Nearly two million words. That’s the value in one minute of video. Now consider how long it would take to write that amount of content.
Sure, you could plop down in front of your computer, slaving away day in and day out. Or, you could create a one minute live streaming video, packing a bigger punch in a shorter amount of time.
With live streaming video, you speak with your audience one-on-one. You can take a new relationship and deepen the connection or better establish those existing online relations.
And the best news? It's not just businesses and brands eager to connect through video. Consumers are too. Just take a look at these mind-blowing stats.
- Online video viewing accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic.
- Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines
- 90% of online shoppers said they find retailer videos helpful in making shopping and buying decisions.
Easy to see why apps such as Snapchat and Periscope saw such rapid growth. And why Facebook and Instagram Live skyrocketed in fame.
If you're ready to make live streaming work for your business, keep reading. In this article, I'll share the most overlooked (but simple) ways to start use live streaming video to connect with your target audience.
Live streaming video options
Before we dive into the how, let's take a look at the what. What are your live streaming options and which makes the most sense for your business?
1. YouTube Live
When YouTube launched in 2005, no one could have predicted its meteoric rise or the amount of video we'd soon consume. By 2010, YouTube was serving over 2 million views per day.
Today, YouTube has over 1.9 billion logged-in users per month watching 1 billion hours of video.
5 tips from Video Influencers:
- Plan your stream
- Pick the right equipment
- Setup your live stream
- Consider having a second screen
- Optimize video for replay
2. Facebook Live
Not familiar with Facebook Live Video? Wondering what the benefits are to you and your business? The biggest advantage is that the Live Video option is built right into Facebook. No more searching for the right app.
Simply open the Facebook home page, click on the “status” button at the top, and choose the live video icon. Just like that, you can start broadcasting your message and have it appear in the news feed.
Here’s a few extra benefits:
- As the video is shooting, you see how many people are watching the video, as well as their names and comments.
- As soon as it’s over, the video is automatically saved to your timeline.
- From there you can share it, tweet it, embed it in blog posts, or delete it.
And here's where it gets even better. Unlike some apps, these videos don't disappear!
3. Instagram Live
Instagram Live is another excellent live streaming option to build influence. While Facebook and YouTube offer the most customizable and branded options, Instagram is a great way to engage and interact in a relaxed and more natural environment.
No matter where you are or what you're doing, going live on Instagram can take your audience:
- Behind the scenes of your business
- On a step-by-step mini-training or series that plays out over a duration of time
- Into your exact process, system or product
- With you on your unique journey
The sky is the limit!
To get started, open Instagram and follow these steps:
- Tap in the top left of the screen or swipe right from anywhere in Feed.
- Tap Live at the bottom of the screen, then tap Go Live.
- The number of viewers appears at the top of the screen and comments appear at the bottom. Tap Comment to add a comment, and tap a comment and tap Pin Comment to pin it to the top so that viewers can see it more easily.
- To turn comments off, tap then select Turn Off Commenting. Keep in mind that any keyword filters you've turned on will also apply to comments on your live video.
- If you're on an iOS device, you can tap in the bottom right to add photos and videos from your camera roll to your live video.
- To stop displaying your photo or video, swipe right and tap . Keep in mind that only you can see the photos and videos in your camera roll while you're sharing a live video.
When you're done, tap End in the top right then tap to confirm. From there, you can tap Save in the top right to save it to your camera roll, or share it to your story.
While not really Live Streaming, you can create Live Stories with Snapchat. The idea behind it is “deleted content.” Your “story” only lives online for 24 hours before it's gone forever.
While the demographics don’t make this the perfect network for all businesses, for those diving in, there's a lot of room to own your space.
If you're eager to capture the 25 and under crowd, Snapchat could be right for you.Just take a look at one of the brands using it with great success.
Taco Bell produced massive hype during the 2016 Super Bowl, teasing a mystery item across the United States. They eventually revealed the new “Quesalupa" to their hungry Snapchat fans.
It's hard to ignore the success of Periscope and the hard fall of competitor, Meerkat. While Periscope is new compared to UStream and other pioneers, Periscope has created distinct differences within functionality.
Periscope, owned by Twitter, is interactive, allowing you to have a real conversation with your viewers. The audience can ask questions and post comments which appear on your screen where you can easily respond.
With integration with Twitter, it also gives you reach into a large community when you broadcast live from Periscope, the link no longer simply tweets. Your scope will now autoplay (minus sound) in the Twitter feed.
Mitch Jackson, an award-winning attorney here in Southern California, is a great example of how to add value to your Twitter feed through consistent use of Periscope video.
6. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts have been around longer than any I've listed above. Yet, I still find usage among business owners is spotty and somewhat misunderstood.
In reality, Hangouts are very easy to use, especially since they became a standalone app. As a team, we use them daily. Between Slack and Hangouts, the ability to communicate via text, face to face and screen sharing is invaluable.
