Should your business be live streaming? Let’s take a closer look at the emerging practice and consider how and when it could impact your content marketing plan.
Live streaming apps
Periscope and Meerkat are live streaming apps that allow people, or brands, to share videos in real time, and audiences to more easily find content they might be interested in. Because the videos aren’t saved on your mobile phone (they stream live over the internet), you don’t need to worry about memory limitations. Live streaming has been embraced by journalists, musicians, athletes—even business owners looking to provide their audience with behind-the-scenes footage.
Both apps allow you to comment, like and share videos, but there are some distinctions. In May, Meerkat revealed a Facebook integration that allows users to publish streams directly on Facebook. Periscope, now owned by Twitter, allows you to re-watch videos for 24 hours after the initial broadcast—a feature not offered by Meerkat. Periscope also provides broadcasters with analytics on how the video performed (viewers, average duration, etc.).
Live streaming for content marketers
Innovative brands like Red Bull and Spotify have already embraced live streaming. But as always, quality and context matter. You still have to find that “sweet spot” – videos that are entertaining or interesting but also tie back to your marketing objectives.
The probably-over-referred-to Oreo Tweet during the Super Bowl XLVII blackout is credited with bringing “real-time marketing” into the marketing limelight. Because live streams are essentially “one-time only,” they create true urgency for viewers—something that’s become hard to create in today’s media environment. They also allow you to engage with your audience in real time—another check in a popular marketing box. On the other hand, the content you’re sharing is not saved. Like a snap on Snapchat, it disappears after the broadcast. Keep this in mind if you’re filming something you may want to use again.
Also of note: You (or someone from your team) will be filming the content manually. Assuming you’re not a professional videographer, your content will have an amateur quality—shakes and audio hiccups, for example.
Let’s assume you’re okay with that, and that you have something useful, entertaining and relevant to share. Now you need an audience. Earning views is easier if you’ve already cultivated robust social networks, since you can promote your content on existing platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to give your audience advance notice about your broadcast so they’ll know when and where to tune in.
You’ll most likely have an easier time growing your Meerkat or Periscope network if you start early—the early adoption head start, if you will. But before you dive in, confirm that your content is of interest to your audience, understand your marketing objectives and consider how live streaming fits in with your overall marketing plan. Innate use cases include the opportunity to better educate your audience about your brand, cultivate relationships and encourage engagement and interaction. Sharing real-time video has never been easier—but as always, you still need a strategy.
Will you use live streaming as part of your content marketing plan? Let us know @mediaplanetUSA