Video, like most technology, has accelerated at a massive rate. New 360 videos and live streaming are opening up new, somewhat unexploited opportunities for content. While live broadcast isn’t a new technology, smartphones have made it extremely popular.
Today, there are several key players in the game:
- Facebook Live: When it was launched last summer, only “public figures” (aka celebrities) had access. It’s now available to everyone. Viewers can comment, Like and share your Live feed.
- Periscope: A free app known for overtaking Meerkat. The streams are largely distributed through Twitter and the experience isn’t one-way; viewers can provide feedback in real-time by sending comments and hearts.
- YouTube Live: YouTube has lagged behind in live. It’s primarily focused on broadcasting events and gaming. However, YouTube announced the rollout of a mobile live streaming product back in June.
Live streaming lends itself to a different level of user interaction and real-time audience feedback. It allows brands to drop the corporate veil and connect human-to-human. It’s a great way to generate excitement around an event, release a new product, or go-behind the scenes. It provides fans with “raw” unfiltered footage.
Each platform comes with its own advantages & disadvantages. Facebook Live is rapidly emerging as the most significant player, but all have great uses. What’s most important is that you follow some general best practices for a successful broadcast:
- Build an audience. You should let people know ahead of time when you’ll be broadcasting live by posting something on your News Feed.
- Ensure a strong connection. Yup, you need to check to make sure that you have a strong signal before going live. No signal, no dice.
- Broadcast for at least 10 minutes. This is essential to drawing in viewers over the course of a stream. Think about it… the longer you’re on the air, the more likely people are to discover your video and share it with their friends. A short, abbreviated stream has a smaller window for a viewer to participate in.
- The power of personality. Make it fun. Keep viewers excited.
- Find opportunities for audience interaction. Your viewers will be thrilled if you mention their name and answer their questions when you’re live.
- Expect the unexpected. Always, with live-anything. There is constantly room for unplanned events or mishaps. Be ready for them.