Live Streaming — A Game-Changer For Marketers

Live Streaming — A Game-Changer For Marketers

Live streaming is no longer a novelty for marketers. With real-time videos becoming prominent among social media users, we have seen a significant leap in the way businesses usually interact with their target audiences these days. Live video, as a part of the video marketing strategy, is becoming popular, and it is going to stay as a trend in 2020, as well. 

Did you know that online viewers spend 3X more time watching a Facebook live video as compared to other types of videos? The concept of live streaming is evolving and the number of brands using it to strengthen their relationships with the customers is increasing, too.

Live streaming is gradually taking a leading place as one of the most powerful marketing tools for individuals and businesses. With its rising significance, questions like how to build a live streaming website, how much it takes to stream live videos, etc. have become some prominent undertakings among the businesses these days. 

Live videos can either make or break your marketing campaigns; it’s a fact that all marketers agree with. However, you must be thoughtful to show your audience the real side of your business and offer something of great value. Live streaming can bring in more leads, conversions, and overall ROI. If you are looking for ins and outs of how to start a live streaming business, you should focus on the utility of live streaming first. 

Why Live Videos For Marketing?

Businesses can stream live videos over multiple social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, at the same time. They can also use this opportunity to sell their products by allowing viewers to purchase products directly with just a button click while watching the live videos. Let’s take a closer look at what else makes live streaming a popular marketing tool. 

No Investment Required

One of the biggest advantages of live video streaming is it’s available to anybody with a very little investment. Compared to earlier days, when live streaming setups were expensive affairs and were accessible only to the rich brands, we now have some much cheaper alternatives for everyone. The technologies we possess today to eliminate most of the expensive requirements and it has become easier for anyone to adopt live streaming in their marketing mix. 

Brands can now bypass traditional live streaming methods and reach directly to their customers with live streaming through popular social media channels. However, if the brands seek a better professional solution than social media streaming, they can also create a live streaming website of their own with some minimal investment. There are tons of affordable live streaming solutions available in the market. Having a dedicated live streaming website helps indeed, as it not only opens up the immense opportunities but also gives greater control over the brand message they want to deliver. 

The Emergence of New Business Models and Sales Channels

Brands now are shifting on influencer marketing to attract audiences and sell their products. Brands are approaching influencers with a large social following and paying them for doing sponsored streams. For instance, a fashion brand can recruit fashion bloggers for a campaign that includes live streaming of their fashion shows. Besides, these bloggers can put product links on the live screen and let viewers purchase the outfits shown in the show instantly. With the rising popularity and adoption of live streaming by the brands, new business models and many such effective sales channels are emerging.

Possibilities For Brands to Create New Expanded Experiences

Live streaming brings new business opportunities for brands. They can create a more integrated brand experience for customers where an immediate channel of communication will make sure the messages flow seamlessly in both directions. For instance, sports brands can sell their products to fans who are not physically present at a game but watching the same through live streaming. 

What Does It Mean For Marketers?

As it becomes competitive for brands to win customers on social media, combining both social media campaigns and paid promotions can offer an enhanced level of engagement with the audience. Live video streaming combines all of these elements into a new kind of medium with endless possibilities. By putting the capabilities of live TV into everyone’s hands, brands can deliver trust factors in a way we have not yet seen. However, we are still in the early days of adoption and are just starting to visualize the possibilities. 

Power of Live Streaming For Marketers and Brands

You already know that live streaming helps brands connect with their audience more realistically. It also allows the audience to participate in a brand’s storytelling. No matter if you are a video content creator or a business, you can leverage the benefits of live streaming and deliver your brand message to the prospects in innovative ways. Let’s see different ways you can use to leverage live streaming for your brand-

 

Engaging Content

Live videos are a great alternative to static visual content. Over 80% of online viewers would watch live videos than exploring other types of content. As video content is visually appealing and easier to grasp, viewers can connect with the real-time content better than any other form of content. Live video streaming offers a sense of real-time connection, which is even engaging than other content types. Allowing businesses to establish their web presence and narrate brand stories in real-time, live streaming can produce some faster results.   