I've also been using them since their beta days to conduct interviews like this one with Peg Fitzpatrick and Guy Kawasaki during the launch of their book, "The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users."
The best ways to use Live streaming video in your business
1. Create an interview series
With the emergence of social media, business success depends on product and service almost as much as the likability of the brand.
How conversational, interactive, and open you are with your audience goes a long way towards building an engaged community. And an engaged community, according to Rosetta, is worth its weight in gold.
Creating an interview series can share a more personal side of your brand. It can also give special insight into who you are, your area of expertise, and the products/services your business offers.
Facebook and YouTube are perfect platforms for this. Whether you're promoting a product or running an interview-style roundtable like I did here with SEMrush.
2. Give a sneak peek
Everybody loves going behind the scenes, getting insider information or a sneak peek into what's up and coming. Live streaming apps can give you the real time ability to share company news or jump on a trending story.
And if you're ready to take it to a whole new level, integrate two live streams at the same time. For example, share your Periscope on Twitter or take snippets of your Facebook Live and share them as Instagram Stories.
How to use this in your business:
- Give your viewers a quick tour of your facilities
- A quick video of your day-to-day process or system
- A walkthrough of how your product is created
The goal is to build engagement and an appreciation of your business as you take it from “abstract” to “real” in mere minutes.
3. Live stream events in real time
Attending an event? Share it with your audience! Give your viewers a glimpse of an event you're attending. But don't just stop there.
Talk with your audience about the event—why you're there, what your participation is (are you speaking?), and how often they'll hear from you while there.
Make your audience feel like they're hanging out with you, live at the event. Mia Voss puts this into practice daily. Wherever she is, we get to go along with her.
And the beauty in it? You can do the same thing with Facebook Live from your business page, personal account, or Group.
4. Set up a video conference
Love what you do? Ready to share your expertise with the world? Don't wait for those speaking engagements to come to you, create your own video conference!
When BeLive first hit the scene, many newcomers eager to test the limits of the platform put this idea into action. And the great news is it doesn't have to be difficult or overwhelming to put together.
Who to invite to your conference
- Company leaders
- Influencers or experts in your field
- Product users or past clients
- Employees / Brand Advocates
- Leaders with a specialized niche
- And the list goes on and on!
A word of caution: this isn't a moment to "wing it." If you put a several-hour, half-day, or full-day event together—be prepared!
Outline the agenda, be clear in the timing, share discussion topics, and leave room for audience participation.
5. Repurpose content for video training
One of the best ways to leverage live streaming is to repurpose current content for training purposes. This is something I regularly with great success.
I'm a firm believer in getting the most mileage out of one piece of content. As Mike Allton with blogging Brute recently wrote,
YES! Use your video content or blog content as a way to extend the shelf life while giving it maximum exposure. There are two ways to get started:
- Use Mike's formula here to turn your video into 25 pieces of content.
- Use your highest performing (top trafficked) content and translate that into new media.
Take your blog post (the one that continues to bring traffic to your website) and pull out 2-3 points. Now expand upon each one, sharing an in-depth look at one specific topic.
Your audience is eager to learn, take the time to teach them something new. Not only will this position you as an expert within your field, but it also pulls your audience in—allowing them to get actively involved.
As opposed to the standard webinar where you're speaking at your viewers, live streaming lets them add their voice to the conversation.
- For Periscope, viewers can send comments and type their questions. For BeLive, they can do the same, plus you can add them to the screen, including them in the conversation.
- Always ask questions, create a debate, be conversational and stay interactive!
- These training sessions don’t have to be scripted or rehearsed. In fact, the public will love your "real feel" even more as they will see it as genuine and authentic.
6. Be topical and relevant
Have a breaking story within your industry? How about a hot topic currently trending across social media? Live streaming is a great way to share your thoughts about that trending topic.
And nothing builds engagement (and thought leadership) faster than proactively responding to a situation directly affecting your audience.
Bella Vasta with JUMP Consulting hosts a weekly Live stream and is always quick to recognize trending topics. Don't be afraid to quickly go live and let your voice be heard.
YouTube was here long before Periscope, Facebook or Instagram Live. Does that mean there isn’t room for one or all of the above in your business? Of course not!
Live streaming adds an extra layer of inclusion to video. It takes moments and turns them into meaningful connecting points. Take advantage of what live streaming affords your business.
Make your audience feel heard. Give them a voice within your brand. Not only will it boost your engagement, and help your business presence grow, but you'll also gain a loyal following that will keep tuning in over and over again.
Need more ideas? Grab a copy of this Infographic from Constant Contact.
About Rebekah Radice
Rebekah Radice, co-founder of BRIL.LA, has traded narcissism for purpose. When not driving growth, you'll find her tricking family into thinking she's Emeril Lagasse - likely covered in marinara. The spotlight was fun, but impact is better. These days she's using 20+ years of brand brilliance for good.