Finding new tactics to grow your business is a daunting task, especially when your competitors do the exact same things. In this scenario, you need to make yourself different. The old marketing strategies won’t help you. The best way to attract your audience is to use new platforms where they engage often. That’s where live streaming comes into the picture. It’s no secret that videos generate lots of traffic, views, and engagement. Though slowly, but surely a live video is getting established as the future of online video marketing,
Live Streaming on Social Media
It all began in 2011 with You Now, a live streaming app started streaming for the first time. Later in 2014, we saw the launch of Snapchat. A year later, Twitter integrated Periscope, a live streaming app into their social platform. Later in 2016, Facebook launched Facebook live and many social media giants including YouTube and Instagram followed it.
Video Grabs More Attention
80% of online users prefer watching a video than reading the content. The number of people staying tuned to live streaming content is increasing too. Popular video content marketers state that they drive 41% traffic higher than others. It reaches 100% more audience than a photo post. All these shows and constant growth in the popularity of live streaming among internet users. Considering the previous year, 2019 will be an even bigger year considering both audience and brands have settled into the format now.
Why Social Media
The majority of brands choose social media as the Live Streaming Platform to host videos for several reasons, as mentioned below.
Social Media Platforms are Free
You need not invest any money for live streaming on any of the social media platforms. Having a smartphone with a good camera, and an internet connection, the mobile app is just enough to start with live streaming. However, if you want a professional grade streaming quality, you can go for professional live streaming applications like Ustream.
While live streaming itself is a great engagement booster, social media platforms combine an array of interactive features like live commenting, sharing, stickers and donations. Add it to your profile and users can take part in discussions even after the event is finished. If you are representing a brand, you can also conduct live streams in the form of a chat session or Q & A session to interact with your audience.
Live Video Content Shows to Dominate Social Media Feed
Facebook live and Instagram live has received a high uptake. Therefore in social media feeds, in the coming years, we expect to see more video content. Social media uses text and images to express opinions and feelings. With the introduction of live video content on social media, both people and brands prefer video content to express their feelings. Therefore, it is one of the biggest social media trends that are here to stay for long.
With the introduction of a live broadcast on Facebook and Instagram, this trend is gaining traction across all Live Streaming Platforms. Brands have also been using live video content in their marketing campaigns.
Masters of Storytelling Will Dominate Live Streaming
We have been seeing many brands utilizing live streaming to market their products and services. However, the more engaging content is, the chances are high for it to create an impact. We will soon see social media dominated by storytellers.
Wondering how to start a live streaming business? The secret to reaping success with live streaming is sharing stories in a unique way that your users feel the appeal. While individuals take advantage of features like Instagram or Facebook live to share personal stories, the brand will move towards investing in advanced technology like Facebook watch to broadcast their stories through shows.
The Challenges and Drawbacks of Live Video
The most prominent challenge that businesses face with live video content is that they are live. The live content demands authenticity in a way that is not easy for businesses to deal with.
Consider this example- A small business goes live to show the new collections in their store. In the background, you hear noises and disturbances that make it difficult to what is being spoken. Along with such things, live streaming also poses the challenges of unexpected interruptions. Maybe it can be any technical difficulty or interruptions like the phone starts ringing or something else. Or simply, an unexpected disruption comes in the form of you slip up and say something incorrect or even stumble.
With live video, things always happen in live and you can’t go back to re-record the video to make it perfect. This can bring in pressure, but if you follow best practices, you can take care of this.
Live Video Streaming Best Practices
All the live video content best practices come down to preparation. Though it’s live and at the moment, you have to be prepared for it as it would be any client interaction. You have to represent your business well and make a good impression.
Some of the best practices include:
Have an idea of what you want to present in the live streaming ahead of time. Go through the content until you are comfortable with it. This makes you comfortable with what you have to present and the chances are less to go blank when you go live.
Have Notecards Handy
Though you have practiced the content and got familiar with it, it is better to keep notecards handy. Have your content written in bullet points so that you can quickly go through what you want to talk in the live video.
Make Sure the Location is Brightly Lit
Choose a location that is quiet and doesn’t have background noises. Similarly, the location must be well lit and free of any possible interruptions.
Announce That You are Going Live Ahead of Time
If you want to improve the views and engagements, let your users know when you are going live before you actually do. For example, Facebook makes it easy with their scheduling features, but even on other social media platforms, you can post a day or so in above. There are facilities to remind users an hour before. Ensure that you cross-promote on other social media platforms, too.
Choose Strong Headline and Descriptions
This helps you stand out and get more viewers. It also keeps users to have an idea about what you will present in your video. As you will have viewers entering and exiting throughout the video, it is recommended to have a clear headline and description so that people understand the essence of your video. The only exception is Instagram, which doesn’t have the option to create descriptions.
Share the Video Later
It is a great idea to save and share your video alter with your users. This maximizes the reach of the video and allows users who couldn’t actually watch you live to listen to your content. You can share the video on other platforms if it meets the time requirements.