Better Reach

There is no doubt live streaming helps to reach out to millions of global users by just a click of a button. Using live stream, brands can broadcast their events to a wider audience, and utilize this opportunity to increase brand awareness among the new audiences as well. The ability to get in touch with as many people as possible without any physical or geographical restrictions is a true power of marketing in hands.  

Enhance Customer Relationships

Live streaming ensures enhanced customer relations as they can interact with brands in real-time leading to trust and loyalty. Unlike pre-recorded videos, live videos connect with your audience in a more personal way, paving a seamless channel of communication to interact with the brands. Unrehearsed live video gives a more realistic touch to the brand messages and therefore, making it even trustworthy and relatable. It gives out a sense of value and transparency among the audience. The more customers brands, the more they are likely to undertake some business and recommended the brand to others as well. 

Reinforce Brand Value

Treat live streaming as any other marketing medium. What message do you want to convey to your audience? What should be the takeaway for our audience? Use your live streams to make a good impression, show the audience your personality, without just making a big sales pitch.

Different Ways To Use Live Streaming For Video Marketing

Whether you are using social media live streaming, or wondering how to set up live streaming videos from your official website, there are easier ways to undertake both kinds of plans. Irrespective of the platform you choose, you can conduct various kinds of live events to attract more and more audience to your live streams. Let’s look into different ways your business can utilize live streaming to engage with the target customers.

Host Webinars

Leveraging the power of live streaming for educational purposes can be a powerful idea. For example, a live demo on how to use a product or service can be a very honest live presentation of skills. A live demo is a practical and trustworthy solution to offer valuable information. Take this opportunity to offer knowledge while your brand builds authority in a particular field. You can even build a good part of your business around hosting webinars. 

Q & A Sessions

Host live Q&A sessions to let your viewers ask questions about your brand, product, and different services. Utilize the opportunity to have real-time conversations with your audience and dig deep into your opinions about the brand. Interaction with your audience shows that your brand supports transparency, which has a positive influence on embedding trust factors.

Try to address each question individually by mentioning usernames, as it helps to build a personal relationship with your audience. You must encourage your viewers to ask questions and put comments even if your live stream isn’t a Q&A session. These sessions hold the potential to build a strong community around your brand. 

For example, Humana broadcasted a live session with chef Nino answering to the questions of viewers while cooking.

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Behind the Scenes Look

Broadcasting behind the scenes is a great way to get a little personal with your audience. Live stream an event, a tour of your office, and show your audience how you make your products. Even the most routine business activity might be very interesting to people who see it for the first time. 

Live streaming a business victory or a celebration is another great way to share your company culture and let your viewers feel being a part of it. You can also utilize this opportunity to offer an exclusive sneak peek of your new product development status. The insights offered through such live sessions can build a special connection with your audience and can potentially attract many viewers.  

Collaborate With Influencers

Collaborating with popular influencers can have a significant impact on expanding your reach. Choose influencers who have a large following on their social media platforms and websites, and can provide some expertise in a particular area. You can invite influencers to be part of your live stream, be a guest on your live broadcasts, or you can also give them some creative freedom to create their own live sessions promoting your brand. 

Alternatively, you can also allow them to take your over live sessions for a period of time and allow them to post live content directly to your page. As opposed to a produced video, live streaming is an easy, honest, and unrehearsed way of reaching out to your viewers. 

When you collaborate with influencers, it must align well with your brand and be organic to your viewers. Make sure you do thorough research on your personality of choice, consider their primary demographic, hashtags they use, and overall reputation. The interest and values of the influencer’s audience must also align with your brand’s message and values, making it easy to gain their attention. This type of partnership with popular influencers improves discovery and expand the reach. 

