You may have heard talk last March about Meerkat and Periscope, and their meteoric rise to popularity. What makes them such a hot topic? It’s probably because these apps allow you to capture a moment in time on your smartphone, and broadcast it to your subscribers in real time, as it’s happening.
Facebook announced last week that they will also be jumping into the live video fray, with the Facebook Mentions app. For the time being, the service is only available to public figures with verified profiles. It will be interesting to see whether Facebook will extend the service to the rest of its community in the coming months.
Here are a few reasons to consider live video for your next social media campaign.
People are interested in what’s going on right now. They are more inclined to interact with and comment on an event that’s happening in real time, than on an event that’s broadcast after the fact. Live video feels exclusive and authentic – not negligible qualities – and allows you to engage with and get closer to your community.
Redbull, a company that’s always at the leading edge and very active on social media, made great use of Periscope to broadcast the Red Bull Guest House event.
In an increasingly competitive landscape, it’s critical to produce value-added content capable of attracting your audience’s interest. Live video can be used to broadcast backstage images from an event, present new product functionality, hold a Q&A session on a particular topic, or make a special announcement. The possibilities are endless, and with time companies will come up with ever more interesting ways to develop this type of content.
Adidas did it well by giving fans a special live announcement that their partnership with soccer star James Rodriguez was being extended.
For the past few years, the use of video has been steadily growing on social media. According to Hubspot, the use of video in B2B has grown considerably, climbing from 8% to 58% in 2014. An estimated one in six videos are now viewed on mobile devices.
This explosion is due in part to the increased accessibility of cellular networks, and in part to the integration of video technology to almost all mobile phones. The democratization of video production has also had an impact, thanks to a proliferation of easy to use apps. Live streaming apps fall into this same category: they’re free, easy to use, and accessible from anywhere.
Incidentally, it’s because of this trend towards video that Facebook has revisited its Page Insights to add a tab dedicated exclusively to video stats.
Live video can be used to offer rebates and exclusive promotions. This is an excellent tactic for growing your community and inciting more people to follow you. People love feeling like they are getting VIP treatment or benefiting from something that others have missed out on. Fear of Missing Out (#FOMO) is a major contributor to the popularity of live video. It’s a trend that Snapchat is currently making the most of.
Finally, don’t forget to promote your video in advance, by posting teasers on your social platforms. Pick a clear, unique title that will quickly allow your audience to understand what your next video will be about.
Live video apps make it possible for your target audience to interact with your brand in real time. It’s a new way to communicate that allows you to be reactive, transparent, and get closer to your community.
Live video can very often allow you to share a message more easily than a static image ever could. Users interact with your brand in real time, allowing you to immediately clarify any questions they may have, and take the pulse of a product or event, for example. Responding to your target audience in real time gives you a strong connection with them, and goes a long way to building loyalty.
The innovative use of live video apps is the newest way of creating a buzz around your brand, and allowing you to reach a critical mass of people.
In summary, live video offers countless opportunities to connect with and engage your audience. However, it’s important to also be aware of the limitations of live streaming with regards to copyright and intellectual property. In the world of sports, for example, companies pay millions of dollars to secure broadcast rights to live events. The NHL even went so far as to prohibit anyone without broadcast rights from streaming live video.
With the emergence of these types of mobile applications, it will be interesting to see what type of understanding users and companies will come to, to ensure that everyone’s rights are respected.