Last month, I discussed some of the digital marketing trends that will dominate in 2017.
Facebook Live was already making quite a splash, and I’m convinced that live streaming will be the dominant marketing tool in 2017!
Live Streaming is exciting—for the business and clients/viewers. No other channel relies on action as much as video.
In addition, live streaming offers a chance to interact with remote viewers and an opportunity to boost branding. Most, but not all, live streams can be shared to other social media sites and via email. Finally, it’s a terrific way to repurpose content.
How and Where to Try Live Streaming—Free!
Computing devices from laptops to smartphones offer software and apps for producing and watching live streams.
Many live streams come from social media sites, where your followers can easily find you and watch your event as it’s happening or later after it’s been archived. There are also several web-based streaming services.
Facebook and YouTube both offer free services.
- Facebook Live is getting the most buzz right now because it’s free and it’s on the world’s most popular social media site. Use your Facebook business page to alert followers about your live stream event. They can view it from their feeds, and add comments and emojis to the stream. You can edit the stream as well before archiving it for later viewing.
- YouTube Live is also free and brings many of the same benefits: notifying your followers, editing, and archiving. You use the same YouTube tools as before, so there is nothing new to learn. YouTube automatically creates a shortened URL and shares directly to 13 popular social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, G+, etc.). By contrast, Facebook keeps its streams within its walls. You stream is automatically indexed into the Google search engine. One downside: viewers will have to watch a lead-in ad before your video appears.
Many of the more robust web-based services charge a fee, for which users get a platform with free apps for viewers, audio and visual tools, customer support and useful marketing support services. Most services offer free options with limited support and include advertisement lead-ins.
- Live Stream. This is the company that made live streaming a marketing phenomenon. Its prices start at $42/month for ad-free, archiving, and live chat services. Other packages include live streaming to Facebook, branding, training, and account management.
- UStream. UStream is known for being exceptionally easy to use—it’s won a ton of Readers Choice awards—but it is more expensive, with plans starting at $99/month. Its free trial includes ad-free streaming, integration with Facebook and Twitter, storage, and customization for different channels.
Self/Mobile vs Studio Produced Live Streams
Think about the production quality you want during a live stream.
A private studio with a controlled environment will have superior production than what you get with your mobile device or even desktop or laptop.
While audio and video smartphone tools and apps are getting better all the time, nothing will replace the professional look and sound a studio provides whether filming is done in-house or at an outside event.
Studios have sophisticated equipment that controls the shakiness seen in video produced with handheld devices and their platforms have fewer interruptions during streaming.