Use Live Streams for Sales

Using live broadcasts for real-time sales can create a sense of urgency to buy especially if you are offering discounts exclusively for your online viewers. Set up a live broadcast displaying your special products or services, and offer a link to buy it instantly. Keep in mind that some live chats do not allow links, so you may need to get more creative. Alternatively, you can also create your own live streaming website using a decent live streaming software solution, and get better control on putting links and promoting your products even effortlessly. 

Run Contests

Running contests on your live streams has great potential to increase the reach of your live broadcast. To improve the reach, you can ask your viewers to share a link of your live stream as a part of the entry requirement to the contest. This way your viewers become an additional marketing channel. 

You can also use the contest entry requirements to expand your email list by capturing email addresses using a Signup form. Conducting contests via live streams can keep your audience engaged and you can use the platform to announce the results as well. Make sure you announce it early to increase the participation of your audience.

For example, Wingstop launched the world’s first live auction on periscope and announced it in advance in their Twitter account.

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Live Stream Big Events

Nowadays it is customary for a large enterprise to live-stream large events and product launches. A live launch can help your products and services stand out and create a lot of buzz and traffic around it. Consider going live with your product launch, important events, keynote presentations, demos, etc. Build up the hype around large events in advance so that your viewers have the chance to share the news till the big day. 

Conduct Live Interviews

Live interviews can act as an amazing traffic source as you are addressing not just your audience but another person’s audience as well. Setting up interviews with big names in the industry can give you instant recognition and authority in your niche. This further builds trust among your viewers. As mentioned earlier, you can also interview influencers who are from the same niche to capture a wider audience. For example, Benefit Cosmetics went live with makeup master José Rivera with 13k viewers and good engagement. 

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Live Stream Fun Activities

Your live broadcast need not be formal content always. To change it up a bit, try broadcasting fun activities like team actions, a humorous live, DIY crafts, or anything that your audience will find interesting. For example, Twitter live-streamed holiday-themed sessions with DIY crafts, cocktail mixing, and holiday planning tips by collaborating with top influencers. 

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Reveal Product Announcements

This is another significant strategy that works better when you have an audience, but it can be highly effective if done right otherwise too. Your viewers will love to be a part of the exclusive group that gets first access to big reveals and launches. Give them that privilege by live streaming product announcements or any similar events. Reveal big news on a live stream to people who tune in before anyone else.

Reuse Live Streams

Once you have a whole library of great content for viewing and reuse, reuse your live stream to promote it further. Create promotional videos, highlight videos, optimize uploaded VOD streams for search engines, and do a lot with your saved content even after the live broadcast is over. 

Best Practices To Succeed With Live Broadcasts

You have some ideas and a professional live streaming solution; you are all set to utilize the power of live streaming for your business. Here are some live streaming tips and best practices to help you come off professional and engaging with the first video itself. 

Set Your Goals

What do you want to accomplish with live streaming, reach a global audience, highlight product features, increased brand awareness, or grow your audience? Your goals help to determine what type of live experience to create. Create new customer experiences; offer branded moments, live stream product launches, live events, or customer education. In short, set your goals and decide what you are going to show. If you are not interested in your content, chances are your audience won’t be either.

Plan, Test, and Promote

While live video streaming happens in real, it is not wrong to plan ahead. You can and you must plan in advance. Be sure to script responses to possible scenarios that can arise, plot out key moments, and decide in advance the messages to convey. For example, if you are doing Q&A sessions, prepare responses and have a team ready to moderate comments. Before you go live, test in advance and make sure the camera is steady and the voice is clear. 

It is also important to promote your live sessions in advance to keep your audience tuned in. Start by announcing about your live broadcast on your website and social media channels to build anticipation. 

Welcome New Viewers

When you start live streaming, welcome all your viewers to the live session. This way you establish a personal relationship with them instantly. Also, make sure you welcome new viewers. However, it is not actually practical when you have thousands of viewers. You can also group names together so that it is easy to recognize a large number of people at once. 

