If a picture’s worth a thousand words then a live video is worth a lot more than that! As the latest trend in mobile marketing, live video streaming is a great way to share engaging content online. In this post, you’ll discover what live mobile streaming is all about and how you can benefit from interacting with your audience in real time.
We’re live in 3… 2… 1…
A funny thing happened at Launchpad recently. On June 14, our Managing Director Dane had purchased tickets to Flume’s concert in December. This was after two weeks of the office unanimously loving Flume’s new album, so it was kind of a big deal!
However, when deciding whether to get a ticket or not, the following scenario came to mind…
It’s December 14 and you’ve got your ticket to see one of the biggest electronic producers going around. You’ve had Flume’s songs on repeat across all your music streaming apps and are just a day away from belting out ‘Never be like youuuu!’
But then you sneeze. And sneeze. And sneeze again.
By the next morning, you have an almighty flu that makes it hard enough to get out of bed, let alone go to the concert that night.
And while this situation has never happened to me personally, it’s the type of scenario that I used to dread before a concert.
In the past, you’d have to politely watch with envy as a friend shares poorly recorded footage of a concert you missed. But this is no longer the case thanks to the latest trend in mobile: live video streaming.
With just a tap on your screen, the whole concert can be streamed on your smartphone in real time. I recently experienced Coachella Music Festival on a 360 Live Stream, including a fantastic performance by Flume! But don’t take my word for it; see for yourself when Flume’s set is streamed live from Lollapalooza Festival this July.
Mobile video previously had the curiosity of consumers by shifting their eyes away from the TV to the smartphone. But with live streaming now being introduced across online social networks, mobile video has grabbed our attention. As the ease with which users can stream takes down the barriers of adoption, let’s examine how the rapid growth of live video benefits mobile consumers and presents new marketing opportunities for businesses.
The streaming revolution
What was once used predominately for streaming game footage and special events, brands are now adopting live streaming to reach their stakeholders in more innovative ways.
With more and more companies using live streaming, it is predicted that this tool will become big this year and even bigger in the future.
In fact live streaming has been widely used by lots of businesses for marketing purposes and also for other interactions such as panels, tours and training purposes.
A study by Brandline found that business executives perceived live streaming to be beneficial in engagement. As a result, businesses are now prepared to invest more money into this marketing channel.
The benefits that companies perceive from live streaming. Source: AdWeek
As live streaming catches on with others, I believe that other social media platforms will want to tap (pun intended) into the market and use their own live streaming features. Potential apps that could potentially adopt live streaming include Snapchat, Instagram and Tinder (Streaming live dates anyone?).
What’s out there?
There are thousands of different live media streaming sites and apps online.
We’ll be taking a look at four mobile apps that offer live streaming functionality.
While some of the apps mentioned here are only available on certain devices and/or have not been released to the public yet, you can expect to be seeing them sooner rather than later.
Let’s meet them shall we?
1. YouTube Live
Back in 2011, YouTube first released live streaming but only to four of its partners. Currently the feature is only available on desktop and laptop but will come to mobile in the near future.
Note that before you start live streaming, you’ll need to download an encoder.
A live chat is available so you’ll be able to see the reactions and interactions of viewers. You’ll also be able to share your stream link on social media to notify followers and friends of the stream.
After the live stream ends, a copy of the stream is saved on the streamer’s channel.
YouTube has finally debuted live streaming. Source: YouTube Creator
2. Facebook Live
With Facebook Live, you can stream within Facebook from your Android and iOS smartphone without the needing to download a standalone app.
All you need to do is log into your Facebook account by tapping ‘Go Live’ in your status update.
You can monitor engagement through real time comments, likes, loves and emoticons in the comments section on your live stream.
Facebook Live allows users to broadcast video through the company’s flagship mobile app. Source: The Verge
Acquired in 2015 by the social media platform Twitter, Periscope is an iOS and Android app that allows users to create broadcasts.
Compared to the other streamers, you can’t schedule dates for future live streams. Another difference, which is currently only available for iPhone users, is that Periscope gives statistics on broadcast performance. This is highly beneficial for businesses to understand what works, what doesn’t and how to improve.
Periscope lets you broadcast live video to the world. Source: TechSpot
Released in 2015, our last streamer is a direct rival of Periscope that allows the user to stream live on the spot or schedule live streams. You can connect your Twitter and Facebook account to Meerkat, which alerts friends and followers when live streams start.
One of its unique features is Cameo where it allows the streamer to choose a follower to take over the live stream for up to a minute. This also alerts the follower’s friends of the live stream.
Meerkat allows streamers to choose a follower to take over a live video. Source: Digital Trends
So now that we’ve introduced the four main social media mobile streaming apps, you might be wondering….
