By Jon Clark, managing partner at Moving Traffic Media, a New York digital agency offering SEO, PPC, and Amazon marketing services.
Statistics show that 53% of companies broadcast or stream live videos at least once per week. If you are not capitalizing on this trend, you are missing out on a great opportunity to engage with customers and boost visibility on social media.
What is live streaming on social media?
Live streaming enables you to create and share videos in real time. It’s just like live TV! With social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, you can go live with the click of a button, enabling you to engage with your audience at that very moment.
What are the benefits of live streaming?
So, why is live streaming so important? Why should this be one of your main priorities when it comes to your online marketing efforts?
1. It’s what your audience wants.
The main reason live streaming is so beneficial is that this is the type of content people are engaging with online. In fact, 80% of consumers would prefer to watch live brand videos instead of reading a blog post.
2. Get real-time feedback.
When you live stream on social media, you turn a video into a conversation rather than simply broadcasting to your audience. Users can comment and share likes, which you can respond to in real time. Most significantly, you can build trust and engagement, which can encourage your audience to come back for more. As your viewers continue to give you feedback, you can adapt your approach. This can ensure you are continuing to produce better content so you can beat the competition.
3. Enjoy prime spots on social media.
On social media platforms, live content is given a prime position in newsfeeds. Facebook is the perfect example here. When comparing pre-recorded and live videos, live streams enjoy six times the interactions—at least on Facebook. If you are an Instagram user, you are sure to have noticed that live streams pop up in the top left-hand corner, ahead of the video stories for the day. This means they are the first thing people see when they log onto Instagram.
4. Make an instant connection with your audience.
Live streaming is quite a vulnerable thing to do, which is why a lot of brands and entrepreneurs are nervous about doing so. It is not always polished, and this is okay. Things will not always go to plan. You may not have fancy recording equipment, and there is no director involved either. If you make an error, you cannot simply hit the “delete” button and start again.
This may sound intimidating, but it is actually not a bad thing. This is what people love about watching live streams. They are raw and honest. People get the chance to see your brand on a personal level, and this is what they love the most.
How do you live stream effectively on social media?
As you can see, the benefits are extensive when it comes to live streaming on social media. But to experience these benefits, you need to know how to do so successfully. Here are some tips to help you get started.
• Keep context clear. One thing that makes live streaming unique is that viewers can jump in at any point. Someone could start watching even though you have been streaming for 20 minutes. As a consequence, it is important to occasionally reiterate the topic throughout your stream so that viewers understand what they are tuning into. A watermark, text or logo that clarifies what is happening can also be advantageous.
• Optimize your setup. The on-the-fly element of live streaming is charming. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that a little bit of preparation won’t help. Before you go live, do a quick sound check to make sure everything is working as it should be. Make sure your streams are audible and adequately lit. Mistakes happen, but getting the basics right is a necessity.
• Engage with your audience successfully. The main reason to do a live stream is to engage with your audience. There are a number of ways you can go about this. Start off by welcoming your viewers, for instance. You should also say hello to people who comment. Respond to their comments and ask questions on the fly as well. It’s important your audience feels like they are part of the live stream and that it’s a two-way street.
• Promote your big moment. When you hit the “go live” button, people may happen to catch your video at this moment. Nevertheless, the only real way to increase the numbers is by letting your audience know what is going to be coming up on your social media page. Countdowns are a simple yet effective way of hyping the moment up.
• Make sure your live stream is timely. It is vital to remember that you are going to be competing with millions of other videos for attention. This is why it is critical that there is a timely “why now” aspect of your videos, ensuring your users feel like your live stream is something they need to immediately tune into.
• Have a road map. Finally, anything can occur during a live stream, and this is the beauty of them. Nevertheless, you should still have a goal in mind. What do you want to happen? This is where your road map comes in, helping to keep everything on track.
As you can see, there are many benefits associated with live streaming. If you are feeling anxious about getting started, why not spend some time tuning into live streams in your niche to see how other people are doing it in your industry? This can help you understand what does and does not work so that you can producee quality live streams for your audience.