How Successful Brands Get Results with Live Streaming in Social Media?
Have a Plan
Live streaming is not about the produced video. It is not a place for polished talks. Start it casually, ask questions to your followers, and have them talk to you. People want to see who you are in real. Live streaming is a real kind of two-way exchange. There is always a market for polished and produced video, but a Live Streaming Platform is not meant for that.
Viewers will have questions and they won’t be ready to wait till you finish. Have a clear strategy on how you will pull it off. When your plan isn’t working, adopt spontaneity by ditching the script. Plan, change, adjust, let go and have fun interacting with your audience.
Let Your Audience Know You Value Them
Once you start the live streaming, welcome your audience and thank them. Tell them how much you care and value them. Use these conversations to make your content strong. Brands who can establish a strong connection with the audience are likely to succeed with their live streaming efforts. This connection makes your viewers believe you. Another great thing with engaging your audience is discovering their needs and using it to sharpen your marketing strategy.
Be Ready to Trust People and Take Risks
Investing in ideas and people are much more important than technology. Invest in and empower your best storytellers. Popular brands conduct short Q&A sessions before a show or match and use live streaming to weigh in behind the scenes or the actual show. The key to finding success with live streaming is to collaborate with others and explore new things. You need not do it alone, you can invite others to extend the reach of your brand to their networks. This requires trusting people.
Demonstrate Business Value for Your Audience
Use the live streaming to initiate conversations, offer your customers significant information, highlight employees and fans. Sharing the behind-the-scenes clips with your audience is yet another way to thank them and help share your brand story. When done right, this gives returns in terms of downloads, publicity, customer engagement, lead generation, and influencer marketing.
The world of live streaming and social media is constantly undergoing changes and deriving new ways to reach customers. Thanks to technological advancements and improvements in networks and connectivity, we can now watch our favorite personalities in real time. Live streaming can cover a large number of topics from video games to sports. Social networking applications and live streaming platforms have introduced new features, giving users a genuine way to connect with brands and celebrities.
How did Netflix get there? The streaming world before they enter the market was largely uncharted. Purchasing streaming rights from various production companies is not as easy as it sounds. It can get pricey leaving original programming as the most affordable alternative to take. However, not all streaming services are created the same. Netflix Business Model has somehow managed to stand head and shoulders for a variety of reasons.
This is one common phrase we heard often- “Netflix and chill” But why Netflix? Why not Amazon Prime or Hulu? There are plenty of websites and applications that allow viewers to watch movies and TV shows. Interestingly, many services even have a broader range of selection than Netflix.
Over the past years, Netflix has grown exponentially in popularity and figures, leaving other streaming business and even regular TV network in the dust. Wondering How to start a streaming service like Netflix?
Before that, let’s look at what makes Netflix a winning element.
The way Netflix creates content for a show is with full of narrative twists, ten episodes long story arcs, and all of these are aligned with the company’s main metric- user subscription. The ways the content is created at is aligning with maximizing advertisement support during the time a show is aired. However, Netflix ensures that the best content is delivered to its viewers, and without Ad interruptions.
Netflix always follows a different method of evaluating success than other traditional networks. Netflix measures its success with valued hours, which is a variation of viewed hours. It accounts for a percentage of overall time spent watching shows on Netflix. For example, if one particular show is just the one a set of subscribers watch, and they pay off every month for the same, Netflix will consider that particular show valuable to them. Enjoyment is also another metric measured by Netflix.
It isn’t subject to ratings
While TV networks and movie studios rely greatly on ratings so as to hawk space to advertisers, Netflix purely runs on subscriptions. Which means the most significant economic metric for the network is, how much a movie or TV series contributes to its ability to get new sign-ups and retain the existing customers’.
However, the problem is that it’s a hard thing to measure. Internally, Netflix knows exactly how many people are streaming what movies and shows, and it utilizes the data to make the original programming better. Earlier, the services used to measure the quality of content with a 5-star rating, but later switched to thumbs up and thumbs down during the end.
5 Things You Should Know Before You Start a Streaming Website
Beyond any doubt, modern people entertain themselves with TV programs, movies, and series. All thanks to the internet, you will always have something worth your attention. Whatever your business objective areas, use case, and models are, it is your prerogative. How you are going to create an audience base, what kind of video content you are going to stream or what methods you are going to adapt to monetize the site.
However, as a start-up, what is the minimum feature set you need to build a video streaming service like Netflix?
1. Get a license for the content
When you are launching a business, of course, you have to follow guidelines and abide by the law. You need to obtain licenses for all types of content you plan to stream. There are 2 ways to get a license.
You can rent the movie directly from the distributor authorized to grant a license.
Contact the copyright holder directly.
Licensing may be restricted to specific regions and you have to find an appropriate license for content distribution in your region.
2. Focus on User-facing features
You are building a platform to unite video content creators and viewers. Your role is to ensure website administration and 24/7 support. The ultimate goal is to delight your consumers and earn happy users on the go. To begin with, your streaming website must have universal functionality.
