Live Streaming: the ultimate guide to the successful production of digital content
We are now living in the era of marketing 4.0. The term was coined by the renowned professor and author Philip Kotler, refers to the present period; marked most notably by the digital revolution already taking place in businesses and companies worldwide.
The introduction of new channels, such as social networks and blogs, allows businesses to create exceptional user experiences that may now be enjoyed by a greater audience, such as the live broadcasts.
Since Digital Marketing is an activity with high accessibility and scarcely any restrictions, it is only natural to assume there would be a lot of competition among companies to explore and capitalize upon its many features.
In order to stand out from the competition, a business’s marketing content must be both authentic and relevant to the public. The idea is to establish a dialogue with the buyer persona, creating long-lasting and lucrative relations.
That said, one of the features that have been gaining prominence in the search for consumer engagement is Live Streaming. Don’t know what it’s all about?
We will address the following topics:
- What is Live Streaming?
- How did this trend arise?
- Why does Live Streaming keep growing so fast?
- How do businesses benefit from it?
- How to produce a successful Live Streaming?
- How to advertise your Live Streaming to the public?
- What are the best tools to perform Live Streaming?
Keep reading and find out!
What is Live Streaming?
Certainly, you are familiar with streaming services like Netflix and Spotify, two of the most common examples in this category, which consist, in each case, of the transmission of data (audio and/or video) via a computer network.
In other words, users no longer need to make downloads in order to consume the content, which marks a revolution for those most experienced in the digital environment.
Therefore, when we talk about Live Streaming, we are talking about a data transmission which occurs live, as the term “live” suggests. Thus, anyone with access to adequate tools can transmit their content in real-time to users worldwide.
On this point, it is worth noting that internet speed is important at both ends: the transmitter and the receiver.
Unlike conventional streaming services where you can pause, rewind, or fast-forward through content, connection failures while using Live Streaming may cause users to lose pertinent information — unless the latter is made available later.
How did this trend arise?
Although the term has enjoyed an ever-greater degree of popularity due to the digital transformation, the first Live Streams were actually achieved long before the introduction of broadband, when the web was still in its infancy, slow and with only the capacity to reach a limited number of users.
The first recorded instance of a “stream” came from Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley, and the base for many different technology companies.
In June of 1993, a band called Severe Tire Damage played at Xerox headquarters. In another part of the same building, scientists discussed a type of technology that would be capable of transmitting data in real-time over the internet.
One thing led to another, and the music played by the group became the guinea pig for a trial experiment.
The project proved to be a success when scientists located in Australia confirmed that they had been able to follow the entire transmission.
A year later, it was the Rolling Stones’ turn to take a chance at this new technology, and for the first time, they broadcasted a musical event to a much larger audience.
As a tribute to their idols, Severe Time Damage agreed to open for them at the event.
Despite having captured the interest of artists and producers, Live Streaming failed to gain attention at the time, when the internet was poor in quality, small in size, slow and static. So we skip straight to 2005, the year marked by the launch of YouTube.
By allowing users to post their own video content in a simplified way, YouTube was evolving into one of the greatest pillars of digital democratization.
Six years after it was launched, the platform gave life to a new resource that finally put Live Streaming on the map once and for all: a service where the users can make their own broadcasts.
YouTube’s first major breakthrough was in 2011, with the royal wedding between Katherine Middleton and Prince William of England. The event, whose recording is still available on the platform today, reached millions of people.
In 2012, another live broadcast definitively confirmed the undeniable appeal and popularity and relevance of this new digital marketing tool.
In an advertising campaign conducted by Red Bull, Austrian Felix Baumgartner broke the record for the highest free-fall in history, jumping from a height of approximately 38,000 meters.
Everything had been transmitted by cameras positioned on the parachutist body and on the balloon that raised him to such a height.
The Live Stream reached no less than 1/6 of the internet, even though it only lasted 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
Why does Live Streaming keep growing so fast?