Address Viewers by Names

People love being called by their names, especially during live streaming. Hearing their username called out while watching a live broadcast helps feel recognized and instantly connect with the brand. 

Look at the Camera

Similar to pre-recorded videos where you have to look at the camera, live streaming also demands the same. Looking at the camera is equivalent to making eye contact with your viewers. Just because you can’t see your audience, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look at them. This counts a lot when it comes to live streaming, as viewers might be offended if you don’t face them all the time. 

Keep a Check on the Environment

Pick a good place with ample lighting and less noise when you go live. This is very important to the overall quality of the stream. Even a bad camera can look good to an extent with good lighting. Try hosting your videos during the daytime, preferably with light background behind you. While natural lighting is the best lighting you can get, you can also buy lights if you have to shoot videos in a dark room. 

Choose the Right Platform

Selecting the right platform for your live streaming significantly affects the results you will achieve. If you take social networks, YouTube has over 3 billion searches a month and it is the second-largest search engine after Google. Facebook is already on the race to become a pioneer in this sector. On the other hand, Periscope is devoted to live broadcasts, which makes it easy for your Twitter audience to follow your live sessions. 

So which one you must choose? The answer depends on your business goals and preferences of your audience. While Facebook Live offers options for more viewers, popups on their feed often distract them. Alternatively, you can also create a live streaming website to gain much control over your live videos. 

How To Make Money Using a Live Streaming App?

We have discussed how live streaming can help with marketing campaigns and assist your brand to grow. Once you are well acquainted with how to create a live streaming website the next thing is to understand is how to monetize your live streams. Next, let’s look into some direct ways to use live videos to make money. 

Pay-Per-View

The pay-per-view allows your viewers to unlock access to your individual live streams for a fee. This works great if the content is unique. If you are using custom live video streaming software to create your website, it’s more likely you will find an option to integrate pay-per-view model to start earning from your live streams. This model works best for streaming webinars, tutorials, sports events, and other events where people don’t mind purchasing tickets.  

Subscriptions

Just like a pay-per-view model, subscriptions give access to all the streams at once for a specific period, instead of paying separately for each live session. Subscriptions can be quarterly, monthly, or yearly basis. You can also take advantage of the built-in subscription features that many custom video streaming software solutions offer. Besides access to live videos, monthly subscriptions can include other benefits for viewers like special badges, ability to chat and enjoy ad-free live streams. 

Run Ads

Another great way to earn money using your live streaming app is by running advertisements. If you join the right live streaming platform in social networks, you can make money from ads as many businesses are still relying upon advertising bucks.

For example, Facebook live ads have benefits for both marketers running the ad campaigns and live streamers allow the ads to be shown during their broadcast. If you use live streaming software to broadcast live sessions, you can run ads in your live streams and it can be pre-roll, mid-roll, display ads, or overlay ads.

To exercise more control over the advertisements displayed during your streams you need to get into depths of how to make your own live streaming website. However, it not the best idea to have ads as the only monetization channels during live streaming.

 

Brand Collaborations and Sponsorships

Brand deals and sponsorships are another great way to make money using live streaming app. It works well when you have a recognizable name for yourself in the industry as brands will reach out to you with deals. If they don’t, you have to reach out to engage with businesses for sponsorships. Either way, you can make money streaming through banners ads, sponsored content, and more. While sponsoring content make sure it doesn’t appear as a sellout. 

Affiliate Programs

A membership in affiliate programs will help you earn commissions every time a viewer clicks on your affiliate links and makes a purchase. Affiliate sales are not just limited to links; it can be even a coupon code that you are promoting. You can place the link or coupon code anywhere in your live stream description. While participating in affiliate programs, make sure to keep your content and the product or services you promote is relevant to the content you stream to make money using live streaming app.

