Ready, Set, Action: The Power Of Live Video Streaming For Public Relations And Marketing

This article was first published in Forbes.

You might want to visit the baby giraffe born last year at Animal Adventure, an animal education center located outside Binghamton, NY. According to YouTube, more than 14 million people watched the live-stream on the day of its birth. But you don’t need to be birthing a giraffe in your back office (and you probably shouldn’t) to benefit from the power of live video streaming.

Live video streaming is a rapidly growing marketing channel for brands and nonprofits — think Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn. According to research, 80% of respondents said they’d prefer watching live video content from a brand than reading a blog. And 82% would rather consume brand content via live video than social posts.

What do you need to know to be successful?

A LiveStream study found that video quality is the most important factor for 67% of viewers when watching a broadcast or live-stream, and 87% of respondents said behind-the-scenes access is a huge draw for video content.

At our video influencer marketing firm, we’ve seen a 900% increase in marketing and PR campaigns integrating live-streaming during the first quarter of 2018 compared to one year ago. One of the latest developments in the space, and one that I’ve been working on in my business, is live multi-channel video streaming with broadcast-quality content. Previously, live social events were most likely going to only one social channel for a brand or spokesperson. This breakthrough allows you to create a powerful multiplier effect by transmitting simultaneously to more than 25 channels (belonging to different influencers or stakeholders) at the same time.

Whether you’re aiming for multiple channels or just one, here are some tips for live video success:

1. Think of the content of your live event as a television show. Is it a talk show or a presentation? Do you have existing video to integrate? Create opportunities for the audience to get involved through Twitter hashtags. It’s helpful to have an MC to facilitate Q&A. Plan an opening, and repeat requests for audience engagement. Consider broadcast quality video and production values.

2. Go on location. Transmission technology improvements have made it more cost-effective to go on location where the action is for your broadcast. Opportunities include going live from your office, trade shows or other events.

3. Don’t rely on one social channel. Create a multiplier effect by simultaneously broadcasting to 20 channels or more on Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. This can be done by splitting the video signal at the source and sending it to individual computers connected to the internet. Each of these signals can then be directed to a different social channel.

4. Maximize your use of influencers who are already advocates for your brand. One powerful way to maximize the use of influencers is to have multiple influencers interact together during your event while allowing them to connect with their own followers. Another way is to provide behind-the-scenes access to an event your target audience won’t usually get to see.

5. Promote the content in advance on each of the sites to build a larger audience. The first step is free promotion. Start a week in advance with information about the event that is posted to the social channel that will be broadcasting. It can be in the form of a short video or even a simple graphic that identifies the launch date and time as well as a brief description of the event.

6. Divide and conquer. Edit content after the event for multiple social video clips that can be shared across all participating platforms and feed your own social media ecosystem.

So, what are you waiting for? Are you using live video streaming to turn your leaders into influencers? Win the competition for attention at trade shows? Create awareness for campaigns and initiatives? Fully leverage outside influencers and social stars that already support your brand or organizations? If not, it’s time to get started.

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