Photo Credit: Transmit.Live
In just the past 12 months, live streaming has gone from something reserved for celebrities and online influencers to something that small businesses can use as part of their core digital marketing mix. It’s a new way for brands and content creators to reach their audiences in a very authentic, engaging way.
The good news is that a handful of mobile apps – including Facebook and Periscope – make it very easy to start live streaming immediately. And if you’re looking for a more professional streaming option, you can experiment with live streaming platforms like Transmit.Live (used by the NFL, among others). Here are three easy ways for companies to take advantage of live streaming.
#1: Live Q&A and interview sessions with company executives
What consumers crave more than anything else today is live, behind-the-scenes access to your company. They want to meet the people behind the brand and hear in their own words what makes the company tick. For that reason, hosting a live Q&A or interview makes perfect sense.
And you don’t have to do the Q&A in a boring, conventional setting, either. Take a cue from “Carpool Karaoke” and conduct the Q&A as the executive is driving to the office! In the lead-up to the live interview, just be sure to advertise the event on your social media platforms and your weekly email newsletters.
#2: Live event coverage
If you have executives speaking at a big industry event, or if you want to create drama around your new trade show appearance, live event coverage could be a great option. It’s a way of giving fans and customers a front-row seat to an important event.
At some point, you’ll need to make the choice of whether you want to use a mobile app to live stream (as you would with Facebook or Periscope), or if you’d rather go with a professional live streaming platform like Transmit.Live.
With a professional live stream, you get to add in a lot of extra bells and whistles – like the ability to monetize your stream with sponsored images and personalized messages. And you also get access to powerful data and insight tools, letting you know exactly who watched, and for how long.
#3: Breaking news
One of the reasons why the Facebook Live platform became so popular was that it was perfect for all those impromptu moments in life – like the first steps taken by your toddler or a dramatic, walk-off home run by the Phillies. Just open the Facebook app on your phone, click a button and you’re good to go.
In the same way, small businesses can use live streams to cover breaking news or serendipitous moments. Maybe you run into a famous Silicon Valley tech executive like Mark Zuckerberg in a Las Vegas hotel elevator and decide to live stream a real-time elevator pitch. (OK, OK, that’s a really serendipitous moment.) But maybe you run across a customer using one of your products in a really creative way – that might be reason enough to do a quick live stream.
Going forward, the real question is whether the live streaming trend is going to bifurcate in two different directions – the amateurs streaming their 30-second clips on Periscope and the professionals streaming their 30-minute shows on dedicated channels. For small businesses on a tight budget, the answer might be to test and learn using Facebook and Periscope, and if the audience builds to a critical mass, to experiment with more professional live streaming platforms later.