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What’s the Deal with Live Streaming? A B2B Marketer’s Guide

Social media has changed the way we both produce and consume content. When I speak to marketers about this, one of the things I always get asked is:

“Do you sense any trends or new platforms that we should be aware of?”

 

There is a clear trend that almost all the platforms are moving towards, and that’s video (both live and recorded). If you look at the direction that major platforms like Facebook and Twitter have headed in, it’s really all about video. Early on, platforms saw the traffic that videos were driving, which in turn adds to more time spent on the platform, and more advertising dollars for them.

While the major platforms have led the charge towards “Video City,” there have been many others specializing in live video that have really pushed consumers towards a more current, instant content creation culture. Remember when we would wait for the 6 p.m. news to hear what’s going on after the noon newscast? Well, as we all know, news happens moment by moment. We’re in a society where we want what we want, when we want it, and we want it NOW! This is why live streaming content creation platforms have become so successful. The major players are: Periscope, Facebook Live, Livestream, UStream, and YouNow. But with all of these choices, which are right for your business, and how will you use them? Let’s take a look.

Which live streaming tools are right for your business?

As a part of a solid social and content strategy, it’s important that you know where your audience is hanging out. What channels are they already using? That’s one quick and easy way to find out that Facebook Live or Periscope (which is owned by Twitter) might be your best option. Instead of trying to send your audience to another social platform, meet them where they already are.

Streaming live on Facebook is as simple as clicking on the Live button in the status posting area of the app, and streaming on Periscope happens easily and natively through the app. Livestream and UStream are widely used for large events and concerts; Between the two of them, they have established themselves as solid leaders in that space with easy to use interfaces, great recording and publishing options, and very few issues and errors. YouNow is a newer platform, and looks like what would happen if YouTube and Periscope had a baby; Videos and streams are categorized granularly and they make interactions with followers easy.

But, what should I be streaming?

There are a lot of ways B2B marketers can try out streaming. Here are a few ways you could use live streaming to help tell your brand’s story:

  • Put your teaching hat on. Live expert Q&As, webinars, and how-to videos perform well, because people want to learn something. Leverage the subject matter experts you have internally, or interview industry pros and customers.
  • Tell the story of your company. Highlight your employees, and what they are passionate about (especially if it’s customer success!). Give customers a behind the scenes look at your company’s culture.
  • Take your audience with you on an adventure. Are you headed to an awesome conference or event? Live stream some highlights, and let people follow along in the virtual world.
  • Use live streaming to show off new products and get instant feedback, which can be tremendously useful. Think connected focus groups.

As you can see, there are many ways you can dip your toe in live video streaming to support your marketing efforts. It can certainly be an exciting element of a diverse content strategy. Which live streaming platforms are you using today — or what are you itching to try?