Wondering how to incorporate live streaming into brand strategy? Live streaming has become so common on social media sites that it is hard to remember when it wasn’t a part of the social network experience. However, it is actually a relatively new development. The first use of live streams was with Periscope, an app specifically designed for going live with your content that was launched in 2015.
Since then, most social media giants have incorporated live streaming. In fact, Twitter acquired Periscope and integrated its features into the main app. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube also all offer live streaming.
And the interest from audiences in live streams is steadily increasing. Users enjoy feeling like they are getting in on an experience before it is gone and the ability to interact with the publisher and other users in real time.
So, how can you make live streaming part of your brand strategy?
When you go live, users will generally be informed that the live event is occurring through a notification. However, this notification is not enough. You should promote your live stream days in advance to drum up interest. Notifications tend to be ignored unless the user has reason to be interested in them; your promotion gives them that reason.
Social media users are generally not interested in tuning in just to hear you talk. They want something in return. In theory, this could be exciting information about a new product or experience, but in reality, this is often not enough to motivate users to watch your stream. Things like prizes and giveaways or a special discount code, however, work.
With live streams, you can easily just broadcast your content without paying attention to what your audience is saying during the live comments. In some cases, this is advisable. However, with social media marketing, engagement is key. This means you should be reading and responding to comments as you go. If you find it too difficult to speak and read the comments, have an assistant pick specific comments to respond to, taking some of the effort away from you.
Part of what makes live streaming so appealing to audiences is that it feels authentic. If you overscript your broadcast, you lose that appeal. However, this does not mean you should go into your live event without a plan. Use a bullet-point list to get you through. Also, try to front-load that list so viewers have time to join you before you get to the meat of the stream.
Finally, just because it is a different method does not mean that none of the usual best practices apply. Just as you would with other promotional content, you should close your live streams with a call to action, urging the viewers to take action.
Do you have any advice for brands considering using live streams? Share it with us in the comments below.