Have you started using live streaming to engage your audience? If not, you are missing out on one of the great marketing strategies that most brands are using to engage their audience and increase brand credibility.
The engagement behind live streaming is crazy. This marketing strategy has been an excellent way for marketers, brands, and businesses to connect personally with their audience and has helped boost their credibility on social media. It is also an authentic way to build a strong relationship with your audience and increase revenue.
However, the type of content you produce determines the number of engagements you receive from your audience. It is crucial to know what kind of content you need to produce for your live stream to increase audience engagement.
If you are a marketer or brand and want to know how to use live streaming to engage your audience, then here is how to do that.
What Is Live Streaming?
Live streaming is a feature on most social media platforms which is used to create, record, and share videos in real-time with an audience. It is a powerful marketing strategy that a company can use to capture the attention of its audience.
Most brands and marketers use live streaming to launch a product, do a product demo, or for press conferences. Live streaming has helped many gaming influencers grow their personal brand.
Live streaming on social media is growing exponentially; more and more audiences are craving authentic content from brands, which has led to the rise in live streaming. Research says that about 80% of customers now say they prefer watching live videos to reading a brand’s blog.
Why You Should Be Using Live Streams
Live streaming is an effective way to engage and connect with your audience in a natural way. Live streaming makes it possible to show your audience, the faces behind your brand. It can be used to announce the launch of a new product, do a product demo, teach an online community, and more.
Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should be using live streaming for your brand:
Live streaming doesn’t cost much. Many social media platforms have live streaming as part of their features, which you can use for free. Professional streaming platforms work better for businesses, which comes at a cost, but they are not as expensive as you might think.
Potential to reach a wider audience. Unlike physical events that have limited seats for the audience at a particular event venue, live streaming has the potential to accommodate as many people as you are willing to invite to your event. Live streaming makes you reach an audience who will be interested in your event, but due to your location, they can’t get there.
Numbers speak for themselves. Livestream’s research shows that 80% of the audience prefers watching live videos to reading a brand’s blog. Statistics from 99 Firms shows that people are 39% more likely to share video content.
Customer support system. Live streaming serves as a customer support system for brands. With live streams, you can assist your audience with any issues they have in the course of using your products or services. You provide answers to their queries when you do a Q&A session on your live streaming.
Which Social Media Platforms Have Live Streaming as A Feature?
Social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and many others have made it easy and less stressful for brands who want to utilize live streaming for audience reach and engagement. They have the live stream feature, so it is easy to set up and get started.
Each platform has its unique features, which offer opportunities to reach a different set of audiences. It allows you to reach all your audience if you have a bigger following on social media.
Facebook, with (2.7B monthly active users ), is the most popular social media platform globally; Live streaming on the platform was introduced in 2016 since then, it has made a significant impact on social media marketing.
Simple-fi states that Facebook live receives more engagement- the live stream has 3x longer watch time than recorded videos, and they also receive 10x more comments. This shows the potential live stream can have on your business.
Instagram, as a visual platform, plays a significant role in live streaming. It is not as big as Facebook but has quite a large number of users who are aged 18-34. The platform offers a vast opportunity for brands to reach users in another demographic.
The social network allows live stream on only its mobile app but will enable you to present a personal look into your brand for your audience.
YouTube, with 2B monthly active users, is the 2nd largest social media platform after Facebook and seen as the second largest search engine on the internet after Google. It is a video-based social media platform which has played a significant role in live streaming for businesses and marketers.
YouTube live streaming is a handy tool for marketers and has the potential to increase their reach and engagement.
Your live stream videos are automatically saved on YouTube after your live session ends.
Periscope is a mobile app for live streaming and allows users to share their live events on Twitter. The introduction of video content on Twitter has seen a boost in engagement, especially live videos.
If you are looking for ways to boost engagement on your Twitter feed, then periscope is the tool you should use.
How to Optimize Your Live Streams?
Plan before time: Many things could go wrong in a live broadcast. Planning before hosting a live stream will help you identify and solve potential obstacles that can impede your broadcast flow before you organize one.
Check your internet connection: To have a quality and reliable live stream, you need to make sure your internet connection is in good shape. Changing from Wi-Fi to a LAN connection can improve your internet speed and connectivity for a better live stream experience.
Be organized: Before hosting a live broadcast, make sure your table is cleared, and your cables are well-positioned to prevent electrical gadgets from being unplugged during the live stream.
Engage with your audience: Live streaming on social media is not only about you and your content; you might have the best content for your audience, but to have a successful and impactful live stream, you need to engage your audience. They will always have something to offer, so you need to make room for them to make suggestions, add questions, give feedback, and more.
