When we think of content marketing, we often think of text and pictures, and for the most part, this would be correct. However, not many people may know that effective content marketing can also be partnered with live streaming. Whether it’s being used to introduce the world to a new brand or product, live streaming is a marketing tool that has quickly caught on and is being used by some of the biggest brands in the world, including Oreo and Nissan, as well as high-profile individuals & influencers.
And, do you know what the real beauty of live streaming is?
As Gary Vee said during one of his live streams:
“Unlike traditional content, people engage with your content on YOUR time, not on THEIR time.”
That said, as history often repeats itself, live streaming will get over-polluted – just like any other digital marketing channel. So, the only way to benefit from it is to act right now.
But, before you jump head first into the world of live broadcasting, let’s consider the following:
Which Platform Do I Use?
Live streaming is far more common than you may think. Whether it’s gaming on Twitch or making an announcement via Facebook Live, more and more people are broadcasting their life in real-time. As such, a number of platforms have entered the fold with live streaming at their core. Some of the most popular platforms include Periscope, Facebook & Instagram Live. But, it’s really a case of where you fit in best. If you have an active Facebook profile, then it’s likely you already have the fan base to warrant a live stream. If not, then you may want to adopt a platform that allows you to build up followers beforehand.
Deciding What to Live Stream
Evidently, the only thing that will get potential customers on your side is compelling content, so many businesses will refrain from simply talking randomly into a camera. But, how do we decide what’s worth streaming? Well, we simply need to look at it the way we would look at any other form of content, and that’s determining the value of what live streaming can bring to the viewer. You may have an upcoming talk at an event, or you may have an overview of a new product. Whatever the context is, you need to ensure it is informative and engaging. Otherwise, you could be broadcasting to a specific few.
Practice Makes Perfect
Of course, there will be people who have never live streamed before, and find the whole concept a little overwhelming, but how do we develop our live streaming skills? There is no secret methodology other than practice. Why not try a few dry runs with friends and family who can offer constructive criticism? You should also ensure that your production values are at their best, and relevant to your product. A well-dressed professional is ideal for a company offering services that revolve around IT, sales or software, but may fail to make an impact with a more niche crowd, such as extreme sports or video games. As such, you should ensure the tone of the video matches the characteristics of your audience.
One of the great perks associated with live streaming is that the audience is able to interact with the host, so this should be one of the main aspects to focus on. Sure, you probably can’t answer every question, depending on the size of your audience, but remaining vocal and picking up on people’s feedback will put you in good stead when it comes to keeping your audience engaged. For a more effective Q&A, you may want to inform viewers as to when they can ask questions, as too many could upset the flow of your original live broadcast.
Live Stream When You Can
Like any kind of content, live streaming is about building up your numbers and ensuring they remain engaged. As such, if you’re only live streaming occasionally, then you’re not really putting forward a schedule for viewers, which means that they can soon lose interest and venture off elsewhere.
It can be a good idea to schedule a diary of live streaming events. Evidently, content is key here, but it doesn’t have to be anything too taxing. An example of what some live streamers have done in the past include the following:
- A tour around a factory or work premises
- A guest speaker offering help and advice
- The visiting of local attractions
- Hosting AMA sessions
It’s not always a business that comes up with the best ideas, some of the best ideas have been created by people driving to work, or simply browsing the Internet. A business that is keen to take on ideas will always be popular with its customers, and what better way to do this than with the power of live streaming? As such, you can allow people to submit their ideas for improvements while offering a reward for their hard work.
Be Willing to Collaborate with Others
When it comes to the world of business, it can be easy to assume that we must face any marketing efforts alone. However, the truth is that by making a few worthwhile connections beyond our niche, we are able to reach a larger demographic when live streaming. An example can be working alongside external bloggers who write content around your market, so they may be able to offer some fresh and invaluable advice to customers that can fit in with your marketing efforts. Of course, this isn’t to say every collaboration will be a success, but it’s certainly an avenue worth investigating.
As you can see, there are several benefits to live streaming, and we simply need to ensure that we are presenting ourselves in the right way. This means getting our production values in check and ensuring we have the right audience to broadcast to. For some, this may seem like a lot of effort, but it’s something that’s certainly worth the effort when you consider the rewards on offer, especially when you consider the fact that this channel will get over-populated at some point. So, you better act now before it’s too late.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.