How to Leverage Live Streaming to Grow Your Business
Video is the #1 marketing tool for small businesses today, and live video is even more powerful. Live streaming has evolved to where you can be live on almost any platform. Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Snapchat offer live streaming capabilities. According to Wikipedia, live streaming refers to online video streaming that is simultaneously recorded and broadcast in real-time. Video is the #1 marketing tool with good reason live video consumption jumped 65% in 2018. Most people’s top video platform is YouTube, followed closely by Facebook. Recently study by Livestream showed that 80% would rather watch live videos from a brand than read a blog. 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. 87% would prefer to watch live video online if it meant more behind-the-scenes content.
Start on Facebook (But Go Everywhere Else Too)
While Facebook Live should be a part of your overall live streaming strategy, it’s essential to diversify your distribution channels. Most businesses do not post updates to only one social media platform. Similarly, why only stream your live video to one platform? Facebook Live is an easy-to-use tool from mobile or your computer but should be considered just one tool in your diverse streaming distribution toolbox. With streaming tools, you can reach people around the web with your stream on other social sites and mainstream media sites like CNN.
Build a live video strategy that reaches your audience in a number of different locations. When I broadcast my show #Smallbizchat LIVE, I start on Zoom and then hit my Smallbizlady Fan Page on FB Live, then we simulcast to YouTube and Twitter via Periscope. It’s not an easy thing to do all at once, but by using syndication tools, you don’t have to pick and choose. You can push content to all platforms you wish to ensure you’re not missing key segments of your audience.
Convert Facebook Viewers Into Customers
While Facebook has an amazing reach, your ultimate goal should be getting people back to your website . Turn viewers into traffic by sampling content on Facebook Live and then dropping links to your landing pages underneath comments while verbally encouraging them to head back to your page. Additionally, you can use cookie tracking or retargeting in your marketing strategy. You can build a campaign to track only the people watching videos on your site. By driving Facebook audiences back to your site, you can collect much more information about your audience. And you can convert those visitors into customers.
Control The Message
With Facebook Live, you don’t have as much control over the viewing experience. The longer you broadcast, the more people will see your broadcast, if Facebook promotes your content. Some live stream software will allow you to customize your video in a fully branded portal with custom calls to action is more likely to convert. Viewers are less likely to be distracted by notifications or other things happening on the platform. Viewers often prefer to engage content on a branded destination for just that reason. Some audiences want to watch live on social media, but some prefer a dedicated web destination.
Live Streaming Pros and Cons
While Facebook Live is King when it comes to live stream, Facebook’s algorithm changes constantly. You’ll never know how Facebook’s feed algorithm will shift in the future. All social media platforms change based on audience interests and behavior. You might be better live streaming from your own website where you control the platform.
A stream on Facebook is not optimized for large-screen, and if there are any issues with your stream, there is no one to call at any social media platform for tech support. We always use the version of #Smallbizchat LIVE recorded on YouTube to share and edit.
Analyzing the success of your live video stream metrics
Examining live streaming metrics is simply good practice so you know how effective your content is with your target audience. Tracking live streaming metrics is also particularly useful for monetization. Advertisers will be more interested in placing ads on your live videos if your numbers of viewers are good and for a long duration. Here are six metrics to track.
1. Device viewership
What kind of device are people watching on? These days, mobile devices and tablets lead the way with laptops and desktops being used less frequently for viewing live streams, and OTT devices (like Apple TV) are becoming more prevalent too. Knowing how your viewers are watching helps you know what to focus on in your broadcast. If you notice that you have more mobile viewers, that might mean you may want to consider lowering the quality of the stream you send to allow the viewer to use less bandwidth to view your content.
2. Live viewership vs. on-demand viewing
It’s important to track how many people are watching and engaging with your content live vs. how many are watching it later, on-demand. You may discover that most viewers are watching your content after the fact. If that’s the case, you might consider producing your show live to tape and not-live. Doing so might help draw people to your website which could help you convert more viewers to customers.
3. Duration of views
How long are people watching your live video stream? Is your average churn for a 1-hour event is three minutes, ten minutes, or more than 30 minutes? Low streaming duration could indicate that your content needs work, that you didn’t give people enough notice of your live content, or that you’re not reaching the right viewing audience. Your marketing message could be off the mark.
4. Unique visitors to your site
Unique visitors are different than total views. You need to track how many people and what kind of people are viewing your content. That will give you another leverage point with potential advertisers.
5. Geographics of your viewership
Where are people watching your live stream from? This live streaming metric is useful for monetizing live events. If the majority of your viewers are local, you may want to raise the price to encourage people to attend the event in person rather than watch the event online.
6. Engagement metrics
Comments and questions are engagement. If your audience interacts with your content, then your live stream is hitting the mark. It helps to have a social media team member interacting with viewers in the comments section to keep the conversation going. Engagement also means viewers are more likely to come back for the next episode. Monitor your social feeds alongside your broadcast and encourage people to share.
What are the top multistreaming services? If you are going to Live stream, you need to know the best tools to get your video seen by the widest audiences. Here are some streaming services that are most commonly used.
Live Leap https://liveleap.com/
Automatically share your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Live streams to multiple Facebook Pages and Groups. Additionally, notify everyone in your social eco-system that you’ve gone live via text, email and your website. Starts at $16/month – $49/month.
Restream is a multistreaming platform that allows you to broadcast to 30+ platforms at once. Restream offers 24/7 Live Support. Unlimited Streaming. Unlimited Storage. Starts at $16 a month, but they also have a transcoding fee of $2/hour.
Castr.io allows streamers and gamers to live stream to 5 to 30 platforms simultaneously. Instead of Twitch gamers being confined to Twitch, or YouTube streamers sticking to YouTube, use Castr to reach your audience on multiple platforms in a single click. Castr raises the number of platforms and file size (500MB to 4GB) based on your monthly fee which starts at $9.99 – $39.99 for streaming superpowers!
Switchboard Cloud https://switchboard.live/
With Switchboard Cloud, effortlessly stream your live video across multiple platforms
Go live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Periscope, custom RTMP destinations, and more. Compatible with today’s most popular platforms & encoders. It’s multi-publishing made easy. Accounts starts at $35/month for 25 hours of streaming – $99/month for 50 hours of streaming.
Vimeo Livestream https://livestream.com/
Vimeo and Livestream have joined forces. Now, you can stream across the web and to Facebook Live, YouTube, Periscope, and more with Livestream’s Simulcast dashboard. They really seem to target enterprise customers, but some small organizations can use the service for $75/month.
Now you know about the power of live video. You know how to use live stream video. We’ve discussed different strategies to grow your customers through live streaming. I’ve broken down what metrics to review as well as what tools you need to be successful. What are you waiting for? Get busy reaching your audience on live video today.
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