To live stream, or not to live stream …
Live streaming has absolutely exploded over the last few years, and it’s something you should be seriously considering as a part of your marketing strategy.
Live streaming offers individuals and businesses so many possibilities. What you choose to do during your stream (keeping the terms and conditions of your platforms in mind) is really up to you. Want to show your followers how to use a product? Go for it. Need to share some crucial information with as many people as possible and a Tweet or status update just won’t do? Live streaming has you covered.
Yes, the uses for live streaming are seemingly endless, but beyond marketing, it is a useful personal and business tool, with some of the most common uses include live streaming weddings, concerts, parties, conferences, meetings and as an education resource or tourism brands can use live streaming to tell the story of their region.
Let’s dive a little deeper into some of the best live streaming platforms, when you should be live streaming, and why you should make it a part of your marketing strategy.
The best live streaming platforms
When something becomes popular on the internet, it’s bound to pop up on a whole host of different platforms. In the case of live streaming, it can be somewhat overwhelming when deciding which platform is the best fit for you, your brand, or your business.
It should come as no surprise that you should be looking at the biggest names in the business. Large social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter already have established user bases, customer support, and strong reputations behind them.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest players in the game.
Whether it’s streaming games, political discourse, crafts, or even building mechanical keyboards, there’s a live stream for everyone on Twitch. While Twitch might not be a great choice for brands who want to go live themselves, it offers plenty of exciting opportunities for sponsored content, product reviews, and many more influencer marketing options.
Now, we can’t possibly talk about internet videos without talking about the undisputed king of internet videos: YouTube. YouTube Live is a massive player in the live streaming game. Whether it’s established news media outlets or a global conference, you’re likely to find it streaming on YouTube.
Much like YouTube and video, you can’t talk about social media without talking about Facebook. The social media giant has more than 2.7 billion monthly active users all around the globe. That’s a lot of potential eyeballs on your live stream.
Facebook Live is a great tool for community building, networking, education, product demonstrations, and so much more.
As you would expect from a platform of Facebook’s size, their live streaming options are packed with useful features, including the ability to go live from your personal profile, your page, or even a group.
For brands looking to get more eyes on their content, or run some cross promotion with another brand or influencer, going live on Instagram is an excellent option.
If you’re looking to promote an event, expand your professional network, or even deliver educational seminars, you should seriously stop and consider LinkedIn Live.
Going LIVE on TikTok
We all know just how huge TikTok has become over the course of the last 18 months, and there are certainly no signs of the platform slowing down any time soon. If you’re a brand or business looking to connect with a younger audience, an influencer collaboration via Going LIVE on TikTok might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
While Periscope may be long gone, you can, however, still go live on Twitter. Live streaming on Twitter is a bit more involved than the other platforms on our list here. Unless you have a large following on Twitter, we’d recommend using a different option for your live streams.
However, Twitter is a great place to promote your streams and get more people to watch.
When should you live stream?
This may seem like the most obvious statement in the history of obvious statements, but you should be live streaming when your followers are most active and likely to interact with your stream.
Keep in mind: most streaming platforms will allow you to record your streams and reupload them later. If a platform doesn’t offer this option, we recommend using OBS Studio to record your streams. You’ll be amazed at how much content from your stream you can repurpose into new content for social media and YouTube.
It’s also important to consider the steps you take in the lead up to your stream. Are you letting your followers know when your stream will begin? Do they know where to watch it? Are you running any promotions during your stream? Are any special guests joining you?
Going live isn’t as simple as hitting that red button. You need to do the prep work to make sure your stream will go smoothly, without any technical hiccups or awkward moments.
Why you should consider live streaming
We live in an immediate world. Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix, the idea of watching a TV show on a week-to-week basis is almost non-existent. We want our content fast, and we want it now. We want to binge.
And what’s faster and more immediate than live streaming?
Live streaming also offers something that a Netflix binge simply can’t: interaction. Watching and commenting on a live stream is a much more personal and connected experience than watching a pre-recorded show. It’s a fantastic way for brands and creators to build strong communities, interact with their followers, and stay current in real time.
Open up new revenue streams (pun intended)
If your business has been looking for ways to create new revenue streams, live streaming is an incredibly powerful monetisation tool. Whether it’s simply receiving donations and tips during your stream, product demonstrations and reviews, selling tickets to your stream, paid promotions, and sponsored content – the monetisation options during your live stream are plentiful.
Put your ideas to your community
Are you stuck? Not sure where your business should go next? Need questions answered about an upcoming event or product launch? A live stream is a great opportunity for you to harness the power of your community. If two heads are better than one, how much better are the hundreds (or thousands) of heads tuning into your live stream?
Asking your community for their input into your business is also a great way to make your community actually feel like a community. You want your community to feel valued, so why not show them how much you value them by getting their input?
When your business decides to start venturing out into the world of live streaming, there are so many factors to consider. Something as simple as choosing which streaming platform to use isn’t actually all that simple.
Before you get started, our recommendation is to spend some time on each platform that you’re considering and see what kind of content works and what content doesn’t. From there, ask yourself a few questions: which platform is our audience already active on? Which platform has all the features we need? Which platform shares similar values to our brand?