Live Video Streaming Best Practices for Businesses
If 2016 was the year of livestreaming, then 2017 is the year it cemented its position as a formidable marketing and business communications tool. Brands across all industries are demonstrating that livestreaming for business is a great way to engage your audience.
According to our research with New York Magazine, 80% of audiences would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a blog post. Audience engagement with live video is also impactful in the B2B space with 73% of B2B businesses using live video reporting positive results to their return-on-investment. In this blog, we will cover why you should be thinking about livestreaming for business, and the various ways you can apply live video to a business communications strategy.
Livestreaming for Business: How Live Video Stacks Up
Live Video Builds Trust
Consumers are often cynical of advertising and brands. According to a 2017 survey by McCann Truth Central — the global thought leadership unit of advertising firm McCann — 42% of Americans find brands and companies “less truthful” today than two decades ago.
Therein lies the challenge: Customers buy from brands they like and trust, but trust cannot be achieved overnight. Live video gives you an opportunity to build and reinforce trust throughout all stages of the consumer life cycle.
During a spate of bad weather that was delaying flights, Southwest Airlines decided to livestream from its operation control center to social media platforms to reassure customers.
“We’re trying to keep y’all accommodated, safe and informed,” Brooks Thomas from Southwest’s social media team told passengers. According to the Financial Times, over 100,000 people watched the stream on Facebook Live.
With live video, you can showcase your company’s processes and portray transparency and accountability to customers — and in turn, find new fans.
Engaging Your Audience With Live Video
Live video should be interactive and fun. Whether it’s embedded on your website or streamed simultaneously to Facebook Live or YouTube Live, it is important to engage your customers and followers in real-time. Viewers comment 10 times more on live videos than on regular videos, according to Facebook.
Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope have made the possibility of significantly growing your audience a reality. These customers are likely to have a history of engaging with your page and will receive notifications about your event the moment you go live.
Portland-based music festival Pickathon was able to grow its audience through an aggressive social media campaign. During a four-day event, their marketing team consistently shared livestreams of performances on YouTube and Twitter. “All through the weekend, we actively promoted the livestream during the event. Every different band, we’d put up a new post. Livestream was right there with us sharing those posts and helping grow our reach,” said Ryan Stiles, co-organizer of Pickathon.
The results are a testament to these efforts: Pickathon saw its online viewership skyrocket from 11,000 in 2015 to 200,000 in 2016. “People said: ‘Hey, I started streaming and then I bought a ticket.’ Now that we’re doing more media through social, that’s a huge help to get that audience,” he added.
Singer John Mayer knew exactly where to find that captive audience with a one night livestream of his Bud Light Dive Bar Tour from Los Angeles to Facebook. The live broadcast reached 1.5 million views and 27,000 comments in its first seven days.
Budgeting for Live Video
To go live, all you really need is a high-definition camera, reliable internet, and an online presence. Social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube allow users to stream live for free, with certain limits. If you’re looking for a more professional end-to-end solution, Livestream is not only a great place to start; it also provides a holistic solution for taking your livestreaming to the next level.
Your camera purchase decision will depend on your budget and what you want your stream to look like. Some of our favorites include: Sony PXWX70, Sony PMW- 300K1, and Canon XA10. Mevo, Livestream’s Live Event Camera or our All-In-One Studio Kit, is another consideration if you desire the effects of a multi-camera production studio, at a fraction of the cost or man power of traditional setups.
A dedicated and reliable internet connection is also essential to a successful livestream. Make sure you have twice the upload speed as the bitrate you want to stream at. “The most reliable internet connection when streaming is connecting directly via Ethernet to a dedicated network,” said Bandelli. [Find out more about how to get started with live video]
Building a Live Video Strategy For Your Business
Behind the Scenes and Demos
Livestreaming “behind the scenes” is a great way to humanize your brand. The Philadelphia Eagles use Livestream to broadcast analysis pieces and “Press Pass” interviews with players.
“People are coming to us for access. So we’re going to go behind-the-scenes as much as we can and we’re doing it from somewhere no other camera crew can get to,” said Mark Leblang, Studio/Live Production Manager of the Eagles. “Showing aspects of the team throughout the week has provided fans with a different experience and allowed Eagles fans to feel like they’re really there,” he said.
Live video also provides a more dynamic and engaging way to provide your fans with a first-look demonstration of your product. It serves as a platform to highlight all the bells and whistles of what your company does and demonstrate how you’re different from your competitors.
The 2018 Toyota Camry made its debut from Detroit auto show as Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor, unveiled distinctive features of the four-cylinder car. The carmaker also took the opportunity to showcase its new Nascar racer, inspired by the 2018 Camry, and welcomed its Nascar driver Kyle Busch onstage. The video has since generated over 10o,ooo views on Livestream.
Company-Wide Meetings and Announcements
If you’re a business looking to announce breaking news, introduce a new product, or just simply communicate with your employees regularly, livestreaming can be an efficient and cost-effective way of reaching your employees and customers globally.
Spotify executed that seamlessly when it livestreamed the announcement of its global parental leave policy to its employees worldwide, via a town hall-style video presentation in New York City. The result was an inspiring and high-quality video experience for every Spotify employee worldwide.
Livestreaming also lets you connect with employees, and extends the message beyond the room. Custom blinds and drapery store Blinds.com livestreams its weekly meetings with CEO Jay Steinfeld to reach its remote workers. The company’s weekly “Say Jay” meetings are an opportunity for Steinfeld to emphasize the company’s culture of openness as well as receive honest feedback from his employees. Here at Livestream, we stream our bi-weekly all-hands meetings to our offices around the world, collecting feedback and taking questions live with Slido.
Publishers like the Texas Tribune have built new revenue by streaming live events. Its decision to livestream state senator Wendy Davis’ 13-hour filibuster in 2013 saw over 250,000 views across 180 countries, generating over 400 membership sign-ups after the stream concluded.
Another example is the American Association of Advertising Agencies which, through livestreaming its annual state of the ad industry conference “Transformation,” saw over 16,000 viewers join their event live, with over 25,000 additional viewers tuning in for on-demand content.
Even remote locations and limited access to power and internet couldn’t keep endurance events company Tough Mudder away from livestreaming its “World’s Toughest Mudder” 24-hour obstacle course challenge from Los Angeles.
Livestream worked with Tough Mudder to build a custom player that allowed viewers to switch between camera feeds and direct their own show. The strategy served as an essential recruiting tool for new audiences curious about getting involved, especially “for people on the fence who aren’t sure if they can do that,” said Jesse Bull, SVP Brand and Creative at Tough Mudder.
“This gives them a more visceral experience that’s unique and real-time,” he added. An event with around 70,000 unique livestream views converts into around 20,000 Tough Mudder website visits. Bull is confident that traffic and engagement translate into more sales for its events.
Livestreaming for your business offers near unparalleled immediacy, authenticity, and more importantly results. So the next time you want to reach your audience, don’t forget to include live video in your business communications strategy.
Ready to launch your livestreaming business strategy? Check out Livestream’s business communications solutions.