Live streaming: everyone is doing it, but is it right for your brand?
We’re knee deep in the new year already, and it’s clear that live streaming video is going to make all of the “hot marketing tactic” lists. Just because everyone seems to be jumping on board, doesn’t mean that it will be a seamless transition for all brands.
Before you review the pros and cons of live streaming, be sure that you’ve considered whether this is really the right technique for your business. Here are just a few of the questions you should ask yourself, and your executives, before decreeing that you want to go live:
- Is your audience interested in video?
- Do you have interesting content that works for video?
- How can you make streaming part of a campaign and not just a random, disjointed ploy?
If you have done your research and have decided to move forward with live streaming as a marketing tactic for your brand, then your next step is to work on a strategic plan. Here are some of the pros and cons that you should consider as you finalize your plan.
Pros: engagement, real-time, reach, sharable
If one of your marketing goals this year is to focus on engagement, live video streaming is going to be your best friend. Video has long been one of the most engaging forms of outreach, and it has now reached the masses. Audiences are more likely to stay engaged for longer periods of time with videos over blogs. Live video is also real-time, so you can drive urgency for events and promotions. Nothing is more motivating to a consumer than seeing something happen. Video takes out the guess work for people, validates excitement, and makes people want to connect.
Video also has a wide reach of viewers that have opted-in to your content. Since it is so engaging, people are more likely to share. While watching a live video stream, someone might post on their social networks to talk about what they are seeing. Every time someone shares your video, your reach expands and opens your business up to new audiences.
Cons: legalities, timing, technology, costs
While live video streaming might seem like the easiest thing to do, don’t be fooled. There is a lot of strategy of legal considerations that need to be considered before you hit the screens. While it can be fairly inexpensive to live stream, your best bet is to invest in some decent video equipment. If you’re going to live stream a Q&A with your CEO, you need to have good microphones and lighting. Don’t rely on smartphones to do all the work. You also need to make sure that there is some preparation – never go live with a “let’s wing it” attitude. It’s also important to test the timing of your live stream. You’ll need to invest some marketing budget into researching what works and what doesn’t.