In early 2016, Candace Payne in the USA bought a Chewbacca mask from her local Kohl’s department store. Nothing unusual in that you may say, except she went one further. She filmed herself trying it on. It has now become one of the most watched videos on Facebook Live attracting over 30 million viewers and one million shares.
To answer that, we have to look at the impact live streaming is currently having on our lives (both personal and business)
In October 2016, we broadcast Sheffex – Sheffield’s annual business exhibition – to the world via Facebook Live. If you’ve not seen it yet, the recording is still on the Sheffex Facebook page. It certainly got people talking and more importantly sharing.
So why did we go down the live-streaming route rather than producing a traditional video?
Immediacy. An event such as Sheffex, buzzing with activity and energy, lends itself perfectly to live streaming. As we’ve seen with ‘reality TV’ we are drawn in by the rawness of ‘real stuff’ especially when we are taken ‘behind the scenes’
So could live streaming work for you and what are your options?
Since October 2016, disregarding YouTube for the time being, there have been just two front runners, each vying for populist supremacy. Facebook Live and Twitter owned, Periscope. A month before and you had a choice of three. Meerkat – a live streaming app. – launched in February 2015, a month before Periscope, despite having $12m of VC funding, never found a foothold and pulled the plug to avoid further losses.
So why did it fail and will FB Live and Periscope go the same way?
According to Meerkat’s CEO, Ben Rubin (who is no stranger to live streaming) ‘we had the viewers but not the consistency’ So is this what will drive the future of live streaming? Mark Zuckerberg seems to think so. He’s found that viewers watch live streams x3 times longer and comment x10 times more than regular video. They also share it with their contacts. So if the future of live streaming is creating consistently good content delivered to the most relevant audience, we need to ask our self, how do we do it and what do we produce?
There is no doubt, that the integration of new technology such as HD quality smart phone cameras coupled with the explosion of social media activity and the ease by which just about anyone can produce live video has created something of a broadcasting phenomenon.
And the timing could not be better, which is why both Facebook and Twitter are spending millions on the ‘next big thing’ Chris Sacca, an early Twitter investor, recently said, ‘all of a sudden, the world’s pockets are full of good cameras and good screens with good data plans and good social platforms to let everyone know you’re broadcasting’ This doesn’t mean it’s a sure fire thing. Ustream and Livestream have been around for years without pulling up any trees and others such as ‘Viddy’ and ‘justin tv’ have come and gone as fickle consumer interest soon waned.
However, this does not seem to have put off either Twitter or Facebook. Twitter paid around $100m to acquire Periscope months before it was even launched and Facebook expects to dramatically increase their current $1 billion per quarter advertising revenue thanks to increased traffic to their pages. So is now the right time for us to consider live streaming?
There is a need to understand that live streaming is distinctly different to traditional recorded video. For longevity and gravitas, a professionally produced video cannot be beaten, however, for ‘breaking news’, ‘behind the scenes, product demo’s, launch events, broadcasting from exhibitions, presentations and conferences etc. live streaming offers many unique benefits.
A local event, for example, can suddenly ‘go global’ reaching untapped visitors and increasing physical footfall with a virtual audience. Exhibitors at a trade show can demo their products or services to a worldwide audience or to a specifically targeted group. Also, live streaming gives the viewer an opportunity to ask questions – all in real time. It really is that easy.
Over 90% of marketing managers are already using video and it’s said that by next year over 70% of all internet traffic will be video. So how do you choose which platform to use, making sure we don’t overlook the one that’s synonymous with video, You Tube? Here’s what we’ve discovered so far. The three current key players of Periscope, Facebook and You Tube each offer a different benefit.
You Tube, although slow to join the current livestreaming party, has recently added an ability to broadcast live from its mobile app. This easy to use tool enables those that have a You Tube channel to live-broadcast with minimal set up.
Facebook, on the other hand, differs by focussing on users who already have a fanbase of established followers. Contacts receive a notification whenever the person they are following is broadcasting. Businesses then use these notifications to attract viewers to tune in to content that can be viewed on both static and mobile devices.
If Facebook is about selection, then Twitter’s Periscope is about swamping. Despite having less than 10m users compared to FB’s 1.65b, Periscope is currently creating over 100 years’ worth of video every day. So what’s its appeal and should we include it in our marketing strategy?
If you use social media and Twitter in particular it’s almost a no brainer. Social media is all about sharing stuff with those that you know. Periscope, takes this to another level. As with FB, it does this by ‘humanising’ your brand with your loyal followers by building on the trust you have already generated.
You can share your broadcast with everyone or just a selected few and even create exclusive content just for your Periscope viewers, to create a high degree of engagement. It is also possible to save your live streaming to your ‘camera roll’ and upload it to other social media platforms.
Social media is all about instant gratification and live streaming is no different. A concept that is much more difficult to exploit with other tools. Create a ‘how to’ ‘we’ve something new to show you’ or ‘here’s something interesting’ and generate excitement with your followers – all in real time. And remember, viewers can ask questions, tweet comments and find out more about you and your business all from their desk or even while on the move. So to summarise:
Periscope, FB Live and You Tube are each battling it out for supremacy. However, they each come with different benefits. The task is to work out which platform is best suited to your needs or even consider integrating all of them into your marketing strategy.
Finally, there is no doubt, that livestreaming can help you dramatically grow your brand. Now could be the time to harness the power of your very own pocket TV station.
Or alternatively, give us a call and let us do it.
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