How can tourism brands use live streaming in 2021?

February 22, 2021 1:09 pm

The mysterious world of live streaming might just be the new normal.

It’s been a challenging year for tourism brands. With COVID-19 completely changing the way we travel, many people are looking to scratch the travel itch without leaving their homes, and live streaming might just be the answer. 

While people have been stuck at home over the last year, we’ve seen a massive increase in digital travel, VR travel, 24/7 webcam streams, and live streaming.

From both a brand and consumer perspective, live streaming has absolutely boomed recently. Why? For tourism brands, it offers a cheap and engaging way to reach and connect with a captive audience. For consumers, live streaming has become a much-needed escape in the age of lockdowns and isolation.   

Let’s dive a little deeper into live streaming and how you can use it to grow your tourism brand. 

Why should tourism brands use live streaming?

To put it simply, live streaming is here, and it’s here to stay. If you aren’t incorporating live streaming into your marketing and business operations, you’re really running the risk of getting left behind. 

Here are a few of the benefits of live streaming:

  • It’s relatively affordable 
  • It’s easier than you may think 
  • It increases your online presence and visibility 
  • People love live videos
  • Live streaming offers a real-time experience like nothing else online
  • It’s excellent for interaction, engagement, and answering questions
  • You can do it from almost anywhere

Done right, the benefits of live streaming can vastly outweigh any cost. Suppose you want to sell a destination or experience to a potential traveller, what better way than to give them a glimpse into what that destination or experience has to offer in real-time. Think of live streaming as a digital try-before-you-buy experience. 

Use live streaming to promote travelling local

It may still be some time before we’re able to hop on a plane and travel internationally, so it makes sense that more and more travellers are looking to travel closer to home

For many people, a holiday is a big deal. That’s why they often choose to look outside their own borders. It’s also the reason many travellers seem to miss out on the natural beauty and exciting destinations that exist right under their nose. 

Live streaming offers a cost-effective and engaging way to share local destinations with eager travellers looking for their next escape. 

Share an experience

One of the traps that many tourism brands fall into is being overly salesy in their marketing efforts. Hosting a live stream is an opportunity to be genuine, engaging, and share an experience with your audience. After all, when it comes to tourism, you’re selling an experience, not a product.  

Your live streams should focus on showing off locations and experiences without constantly selling your audience something. There’s a big difference between physically selling something and selling an idea.  

Be prepared before you go live

We’ve already spoken about a live stream’s immediacy being one of the medium’s biggest drawcards. However, just because a live stream has an immediacy to it, this doesn’t mean it’s completely spontaneous. 

Before you go live, you need to be prepared. Let’s break this down into three steps: 

  1. Make sure you have a plan
  2. What is the focus of your stream?
  3. On which platform should your stream take place? 

Being prepared let’s your audience know that you care, it makes you look more professional, and it allows you to control a medium that can quickly get out of hand. 

Best live streaming platforms 

Before you can jump into the world of live streaming, it’s important to know which platforms are out there and what’s the best choice for you. While there are a host of popular live-streaming platforms available today, for tourism brands, it’s best to go with a live streaming service that’s already tied to a social media platform.

Furthermore, the platform you choose will have an impact on the feel of your stream. Some streaming services are more formal, while others are more laid back and fun.  

Let’s take a look at the best live streaming platforms for tourism brands

Facebook Live 

The first option here is an absolute no-brainer. If you’re a tourism brand, we’re willing to bet that you already have a Facebook page, right? Well, Facebook Live is probably your best bet.

Not only does Facebook Live save you the time and effort of building an entirely new audience, but it also offers a host of features: 

  • Viewers can react and comment on your stream in real-time
  • You can moderate comments 
  • Facebook Live is available from your phone or computer
  • You can monetise your Facebook Live streams 
  • You can invite guests into your stream 
  • Live streams can be scheduled in advance 
  • So much more!  

YouTube

When we think about videos on the internet, most of us immediately think of one platform: YouTube. So it should come as no surprise to you that the platform is also incredibly popular for live streaming.  

Instagram Live 

Owned by Facebook, you can expect pretty much everything Facebook Live has to offer here. Instagram Live is fantastic for visibility. When you go live, your stream will appear in the very first position of your followers’ Stories sections. 

Periscope 

Got a bigger following on Twitter than Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube? It’s time to check out Periscope. Acquired by Twitter in 2015, Periscope offers users everything Facebook Live has to offer. One of the biggest pluses of Periscope, however, is its popularity with celebrities and large brands. 

If you’re exploring influencer marketing (and you should be), Periscope is an excellent avenue to explore for your live streams. 

TikTok Live 

If you’re trying to connect with a younger audience, going live on TikTok is a fantastic tool from which to do so. Live video is increasing in popularity on the platform; however, keep in mind that your account needs at least 1,000 followers to unlock the live feature.  

What about screen sharing? 

If you’ve ever taken part in a Zoom call over the last year, it’s almost certain that you’ve either shared your screen or watched as someone else shared theirs. Screen sharing is a fantastic tool for video conferencing, as it allows participants to easily share information without sending documents beforehand. 

But what about screen sharing while live streaming? Well, it works much in the same way. Being able to share your screen during a live stream is a powerful marketing tool, especially for people in the tourism and hospitality industry.     

OBS Studio is a free and open-source software for video recording and live streaming, and it’s compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux. It’s easy to install, has a host of excellent features, and works well with Facebook and YouTube.  

Need help taking your tourism brand live? Drop us a line, we’d love to help.

How can tourism brands use live streaming in 2021?