Social media makes it easy to connect with people who share similar ideas and interests as you. It has continued to evolve and now offers numerous ways of reaching audiences on social platforms.
If you are looking to reach your audience in real time and expand your reach on social media, one of the best options you have is live streaming.
Why You Should Care About Live Streaming
According to findings from Research and Markets, the video streaming market is expected to become a whopping $70.5 billion industry by 2021. Live streaming is huge and becoming bigger.
As the live streaming market continues to expand, more people are choosing to stream video online over consuming content in other communication forms like text and images, and even choosing streaming over watching traditional television.
Audiences want behind-the-scenes access and turn to live-stream video in droves as it often brings more behind-the-scenes content than traditional television. In 2016, 81 percent of audiences on mobile and on the internet consumed more live video than they had the year before, per live streaming platform Livestream. And 45 percent of live video audiences would pay for live, exclusive, on-demand video from a favorite team, speaker or performer.
The popularity of streaming videos can be attributed to improvements in technology, proliferation of smartphones and mobile-first platform adoption. Streaming has also provided many advantages to users, including access to episodes anytime and ability to watch live shows and events with more flexibility and convenience.
All of these factors explain why live streaming content is important for brands and marketers.
Getting Started with Live Streaming
If you want to get your audience’s attention and help your brand reach a growing online audience more effectively, live streaming is a key marketing and communications tool to stay ahead of the competition. However, getting started with live-stream content can be a bit of a pickle to many.
Here are some useful tips to help you go through the whole process:
1. Choose a topic
For a long time, live streaming platforms were limited to sports and news content. However, after the recent integration of live streaming capability on major social media platforms, this has changed altogether. We can now even find live stream episodes on sneak-peaks into new technology.
When starting your live streaming journey, pick the right topic that will attract viewers. Popular live streams include story time streams, event streams and gaming streams. Once you’ve identified your topic and planned your content, it’s time to choose the best streaming apps and services.
2. Sete up on streaming platforms
In order to gain wider exposure for your message, it is advisable not to pick and stick to a single live streaming platform only. Experiment with a few platforms and topics as well to see how it goes.
As live streaming platforms are interactive and have their own audience that need to be targeted appropriately, the content of each stream might vary from what was planned earlier. You should be able to improvise for best results and deliver a quality stream once you are versed in setting up a live stream.
We’ve listed some of the top live streaming platforms, and also given a quick guide on how to setup successful live streams on those platforms.
One cannot talk about live streaming without bringing up the social media giant, Facebook. They integrated live streaming capability dubbed Facebook Live on their platform in 2016, and it took off without any hiccup. With over a billion users worldwide, Facebook is ideal to give your stream the exposure it deserves. Now let us see how to set up a live stream on Facebook.
All you need is a computer with a web camera and an active internet connection for streaming live on Facebook. The option to go live is available on top of the news feed itself. Click on that, add a short title and description, and you are all set. Your followers get notified when you go live on Facebook. Additionally, viewers can react and comment on your live stream which can be read and responded to. Once the stream ends, the video is available on your timeline for others to view.
With the acquisition of Periscope, Twitter entered into the live streaming space. Your followers also get notified when you go live and can react with a heart on these streams.
Setting up a live stream on Twitter is straightforward. Click on the compose icon and then hit live video option to start your live stream. You can simply swipe down to end your live stream on Twitter.
Twitter live has widely been used to stream some of the more famous events happening worldwide, like sports and music events. Once the stream ends, your video will appear on the timeline for others to view.
YouTube has been the most famous video sharing platform, and now it sports a live streaming feature as well. With YouTube, you can be assured to reach a wider set of audience. The recent UCL finals streamed on YouTube was widely popular and resulted in YouTube receiving a lot of praise for the same.
Set up a live stream on YouTube by going into the creator studio and clicking on live stream feature. You will be able to stream right away or schedule a time when to go live. This is a very useful feature as it lets your subscribers free up their calendar to watch your live stream.
You will also be able to read and respond to the comments posted by the viewers as well. Once the stream ends, viewers can still view your video in your video section.
3. Grow your audience
As with any type of content publishing, publish consistently and on a regular basis so your audience knows when to expect to hear from you. Don’t stream for a while and then disappear for a few weeks. Keep your schedule consistent to maintain and grow your audience. If you don’t have much time during the week, stream only a few days a week instead of daily. Adjust your publishing schedule depending on your own time commitments.
Give your audience incentives to return, such as early access to videos for those who subscribe to your channel. And keep the conversation going outside of the stream chat. Share your various social media handles with your subscribers and respond to their questions and comments outside the stream on other social networking sites.