Conclusion

Live streaming is a major shift in the way customers interact with business and each other., People are becoming more comfortable in getting on camera and engaging with others. This is also a great opportunity for businesses to market themselves and remain at the top of the industry. Create a plan now to include live streaming in your business marketing strategy. Capitalize on live streaming while it is still in its early development stage before all the big players gain the possible and it becomes harder to get into. If you want any assistance in creating a live streaming website, get in touch with us. We would like to help you out. 

The world of video streaming: Top players and what they do

The world of video streaming: Top players and what they do

Video streaming is a buzz now! The old cable TV is having less deal now. Those days are gone where people used to wait to watch their movie on the television. With time the scenario has changed when online content came into existence.

With the digitalization, users are shifting from analog to digital, which helps to make a choice and get the required content, resulting in increasing their entertainment experience. Also, Viewers can access personalized content with various devices of their choice and record the same content to watch the same in the later period.

The most dominant type of VoD content watched across all regions is movies, followed by TV programs. The other most-watched content types include comedies, series, sports, documentaries, and short-form video content. VoD service providers are continuing to expand their offerings to include a diverse set of content programs. For much better experience users deal with a single video streaming provider rather than managing multiple accounts can be easier.

The Video on Demand Market globally is estimated to USD 56.26 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach a value of USD 93.99 billion by 2023 at a CAGR of 8.93% by the research done by Mordor Intelligence. The research says that video on demand industry has a wide range of scope and for both cable operators and content providers to generate revenue.

With the increasing popularity of online videos, the CDN (content delivery Network) and MVPD (multichannel video programming distributor) are being pressurized.

The overall improved customer viewing experience and cost of the service are the two potential drivers for boosting the video on demand to the peak. The world of video streaming is now crowded by the many dominant players in the industry.  If you are looking for cutting the cord, then the infographics below would help you choose the best streaming service by price, usability, and content to try.

 

How Blockchain technology is reinventing media and OTT industry

How Blockchain technology is reinventing media and OTT industry

With Blockchain solutions revolutionizing the cryptocurrency and financial markets, it is set to mark its footprint in other industry verticals. Global spends on Blockchain solutions have shown more than 100% year over year growth from $945 million in 2017 to $2.1 billion in 2018. It is expected to provide a business value-add of $176 billion by 2025 and $3.1 trillion by 2030 across various industries.

What is Blockchain?

The blockchain is simply a data store that is distributed across multiple network channels. By design, it is a decentralized technology where a network of computers together manages the validity of transactions.

Originally devised for secure digital currency (Bitcoin) transactions, it uses a ‘block-based’ model that operates across a peer-to-peer network with no single authority. Participants can see the transactional data and verify or reject it using consensual algorithms.

Benefits of Blockchain solutions in industry applications

Faster and secure transactions – With no central authority or middlemen to take care of, Blockchain can speed up the transactions and makes sure that the data is incorruptible and secure.

Transparency – Data in the Blockchain can be publicly accessed by all participants and hence cannot be altered or deleted.

Cost-effective – Online payment portals like PayPal charge around 2-5% as transaction fees depending upon the geography. Blockchain technology can eliminate these third-party risks by helping you do direct transactions.

Simplified transaction ecosystem – With a single public network taking care of all the transactions, it reduces the clutter and complexity of multiple ledgers.

Traceability – One can exactly track the location of items and their displacement can be easily followed up and communicated for further actions.

Cryptographically sealed data – Using cryptography to protect the user’s data, it ensures that all the transactions are safely executed by securing even minute details.

Real-time data management – Blockchain technology’s peer-peer operation renders real-time data processing, resulting in faster communication and easier coordination.

Automated actions – Blockchain is programmable, helping you to automatically trigger actions once the conditions are met.

 

Blockchain’s take on the future of Media and OTT industry

 

With such numerous advantages, the Blockchain model had already started to revolutionize the digital finance market with flexibility and secured transactions. On the other hand, a sophistication of internet has led to the evolution of OTT industry. From a video series on YouTube to a proper third screen experience, it has attracted millions of users towards its ecosystem. As the industry matures, it is starting to face problems and let us see how the use of Blockchain technology can make the OTT industry more stable and convenient than ever.

