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It wasn’t long ago that we all predicted that live streaming was the future for social media. And now, it’s here. Live streaming allows individuals to share video content as it is being recorded, in real-time. This has become increasingly popular, with the most-used social media sites having introduced this feature to their apps and websites.

Live streaming is more than just another way for people to share their lives through the powers of social media. It is a marketing opportunity that can be extremely beneficial to your brand and shouldn’t be missed.

How Can Live Streaming Benefit Your Business?

Nowadays, there is an increasing pressure for brands to be creative in the content that they post online. Gone are the days when you could write a piece of written content for a successful marketing campaign. Now, consumers need eye-catching and visual content. And so, the rise of video content began. This brought success to many brands; social media users respond best to video content, with a 135% increase in organic reach when compared to photo posts. Live streaming is a natural progression from the success of this video marketing, allowing brands to engage with their followers beyond their written content.

The success of a brand relies heavily on the relationship between itself and its audience. Live streaming allows audiences to get to know the brand on a more personal level. With the ability to interact with a brand in real-time, it strengthens the relationship between brand and audience in a way that cannot be reached with regular photo posts. With live streaming platforms allowing the audience to comment with reactions and questions, brands are able to respond to these comments as they are made. This allows for a better interaction with audiences in a fun and honest way. This quality of interaction can quickly build and establish brand engagement, which can generate a lot of leads.

Marketers are always seeking new and innovative ways to engage with their audience, and live streaming allows companies to be as creative as they can possibly be. The Social Media Manager of Dunkin’ Donuts explains how they created a live stream for the making of an extravagant Valentine’s Day cake last year. In just over 10 minutes, they had 21,000 viewers! Explaining that this superseded the viewers of a pre-recorded video campaign, it is clear that there is great potential of a live video campaign. Consumers love the imperfect and authentic nature of a live video; brands that open themselves up to this form of communication are interacting with consumers who genuinely want to interact with them.

How You Can Utilise Live Streaming

What people expect and love about social media, is seeing the ‘behind the scenes’ element of a brand. Followers want exclusivity and original content. Whether you provide a product or provide a service, you are able to show a behind the scenes look that can boost your following. From showing an exclusive look at a new product, behind the scenes of a photo shoot, or even a funny live clip of the office, this allows your audience to be a part of the creative process.

Question and answer sessions are a great way to interact with your audience via live streaming. Whether you are answering questions from comments coming in live, or whether you are answering questions that you have previously asked for, it is a way of engaging your audience and turning followers into customers. Live streaming humanises a brand, and audiences respond well to this. As well as being a great way to demonstrate that you care about your audience, it is a good way of answering common questions that many people might have, all in one place.

Tools That Allow You to Live Stream

Let’s talk about some of the main live streaming platforms. Periscope is a livestreaming app owned by Twitter. Although starting out as a front runner in live streaming ahead of Facebook and Instagram introducing the feature, Periscope has since been slated for failing to keep up with updates in live streaming.

Facebook Live  

Facebook Live makes live streaming super easy, and can be a great way of engaging customers; if individuals follow a friend or have liked a brand, then they will receive a notification when the person or brand begins live streaming. And with a simple click of the notification, the follower is taken straight to the live streaming. This makes it hard for followers to miss a live stream, and Facebook even allows individuals to go back and watch the then ‘live’ video, in case they missed it.

Instagram Live

Instagram was the latest to the live streaming game, but is now one of the top social media live-streaming apps. Instagram does not provide the option to re-watch a live video, and although this may seem that it will reduce views for people that are unable to watch it live, knowing that it cannot be re-watched encourages individuals to watch it there and then if they are available.

Youtube Live

Of course Youtube, the master of video content, offers a live streaming platform. Users have the option to browse live videos from all over the world. Brands promoting on Youtube have the chance of being seen by the millions of subscribers that Youtube has.

Live streaming is a low-cost marketing opportunity. With the potential of reaching a large proportion of a brand’s following, all it takes is a camera device and an internet connection.

If you need any advice on implementing a social media strategy for your business, contact us today.