The home page of your website is the place to inform your users what they are signing up for and the benefits they will find. Mesmerize them by the looks and the promises of entertainment you intend to offer. The home section must highlight TV shows, movies, and other categories of content customized according to the preference of each user.
Registration and login are indispensable interactive elements of any video-on-demand service. Provide various ways for your users to sign up and log in to your website.
Login by email or mobile number
You must also ensure there is a password recovery option.
After the home page, the significant section is user profile. It is nothing but a virtual; user profile to navigate through the entire journey. Not to mention, it’s an excellent place to retrieve insights if you think analytics wise.
Allow users to modify and control their level of privacy. Let them to toggle between privacy options and social platforms to broadcast to.
3. Choose a technology stack
Choosing a technology stack for your video streaming business can be quite challenging. The natural thing is to repeat the success of industry leaders like Netflix by following Netflix Business Model. But there is a catch.
– They are already much ahead of you, so can you catch up with them by using the same tools?
-They started it a while ago. Technology constantly evolves, there are much more efficient, smarter and cost-effective solutions in the market to start with.
-The circumstances are unique and so should be your business model.
Before you start developing a website or an app, it is important to determine which all the primary functions are. Start with MVP (Minimum viable product)) technique. This technique lets you outline a minimal feature set that is a must have to survive in the market. Next, you have to pick the complexity of the development from simple, mid-level and complex levels. Complex website and applications will have lots of functions and integrations to process heavy loads.
4. Video Streaming Protocols
If you are going to build a video streaming platform, you must look a bit deeper into the streaming technology. Most video content isn’t designed for streaming, a video streaming protocol is a standard delivery method to break the video into chunks, send to the viewer and reassemble it. This is different from compression technology. When you choose a protocol, look into factors like properties, quality, latency, etc.
Let have a look at the most popular protocols.
Real-time messaging protocol or RTMP is a widely used protocol for real-time streaming. It has the least latency among other properties and is robust and universally supported. RTMP is a great streaming and data sharing solution to use between clients with a flash player.
Moving Picture Experts Group Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP or MPEG-DASH a vendor-neutral standard that is compatible with almost all encoding formats. Due to its ability to adjust second-second, it can fix some long-standing technical issue with compression and delivery. It implements AI to choose segments and intervals in the multimedia content with the highest bitrate that can be downloaded for playback without buffering.
HTTP Live streaming or HLS protocol
HLS is the most robust and safest bet popular for delivering the best audience user experience. Originally created by Apple to drop flash from the iPhone, it is now supported on Android, smart TS, desktop, and iOS. HTML 5 video player also supports HLS natively, but not RTMP. It supports ABR streaming, H.265 codec that delivers the twice the video quality at the same file size.
Web real-time communication or WebRTC facilitates audio and video transmission between browsers in real time with no plugins or downloads. In fact, it is not a protocol but a protocol stack. It opens the door for live and end-end communications from any point- web pages, phones, automobiles or even appliances. Its simplicity and potential ubiquity make it ideal for video streaming, especially in the areas of peer-peer data exchange and teleconferencing.
This is yet another important aspect- To make money with live streaming platforms and VOD streaming platforms. When it comes to revenue generating models, there are a few popular revenue models markets leaders follow.
Users can subscribe to the service for a certain fee every month and access the service without Ads.
Netflix Business Model follows the same monetization approach.
Fermium- Free + premium
Some video streaming services use a combination of free and paid features. For instance, if you pay a certain fee, you can view the same content with fewer or no Ads, more storage and cross-platform support.
For example, YouTube. It offers both free streaming with Ads and premium streaming with no Ads and an exclusive catalog of content.
You can offer multimedia content to users for free, but with Ads playing in between. Ads can launch when your website is launched and can change as the number of advertisers and they pay increase. It is used by the platform like YouTube to monetize its business despite offering the content streaming for free to everyone.
Think of Scalability While developing Video streaming website
The smooth and continuous working of a video streaming platform greatly depends not just on the video streaming protocol but also on the architecture. The more audience you acquire; the more requests your server gets. Eventually, this can lead to glitches and even website crash. The most common and reliable way to solve the problem is to build a content delivery network (CDN). This involves creating multiple proxy servers with data centers in different locations with the same data.
With this, users from different countries will get quick access to data that was built on the other side of the world with minimum delay. A great content delivery network helps to distribute the load among different servers by reducing the likelihood of crashes.
You don’t need to build your own CDN and data centers. You can simply integrate the APIs from popular CDNs and Media servers. Even Netflix uses Amazon’s AWS to deliver high-quality content across the globe.
If you want to build a streaming business like Netflix or YouTube, don’t repeat the features provided by successful video services. Instead, gain inspiration from their functionalities and build an exclusive experience with improvement in content and video-on-demand service. Leverage the power of technology to showcase your creativity, add storytelling, etc. Create a digital space irresistible to creators and your potential users.