Empowering the online content creators through smart contracts

What if the digital content creators like online musicians can get directly paid by their fans without having to give out large percentages of their sales to third-party intermediaries? This barrier-less communication system is possible through Blockchain, removing any hidden intermediary costs and helps artists establish a direct customer relationship with their fans. 

Blockchain also helps them to automatically take care of the license and contract related issues in the form of smart contracts.

Decentralised Content distribution models

Blockchain enables each party to verify their transaction records directly without any intermediaries. It also eliminates the need of any central authority to approve the transactions through its peer-to-peer network, making way for agile and smooth transactions.

Accessibility and ownership

One of the long-standing issues in the online media and OTT industry is the ownership and access to the content. Consider a video subscription service, where you pay for gaining access to the platform and the videos cannot be accessed anywhere outside the platform. There is hence, a lack of transparency unlike buying a traditional cassette or a CD which you actually own it.

By leveraging Blockchain technology, the issue of music ownership and sharing can be tackled at an infrastructure and protocol level. It encrypts the video and music tracks, and stores these permanently through the interplanetary file system (IPFS) swarm. And the tracks can be accessed from anywhere with decryption keys through smart contracts.

Advertising analytics and targeted marketing

Worldwide spends on digital advertising is $200 billion in 2017 and expected to reach the $350 billion mark by 2020. Digital advertising is highly advantageous to marketers as they can track the consumer’s behavioral data. But, more than 60% of digital video advertisers lack adequate tools that can analyze this data, to measure and effectively improve the digital campaign’s performance.

According to Visa’s report, Blockchain has a capacity to pull out more than 24,000 transactions per second. It also makes the marketing investments targeted, helping the advertisers to measure the efficient platforms and add more value to their marketing efforts.

 

Media royalty payments

Payment of royalties to the artists and copyright owners has been a long-unsolved problem in the online media industry. Spotify was dragged into a $30 million settlement by National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) over unpaid song royalties, and other several legal cases were also raised against similar streaming services. The payments weren’t received because Shopify couldn’t identify its publishers.

Blockchain can bring these issues to rest by using a Cryptographic Hash file to store the original music track. With each Hash file associating the address of the creator, the artists and the copyright owners can be compensated in the form of smart contracts.  

Easy transactions and micropayments

Blockchain helps to facilitate the micropayments online within the user and content creator without any transaction costs or service charges. By using a Blockchain enabled browser, the user can monetize their monthly spends using a cryptocurrency wallet. The browser can then request the public Blockchain for license information, and scan the loaded content through content identifiers. Accordingly, it facilitates the transaction between the user and the content owner via on-chain payment.

Blockchain-based CDN

With terabytes of content consumed in the online media every day, optimizing the storage space is essential. A Blockchain-powered Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help to utilize the collective unused space from the users worldwide by building decentralized applications. Using Blockchain as a decentralized management system can help the users exploit this collective unused space, by converting it into a peer-to-peer cloud storage and data delivery network.

Content licensing and effective monetization

Online content creators are very much aware of the extent of protection the Intellectual Property Laws give and how easily their content can be stolen. When someone is using your Intellectual property for commercial purposes, you can claim the ownership compensation. But, when you are dealing with a larger organization, the burden is entirely yours. You may have to hire a lawyer to prove the ownership and then enforce your rights where you might still lose!

Adopting Blockchain technology can help you to easily defend your Intellectual property rights. The ‘blocks’, which are located on a variety of servers around the world cannot be altered once they are created. Hence, content owners will have complete control of their work, and the transactions are automated whenever the content is accessed by viewers.

With the online media and OTT space growing more competitive than ever, it is set to be the future of the broadcasting industry. Adapting the Blockchain technology to OTT and online media can definitely make this billion dollar industry much more accessible, leading to an uprise in digital space like never before!