The only person, who’s not using social media today, is probably a boy who’s living with a pack of wolves deep in the forest.
Today, almost half of the human population uses social media. A recent update from Statista shows that the number of social media users worldwide will rise beyond 3 billion by 2021:
The main area where we can observe the massive influence of social media is marketing. Social media platforms continuously come up with different updates that create new opportunities for businesses to market their products.
One of these more or less recent features is live streaming. It is certainly something that existed for a long time (live television existed long before social media), but social media platforms brought something new to live streams, making it an excellent marketing tool.
Different sources of statistics support the growing role of live streaming in marketing.
- 80% of consumers prefer to watch live videos from a brand instead of reading its blog
- Millennials are the primary age category that watches live streams regularly (63%)
- In 2020, live streaming is expected to account for 82% of all Internet traffic
The popularity of live streaming on social media definitely pushed this trend to where it is now – the importance of live streaming now can be compared to the importance of the Stories format.
Why Is Live Streaming So Effective?
It’s undeniable that the popularity of live streaming grew very fast, and there are specific reasons behind it:
- Raw content. This is what live television could never achieve – genuine live, on-the-spot communication with the viewers. The pretty picture doesn’t matter for live streaming on social media. All that matters is raw content and its genuine value.
- Brand individuality. One of the frequent live streaming mistakes is not showing the behind-the-scenes of your business’s everyday life. This is a great way to show your brand’s individuality and establish a closer connection with your customers by providing active engagement.
- Immediate gratification. Live streaming is a win-win approach. During a live stream, users get to influence your brand by providing active feedback, while you get live social data updates that allow you to improve your brand.
Like with any marketing tool, however, to get a 100% benefit from live streaming, you need to do it right.
So, here are some tips on how to use live streaming on social media to improve your brand’s visibility and increase your reach.
1. Choose Live Streaming Equipment Carefully
Every path to success starts with thorough preparation.
In the case of live streaming, preparation starts with a careful choice of live streaming equipment.
To make your live video an interactive content asset, you need the following equipment:
- A video camera. The choice will depend on the scale of the event you’ll be covering. In most cases, it can be a lightweight entry-level camera with 20x optical zoom and the support of the UHD 4K video. It can also be a good smartphone camera that has a proper color resolution.
- Audio equipment. Although the majority of video equipment has in-built microphones, we recommend you to have additional portable audio equipment (medium-high quality USB or 3.5 mm microphones to capture the sound.
- Accessories. If you’re doing a live stream from an event, you can bring additional accessories, like a set of tripods, cables, and batteries. This can also be an extra SD card.
Even though you’ll be streaming from social media, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t provide your viewers with a high-resolution video. The quality of your content still matters, and having good equipment that provides a high-quality image is important.
2. Plan Your Stream
Speaking about planning, the first step in the preparation of a live stream would be writing a script for it.
There are many ideas for a live stream on social media, including, but not limited to:
- Q&As – a great format to answer all the burning questions about your product or service and improve the quality of your customer support
- Event coverage – everything, from small events to big conferences.
- Contests and giveaways – you can announce the results of a contest or a giveaway live on stream.
The choice of the event for your live stream will determine the topic you’ll be covering. According to this topic, you can outline a script, which you can follow during the stream.
Let’s say you’re doing a live collaboration with someone, like the World Wild Fund:
For a live collaboration, much like for a live Q&A, you’ll need to prepare a list of questions that will consistently cover the topic and not create a chaotic discussion.
If you, however, are doing a live Q&A with your audience, the live discussion will be in a free form, although you need to make sure that it won’t deviate from the main topic.
The script of your live stream will, again, depend on the type of event you’re covering. Some scripts work well in a free form, while other live streams need to be thoroughly scripted (like customer support Q&As) and proofread.
If that’s your case, make sure that you do all the preliminary edits and proofread the text. You can use online tools like Grammarly, GrabMyEssay, Studicus, or SupremeDissertations for complete and thorough proofreading.
The main idea behind the live stream is a live interaction with your audience. Make sure you keep that in mind when preparing for your live stream, otherwise you risk losing the opportunity to increase your reach.
3. Stream When Time is Right
Talking about keeping your audience in mind, the time, when you do your live stream, matters a great deal if your goal is to increase your outreach.
To find out the best time for a live stream, you’ll need to go to the social data analytics tool. “Social media users share tons of demographic data, which allows you to determine the time when they’re most active,” says Estelle Liotard, a marketing specialist at TrustMyPaper.
For instance, if you’ve chosen Facebook, you can go to Facebook Insights to check out the general activity of your followers and choose the best time for your live stream:
If you’re new to Facebook and are only getting to know your audience, you can check out the general statistics about the time, when it’s best to do live streams on this platform:
Image credit: Sprout Social
Doing your live stream on the right day and time is essential for increasing your reach. You can also directly reach out to your audience and notify them about the day and time of your live stream to make sure that you achieve maximum engagement.
Doing live streams definitely works in terms of increasing brand exposure and outreach, but only if you’re doing it right.
Choose the right equipment to provide high-quality content, outline a plan of your live stream, and do it, when the time and right. The best way to achieve maximum effect from live streaming is by preparing for it with your audience in mind.
How is your experience with live streaming?
Share your insights with us!
Dorian Martin is a professional writer, content creator, blogger at BestEssay.Education and WowGrade, and a senior editor at business translation service IsAccurate. He started his career as a freelance writer and turned it into a successful career just within six months. You can read more of Dorian’s articles on his personal blog.