It’s no surprise live streaming is all the rage; every social platform promotes live streaming from Facebook Live to Twitter’s Periscope to YouTube.
But is it really the next best thing since sliced bread? Unfortunately, live streaming brings risks, and every company should weigh whether the rewards outweigh these risks. Let’s start by answering a fundamental question…
What is live streaming?
Live streaming platforms are video hosting options that enable users to upload and broadcast video content over the internet in real-time, without first recording and storing it. Businesses use online video platforms to share videos, generate leads, build brand awareness, advertise, and provide paid access to video streaming.
Why are brands live streaming?
It’s hardly a secret that video is an excellent way for brands to connect with their target audience. According to research from HubSpot, 85% of businesses use video marketing, and 88% of marketers report that “it generates a positive return on investment for their company.”
A recent New York Magazine survey also found that live video is more engaging – 80% of people would rather watch a live video than read a blog, and 82% would prefer live video than social posts.
Why don’t brands just create videos rather than a live stream?
The problem with video is, unless you purchase a stock video or have someone else create it, producing video content is quite laborious, especially if you’re going for “high production values.”
Facebook Live and Periscope exchange high production values for “in-the-moment experience” (aka, fear of missing out or FOMO). Because not everyone can attend every event, live streaming enables them to be a part of it.
Live streaming can be a smart way to communicate with your audience depending on your company, its brand positioning, and overall goals. It enables content creators to react immediately to the comments on the video and respond in real-time. Facebook Live, Twitter’s Periscope, and YouTube live streams are also available as traditional videos you can watch in the future – in case you or your audience needs them or they missed the original broadcast.
Additionally, live streaming isn’t an automatic money-earner but is excellent for brand awareness. It’s unlikely live streaming will directly affect bottom-line sales immediately. Instead, it’s an investment in your brand’s identity and reputation that will increase revenues down the road once you’ve decided what works best for your business.
When shouldn’t brands live stream?
Companies should never live stream for the sake of live streaming. Each video stream needs a purpose (e.g., event, product launch, announcement, research, etc.). Otherwise, you may simply annoy your followers by wasting their time damaging your brand reputation.
Another downside to a live stream is that the comments are live as well. That makes moderating posts in real-time impossible and risks overshadowing your message. Unless you’re live streaming something edgy or possibly controversial, it’s unlikely you’ll receive large-scale abuse. But it’s something to be cautious of when publically broadcasting to your followers. Yes, you can disable comments, but this somewhat negates the point of live streaming.
Finally, live streaming also carries the risk of capturing embarrassing moments. One significant advantage of live streaming is showing audiences your authenticity. But this authenticity is susceptible to transitory slip-ups (think about stumbling or accidentally swearing). Remember, viewers can record a live stream, and it could be posted online or shared more widely. The only way to avoid this is by being prepared, composed, and watching for potential trip hazards.
How to increase your event's audience and extend your brand reach and engagement with live streaming
Not everyone has the in-house expertise, resources, or time to produce live stream video content. In the likely event your company mandates that all content be high-quality (consider that 90% of users think video quality is important), you’ll want the help of production professionals with live streaming expertise to host your event.
Trust our Jungle Communications video production specialists as your go-to live stream company for producing high-quality, professional live streaming videos that stimulate an online social buzz about your event.
Contact us to help you amplify your message with traditional videos and live streams that inspire action, and drive results.