So this live video thing is here to stay, huh?

Live video has risen dramatically in popularity in the last few years. And why shouldn’t it? Statistics show that users watch live videos three times longer than pre-recorded ones. (Social Media Today). And it makes sense. After all, live video gives them something produced video does not: a voice. And it gives you the opportunity to interact with them directly. That level of instant engagement is extremely powerful and makes your message just that much more personal. So, with that said, screw it!

But before you get your phone out and start streaming, you should take a moment to review the little gotchas of marketing using live video.

Live video is much easier to produce than normal videos (unless you’re doing something more than… you know, talking). But that said, an important question to ask yourself is where you’re going to do it. Is your potential audience on Facebook? YouTube? There are a lot of live-streaming platforms out there, and unless you have the technology to handle it, you only really get to pick one. Here’s a quick overview:

Facebook

Facebook is great for a large variety of live stream formats, whether you’re just talking to an audience or covering an event. Live-streams on Facebook are posted as normal videos after the show ends, so people can always come back to watch if they missed it. It’s likely that if you’re confused about where you should start live streaming for your business, you’ll want to use Facebook.

YouTube

YouTube has started integrating more and more tools for you to start live-streaming on their platform in the last year. But should you stream on it? It depends. Your stream on YouTube is much less likely to garner views unless you have a pre-established audience on that platform, so it’s best to avoid streaming on YouTube without a good reason. However, YouTube also posts live-streams afterward, so if you’re wanting easy content to post on your business’s channel, it might be a good fit for you.

Instagram

What? That’s right. Instagram also lets you live-stream on it, but only on the “Instagram stories” feature set. That means that your live video is only available while it’s being streamed and for 24 hours after it’s finished. After 24 hours, it’s gone forever. Use Instagram streaming for more short-form content that doesn’t need to stick around. Quick updates, saying hello, things like that. Instagram is known for having much higher engagement than other platforms, so this might actually be in your best interest if that’s what you’re after.

Twitch

Twitch.tv is a video-game oriented streaming service. Lately, however, they have grown a “real life” community of people who stream via their phone camera. Twitch is a strange environment but can be useful if you’re intent on doing it regularly and looking to build an audience who would normally frequent Twitch: younger, nerdier people. An e-commerce business whose demographics are mid-20s geeks, for example, would do well to look at Twitch as a viable platform.

What to do with it

Next, you’ll need to decide what kind of content you’re going to want to stream. This is variable and totally depends on what kind of message you’re wanting to send to your audience. Some people opt to make quick ‘question and answer’ sessions, others to spend 10 minutes talking about a topic in their line of work; others stream just to say hello to potential viewers and talk — a great way to connect with your followers.

Now that you know what you’re doing and where, it should be easy to get started! Lastly, here’s a few tips that might help you as you being streaming:

  • Always inform your audience well in advance that you’ll be live streaming. Otherwise, you’re relying on notifications and people just happening to come across it. You want people to get excited for your streams, to be sure they at least know about them!
  • Always watch the comments that come in during the stream. Set aside time to answer questions and respond. That’s the best part of live video, after all. They come in in real time, but beware, they are usually delayed by some amount of time. It can get up to a minute or two for you to get a response from your viewers if the network connection is bad.
  • Remember, live streams are LIVE. From beginning to end, people can see and hear what’s going on, so make sure there won’t be any embarrassing interruptions and don’t say anything that might hurt your image. It’s smart to get a good idea in your head of what you’re going to say prior to going live.
  • As always, be consistent with your streams and use good metadata techniques, such as appropriate keywords and descriptions, to help people find them.

And that’s it! Happy streaming. We hope this helps you market your business just that much easier. But if you need any help, Blue Fish can give you all of the tools you need to grow your business and it’s presence online. Shoot us an email at hi@bluefishds.com to get started. Thanks for reading!