Live video streaming has burst onto the marketing scene, leaving businesses scrambling to understand the medium and successfully utilize it. Today we’ll take a deeper look at how business owners and marketers alike can make use of this exciting new platform (Hint: there can be too much of a good thing). Let’s dive in.

Who’s Who? The Live Video Platforms You Need To Know

While a plethora of live streaming sites have popped up since its popularization, there’s really just a few platforms that you need to be aware of. Here’s our rundown of the top 3:

#1 Facebook Live

Though not the first live video service on the block, Facebook live has certainly risen as one of the most powerful and accessible. Facebook users can choose to broadcast at any time from their mobile device (or anything with a camera + internet access). While this has led to considerable controversy, it’s also been used to great effect by businesses and nonprofits alike.

Facebook Live’s two biggest strengths are its audience and the ability to preserve your live content. Unlike some of the other platforms we’ll discuss, Facebook Live will permanently post live videos to your wall, though you can choose to delete them at a later date. Facebook also boasts one of the largest digital audiences ever, making it a world of opportunity.

#2 YouTube Live

YouTube Live has grown from a small platform frequented by gamers and music streamers into a respected medium used by sports networks and record setting skydivers. Of course, the gamers haven’t left either. YouTubers like Markiplier routinely host charity streams and let’s plays that garner thousands of live viewers.

YouTube live has several weaknesses in comparison to other streaming platforms. It has a smaller viewer base and its users are more accustomed to viewing videos at their leisure instead of “tuning in” to watch live performances. However, if your target audience falls within Youtube’s demographics, then it can be a powerful platform for engagement.

#3 Periscope

Periscope allows Twitter users to broadcast live video to their followers much like Facebook Live. Its Twitter connectivity has allowed brands with a strong presence on the social media site to easily transition into the live video sphere. Major companies routinely use Periscope, like:

The brands offer their followers content they otherwise would never have access to, like live tours of their facilities or free online concerts and events. If your business already has a strong Twitter following, then Periscope would be your best bet in live video marketing.

How To Incorporate Live Video Into Your Marketing Strategy

Before we begin, we’d like to warn you that live video isn’t right for everyone. If you don’t improv well under pressure, or prefer a clear brand message with a well defined script, then live streaming may not work for you. That being said, if you have a marketing team/professional who’s well versed in the medium, then it can be a powerful addition to your strategy.

#1 Know What Kinds Of Content Work Well With Live Video

Not all content types are going to transition well to live video. While you can certainly put together a great essay concerning pertinent topics in your industry, it’s better to release that content as a white paper or video essay.

It may help you to imagine streaming as similar to speeches or live television broadcasts. Sure, there’s definitely a script you’re going off of, but you have to be ready for the unexpected. This suits content such as:

  • Announcements
  • Q & A sessions
  • Interviews
  • Concerts/Events
  • Fundraisers
  • Conferences
  • Customer Service

If your content would benefit from customer interactivity, then you should give live streaming a shot. Otherwise, it may be better to play it safe and keep the improv behind the scenes.

#2 Be Ready To Improv Well

We’ve already mentioned this in passing, but let us reiterate: live is about improv and spontaneity. Have a plan, but don’t rely too heavily on the company script. If your viewers detect a hint of artificiality or grow bored of your overproduced webinar, they’ll ditch your stream for someone else’s.

#3 Let The Audience Play A Role

One of the most exciting aspects of streaming is that it allows viewers a seat at the table. They can ask questions and actually have a conversation with you, as opposed to leaving a comment that may never be replied to. It gives your audience a feeling of inclusion, and makes live video one of the most powerful mediums for consumer engagement.

Live video streaming is set to massively grow over the next few years. Brands are already seeing great returns from well orchestrated events and product introductions. However, live video has a clear ceiling. The live format simply does not suit many kinds of content that are necessary for your business.

It can also be tiring to constantly feel the pressure of live performance. Further, video streaming strains your budget with overhead costs for cameras, actors, event space, and more. If you see an opportunity to do live video, take advantage, but make sure you’ve picked the right medium before you commit.

If you have any questions about live video, or want help implementing live video into your marketing strategy, get in touch. The folks here at FEAD MEdia have been know to make a movie or two from time to time, and we’d love to use our skills to help you out.

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