What Exactly is ‘Live Video Streaming’ On Social Media?
First, let’s get to grips with what “live video streaming” on social media actually means. “Live video streaming” or “live video casting” is the act of broadcasting a video in real-time, usually via webcam or mobile device, allowing you to directly interact with your audience on a variety of social platforms.
Whether you’re streaming a live Q&A with your customers, demonstrating a new product feature or hosting an interactive interview with your company’s experts and opinion leaders, live video streaming helps you to connect with your audience instantaneously.
Social media marketer, Bryan Kramer, describes live video streaming as an inexpensive “key marketing and communications tool that helps brands reach their online audience.” Thus, it’s a great means of educating and inspiring an existing audience while also reaching new people who may not have heard of your product or services previously. Live video streaming is increasingly becoming a relevant channel for B2B marketers around the world, and B2B audiences are increasingly willing to take part. Below is a handy infographic from Livestream, showcasing insightful statistics from its research on live video streaming.
Which Social Media Platforms Support Live Video?
As live video streaming has become increasingly popular on social media, a variety of options are now available to organizations. Below is a list of key platforms, all of which are free to use and have features that enable live interactions with viewers either by allowing viewers to talk to the broadcaster or participate in conversations through a chat feature.
Individuals, dignitaries, and companies can share live videos with followers on a variety of topics such as presentations, behind the scenes at events and product updates through Facebook Live. Social media managers can also monitor audience reactions in real-time and then publish the finished video to their profile so that anyone who missed it can watch it later. This feature is supported by iOS and Android  . To make it worthwhile, we recommend that organizations go live for a duration of at least 10 minutes although Facebook enables live video for up to four hours at a time.
LinkedIn Live Video Broadcasting
LinkedIn is the B2B marketers’ social channel of choice and it has recently launched LinkedIn Live, a live video streaming tool only available through third party broadcasting tools. LinkedIn Live Video Broadcasting gives B2B companies the potential to reach 600 million+ professionals with instant engagement. However, with this tool you cannot livestream to LinkedIn natively, users require a third-party tool such as Socialive or Wirecast to create a live video for broadcast to viewers.
LinkedIn Live is currently being tested with a limited number of members and company pages, providing the ability to broadcast live video to select groups, or to the LinkedIn world at large. Using LinkedIn Live Video Broadcasting companies can interact and connect with their audience to deliver engaging content and build brand awareness. If you don’t have access to LinkedIn Live Video Broadcasting, you can apply here to become a live video broadcaster.
YouTube Live Stream
YouTube Live Stream allows users to connect with viewers via their desktop chrome browser or through the main YouTube mobile app. Users can also earn revenue by enabling ads during live video streams on YouTube- a nice little moneymaker but proceed with caution as it may dilute your brand. This is a great tool for delivering tutorials, product or feature reviews and business updates. It is possible to ‘go live’ on YouTube for many hours but to live stream through the mobile app, your channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers.
Twitter Live Videos
Twitter Live Videos are powered by Periscope and ‘auto play’ on the home feed; meaning broadcasters only have a short chance to grab the viewer’s attention. To capture attention quickly, companies must be clear and concise in their messaging. Twitter accounts can share live videos via the iOS or Android apps and adding guest broadcasters is a breeze, with up to 3 guest broadcasters permitted on each live video. Broadcasters can invite viewers to join the broadcast which can greatly expand the live video reach beyond a company’s existing following. While not quite as engaging as a video, Twitter also enables accounts to ‘go live’ with audio only.
Instagram Live is a live video feature on Instagram Stories, when broadcasters are ’live’ a notification is sent to their followers and a ring icon highlights their profile picture to alert potential viewers that a live video broadcast is taking place. Like other photos and videos on Instagram Stories, the live video disappears after 24 hours, unless of course it’s added as a ‘Highlight’ to the company’s profile before it expires.
Contrary to popular belief, research shows that Instagram is a B2B powerhouse and with 1 billion+ Instagram accounts worldwide that are active every single month it cannot be ignored. 80% of accounts follow a business on Instagram and 500 million+ accounts use Instagram Stories every day. Generally, B2B companies often overlook Instagram as a marketing channel, pigeon-holing it as a tool for B2C marketers and believing their audience simply isn’t present. But unless your target market is extremely niche, the decision-makers and influencers you’re targeting are likely to be using Instagram.
Analysis of more than 40,000 unique Instagram posts, in 2016, revealed 98.9% of interactions with fortune 500 companies came in the form of “likes”. Plus, research from the Social Media Examiner shows that 33% of B2B companies are now on Instagram; and that number is increasing. B2B marketing is changing and it’s important to take advantage of Instagram as a tool for building connections with clients, prospects, employees and others in your industry.
How You Can B2B Live Video Streaming Work for Your Brand?
Live video streaming can be engaging and help drive brand connection and build retention so how brands put this into practice? Below we’ve listed some options to help spark some inspiration!
Share Project Updates
Rather than spending hours putting together PowerPoint presentations, talk viewers through key milestones and offer demonstrations to generate excitement, all while getting immediate feedback.
Grow your Audience
In exchange for followers on social media, offer viewers content that’s exclusive and valuable through live video streaming seminars and live video streaming.
Present Product Features
Show viewers firsthand how a particular feature works and answer any questions they may have; this helps to eliminate misunderstandings and generates excitement about a new or updated feature.
Get More from Beta Testing
Live video streaming enables organizations to test processes and provides the opportunity to maximize real-time feedback on new products, services and features.
Live Video Streaming an Event
Live video streaming at an event gives your audience a sneak peek into an event and exposure to new industry trends. Organizations can use live video streaming at events to research which ideas resonate with their audience.
Set up a Guest Appearance
Do a guest takeover with a relevant industry expert or collaborate with a complementary brand to promote one another on a live video. A takeover is a valuable strategy that can increase engagement, website traffic and followers.
Our 6 Best Practices for B2B Live-Streaming
- Live video stream regularly. If you live video stream consistently on the same day, at the same time, every month your audience will grow over time.
- Promote your video streams in advance. Ensure your followers are notified ahead of time so they’re ready and waiting when it’s showtime.
- Create a plan for engagement. Not only should you greet your viewers but also have a list of questions and talking points on-hand in case your viewers don’t interact immediately.
- Include a call to action. For example, tell viewers how to connect with you via email, on social media or subscribing to your newsletter.
- Save your videos to your profile. Your live video content is valuable for use after the live broadcast and viewers might want to return to it later or catch up on what they’ve missed.
- On a more practical note – test, test, test. Test your live video equipment setup thoroughly. Don’t wait until your live video stream is about to take place to see if your equipment is configured properly.
It’s good to remember that as broadcasts are live events, there is no expectation for them to be polished. In truth showing personality, improvisation and last-minute resourcefulness make live streams far more entertaining and authentic. We’d love to hear from you – Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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