First came the 'pivot to video' where businesses, media companies, and even social media platforms converted their once text-based content into engaging, captivating videos in hopes of intriguing a wider audience, keeping them on page longer, and ultimately telling better brand stories. Now, we’re seeing the industry grow even more with the rise of live streamed video.
Events such as sporting games, concerts, and even political rallies - occasions where you once had to be physically present for - now give people real-time access right from their computers or smartphones. Social media users create live videos on their favorite platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and we’re also seeing more live video efforts deployed in the workplace for company meetings and announcements.
All of this aims to bring together a community of people in real-time and interact and engage with them as if they were in the same room. There're so many benefits to using live streamed video - better engagement, more authenticity, wider audience potential - but like any other content strategy, it’s important to understand the full impact of live streamed video and when it should be leveraged.
Why live video is impactful
Live streamed video offers a more convenient, immediate impact on audiences as it puts them in a real-time environment regardless of their whereabouts. There are a number of factors that have contributed to this: the rise of mobile usage, social media platforms enabling live videos, businesses offering more remote capabilities to their employees, and more.
Video is already a preferred form of content to many, so live streaming is a natural progression as it’s a convenient and authentic way to reach a large mass of people at once. Social media platforms are one of the more popular ways to promote and create live videos as they attract such a large following and it’s become an easy way to increase engagement and promote brand awareness. These live videos allow for viewers to comment in real-time, giving them direct access to the conversation from their mobile devices.
When live video should be used
Businesses in particular are already capitalizing on live video streaming to enhance both internal and external communication efforts. Internally, we’re seeing more meetings, company announcements, and even conferences being live streamed such as Facebook’s F8 developer conference.
Our recent research found that 31% of employees prefer live streaming to pre-recorded videos for at least one element of their work day. We’re also seeing more unique external live streaming use cases as well. Kaplan Test Prep uses live streaming to help students better prepare for tests, science museum Exploratorium delivers experiential learning experiences on site, and Barrow Neurological Institute recently live streamed an acoustic neuroma surgery to over 40,000 viewers, which then helped increase traffic to its website and improve overall SEO ranking.
Every business has a different story to tell, so there’s no cookie cutter way to determine what’s best fit to be live streamed and what’s not, but while every content strategy is being devised, it’s important to ask: does this video have a real-time impact on the audience?
Live streamed video can be a tremendous marketing and engagement tool when used correctly, but like many new trends, it can be easy to get caught up in its novelty. To avoid the mistakes that many businesses make when using live streamed video, it’s essential to always have a purpose for the content, a well thought out strategy, and the right solution partner that can help exceed live streamed video goals. Remember, a live video is only as effective as its message, so we as an industry need to ensure we’re giving viewers a reason to tune in live.
Find out more about live streaming for your business by clicking here.