Backup your live event: Backup your live broadcast to enable you to create Video on Demand (VoD) files after your event so your audience can access them at any time. This is a great strategy to build viewership, as your audience who missed your live broadcast can still access your videos and watch.
Test your broadcast: Run a test before hosting your live event. This will make you find out if your devices (camera, microphone, and other equipment) are faulty or giving unnecessary feedback. You don’t want to have a situation where your viewers will not see your face because of bad lighting.
Close all unused applications and programs: Closing your unused applications and programs will make your Laptop/PC run smoothly when you have a live broadcast. Don’t minimize the unused programs, close it, or exit before you go live.
Live Streaming Tools
As with any marketing strategy, there are tons of tools to help organize an effective live stream. We are going to look at some of the best tools to help you with your live broadcast.
Restream is the number one multistreaming platform which enables you to stream video content to 30+ social media channels simultaneously, pre-record videos, schedule your live event, engage your audience through chat, and have access to all your analytics in one place.
The multistreaming platform has a basic plan which is free to use and allows you to stream video content to 30 different social media platforms without any distortion in video quality and duration.
It is easy to create an account and start streaming your live events to other social media platforms.
After creating your account, you will have to log in to your dashboard, where the system will notify you to add your social channels. You will see a list of different platforms to choose from and connect your accounts.
When you are done syncing all your accounts, you will get the option to go live on the platform. All this setup can be done in a few minutes.
Restream has a scheduler which can help you schedule your events and inform your audience ahead of time about your live stream. You can also schedule pre-recorded videos with the scheduling tool.
Finally, the ability to have all your analytics in one place is another great benefit of Restream. You don’t have to move from one social platform to the other to understand how your stream performed because you can get an in-depth report from Restream about your performance.
Tools for image creation
Images are essential when it comes to promoting your live streams. Restream gives an option to add images to the reminders you send to your audience.
The images you use in promoting your live event should be of high quality if you want your audience to take you seriously. The quality of your images should match the quality of your live stream.
Having a high-quality image as your thumbnail may increase your conversion rate.
Canva and Pablo are image creation tools that enable you to create amazing top-quality visuals and the ability to optimize them for your audience. They have features like filters, elements, and text, which will make you design high-quality attention-grabbing visuals.
They all have free plans which allow you to create custom visuals for live stream promotions.
Tools for video creation
Video creation tools allow you to edit your live streams for other marketing purposes. After you’ve saved your live stream, you can make changes to what you think went wrong during the live stream and reshare the video in any of your marketing campaigns.
Video editing tools like WeVideo and Lumen5 will enable you to make changes to your saved videos and also add helpful extras. You can add texts and graphics to make your video stand out. The video can be formatted to suit your needs.
Equipment for live streaming
Streaming on major social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube doesn’t require any sophisticated equipment; all you need is just your phone and a phone holder to create a great live event.
If you are looking at hosting a professional live stream on a bigger scale, you may need to purchase the right equipment, such as laptops, microphones, lighting systems, and a camera.
Get quality microphones for your live stream because audio quality plays a vital role in a live stream.
How to Make Your Live Stream Videos Engaging
The quality of your content plays an important role when it comes to live stream.
To boost engagement, you need to make sure you understand your audience, their pain points, and what questions they might be having. Once you understand your audience and know how to solve their pain points, then you plan your live stream content for the objective you want to achieve with your audience.
Keep these points in mind:
Focus on your goals: The purpose of hosting a live stream is not to be “salesy”, its for you to interact and engage with your audience to build a healthy relationship. Be mindful of the value you are offering to your audience and look for ways to improve it.
You should have a draft: Live streaming is face-to-face interaction with your audience; it’s not edited or staged. It’s a raw show of the faces behind your brand. You should plan ahead of the live stream so you can feel comfortable and relaxed enough to have a successful live event.
You should be responsive: Live events is when your audience will have the opportunity to ask their most pressing questions. It would help if you allowed them to ask all their questions, complaints, and feedback they would like your brand to know. Be responsive to their queries and make sure you answer them.
Engage your audience before the event: For you not to create irrelevant content for your audience, you should engage them before the event so that you can take notice of their questions, which will guide you when creating content for your live stream. Ensure your live stream content answers all the questions you got from your initial meeting with your audience.
Live streaming is the next marketing strategy that most brands are taking advantage of, to engage their target audience on social media. You can grow your following and reach a larger audience with live events.
Don’t worry about the technicality; tools like Restream makes it easy to organize a live stream. Live streaming offers a vast opportunity to engage with a large audience on social media. To have a successful live streaming event, focus on creating relevant and valuable content that aligns with your audience’s pain points.
Live streaming is a powerful marketing tool for social media, and it can help you increase your brand visibility, so it’s time to jump on the live streaming train.