You read that right. Growing your business is tough. You have to stand out, and that means getting creative with your marketing tactics.
People spend three times longer watching live videos than pre-recorded videos. Live videos may just be the ideal format to explore your creativity now as this emerging area becomes the future of online video marketing.
With live video, brands have the means of connecting with their audience at the exact time that they are being reached out to, thus generating much more traffic, views and engagement.
Depending on your target audience and objectives, you can jump on the live streaming bandwagon at a cost from as low as $0.
There are tons of options available for you to start your live streaming journey.
For starters, the biggest social media platforms today, like Facebook and YouTube, already have live streaming features you can use for free.
Alternatively, you can also create your own white-label live streaming app.
But first, what is live streaming?
Live streaming is broadcasting the video and sound of an event over the internet (mostly on social media) as it happens.
80% of consumers prefer to watch live videos from a brand than to read a blog.
This could also be why video will account for 82% of all web traffic by 2021.
But what makes live videos stand out from pre-recorded videos?
It is the higher level of authenticity in connection and interaction that brands are able to obtain with their customers. It gives meaningful insights and helps brands understand what customers really want.
Why are people watching live streams?
Interestingly, people are enjoying live streams for the same reason why they enjoyed traditional television.
On top of that, live streaming inspires more simultaneous activities. When people like what they are watching, 51% would text about it and 57% would share it on social media.
What does this mean? A wider reach! Don’t forget, they are also learning more about your brand while connecting with you.
Choosing A Live Streaming Platform
1. Facebook Live
With 1.66 billion daily active users in just December 2019, Facebook has the largest user base. This means that your viewership is likely to be higher here than on other platforms.
In 2018, the number of Facebook Live broadcasts reached 3.5 billion. That’s half of the global population!
The great thing about Facebook Live, besides it being free, is that it gives you deep insights into the demographics and statistics of your stream. This helps you to identify your audience and create targeted content accordingly.
Just like other platforms, users can comment and like the video in real time. Facebook also has cute emoticons for users to ‘react’ to your live video as they watch it. Once your live stream is over, you have the option of saving the video and keeping it as a permanent post on your page.
Broadcasting can be done through the mobile application or your desktop. Similarly, users can watch live video on all types of devices too.
Facebook also allows you to enhance your live streams by enabling the incorporation of other softwares or live streaming tools.
However, there are some downsides to consider before choosing Facebook Live for your brand. Not all your followers and fans will be notified of your live stream. You have to boost your live videos as paid ads to reach more viewers.
Another drawback is its lack of support for full high-definition resolution; its maximum is 720p. Streaming on Facebook might also be restrictive to some as its maximum video length is 90 minutes.
2. YouTube Live
After Google, YouTube is the most visited site and also the second most-preferred platform for viewing videos on TV screens among 18-34 year olds. An average user spends about 12 minutes on YouTube every day and views about 6 pages, which proves high levels of activity.
Compared to Facebook Live, YouTube offers more functionality in live streaming. YouTube Live allows a wide range of resolutions and bitrates and longer videos.
On top of the flexibility to incorporate other softwares like Facebook Live, an embed link can also be generated for your own website.
The biggest difference between YouTube Live and the other social media platforms is how simple and accessible the monetisation process is.
Content creators can get paid while live streaming through ad placements, sponsorships and fans’ support with its ‘Super Chat’ feature. Live streamers can earn between $1 to $500 from Super Chat and $4.18 for every 1000 views of ads shown on videos.
While Facebook also allows you to monetise through ads and shared revenue, the process is not as straightforward.
Another advantage that YouTube Live has is in SEO (search engine optimisation), since its videos are searchable in search engines. Because YouTube is owned by Google, its videos tend to rank relatively high on search results.
3. Instagram Live
Instagram Live is a feature of Instagram stories, which has more than 500 million daily active users, and 90% of its users follow at least one business account on Instagram. Stories are displayed at the top of the feed, making them more visible as compared to regular posts.
If you are live streaming, your live stream will appear in the first spot, which will be difficult for followers to miss.
In contrast to Facebook, all your followers will also be notified when you go live as long as their notifications are not turned off.
Instagram Live takes engagement a step further by providing users with fun features to post questions and join live streams. These features are highly interactive and customisable. This means you have the flexibility to get creative while trying to entertain your viewers.
Unfortunately, if you’d like to implement fancier stuff on your Instagram Live videos, there is currently no way to use third-party softwares with it.
It is also not possible to store live videos on your profile for more than 24 hours.
4. Professional Live Streaming Video Companies
For businesses who want to stay close to their branding, mainstream social media platforms might not be the best solution for live streaming.
Depending on your business, you might require more customised features that are not openly available out there. That is exactly what live streaming video companies provide.
For example, schools might want to live stream multiple classes simultaneously. Corporations might want to conduct staff training or meetings through live stream internally and privately. Religion-based groups will need to look beyond social streaming platforms to live stream.
Customised live streaming platforms can generate more revenue with paywalls like subscription/premium content and flexible advertising models.
Some perks of using live streaming video hosts are:
– Dedicated technical support
– Maintain all rights to broadcast content
– Broadcast with no competing branding
– Customise features to fit your business needs
– Restrict access by geographic locations or IP ranges
– Monetise broadcasts in various ways, as planned by you
These features, among others, define a comprehensive live streaming video company. Although it is free to live stream on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, they might not be enough for your business in terms of functionality.
Paying for a live stream provider may instead save you the effort of putting out content that is not suitable for your customers.
BeLive Technology is an example of a live streaming video company that customises platforms according to the needs of the business. Like other live streaming video companies, BeLive offers different packages.
The enterprise package is suited for medium to large businesses that want to build their own live streaming platform, be it as a mobile application or a website.
Being an end-to-end solution, BeLive Technology covers your needs from pre-launch to post-launch, and from developing to content producing.
BeLive Technology also provides plug-in solutions for businesses that already possess their own mobile application or website.
With just a few lines of code, you can easily implement live streaming with a full set of functions including live shopping, and it’s all customisable to seamlessly fit in with your platform.
Whether your business decides to use Facebook Live or a professional live streaming host, live streaming is undoubtedly a fast-growing part of social media. It motivates consumers from around the globe to connect with the brands they love and enables brands to listen closely to their consumers.
When used right, live streaming can definitely bring traffic to your business, create engagement and hold the attention of your viewers.
It is definitely worth considering for your business.
Don’t know where to start? Check out more of BeLive Technology.