Live video streaming is the hot topic across a range of disciplines from marketing to broadcast, but with the continual development of both the social streaming platforms and the content being distributed through them, this is more than just a passing novelty.
Daniel Danker, Facebook’s Product Director for video, noted at IBC this year that video content provides 50% of the company’s mobile data traffic and said: “we expect it to grow to 75% in the next five years”. According to Facebook’s Head of Video, Fidji Simo, 20% of all videos on Facebook are live in 2017.
According to Forrester research live video receives three times the amount of engagement than pre-recorded video.
Therefore it is natural that social media platforms continue making it easier to stream live while enhancing what can be done, with Live 360 video content being one of the newest enhancements.
However, producing live content for brands, in particular, requires the justification for the video being live to be rigorously interrogated.
Generally, there are only three good reasons to make a social stream live per Jake Ward, Business Development Director, at Groovy Gecko:
1. The live stream content will be consumed as soon as it happens.
For example, a major new product launch or a unique live event.
This does not have to be something that has global appeal, or delivers a huge audience the content simply needs to be valuable to your core audience, e.g. those people who have liked your Facebook page or generally associate themselves with your brand.
The mistake most brands make here is assuming everything that they do is of interest. Real thought must be given to why this launch is live rather than a beautifully crafted two-minute announcement video.
2. The content of the live stream allows the audience to interact while watching the streaming.
You can allow the audience to ask the participants in the video questions via the comments on the live post.
The audience can also interact by voting on the post choosing to help decide how the narrative develops e.g. which recipe is cooked, what topics are discussed or which players get bonus points.
3. Content delivered through social media but connected to traditional broadcast channels can also be massively effective.
For example, an advert which directs users to view a live stream online for more interactivity.
This is rarely used but is actually very successful in driving a live TV audience to engage via social and interact with a brand, which can then lead to a more direct engage through re-marketing or simply giving them a call to action.
The data Groovy Gecko has gathered from producing hundreds of live streams shows that if none of the above points apply to a stream it will struggle to garner a noteworthy audience without a significant spend (+$50k) on boosting or advertising.
Thinking about why the audience should watch your video while producing it helps to deliver a higher number of genuinely engaged viewers but also leads to a reduction in producing live content simply because everyone else is.
Ultimately, all video should serve the viewer and the brand – this balance is not always equal but it can be more cost-effective and strategic if executed with these three elements front of mind.