The growth of Live Streaming has mostly to do with the preferences of 4.0 consumers, who highly value personalized and exclusive user experiences.
In a sense, whenever a live video broadcast occurs, viewers experience a sense of exclusivity, since the content is only available to a particular group.
Of course, not every Live Stream needs to be ephemeral. The greatest platforms focused on this type of material allow the streams to be saved and, further down the line, made available again through other channels. Therefore, exclusivity is not the only significant factor that matters here.
As most Live Streams are made in video format, we can correlate their growing popularity to some other growing trends in Digital Marketing.
For example, it is estimated that video content will be responsible for more than 82% of consumer traffic on the internet, which indicates a 15-fold increase when compared to 2017.
How do businesses benefit from it?
If the most successful Live Stream in 2012 involved a multimillion-dollar investment from Red Bull, then the scenario in 2020 is presumably quite different.
Currently, Live Streams are now far more organized and consolidated and represent important elements of any complete Digital Marketing strategy used by any major company today.
They represent a new form of communication that engages consumers more clearly and directly, which provides the necessary open space for you to delve deeper into issues that are either too complicated or too inflexible to solve.
Take your blog posts, for example. You produce articles covering topics of interest to your buyer persona; however, it’s not always possible to focus on the more technical parts.
When producing a live video, you have far greater openness to gradually unpack a complex subject matter in a far more incisive way.
For example, a Live Stream makes use of graphics and other illustrative resources to facilitate the audience’s understanding. Graphs, tables, or even your own physical gestures and body language may help those watching comprehend your message’s content.
In addition to understanding what you have to say, the audience should be heard as well. Create interactive Live Streams that allow users to participate with questions, which you can answer live.
This will help your brand cover the subject more thoroughly and generate insights regarding the interests, problems, and even in which stage of the funnel the consumers find themselves.
Speaking of funnels, live broadcasts are important weapons when it comes to managing the buyer’s journey.
Among the most popular formats is the webinar, which is very commonly offered at the final stage of the funnel, guiding potential clients towards making their purchase decisions.
The live webinar can take several approaches. It is possible to develop it as an introduction to your company, educate the consumer on the subject, or simply serve as a tutorial for using a product.
If your business holds corporate events, you can also perform a Live Streaming by bringing the audience “inside” the company.
This is an important effort to demonstrate transparency, and to humanize your brand, values so crucial to the decisions of the modern consumer.
In addition, it is a simple way to considerably increase the event’s capacity without worrying about investments in expanding physical space.
How to produce a successful Live Stream?
Of course, there is no point in doing a Live Stream any old way and expecting it to be successful.
As with any activity in your company, the broadcast must be structured using good planning and adopting the best practices.
So, let’s take a look at some tips to achieve good results from your live broadcasts.
Plan your content in advance
The quality of your content is everything. To ensure success, start your planning in advance, beginning with the subject that will be covered. Also, set the date and time to facilitate the publicizing of the event. A subject that we will deal with soon.
With the theme and the date set, it is time for something more important: creating a script.
As much as you are prepared to speak on camera and feel confident about the content to be addressed, it never hurts to be overcautious.
Focus on your buyer persona
If you don’t already have a buyer persona, it’s time to create one. It represents your ideal consumer and, therefore, all your marketing and communication activities must have it as a strategic center. Ensure that the broadcast time is suitable for the majority of your followers.
The buyer persona is more than just the target audience and therefore has very specific characteristics, such as motivations, pains, and preferences.
Think about it when writing the script and make sure you use language that is simple for your audience to understand and, at the same time, conveys confidence.
Count on good equipment
It is true that, with the advanced smartphones that we have access to today, it is possible to perform a smaller Live Stream on certain channels, such as Instagram.
However, if you have the financial capacity to invest in more sophisticated equipment, this can enhance your results.
