After an arguably slow start, live streaming exploded after it hit headlines last month when a Facebook user caught a man in Chicago being shot whilst filming a live stream for his Facebook followers. Since then, Facebook’s live videos have has over 6.9B views, and Twitter’s Periscope has over 2 million daily users.
Live videos are real-time video posts on Facebook that appear in your News Feed from people you follow and your friends. When you’re watching a live video or a video that was live, you can tap or click ‘Subscribe’ to get notified the next time that Facebook account starts a live broadcast.
Live streaming of events
The most obvious use of live streaming for any company is to promote an event. If you are hosting or attending an event on behalf of your company, hosting a live stream can give your audience an access-all-areas pass, should they not be able to attend the event.
It’s also a great way to show the more personal, social side of the company, especially if you have invested into your own party – you want to show the world just how great it was! If you’re attending a well known event, use their hashtags in the promotion of the live stream to reach an audience who may not have stumbled across your brand.
Breaking news, product launches and special announcements
You’ve spent the time perfecting your product and now it’s time to launch. Hype surrounding a live stream announcement on your social accounts allows you to be as mysterious as you like and get people to tune in to find out more as well as allowing them to share their excitement with you.
Launching via a live stream gives you the opportunity to answer any questions and thank everyone for their comments individually and personally – every bands dream. This can also work for special announcements, breaking news and competitions; really making your audience feel involved.
Behind the scenes
Traditional marketing only showed their audience the polished, refined and well thought perception of their brand. With advances in technology, more people want to see behind the scenes. What is it like to work for your brand? Are you really as fun as you market yourselves to be? Then allow your audience to tune into the live stream and get a walkthrough of the office, or a glimpse into the production line, or even the creative process. Giving your audience a backstage pass to your company makes them feel involved, closer and more personal with the brand… and it works even better if you have an awesome office to film in, like we do!
Conversations with your audience
Modern technology such as live streaming allows you the opportunity to talk directly to those who are paying attention to your brand. By hosting a live stream where you are conversing with your audience, you can answer any questions they have, discuss things they believe will improve your company and in general, get their opinions all in real time. Users will feel a lot more comfortable commenting on a live stream than responding to a survey. Be sure to mention the users names when you answer them, to make them feel more involved and in turn increase your engagement. Take this example from Grazia Magazine, building a ‘community edition’ of the magazine based on their audience opinions on Facebook Live.
Customer support and Q&As
Brands are starting to get on-board with ‘townhalls’, a re-occurring day and time in which you can do a live stream Q&A session. By setting a specific day and time, users can tune in at those times to ask their questions, knowing they will get real time answers. This is better than online chats as other users can see your response and are less likely to ask the same question. It also gives you a face to talk with, much more favourable to some who don’t like the ‘robotic’ online chats.
Interviewing someone of influence within your industry
If your company is big within the fashion or cosmetic industry, interviewing an industry influencer on live stream is a great way to get plenty of engagement and interest. Influencers have a huge following, so not only will you engage your own audience, the influencer will bring plenty more from their following. This is a great way to promote your content outside the standard paid social advertising, by getting an influencer to endorse your product your company does not only appear to be more ‘legit’ within the industry but also approved by those who’s opinions ‘matter’.
Collaboration with other brands
If your brand has the chance to work alongside other brands, a live stream collaboration will pull in both brands audiences and therefore promote to a much wider audience than a solo live stream. This can be great if you have an event coming up that you and other companies are sponsoring and promoting.
Live streaming is growing slowly, with companies starting to include it into their marketing strategies. Facebook is currently in trials to include 15 second adverts after 5 minutes of live streaming, a great way to jump onboard without creating live stream content yourself. Twitter has created a lot of partnerships to enable them to broadcast live video and boost clips shown through its platform. It will be broadcasting NFL, NBA and NHL games, plus Premier League highlights in the UK. As it grows evermore popular, innovative ways to market your company will grow further than the opportunities above. However, if you want to be a trend setter, not follower, then maybe it’s time to start going LIVE.