The use of live streaming video has grown hugely over the last year and it’s only going to get bigger. I can’t imagine that you haven’t seen a live stream but for those that haven’t, let me explain. Live Streaming video is simply a video on a site like Facebook or YouTube where the events you are watching are happening live. Just like an old fashioned live television programme. You may be asking why on earth you would produce a live video. Surely there are just more opportunities to make mistakes and look foolish than anything else. But the truth is your live video will have a freshness and a vivacity all of its own. More than that, there will also be the opportunity for interaction with your audience.
Truly Interactive Video
If you make a video that is at least 5 or 10 minutes long you will find that you acquire viewers who may well make comments and ask questions as you are streaming. This allows you to respond immediately to what they are saying. This is the kind of mass interactivity this has up until now been unavailable to small and medium sized businesses. Mass communication has been the purview of big business and television corporations but is now available for everybody. This is the real beauty of live streaming.
How Do We Use A Live Stream?
You can make a short live stream and then just leave that up as a kind of small commercial for your business and that’s fine. The problem with that is it’s not utilising the full power of the live stream. We need to plan how we will use the live stream. Our ‘show’ needs to be something about our business, of course, and something that will encourage the passing Facebook viewer to stop and watch. The questions you need to ask are: What am I going to live stream? What am I going to do when I’m streaming? Who might be watching me? You need to be prepared for live interactions and have prepared an interesting topic or demonstration. It all comes down to customer interaction, or in this instance, viewer interaction.
Why Will People Watch?
There are two areas for business where live streaming can really shine. The first, and I think most useful, is the demonstration. Think of this like watching cookery show on TV. You get to see the exact way the chef prepares the food, which is so much more helpful than just reading it in a book. Sure, you want the instructions in the book for when you prepare the recipe yourself, but actually watching the process gives you detail on preparing the food that you can’t get from reading a book. You get to see the techniques and see for yourself how it should be done. This is intrinsically a much easier form of learning than learning from text.
For business people, this means that if we have an exciting new product to demonstrate, we can show the benefits in the simplest, most direct and most effective way possible. There is the added bonus that people can ask questions while we’re doing it. I often make videos that demonstrate products. We demonstrate how people may enjoy using them and how to correctly use them. But what those videos cannot do is answer questions. That always has to come later via comments. Viewers have to stay interested long enough to take the time to send in their questions. We need to be available to answer them in good time. Anticipating questions is a fundamental part of the marketing process, but the audience may think of questions we have not… and often do. Live streaming enables immediate interaction to answer those points.
What Else Can We Do?
The second area where live streaming can really excel for a business is the open discussion. In this instance we’re not so much demonstrating a product or service but discussing ideas. This is a more subtle use for businesses for whom this kind of open discussion with potential customers could be very important. It is especially for those who are selling services rather than physical products. The discussion is about what the benefits of the service and why people may want to access it.
In a marketing video for a service-based business, you would often show somebody using the service and show the benefits of that. This is an excellent way to demonstrate how your service can benefit people but it lacks the interactivity that the live stream can bring. The stream allows you to talk directly to potential customers. In this way you demonstrate your ability to cope with circumstances and human interactions as they change. The way you interact is the lifeblood of good service provision and is what viewers want to see.Find out how to use live video in your marketing Click To Tweet
Here are a few final thoughts about live streaming. Interacting with an audience, the immediacy of the conversation com and the nervous energy that will project from you will give your live stream a life that other video types just do not have. An Added bonus is that the video gets to stay online afterwards. It’s available for people to come back and view at a later date. This almost gets you the same benefits as having a professionally made Marketing video, not quite (I’ll explain why in a moment) but almost and it has almost all the power that it had when it was live streamed.
The only difficulty with the live stream is that you don’t have the chance to edit what’s happening. The editing of a video is where all the creative power lies. This is what allows you to make something really glossy and professional when you make your Business video. Unless you are willing to spend money on a live stream set up with cameras and operators and sound and mixing, a live stream will always look off the cuff, amateurish. Having said that people are likely to accept these deficiencies because it’s a live stream. They understand there will be mistakes. People get this so perhaps it’s not that much of a problem.
There are plenty of businesses live streaming and you can watch them do it. I think Facebook is the prime social media site currently. YouTube also offers live streaming but I think that this is more for specialist uses just due to the way people use YouTube. Where Facebook is facing the general public who may just be there for a general browsing and not looking for something in from in particular not looking for information but will happen upon your stream. You can catch people who may not even know that they’re interested in your products or services, and that’s always good.