Video livestreaming has moved quickly from a fun fad to a full-blown marketing strategy.
It’s an inexpensive, quick, easy way for companies to produce engaging, highly personalized content. Consumers also seem to enjoy it. One study found that 80 percent of audiences would rather watch a brand’s live video than read its blog, and 82 percent prefer live video over social media posts.
Companies such as ModCloth, Dunkin’ and Buzzfeed have embraced livestreaming as a marketing tool—with great success—but many remain unsure of where to begin.
Whether you’re a newbie or just looking to perfect your streaming video strategy, here are five guidelines to keep in mind:
Get creative with content. Variety is the spice of life—and livestreaming.
Mix up your content frequently to keep your audience engaged. Tinker with different formats and forums, and don’t be afraid to try new things.
Take viewers on a behind-the-scenes tour of an event. Conduct fun interviews with an influencer, or produce a breezy how-to piece. Respond to customer questions, or host a live giveaway.
Err on the side of creativity, fun and audience engagement.
The devil is in the details. Once you’re ready to livestream, plan the production elements to ensure your video goes off without a hitch.
Ideally, you want to plug directly into an internet connection. If that’s not possible, get a dedicated Wi-Fi line with at least a 2MB upload speed.
Location is another consideration. Is your event going to be outside? How strong and consistent is your internet signal? How close are you to a Wi-Fi router that’s plugged into a hard line?
What about bad weather? An outdoors shoot can be visually appealing but more difficult to control. Weigh the pros and cons before taking your stream outside, and always have a plan B.
Produce worthwhile content. Livestreaming shouldn’t be an exercise in vanity. Have fun, but make sure your production provides something of value for your audience. No one needs to see another vapid talking head video.
If you’re conducting an interview, play to your featured guest’s strengths. Highlight your guest’s success, and ask about her passions or a project she’s working on. If your guest veers off topic, redirect the conversation toward a topic that’s relevant to your audience.
Most important, include a call to action, such as sharing a link, downloading something or signing up for your email list.
Determine the best platform for your purposes. The main platforms for livestreaming are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Periscope, Vimeo Live and Livestream. Consider which works best for you and your objectives, but concentrate on where your audience already exists. Where do you get the highest engagement?
If you have 2 million YouTube followers, but just 200 on Facebook, Facebook Live might not the best choice. Either way, compare analytics to determine where you should focus your efforts.
Promote before and after. Start promoting your piece well in advance, and slowly give out more information to build suspense and interest.
A few minutes before going live, remind people via email or social media that your livestream is about to begin.
Before you shoot anything, determine how you’ll track engagement. Many people who stream content watch post-event, so monitor how and when your audience engages with your livestream. Let your customers know how and where to watch after the stream is published, and carefully monitor analytics.
Above all, don’t let fear stand in your way. Livestreaming can breathe life into your video content, and it’s a great way to establish a genuine, emotional connection with your audience.
Just make sure you have a plan and strategy in place before going hitting “record.”