundbreaking success for its time. However, it did not end up specialising in live streaming and, instead, Twitch quickly took over as the reigning platform.
Until the launch of Facebook and Instagram’s streaming services in 2016, live video streaming was really only used for video games. This is probably why the majority of us associate the concept with gaming.
Modern day live streaming is one of the most prominent forms of marketing, communication and entertainment; with brands expected to invest more than $100 billion on video content by 2023. Often referred to as “going live”, social media live video streaming allows influencers and creators to have real-time conversations with their followers, tap into features such as live chats, polls and question prompts and even earn money by accepting online gifts that can be exchanged for cash.
What’s in it for you?
Above all, utilising live video streaming is an effective way of achieving any personal/marketing goals you wish to achieve. Whether you are a creator or brand, live video streaming can do the following for you:
You will have wider audience potential
Where physical events are limited to a certain number of people, live-streamed events have no capacity. For those who have work commitments to attend and cannot make it to the event itself, this is where live streaming prevails. It grants those who otherwise could not attend, access; and, you, a larger audience.
Richer content use
Though its name would suggest that live streaming is restricted to purely visual and audio streaming, it can also include the use of a variety of content forms and multimedia; including text, pictures and live chat.
It provides ease and confidence
Many people think live streaming is too technically difficult for them to pull off. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Social media platforms purposely make the live streaming process an easy one to follow, as they are aware of the benefits of it and don’t want anyone missing out. Sometimes all you really need is a smartphone and a wifi connection!
It is affordable
While there are completely free live streaming services out there, they are usually full of pop ups, which can look tacky. Professional streaming services for businesses are generally inexpensive and will look a lot more aesthetically pleasing.
Lights, camera, ACTION!
While being technologically apt is not a requirement of starting your journey with live video streaming, it does help to know the basics of computing. Here are some some useful tips to help you optimise your live streams:
– Make sure your ethernet connection is in top condition: switching from Wifi to a wired LAN can vastly improve connection speed, and therefore the quality of your live streams.
– Back everything up: Back your live streams up after they have been run to create playlists and videos for your viewers to access after the event is over. This is a great way to maintain a good relationship with your viewers as you are letting them view something you have created, even if they couldn’t make it to the event in real-time.
– Plan ahead: specifically for anything that could go wrong during the livestream.
– Stay organised: keep cables neat and tidy to avoid tripping over them, have a game plan that allows you to stay on track with what you have scheduled during your livestream.
– Test out your broadcast: run a full test, preferably at the venue you plan on live streaming at and check for any sound, lighting or encoder problems. Cameras, microphones and other equipment should also be checked before going live.
– Close your unused programs and applications: this will prevent your stream from being choppy or lagging.
Choose your platform wisely
Most social media platforms today practically shove the LIVE button in the faces of brands and creators with the hope of getting picked and, to be honest, it can then become very overwhelming to decide which live video streaming platform to choose.
Remember: when choosing a streaming platform, it is essential that your target audience remains at the centre of all of your decisions. They should be put in a position where they do not have to jump through hoops in order to gain access to your live stream. For example, sending avid users of Instagram to Twitch to navigate accessing what you are live video streaming, perhaps isn’t the best of ideas. Ensure that your viewers are comfortable with using the platform you are streaming on in order to allow for as much audience participation as possible.
Your live video streaming platform contenders are:
Tailor your content
Once you have chosen your live video streaming platform, a good next step is to decide what type of content it is that you wish to stream to your audience and why.
There are several reasons why 63% of people between the ages of 18-34 regularly tune into live video streaming:
There is a huge level of interactivity: a lot of people want to tune into live streams held by people they love (actors, singers, artists etc.) as a way of getting close to them. Imagine watching a live stream hosted by a band that you love and they answer your question from the live chat feed; how cool!
It is an opportunity to watch professionals live: for example, live streaming grants people access to seeing their favourite sports team training before a big game; something you normally wouldn’t be able to see.
It satisfies the need for communication: for those who struggle with open and in-person communication, the internet provides them with ways to interact with people at a level they feel comfortable. Live video streaming contributes to this as it provides the level of intimacy without the viewer having to directly speak to the person they are watching.
Live video streaming provides a level of accessibility and interactivity that not much else can. Its annual growth can be attributed to these factors and is a major reason for so many creators and brands getting involved to achieve personal or marketing goals. It certainly shows no signs of slowing down.
What is live streaming?
Live streaming is streaming media simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time over the internet. It is a beneficial way for creators and marketers to tap into their audiences and achieve personal and business goals.
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