In the case of larger events, there is no escape: you need to invest. Cell phones and webcams are unlikely to be able to capture quality images. Therefore, it is necessary to have a powerful computer, a good video capture card, and access to fast internet.
The video capture card is essential for connecting your digital camera to the device, enabling the transmission of audio recordings and image captures.
Depending on the situation, it is also worth investing in lighting solutions to enhance quality. If the event is small, a well-lit area will suffice.
In addition to adequate equipment, it is essential to work with a specialized platform, but we will talk about this later.
Maintain audience interactivity
The audience won’t interact if you don’t motivate them first. Without that, Live Streaming loses much of its appeal as it makes it impossible to create a dialogue that is good for both parties. As long as the audience feels part of the experience, you gain extremely valuable feedback.
They make the experience more playful and, additionally, collect data based on users’ responses.
Monitor the data
It is always important to analyze the data for each of your Live Streams. Information related to the number of new visitors and the number of people who logged out during the session, for example, may indicate that your approach still needs to be optimized.
How to advertise your Live Stream to the public?
There is no point in planning, buying your equipment, and writing your script if nobody is going to watch the Live Stream. So, invest in publicizing your event, and don’t be afraid to use your main channels.
On your social networks, post messages periodically to remind those interested in the date, time, and theme of your event.
Features like Instagram Stories can be used to create a countdown, increasing the expectation for the Live Stream.
Social networks also serve for you to interact with the public about the event. The Instagram question box is an excellent resource for collecting the concerns and questions of people who will participate in the Live Stream.
In addition, you can post short videos to pique your followers’ curiosity.
Also, be sure to explore email marketing. If you already work with segmented contact lists, identify those who have the demonstrate the most interest and enthusiasm in the event and send invitations highlighting the details of the Live Stream.
The lead must realize that their participation will be very constructive.
What are the best tools to do Live Streaming?
Finally, let’s talk about the Live Streaming tools, whose choice is one of the most important that you will make in this process.
Quality platforms make the whole experience simpler, both for the live stream director and for the viewers.
So, check out our list of the best options and decide which one is best for you!
Engage is undoubtedly one of the most complete tools on the market. It meets all the demands that you may have to perform your Live Stream, providing functions that make the whole experience simpler and more efficient.
Easy to use, Engage does not require any previous experience, and your Live Stream can be created with just a few clicks.
The tool values audience engagement and allows the integration of content such as polls and question and answer sessions.
These contents generate data that can be later analyzed to assess your audience’s level of engagement and collect relevant information.
It is a solution that allows monetization from ads, and it has templates that can be very useful, such as real-time scoreboards for sporting events.
The tool can also be integrated with your CMS and other embed content from outside the website, paving the way for partnerships.
Another of the leaders in the Live Streaming market, GoToWebinar, presents features that can make your process highly effective.
In addition to facilitating the launch and moderation of Live Streams, the platform allows for the customization of your materials, reflecting the visual identity and/or style you desire.
With an intuitive interface for even the least experienced, the platform stands out for its organization. It is possible to schedule your events in advance, which facilitates the dissemination of the access link.
Like Engage, GoToWebinar also allows the inclusion of interactive content to stimulate audience engagement.
Using cutting-edge technology, WebinarJam offers broadcasts using a universal signal, which increases the quality of sound and image. With HD features and 30-fps functionality, the platform supports various devices, including tablets and smartphones.
WebinarJam also assists with the event’s publication. Through the platform, it is possible to schedule and trigger email and SMS message communications, ensuring that no one will miss the event.
As you have seen throughout this text, Live Streams may be used for various purposes. The broadcast of events in real-time is quite a useful attraction for your audience, many among which will respond positively to this type of experience.
It is clearly worth planning and preparing your Live Stream well and capitalizing on your audiences’ engagement and attention for the benefit of your business.
Speaking of planning, take this opportunity to download our complete checklist for webinars, and stay up to speed on all the latest practices!