Start a Live Stream Campaign in 5 Easy Steps
If there’s one trend for businesses to hop on, it’s live stream video. We’ve compiled some steps to start your own live stream campaign. Read more
Live video has come a long way, from filling our TV screens with sporting events, news broadcasts, talk shows and telethons, to becoming one of the most wide-spread forms of media consumed across all our devices on a daily basis. Social media giants like Twitch and Tiktok have pushed video live streaming to the forefront of modern internet culture, and the minds of entrepreneurs alike.
In our fast-paced and ever-changing world it’s vital for businesses to keep up with the latest trends, and to adapt their marketing strategies accordingly. If there’s one trend for businesses to hop on today, it’s live-stream video. Live video can be a highly effective tool in helping grow your audience and power conversions. We’ve compiled some steps to get you started on creating high-quality, engaging live videos to do just that.
1. Choosing a Platform
With an ever-growing number of options available, selecting the platform that will best serve your goals is an important first-step in integrating live video into your marketing strategy. To help you navigate your options, here are the some of the best and most popular platforms currently offering a live-stream feature:
- Facebook – Being one of the most popular social media sites available, Facebook is a great place to start your live video journey. They’ll even save your past streams to your profile, so viewers can tune in even if they missed your initial broadcast.
- Instagram – Instagram does an excellent job of prioritizing live streaming content, more so than their aforementioned parent company. Live videos are highlighted in the Story section of your followers’ feeds, and the app will even notify the followers who actively interact with your content, making it a great way to connect with your existing audience.
- Twitch – The number one live streaming platform for video game enthusiasts, Twitch has become an incredibly popular resource for creators and businesses in the gaming industry. This is an excellent choice if you’re aiming to reach gamers!
- Youtube – Youtube Live is a great option for businesses looking to grow their customer base, largely because it is search-engine-friendly. Like all videos uploaded to the platform, live videos are searchable on Youtube and Google alike, making it much easier for your content to reach those who aren’t already following you. Not to mention, there is also the possibility of monetizing your content through in-stream ads, depending on your eligibility.
- IBM Cloud – This platform lets users communicate in many environments, from academic virtual conferences to employee communications, offering secure broadcasting of live and on-demand content to any device. While this service does require a subscription, it is a favourite of many large companies for it’s unique features, including access to several content delivery networks. These improve both the reach and scale of your content, and help convert viewers into customers.
- Brightcove – Brightcove is another pay-for-use platform, aimed at larger organizations and enterprises and offering many features for internal communication, marketing, and entertainment alike. These include server-side ad insertion (SSAI) and the ability to bypass adblockers (which helps you monetize your content), social media integration and security features to prevent piracy of your streams.
- Bambuser – For online retailers looking to include live video in their sales strategy, Bambuser can be a great option. This paid platform offers live video shopping technology that allows creators to show off products that can be purchased through the stream itself, and even stream one-on-one with their customers. Bambuser offers integration with any e-commerce platform, and is already in use by a number of well-known brands including Adidas, Hugo Boss and Saks Fifth Avenue.
We should note that while some of the more high-end, paid-for live stream video platforms can certainly be a good fit for your needs, it’s generally a good rule of thumb to start streaming on platforms where you have already established a following, if applicable. It’s best to start with what you know, then branch out as you see fit!
2. Understanding Your Audience
The main reason that audiences disengage from brands on social media is irrelevant content, so it’s important to put yourself in your viewers shoes and ask what kind of content they’re looking for. Having a good idea of why people are watching your content helps to maximize the potential of your content and increase your engagement and conversion rate.
Some common reasons people may tune into your live streams are to learn more about products and services, to seek out promotions and discounts, to keep up-to-date with the goings-on of your business, and connect with the real people behind your business. However, the big thing to remember (that many businesses fail to keep in mind) is that your audience might simply want to be entertained!
Consider creative, interactive approaches to showing what you’ve got to offer, like giveaways for viewers during live product launches, or offering limited-time, livestream “happy hour” deals. You could even take your stream behind-the-scenes and offer customers a peek into the exciting things you’re up to, from beta testing and stellar customer service, to major project updates and industry events. Connecting with your audience in a fun and memorable way will encourage them to come back for more of your delightful and engaging content!
3. Planning for Engagement
One of the biggest reasons that viewers interact with live video is simply that they want the opportunity to connect and interact with the real people behind your business. As such, it’s a good practice to prepare a plan for engaging with your audience. Consider greeting viewers as they arrive in your stream (by username if the size of your stream allows, or by periodically welcoming all new viewers as the audience numbers grow), and asking an icebreaker question that they can respond to using the chat feature. Asking viewers to say in the chat where they’re watching from, for example, is a simple way to encourage engagement and build a sense of connection, while learning more about your audience along the way.
Once you’ve got introductions covered, try anticipating some of the questions your viewers may have, and prepare thoughtful, thorough responses for them, while making sure you’re ready to answer any and all other questions as they arise.
That being said, sometimes viewers are shy and may not ask questions right away, so it’s a great idea to have a list of talking points and questions that you want to cover to help get the conversation going. You won’t always be able to predict what your audience wants to know, but you can certainly do your best. Don’t be afraid of Q&A – it’s the #1 way people get involved and invested in livestream content!
4. Promoting Your Live Stream
While, depending on your platform of choice, your followers may be notified when you go live, it’s best not to leave it to chance. Promote your stream a few days in advance to your existing followers via social media and email, and be sure to include all the information they need to tune in. Let your audience know what date and time (including time zone) you’ll be live, where to find your stream (i.e. which platform), and what to expect. Mention which topics you’ll cover, any guests you may be featuring, and that you’ll be answering audience questions.
This is a great opportunity not only to convey important information, but to get your audience excited about your upcoming live stream! Enticing graphics and punchy text can draw in your social media followers, and call-to-action buttons in an email blast can show people where to find you. You can even encourage your followers to comment or email their questions beforehand, from which you’ll benefit greatly during the aforementioned question-prep stage.
5. Maximizing Your Post-Broadcast Reach
Depending on the platform where you’re broadcasting, there are several options for what to do with your content after you’ve finished streaming. Many platforms will save your completed live videos to your profile, and allow viewers to revisit them on-demand.
Create featured playlists with your live content, and include links to your past live videos on your other social media platforms to extend the life of your stream and continue generating traffic to your page.You can also send out links to your saved streams in a follow-up email, so that those who missed your broadcasts can still enjoy them and get excited to participate in the next one!
To get even more out of your content, write a blog post recapping the topics and questions you covered in your stream, so those who may visit your website but not your socials can still benefit from all the exciting information you discussed.
We’ve talked about choosing the right platform (stick with what you know, at first!), understanding the desires and expectations of your audience (they won’t necessarily match your own so listen well!), planning the elements of your livestream (get ready to connect!), promoting it ahead of schedule (people are busy, give them time to get you in their calendars!), and making sure it lives on long after the live has ended.
So now it’s time to get started!
We hope this article has given you the tools to confidently start your own live stream campaign. With a focus on these steps and a little creativity, we know you’ll master the art of live streaming in no time! And if you want to up your game, having some video experts on your team is a good way to start. We’d be happy to help!
For more tips on how video can benefit your business, check out our article on how to boost your sales with video marketing.