Shockingly, live streaming has been around longer than you may think – the first live stream occurred in 1993, and it has been evolving ever since! As far as social media goes, live streaming capabilities are a bit newer; Facebook Live came out in 2016, with Instagram following closely behind. There were also apps like Periscope designed specifically to integrate streaming into more social media apps.
Nowadays, live streaming is a huge part of creators’ success on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and more – and many businesses are following suit. What is it about live streaming that’s so compelling, and is it something your business should be doing?
What is live streaming?
It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: viewers get to watch a video live, as if they’re in the room while it’s being filmed. Popular streaming platforms include Periscope, Twitch, and YouNow, among others. Additionally, streaming capabilities are available through apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
What are the pros of going live?
One of the biggest benefits that comes with going live is that you get to establish a direct connection to your audience. Most live streaming platforms also have a messaging or commenting feature which allows viewers to ask questions or contribute to the conversation during a livestream. This helps you build trust with your audience as well as give them the information they’re actually seeking out!
Additionally, this can help you get to know your audience on a more personal level; actually getting to speak to them during a stream is more personal and memorable than just commenting back on a post.
Another huge plus to live streaming is the reach you can get. Studies show that 80% of audiences would prefer to watch a live video than read a blog post. (Editor’s note: if you’re reading the Blackwood blog instead of watching a live video somewhere, I’m blowing you a kiss. – Maddi) Bloggers’ feelings aside, live video is an incredible way to reach different people in your audience, and even expand your reach to new people.
A final benefit to going live is that it doesn’t require fancy equipment – all you need is your smartphone! As long as you can find a well-lit space to film in, you’re all set to go live.
Have businesses seen real results from going live?
Yes! In fact, 73% of B2B (business to business) companies using live video marketing report a positive impact on their ROI. This stuff really works!
Tons of brands are utilizing live video across multiple different platforms. Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, live streaming has become the go-to entertainment option for a lot of brands and viewers. If there was ever a great time to start live streaming, it would be now.
If you choose to do so, here are 5 best practices for live streaming.
1. Make sure you’re adding value instead of taking up space.
While going live can be a fun way to pass the time, maybe save that for your personal social media accounts. When you livestream for your business, make sure you’re giving people information they can actually use rather than fluff. Doing so will not only help your audience know what you’ve got going on, but it will also make it easier for people to spread the word!
2. Be as interactive as possible.
This doesn’t just mean asking questions – a conversation is a two-way street! If people pose questions in your comment section, be prepared to answer them. It’s a great opportunity to get to really form a relationship with your followers.
3. Keep it current.
At the end of the day, your video is going to be floating around in a world full of content. As such, you’ve got to make sure you not only stand out, but have a chance to compete for viewers’ attention.
4. Plan it out.
Similar to public speaking, unless you’re an improv whiz, it’s better to go in prepared than to just try and wing it. Before you go live, write down bullet points of things you want to address. That way, your thoughts are organized, and you won’t have as much dead air during your livestream!
5. Be yourself!
Your personality is one of your biggest selling points! By presenting yourself and your business as approachable and friendly, you are establishing trust with your audience that will carry over into your business relationships. Show everyone a glimpse of who you are, and they’ll thank you for it.
If your current marketing strategy isn’t cutting it anymore, you’ve come to the right place. Reach out to our team of experts here at Blackwood Creative. We’re in the business of building remarkable brands – and yours could be next. Contact us today!