Live streaming is a hot topic.
While live streaming itself is not a new thing, the introduction of Facebook Live has certainly shaken up the market. It has prompted Meerkat (arguably the trailblazer in live streaming) to sadly announce their move away from it and, in a bid to compete, it has also driven Google to enter into live streaming, announcing it is building YouTube Connect. Although not yet launched, it will have comparable features to not only Facebook Live, but Twitter’s Periscope too.
So, what does all this mean for your business? How can your business get involved?
Here are 5 ideas to get you thinking on how you could use live streaming in your business. Not only to better connect with your customers but also to boost engagement with them too.
1. Preview products or services
By offering a preview of your new product or service before general launch, live streaming can give you the chance to make your customers feel special as well as build excitement pre-launch.
Your audience can engage with you live by posting comments and asking questions and you have the opportunity to reply live too. A great way to promote the uniqueness of your product or service and remove any barriers people may have to buying it.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art uses preview live streaming to generate interest and attendance for their exhibitions. The Museum broadcasts the previews 4 days before the exhibitions open to the public. This one received over 52,000 views, 1,175 shares and generated some great positive commentary throughout.
2. Give top tips and training
How-to and training videos are common video content. However, live streaming gives an added dimension as it enables instant questions and expert advice to be given. This can help to strengthen your position as a go-to reference for your customers on a particular topic.
For maximum effect, live training should be ongoing and scheduled – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly – whatever is appropriate for your business. This will help drive viewing figures as your audience will know when your live training will take place.
Benefit Make up live streams make-up tips weekly to their audience every Thursday at 4pm. Called “Tipsy Tricks” the hosts offer their make-up tips over a glass of rose wine and gives advice on how you can easily go from desk to drinks make-up. The broadcasts demonstrate Benefits brand personality, showcases their product range and re-affirms them as an expert in the cosmetics field. They also complement the existing how-to make up tips video content.
3. Give a behind the scenes tour
Another way to use live streaming is to take your audience behind the scenes of something that would normally be off limits to them, so privileged content.
Behind the scenes can be a tour of your office, on the road with an employee, at the set of an advert being made. Going behind the scenes can help build trust and credibility in your business and its processes.
For example, Dunkin Donuts broadcast a tour of its test kitchen to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Hosted by two of Dunkin Donuts chefs, the tour took the audience through the test kitchen, showing the equipment and rigorous processes that are in place to make the much loved donut. Linking it to valentine’s day not only raised their profile around a time when donuts could be given as a token of affection, but it also generated some interesting commentary about why the audience loved Dunkin Donuts. It received over 35,000 views.
4. Host interviews
Interviews show the human side of your company. Again, interviews with key personnel such as CEO’s, scientists or nutritionists within your company are common video content. Live streaming simply offers an interactive dimension as the interviewer can ask the audience for their questions and have more of a real time conversation with them. Live streaming opens the doors to more of a live Q&A scenario.
Interviews need not be restricted to employees – for example you could broadcast direct from your exhibition stand, sharing your visitor’s thoughts and opinions of your product range. Be prepared however to deal with potentially difficult or negative questions or opinions – the way you deal with these however it part of the audience connecting better with you as a business.
5. Share live events
Most people think of live streaming being perfect for music events, sports and news. And it is. However businesses can benefit from sharing live events too.
Live stream your next company conference, your attendance at a show/exhibition or your next guest speaker slot and add an interactive element. Walk around the exhibition and ask your audience what part of the show they would like to see. Invite questions from your audience which you can answer as the guest speaker.
It could also be something quirky to bring to life your personality, business or sector. Buzzfeed recently carried out an experiment to see how many elastic bands could be put around a watermelon before it exploded. It attracted over 10,670,000 views and Buzzfeed reported that the average watch time was 40mins!
Hopefully, these ideas have provided some food for thought. The cost to live stream video is comparable to producing standard video content so if you’re allocating budget to video anyway, no additional investment would be required. In addition, you can always extend the reach of the live stream by promoting if after the broadcast.
Live streaming is only going to go from strength to strength.