Why should I use live mobile streaming?
There are many ways live video streaming can benefit your promotional activities regardless of industry.
Check out the awesome infographic from Hyperfine Media that shows the advantages of video marketing.
1. Live streaming speaks louder than posts
Video streaming is more engaging than viewing an image, post or tweet. This means followers will stay and watch your content longer instead of scrolling past, potentially increasing brand awareness.
Bold Content Video found that live-streamed videos on Facebook are watched 3x longer than recorded videos. Furthermore, live streaming provides flexibility that enables brands to be creative with their streams and show audiences who they are.
2. Increased interaction
You will be able to respond and engage instantly as viewers interact with you and others via the live chat box when live streaming. You’ll be able to spark debate or even get feedback from viewers, making it a more intuitive experience.
This is also great for customer support. With live streaming; you won’t need to wait 30 hours on the phone or 30 years to get a response to your query.
You can provide exceptional customer support by responding quickly to questions about your business, providing a more personal interaction.
3. Affordable and easy
Live streaming is free for everyone. All it requires is a social media account or a streaming app, such as Periscope, which is free. It’s so easy to operate and you won’t need to know that entire videography lingo.
You also won’t need high tech video producing equipment unless you want to produce high-definition quality streams. All you need to start a live stream is a smartphone and you’re good to go!
4. Larger reach
Posting a Tweet or Facebook post limits your audience to followers and viewers who click on your page. With live streaming you have the ability to broadcast to the entire world or across an entire social media platform. This could increase awareness and potentially lead to more customer prospects.
How can I use live mobile video streaming?
There are many ways you can use live mobile video streaming. You could stream events like webinars, new product releases, press conferences, fundraisers or meetings for your business. Viewers can watch those streams anywhere in the world without actually being present.
This is a great way to keep viewers up to date with business activity, major events and also allows you to provide an educational experience. A recent example is Microsoft’s launch of Halo 5 with a live stream on YouTube showcasing the gameplay
This helped increase sales in the billions and made it the top selling game on Xbox One.
Product or service tutorials
Besides teaching users on how to use product/services, live streaming tutorials are a great way to highlight your products/services.
Going in detail though the features and benefits could attract awareness among prospect customers. An element of your product or service could be the answer to their needs!
This is a great way to interact and engage with the audience by answering questions from viewers. It’s also a great way to inform viewers of future products, direction of the company and address issues in the media.
For example, Domino’s Pizza recently held a live Q&A stream on Facebook, where viewers could ask the CEO questions.
Behind the scenes access
You could live stream a typical day at the office or your work environment to highlight your culture and brand personality to your viewers.
This would be ideal if you’ve got a unique office environment, like those organisations that boast an in house laser tag arena, make-your-own sundae buffet and slides.
Besides turning the whole world green, it can be used as an HR tool and potentially promote and attract talent to your work place.
Have an event coming up? Give viewers a VIP pass back stage pass to live streaming events, conferences, latest movies and concerts. Not only will it be memorable but could also showcase your partners and sponsors and increase views.
A recent example of this was the behind-the-scenes Facebook Live stream from the Oscars.
Tips for mobile live video streaming
Before you start pulling out your smartphone, here are some tips for you to create an awesome live stream:
1. Plan and prepare
As the saying goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So before your live stream, Make sure you plan aspects like location, Internet connection, equipment, running sheets, notifying followers of your live stream and contingency plans.
Unless you’re doing a live stream that’s spontaneous or doesn’t require a lot of preparation, plan ahead.
2. Make the live stream content relevant to your target market
Find out what content captivates your target market and use that as a basis for your live streams.
E.g. Redbull’s known for extreme sporting events and daredevil feats. In 2012, they live streamed a freefall from the edge of space by that racked up millions of views.
3. Trial each app
Like a shirt, one size may fit or may not fit all. You’ll need to experiment with the mobile streaming apps and choose those that works for you.
Most live streaming platforms have analytics tools, which is great for getting feedback on your streams. This is useful to determine the platform’s suitability for you.
In addition, Cision has created a mini guide, which is helpful when decide which streaming platform you’ll be using.
4. Have a stable Internet connection
This is important performance wise especially if you’re broadcasting at an event. Having a stable connection ensures that there aren’t any disruptions or lag during the stream. The audience won’t want to miss any minute of the action, so if your stream cuts out they might lose interest.
Also note that streaming uses up a lot of data, so make sure you have enough data and be aware of the roaming costs when you’re overseas.
So what are your thoughts on mobile live streaming? Think it’s just a fad?
Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
For more insightful posts, check out our most recent blogs.