Concert ticket sales hit an all time high in 2018 reaching over $2.2 billion in global revenue. The projected worth of the augmented and virtual reality industry in the next five years is over $60 billion. Needless to say, people love to be entertained by live, interactive experiences. And when it comes to B2B communication, this principle is no different.
In the growing age of media, businesses big and small are always looking for unique ways to make their customer’s experience stand out. And while big budget commercials and interactive graphics are great, they’re not for everyone. That’s where live streaming comes in.
Live streaming is the act of recording video directly online so that the audience can watch the content in real time, as it’s happening. Think of, for instance, most of the sports you see on TV. But in recent years, social apps such as Facebook and Periscope have made it easier than ever to stream video content online, opening a totally new avenue for B2B businesses to explore.
So why would live streaming a video be better than a fully produced video?
In a culture oversaturated with media content, most people find the authenticity of live video more worthy of their time. In fact, viewers on average spend up to 8X longer watching live content than they will with an on-demand video-- that’s 42 minutes for a live video content vs. 90 seconds for on-demand one! The insanity!
But not all content is appropriate for live streaming. Here are our best suggestions for what types of videos will be most effective as live streams in the B2B space.
Product and Software Release
Have a new product coming out? Is there a software update you want to make sure your customers know about? Live streaming launches like this are a great way to introduce and excite your client base about the new features a product can give them. Not only can you show them the product with the camera, but you can also take questions through Facebook comments and immediately address their concerns in the video.
Behind the Scenes at Industry Events
Headed to a cool event or have the chance to interview an industry thought-leader? Live streaming events like this create a base of trust between you and your client base. Customers love to see that you are active in industry events and bringing them along for the ride-- well, it can’t get much better than that. Live streaming events can also be a great way to find some new leads, because it’s likely businesses that were unable to attend will be searching for event content online. All you have to do is start streaming!
Similar to product releases, live streaming any kind of teaching video can be incredibly valuable to your audience. Webinars, how-to’s, Q&A’s, trainings… all of these are great opportunities to establish yourself as a thoughtful expert on a subject, particularly when you answer client questions as you stream.
Now that you have some idea of when to use live streaming, let’s talk about tips for getting it right.
Because live streaming happens in real time, being prepared for your stream is very important. Prepare yourself by practicing what it is you want to say and saying it while looking into a camera. If you’re interviewing someone, make sure to have questions ready.
Next, you need to prepare your audience. Let them know at least a day or two in advance that you will be going live to talk about your new product or event so they can block off the time to “be” there. After all, Facebook Live content typically receives 10X as many comments as normal videos, and you don’t want to miss out on all that interaction because you forgot to let you clients know you would be streaming!
Finally, prepare your equipment. If you’re all pumped up and your audience is ready to tune in, the last thing you would want is for your camera to stop or your connection to break. Before you go live, give yourself some time to test all your equipment. It’s always better to swap in your co-worker’s new iPhone than to have your laptop camera cut out 20 seconds in.
Keep It Interesting
We’ve already established that there is a universal wow-ing that happens to an audience with live content. But that interest can dwindle very quickly if you aren’t intentional about keeping your audience’s attention.
Our first tip? Pick someone to be on camera who is comfortable and engaging. Your audience knows that live content will be on the longer side to begin with, but they’ll be more forgiving of the length if the person delivering the content is upbeat and personable.
Second, set yourself up at a cool background or put words on the screen to let people know it’s a live video. Sure, all of your interested customers are already planning to watch your video, but what about those possible leads that are scrolling through their feed and just happen to see your stream? Any appropriate visuals that you can fit into your frame can be key for connecting with a few more leads.
Lastly, interact the audience! Live streaming is such an incredible opportunity for building a rapport with your customers, particularly when it comes to answering their questions. While streaming, encourage your viewers to put their questions in the comments and keep an eye on them as they pop up so you can delight your customers and keep them coming back for more content.
Sure, the real-time aspect of a live video is the selling point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t repurpose the video in other places. Live stream videos can be a great resource for your website, perhaps in a blog or as a part of your knowledge base. Furthermore, use old stream videos on social or in an email to promote your upcoming live streams. If a customer is unfamiliar about what a live stream is, they can see it in action and know to prepare questions for when you are online next.
In this new age of interactive media, live streaming is a great, affordable way to create engaging video content that establishes you as a thought leader to your customers. If you’re interested in getting started, but have a few more questions, contact ManoByte today for some more tips and tricks on how to use live streaming to grow your business!