In recent years, live streaming’s popularity has exploded.
From humble beginnings with Periscope on Twitter to having live streaming abilities on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, anyone (and any business) can engage their audience in real-time. And audiences have responded – online streaming is now one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, estimated to be worth over $70 billion by 2021.If you’ve ever considered how you can use this new tool to help your business, it’s time to finally jump on the live streaming bandwagon!
Here’s how live streaming can help your business grow:
Create a Community
One of the most exciting advantages of live streaming is the community that you can create for your business and your audience.
Live streaming allows you to talk to your audience – filled with clients, future clients, followers, people curious about your products, everyone! – in a much more personal way than through a Facebook post or an email blast. By the nature of these sessions being live, it cultivates more trust in your community and a sense of transparency in your communications and actions.
It also allows people to engage in events that they otherwise may have missed, and to create relationships with other people in your audience. For example, the popular Chicago music festival Lollapalooza live-streams their acts for people unable to attend. By creating a live stream for these events, music fans from across the world were able to still participate in the feeling of watching their favorite bands live, all while mingling with other fans in the comments.
Big events are a popular use of live streaming services, but there are other ways to engage your community. The portable nature of live streaming means you can take your audience on a behind-the-scenes look of your business, have them there for big company announcements, present demonstrations or help with customer service in a live Q&A session.
Marketing efforts aren’t always cheap –marketing teams and ad campaigns can start to add up for your company. The great thing about live streaming? It’s a tool that’s available anywhere you have an Internet connection – and it’s free.
If your business has a Facebook, a YouTube channel, a Twitter account or an Instagram page, you can live stream from your mobile device. Instead of spending time and money drafting, approving, shooting and creating something like a TV commercial or a radio ad, this tool is right in your pocket and can capture your company’s culture and personality in a way that can be hard to copy organically elsewhere.
A live streaming effort can be as complicated or as simple as you’d like. Multi-camera setups are possible for large events, ensuring your audience won’t miss a second, but live streaming can be as simple as your phone propped up in front of you.
Plus, once your live stream is complete, it’s still available for others to watch again and can be shared freely by your audience, which creates more organic traffic for your social profiles and your website.
Encourage Active Engagement
As live video and streaming begin to outpace traditional video, people are watching more video content online than ever before. Especially if you’re targeting a millennial audience, the way to reach them is through online video and streaming. For example, in 2015, young millennials (14-25) officially began watching more video on digital devices than on televisions.
The demand for more live video is there, and people are ready to engage with it. Live streaming not only creates a community, but it encourages your audience to interact with your content more – through commenting, sharing and even live-tweeting. Watching something live helps your followers feel that they’re a part of your business, privy to exciting information and a personal connection with you, your team and your brand.
Live streaming also opens the door for businesses to collaborate with the royalty elite of follower engagement – online influencers. By partnering with an online influencer that fits your company’s brand and values, you’re doubling your engaged audience from just your clients to your clients plus their followers.
Examples of Live Streaming
Large and small companies and entities alike have found success in connecting with their community through live streaming. Notable examples include:
- Dunkin Donuts offering a donut cake recipe on National Donut Day
- Kenra Haircare uses live streaming to show how their products work, which allows customers to ask questions and encourages brand loyalty.
- Buzzfeed’s live stream of putting rubber bands around a watermelon until it broke in two was one of Facebook’s biggest live stream events to date.
At Video Parachute, we’ve helped other companies with a variety of different live streaming events. City Club’s highly popular events often sell out, so we’ve helped set up live streams for attendees (and journalists) who could not attend. More of their audience gets to be involved, and because of the greater access, their events had a spike in media coverage. We gave LGC Group a hand in creating a live stream to allow their employees to all “attend” their internal awards ceremony, and we’ve made it possible for another company to announce their business’s merger to all of their employees, across the country.
As live streaming continues to become increasingly popular, it’s obvious that more and more businesses will need to embrace this public appreciation of live video. Whether you’re looking to create a large production or all you have is yourself and your phone, live streaming is a useful option for any business interested in creating stronger relationships with their audience and enticing new customers and followers.
If you’re looking for a hand in setting up your business’s live streams, we can help! Contact Video Parachute today to learn more about our live streaming capabilities.