Live video works because it’s interactive, unedited, and immediate. It feels like you’re right there in the moment with the person or brand who is broadcasting—and those attributes are exactly what makes them such a powerful marketing tool.
A high-quality stream allows you to connect with your audience in a natural and organic way. For example, a survey discovered that live-streaming World Cup matches have helped people remember the brands they saw during the game.
Live streaming can give your audience interesting behind-the-scenes looks at your business, provide desirable information through hosted interviews with industry experts, or even enhance your outreach efforts through contests or giveaways.
But only if you know what you are doing—and do it right.
While you don’t need top-of-the-industry gear or an ace video production team to do an effective live stream, you do need to understand where the format’s strengths lie and cover some basic aspects to make one that will captivate your audience.
And that’s exactly what you’ll be learning about today 😉
1. Find the most effective live streaming platform for your company
Nowadays, there are many popular live-streaming platforms to choose from, and it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, and choosing the one that will work best for your video marketing strategy will end up playing a huge role in the type of results you get.
Start by thinking about your digital marketing goals and your target audience, and remember that while live streaming doesn’t limit you to a single platform, audiences will respond differently to different approaches, and the type of person you want to reach will most likely have a preference to where they go consume this type of content.
TikTok, YouTube, Facebook Live, and Instagram are the major social media platforms offering live streaming capabilities. However, your live stream will be most successful if you already have an audience on the platform that you justify your efforts in the first place.
Other great options for live streaming you’ll want to consider are Twitch and LinkedIn Live. These platforms might not have the same widespread name recognition as the others, but they offer differentiating factors that make them appealing to specific audiences and marketing strategies.
For instance, LinkedIn Live is great for business-to-business (B2B) companies and conducting thought leader interviews, as its users are already primed for that type of content. Twitch, on the other hand, is perfect for marketing gaming and digital entertainment products and services.
2. Determine the live streaming format that would benefit your brand the most
Before anything else, you need to decide what kind of live stream you want to produce and in which format. Here are a few popular ones you’ll probably want to start with.
Q&As and AMA (ask me anything) videos
Q&A sessions are a great way to engage with your audience and build more personal brand-customer relationships. You can use a live stream to answer questions in real-time or use them to showcase your products and services in a more casual environment. AMAs, in particular, are great for showing your audience how your product works, what it does, and communicating why they need it in a real-time, interactive setup, as long as you frame the stream the right way.
These types of streams give you an excellent way to get potential customers engaged and interested in what you have to offer, but remember, you can also use them to announce special deals, promote sales, offer coupons or giveaways, and get customer feedback in between audience interaction windows.
Fireside chats or interviews
These are great for featuring guest speakers, company leaders, or even customers while discussing a topic your audience would find relevant and interesting.
These types of streams can also give you ample opportunities to showcase new product videos, discuss trends in your industry, or just tell your brand’s story. In addition, these also give you a great platform to show the human side of your company and bring your audience close to the people that makes the brand come alive. You can use interviews to introduce your team, share customer success stories, or even host a virtual happy hour.
Exclusive behind-the-scenes looks
If you want to create a sense of exclusivity and VIP treatment, give your audience an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at your company. For example, you can show them your office space, introduce them to team members at work, or give them a sneak peek at upcoming products from the factory floor.
The behind-the-scenes can help you humanize your business by showing people in a setup that customers rarely get to see, which is much more relatable for audiences than businesses or brands. The format is also very engaging because it plays to people’s curiosity and encourages them to stick around to see what happens next.
As long as you deliver an air of exclusivity that provides viewers with a rewarding experience, especially for those who are loyal and invested in the brand, you’ll have an irresistible type of live stream that connects viewers with your businesses on a deeper level, nurturing trust and brand recall.
3. Collaborate with other businesses or influencers
You can collaborate with other businesses in your industry or niche through live streams, which gives you a great way to cross-promote and reach each other’s audiences. By the same token, you can also partner with social media influencers to promote your products or services in their own live streams.
This approach to live-streaming allows you to do things like teach a class, share best practices, or give tips and tricks while benefitting from the additional clout your partners bring to the table. And that makes them a fantastic way to engage with customers and increase brand awareness.
Collaboration streams are also a great platform to build trust with potential customers and are a powerful tool to improve customer satisfaction. Allowing you to communicate to existing and potential customers that your company is credible and established enough in its niche to warrant partnerships with peers.
A few popular collaboration live stream implementations include:
- Cross-promotions: You can team up with another business in your industry and promote each other’s products or services. For example, if you sell skincare products, you could team up with a makeup artist and do a live tutorial on how to use your products.
- Social media takeovers: An influencer can take over your social media account and live stream using your products or services. For instance, makeup artist Desi Perkins once had Kim Kardashian on her YouTube channel for a makeup tutorial.
- Joint webinars: You can collaborate with another business or influencer and host a joint webinar. This is a great way to reach each other’s audiences and provide value.
4. Use live streams to host digital events
Digital or virtual events, as the name suggests, are events that take place online, giving you a great way to engage with your audience in an “event” type of scenario without the hassle of an in-person gathering. Popular implementations of this type of live stream would be hosting digital conferences, product reveals, or even award ceremonies.
You can also use live streams for exclusive, invite-only webinars, perform product demos, or have virtual panel discussions where you can have experts from your field talk about timely topics and industry trends.
These events can be hosted with live videos, recorded cell phone calls, or even social media posts, and take place either in real-time through dedicated virtual event platforms or social media apps.
For example, Xiaomi does this by hosting launch events for its new products, which creates a sense of timed exclusivity and excitement. The company also does regular meetups and fan events to stay close to its community.
A great perk of live video events is that they are usually recorded and made available for on-demand viewing after the event has ended. This allows those who couldn’t attend the live session to view it at a later date and gives you multiple opportunities to benefit from the content you created.
Businesses have increasingly turned to virtual events in recent years due to the money saved on infrastructure and logistics. If you don’t have to spend time or money on a physical location, prep, and clean up, it becomes much more reasonable to open your event up to people who might be joining from all over.
5. Recycle live streams by turning them into videos, blog posts, and other types of content
Once the live stream is over, that doesn’t mean the content has to die. Instead, you can recycle the live stream and turn it into other types of content, such as blog posts, YouTube videos, or even podcasts. This will help you get more mileage from your live streams and reach a wider audience.
Your live stream topics are immensely valuable and deserve a large audience. Even though live streaming is macro trending and continuing to grow, some people prefer shorter videos or blog posts.
For example, if you host a webinar, you can turn it into a YouTube video or a blog post. You can also create an audio version of the webinar and turn it into a podcast. Whether you’re editing the videos in-house or seeking professional help from a video editing service to clip down your favorite parts, repurposing your live stream videos will help you boost your brand. This way, people who missed the live stream can still consume the content in another format.
Live streaming is getting more popular by the day, and savvy marketers are taking notice. Integrating the right social live streams into your marketing strategy can help generate leads and more engagement from your customers. However, before you start live streaming, it’s essential to have a plan and know what you want to achieve.