Livestreaming has become a popular way for businesses to broadcast events well beyond their physical confines. Some initially dismissed live video as gimmicky and only suitable for the likes of internet personalities. Yet, platforms like Facebook Live and Twitter have become powerful tools for digital marketers to reach and engage their audiences.
Facebook Live videos receive over three times the engagement of regular videos and five times the engagement of standard photo posts. In other words, Facebook Live is one of the most effective platforms out there for getting customers to pay attention to your brand. Livestreaming is projected to become a $70 billion industry by 2021 and has become a vital part of many brands’ marketing strategies, including Martha Stewart and Royal Carribean.
Why Is Livestreaming So Effective?
People love to buy things, but they hate being sold to. One of the biggest brand pitfalls is coming across as “too corporate” and lacking that human element. Livestreaming your events provides your brand a way to engage directly and genuinely with the customer.
Livestreaming is all about creating an intentionally unpolished, behind-the-scenes look at your events or your company’s inner workings. You may be surprised by how many people are interested in seeing what goes on behind the scenes with your brand. Even the simplest experiences, such as a tour of your production facility or casual conversations with higher-ups, can provide that human connection you’re looking for.
In addition, livestreaming can be easy to produce for any live event. While most people think they’re limited to using a smartphone, there are multiple ways you can livestream to achieve a more professional look. Here are some ideas on how to craft your livestreaming strategy with your budget in mind.
If you are looking for a free way to livestream your event, using your smartphone is the obvious choice. This type of livestream creates a personal viewing experience since the angle of the camera usually is only your arm’s length.
The biggest positive of this approach is that you can create a better connection with your audience. The negative is that the quality of the video may not be where you want it. The camera may be shaky, the lighting will almost certainly be bad, and the audio may sound like it was filtered through a potato. Although these negatives can lend your stream a degree of brand authenticity, this approach generally won’t cut it for larger events.
Mobile Phone With Camera Accessories (Middle-End)
If you have a few hundred dollars to spend, you can immensely improve your mobile phone’s livestream by investing in attachable camera gear. Stabilizing your mobile video stream can be as simple as attaching a grip to your phone and placing it on a tripod. You can improve audio by buying a microphone that connects directly to your phone.
Lighting and lenses that attach to the tripod and phone are great ways to make your livestream more visually appealing and professional-looking. Here’s a short guide on the best types of equipment for mobile phone livestreaming.
Studio Broadcast or Through Desktop (High-End)
This type of setup may cost a little more, but broadcasting through your desktop is the best way to bring stability to your livestreaming production. There are many Mac and PC applications that work with Facebook Live and Twitter. The most popular ones include OBS Studio and Wirecast.
Of course, you’ll need higher-quality equipment that is compatible with this type of set up. This guide recommends getting these pieces of equipment for a successful livestream:
- Fast Upload speeds (at least 5Mbps upload speed)
- Hard-wired cable set up
- Fast and powerful computer (no older than two years)
- Microphones, lighting, and DSLR-quality cameras
Instead of purchasing the equipment and livestreaming your event in-house, you can hire an outside creative studio to handle the production. Even though your brand may have money to purchase higher-end equipment, there is often a steep learning curve surrounding the technical parts of video production.
It’s easy to press “Go Live!” on your Facebook or Twitter page, but a professional studio company can turn that event’s livestream into something that breaks down barriers between the brand and its audience. High-quality productions lead to higher-quality engagement.
Positive buzz attracted through livestream visibility can lead to more personal recommendations for your brand. A poll conducted by Constant Contact showed that 90 percent of new clients are attracted through these third-party recommendations. Since livestreaming is one of the best ways to engage with an audience, creating a high-quality broadcast of your events should be one of your highest priorities.
Best Platforms for Livestreaming
This live video feature on Facebook allows users and brands to engage directly with their audiences, offering live comments and other interactions that provide a sense of connection between presenter and audience. If you are looking for the widest appeal across platforms, Facebook Live is the most accessible way to jump into livestreaming your brand’s events.
Twitter (a.k.a. Periscope)
Twitter utilizes an app called Periscope to broadcast high-quality streams, but recent improvements have all but eliminated the line between the two platforms. Creating a livestream is as easy as sending out a tweet with your live video link. You can record the entire stream and even save it to your device once you’re finished.
While Twitter’s live streams may not be as popular as Facebook and are only supported via mobile devices, the platform remains a great way to establish connections with new customers. You can utilize livestreaming on Twitter to establish new leads because anyone, no matter whether they follow your company’s page or not, can watch the stream. Even if you don’t get a high viewership for your live streams, they can still drive a 157 percent increase in organic traffic from search engines.
Many livestreaming services are very similar in their functionality, so a difference in platform quality is not the question. Where you livestream entirely depends on the audience you intend on capturing. If you are in the retail, media, or health care industries, consider Facebook Live—its demographics skew older. Younger audiences flock to platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.
Livestreaming is becoming an integral part of both big and small brands’ digital marketing strategies. With the advancement of tech platforms like Facebook Live and Twitter, it has never been easier to get your content and events out there.