Strategic considerations before you live stream

Live streaming is an effective tool to boost your brand, your sales and your customer interactions. However, despite the many benefits of live streaming for business, as with any new strategy, it needs to be considered carefully to ensure maximum value and measurable returns are achieved.

Before you grab a smartphone and jump straight into live video production, here are four questions to ask that will help to help you create streams that your audience will love.

Why are you live streaming?

Most Australians now watch live streams on a regular basis, but your live video stream needs to be worth watching if you hope to compete with a cluttered landscape of content. Audiences watch live streams for longer and interact more compared to traditional video so wasting that trust and attention is professionally unforgivable.

One of the appeals of Live streaming is that it offers engagement in a real-time context. So timely messages, key announcements and historical moments all give an audience extra value in consuming this content.

Facebook data shows people comment 10x more often on live videos than pre-recorded ones so review the most often asked questions by prospects or customers and prepare your live stream to cater to their needs for maximum activity and audience numbers. The ability to interact with a live stream adds value to customers as well as would-be customers making the product something that can be used to activate long term fence sitters or delight current customers pushing them towards advocacy.

It’s always a good idea to plan out which audiences you are targeting and what value add you are going to deliver with your live stream.

Some good examples include: 

Financial Markets delivering key market insights after significant events (Target group: Customers and prospective customers), Software companies presenting influencer/users delivering a live tutorial (Target group: customers and upsell prospects) and International company simultaneous global Product launches (Target group: early adopters and industry leaders)

Who is your audience?

Knowing your audience is vital, so you can create effective content that they'll be interested to watch, but there are also practical considerations. Given the format, you may find that you need to create unique personas for your video projects.

If your videos will be watched by people in other countries, you need to consider time zone differences. Even with an Australian live stream, you might need to choose a time when people can watch a live video in Sydney and Perth simultaneously, and decide whether a morning, afternoon or evening stream would be most appropriate.

What platform will you use to stream?

When thinking about your audience, you should also consider what platforms they are likely to use. Facebook Live has the biggest streaming audience (especially when you include the option to sync through to Instagram), ahead of even YouTube.  

These platforms have their limitations, however. Setting up your own site as a live stream portal means you'll have greater control. You can limit the stream to logged-in members or you can set it up as a ticketed event to bring in more revenue. This also looks more professional and offers greater security if you're streaming sensitive information for a select audience, such as an investors relations report.

If your streaming strategy covers a range of audiences, a mix of private and public platforms will offer the best of both worlds.

Make sure you balance the reach that can be found with larger public platforms with the exclusivity and status to be gained from a private website presentation.

Will you do the video production yourself?

While it is not total necessary to set up a dedicated video production studio to host your live streams, the higher quality and more professional you can make your videos look, the more positively your audience will respond. Two-thirds (67%) of live streaming audiences say the quality of videos is the most important factor when deciding whether to watch a stream.

If your company doesn't have the knowledge, experience and equipment to produce your own videos, that doesn't mean live streaming is impossible. You can outsource as much of the job as you need to professional video production services who can set up a studio in your office, shoot or host your stream for you, or teach your team what you need to know.

Find out how to get started in live streaming for business by clicking the image below to download our free ebook, 'Live Streaming: 10 Ways Streaming Can Help Build Your Brand.'