Social media marketing has evolved tremendously over the years, and what worked a year ago may not be as effective in today’s time.
Today, brands and marketers increasingly focus on engagement — between themselves and their target audience. Live videos are becoming increasingly popular among marketers because they give them an opportunity to connect with their customers and target audience in real time.
The emergence of live videos has sparked a competition among two of the biggest social networking sites on the internet, namely YouTube and Facebook. Soon after YouTube announced that it will be hosting live videos on its platform, Facebook also launched their live stream and video sharing hub to a limited number of users.
Learning as much about live video as possible will help you strengthen your campaigns, now and in the future — not just for YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter, but every other platform to come.
What Is YouTube Live?
YouTube has been offering live-streaming since 2011 — even before the trend caught on.
Back in November of 2011, YouTube live streamed the YouTube Music Awards from New York City. The YouTube Music Awards was the first massive live streamed event that brought together a ton of celebrities and internet personalities in one room.
Image credit: The Verge
In the past couple of years, YouTube has made it possible for brand channel owners and content creators to stream live videos straight from their mobile phones via the app.
What used to be an exclusive privilege to a notable few is now available to anyone with a YouTube channel. Through live streaming, smaller brands can engage and connect with more viewers in real time.
Anyone with a YouTube channel can stream live — as long as they don’t have restrictions on their account for the past 90 days.
A channel may incur restrictions on its account if it commits copyright or community guideline violations. Any “strikes” or violations on an account may prevent channel owners from streaming for up to three months.
After a live stream, the videos are archived to the channel so people can watch them at a later date.
Why Should I Go Live?
Live streams are the best way to nurture engagement among viewers on YouTube. When you stream, you’re able to connect with your viewers and potential customers in real time.
Live streams are also the perfect opportunity to amplify your brand announcements. If you can’t get people to your launch physically, the next best thing to do is stream it so you can bring people there digitally.
Apple is a brand known for streaming all of their launches. Attendance at their product launches is usually exclusive to the press but they’re able to connect with users through their live streams.
You can also use live video sessions as a way to answer questions from your customers.
America’s Test Kitchen regularly hosts short live Q&A sessions where they answer questions from their most loyal fans. They also keep their Q&As fairly short so they can direct their viewers to their community where they can continue the discussion.
There are so many things you can do with a live stream, you just have to be creative and resourceful. You can also repurpose live videos and share them with your customers at a later date to serve as a resource on the specific topic you tackled.
If you plan on repurposing your live videos, you should consider purchasing a few thousand YouTube Views from a reputable provider. Bought views can help you generate buzz around your live streams — which can attract more viewers and subscribers.
Who’s Going Live?
Big brands like Sephora and Time Magazine use live videos as a way to connect and engage with their fans on a more immersive level.
Sephora usually hosts live streams to spread the word about their latest releases. They take things up a notch by conducting product demos both for those in attendance of the event and everyone watching their live stream.
Time Magazine does live videos to cover historical or momentous events — like the recent solar eclipse.
Asus is a well-known tech brand that has followed Apple’s footsteps. They, too, stream their latest releases online to reach out to more users.
If brands like Asus, Sephora, and Time Magazine are taking full advantage of live streams – why aren’t you?
Tips On Going Live
Going live takes about the same amount of work as recording a video, perhaps even less. When organizing your live stream, make sure to put in sufficient preparation. Securing the tools, a good connection, and coming up with a clear idea of how the video will progress ensures a smooth flowing live stream.
Before you go live, sit down and think about the structure of your video. The more prepared you are, the fewer problems you’ll encounter during your live stream.
Check Your Devices & Connection
Nobody wants to watch a glitchy live stream. Days before your scheduled live stream, test out the camera and internet connection to ensure they are both up to speed.
While you can always stream using your smartphone, it wouldn’t hurt if you amp up the production value by investing in professional cameras, the latest of which have WiFi connectivity.
You should also have a backup internet connection ready in case something happens with your primary one during the stream.
Increase Your Chances Of Discoverability
It’s crucial that you spread the word about your live stream. Use all your social media platforms to get more people to tune in during the scheduled time. Be more aggressive with your promotion as the day draws closer so people take notice.
Nurture And Monitor Engagement
During a live stream, you can reach out and interact with your viewers – in real time. Take full advantage of audience engagement during a live stream and ask questions to get everyone talking.
Go Live On YouTube Today
Live streams are the future of video marketing, and you can’t afford to miss out on the benefits they can offer your business.
You should consider doing live streams to add value to the services you offer and to nurture a culture of engagement between you and your customers. You can also host live streams if you want to answer some of the questions customers may have regarding your products or services.
Plan your content strategy well so you can repurpose your live streams as resource material for all your viewers, current and future.
You should also consider purchasing a few thousand YouTube Views for your archived livestreams so you can draw more attention to them. When people see how many Views your videos have they’ll be eager to watch too. You can also use this tactic for videos as you live stream, but you’ll need to choose a provider who can deliver Views very quickly.
Live streaming is the way of the future – so prepare to go live in 3…2…