The study reveals that there has been a steady increase in our time spent consuming digital video content. An average adult spends about 477 minutes watching online video, whether on their TV, computer, or mobile devices.
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For businesses, this also signals a shift in how they connect and interact with their audience. Adopting the best practices available gives you a better chance of communicating your product or service. After all, this remains an opportunity to bring your brand to the attention of the masses.
If you’re looking to stream live events for your organization, here are five things you’d want to consider for your next live streaming event.
Understanding the Art of Live Streaming
Despite looking like a one-way form of communication, like a traditional broadcast, technology has allowed the live stream to become a two-way communication format through live comments and reactions.
Unlike traditional video marketing formats, a live video allows you to interact directly with your audience in real-time, right from your apps. Viewers can ask you questions about your product, comment about your brand, and even offer live testimonials for other people to see. Some of them could even casually chat on your screen, tagging friends and inviting others to join.
Additionally, most platforms today allow you to keep your video content available for viewers to see on-demand. After your live event has ended, platforms like Facebook Live give you the option to automatically upload your entire video content. You can even share the link to the right apps and let people watch it on their own schedule.
To get you started, here are some of the best social media platforms for live streaming:
Facebook remains the top social media platform in terms of population, with 2.912 billion active daily users back in January 2022. Additionally, it has a lot of features that made it a popular choice for small businesses and international brands alike. There are groups that cater to specific niches and Facebook has its own Marketplace that lets you post your products and services, acting as an e-commerce platform in the online space.
Facebook Live allows you to host live event streaming on your company profile. Depending on their individual privacy and notification settings, viewers can be immediately notified once you start recording. Otherwise, they can still see your live event after it has ended through the FB news feed.
For games and applications, Twitch is a great live streaming platform to start with. With approximately 8 million active streamers, it has created a community of gamers and tech enthusiasts. Viewers on this platform can leave comments and reactions, and it has a lot of additional technologies to create a more customized experience.
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If your brand has something to do with tech, especially gaming, you might want to check out Twitch. This is also particularly recommended if you’re looking to earn through streaming as the platform allows fans to send money to streamers through donations.
TikTok has seen stellar growth over the past few years, thanks to its dedicated focus on short-form videos. Since it has become the latest platform for businesses to reach their market segments, you might want to consider this space and its live-streaming feature.
If you’re looking to engage in influencer marketing strategies, TikTok is one of the top apps. However, as a short-form streaming platform, it doesn’t save your live stream events after they have ended.
Capture Your Audience With Live Streaming Best Practices
Best practices in live streaming revolve around making the most of the technology available for you and always putting your audience in mind. In doing so, you generate good content and establish rapport with your viewers. Remember that for your company, establishing trust is important for brand awareness and ultimately influencing their purchase decisions.
Below are five tips you can keep in mind as you start hosting live streams:
1. Develop an Engagement Plan
Although social media has been known for its raw and unfiltered nature, brands must approach it carefully and retain control. Remember that as good engagement translates to better reception and more leads, the same also applies. Negative publicity can greatly impact your business, especially on the internet where nothing really ever goes away.
In developing a plan on how to engage with your viewers, make sure that the personality you project remains in line with the brand image you’ve been building. It also helps to identify which apps to use and the extent and limitations of your engagement, to make sure you don’t wander off into uncontrolled territory.
From your greetings to answering viewer questions, make sure to create a welcoming environment for everyone. Always be on top of the comment section and regularly check if you’re heard quickly or if everyone is on the same page.
2. Promote In Advance
It goes without saying, but you can’t go hosting virtual events without letting people know in advance. Instead of hoping for an audience, invite them days or weeks before the event. Integrate event announcements on your regular social media postings to let people know, or send email updates to those on your mailing lists.
In the Digital Age, a good piece of advice would be to stop using long-form URLs. You can use online link shorteners, use image access, or embed links on shorter anchor texts. It also helps to provide them with the necessary information, such as:
- Date and time of your virtual event
- The platform where it will be hosted. For simultaneous streams on multiple platforms, you can simply indicate each with the respective app icons for brevity.
- A short outline of what the event will be about. Specify whether you’ll be live selling or hosting a Q&A session.
3. Aim for a Professional Setup
Not all companies can afford a full production team to handle their video recording and streaming needs. Still, there are a lot of self-help tutorials from small businesses, vloggers, and influencers that can help you achieve a professional-looking stream with the resources available.
For example, you might not want to use your laptop’s built-in camera or low-end webcam because of their low video quality. If you can’t invest yet in a good camera, you can use your phone instead. Smartphones now have high-resolution cameras, which look great on-screen when paired with affordable lighting fixtures such as a ring light.
The same goes for the audio quality, with default or built-in microphone being unsuitable for business processes. There are no alternatives to this one, and you’ll need to invest in a noise-canceling microphone that keeps your audio clear and crisp. In live streaming events, remember that viewers don’t always have the patience to point out technical issues. If it’s no longer engaging to watch, they can just leave.
4. Always Retain a CTA
Remember that at its roots, your business-oriented live streaming event is also a marketing effort. More than presenting your ideas, products, or services, it is vital to always have a conscious effort to influence customer decisions. In marketing, this often comes in the form of a Call to Action (CTA).
From the invitation to the post-stream, always keep a CTA. Tell your audience what you want them to do. This is why live streamers often include the phrase “Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.” These are small, often inconsequential actions on the part of the audience yet they can change the trajectory of your brand in the online space.
5. Keep Your Content
Since most streaming platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, YouTube—allow you to keep your content after the live event, make good use of it. Aside from the reactions and engagement you gain from the actual event, you can gain additional reach when you post the videos after. People who missed the actual event can still see your content, encouraging them to reach out and send inquiries to you and your team.
As a part of your plan for posterity, you might want to keep your previous live streams in a single folder or playlist on the social media platform of your choice. You can also rename your saved streams in a way that includes their original airing date, or an important content keyword to make it easier for you and your audience to track.
Live event streaming is the future. In a world of remote working arrangements and social media engagement, this creates a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with their audience. Additionally, by adopting the five best practices listed above, you can be ahead of your competitors.
To ensure an impactful live streaming campaign, team up with an established live streaming production company such as Bonomotion Video Agency. Aside from the latest equipment, they can provide you with top-tier direction and creative ideas that can help you realize your potential. Contact them today and start engaging with your potential customers.