The Business of Live Streaming
Live streaming is a way for people to share video and audio live over the internet. You can stream live from a variety of different social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. And there are even social networks that are dedicated to live streaming, such as Twitch.
Live streaming is becoming increasingly popular; this may be because anybody who has access to the internet can stream a live video if they want to, plus you can do it however and whenever you want. Some people who stream frequently have a professional set up with computers, lighting and audio equipment. Whereas people who don’t live stream very often and perhaps do the occasional steam might just use their phones, tablets and laptops.
The majority of people who live stream do it from their home, with the most popular use of live streaming being video games. However, for many people, this is their full-time job and they do make money from it. On Twitch metrics you can see how many hours viewers have spent watching live streams of certain games – a bit frightening in some ways to realise how much time is spent online, but also a great opportunity to extend your marketing strategy!
The way this works is they stream from sites such as Twitch; Twitch has many ways that a streamer can make money, but the most popular ways are subscriptions and donations. Twitch has a feature where viewers can subscribe to a streamer that they like for a set fee per month, and then they gain access to subscriber-only benefits such as watching streams with no ads. Twitch also has a feature where viewers can donate money to their favourite streamers during a live stream.
Streaming from a corporate point of view:
As a company, you may not be streaming from sites like Twitch or you may not be streaming very often, however, there are some advantages to live streaming from a corporate point of view. A big advantage is that 80% of customers have been shown to prefer watching a live stream from a brand than reading a blog.
Even if you’re not running an event or releasing a new product, you can still live stream ‘behind the scenes’ on what goes on in your offices, in your factories, in your warehouses etc. This will help to remind your clients that your company has a human side to it, after all people buy from people. You would of course need to ensure that your employees and visitors knew a live stream was operating so that there are no embarrassing moments.
Firstly, by live streaming you get instant feedback and gratification, your customers can comment on your live stream while it’s happening and you can interact with them and reply to their comments. Say you’re thinking of releasing a new product, by showing a demo of your product in a live stream you can instantly see what your customers like about it, and what they don’t like about it.
Secondly, if you’re running or attending a corporate event, by live streaming some of the activities that happen, you are allowing the people who couldn’t make it to the event to feel like they aren’t missing out, and giving them the opportunity to engage and talk to you about the events that take place.
Lastly, live streaming encourages trust and transparency. People like to buy from brands that they trust and by live streaming some behind the scenes moments with your employees it makes viewers feel that they know your brand on a personal level. So by streaming, you are developing a relationship with your customers, which in turn leads to sales and repeat sales.
Things to consider before going live
There are no do-over’s when it comes to live video, if you or one of your colleagues makes a mistake then everyone watching will see, so do rehearse as much as you can.
What platform are you going to use? You need to think about which platform you are going to stream from. This depends on which site your customers are using the most i.e. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.
What time are you going to live stream? You need to think about what time your customers are most likely to be online and when they will be able to watch your stream. Maybe consider streaming during lunchtime or after work/school hours. Also, if you have customers abroad, consider where it is that your target audience lives and remember that they may be in a different time zone.
What equipment are you going to use? Are you going to hire someone to professionally stream the event? Or are you going to use a phone or a tablet? Maybe even a mixture of the two. Take a look at your brand guide and think about what is best for your business.
Lastly, do you have a plan? Here at Take One, we would recommend that you have a plan as to what you’re going to show in the live stream and a rough idea of what you would like the person presenting to say. Whether you’re using a tablet or a professional camera crew, this will help your live stream to run as smoothly as possible. If you’d like more information on how live streaming could benefit your business just get in touch on 01494 898919.