Stream Like a Pro

5 tips to make sure you’re streaming like a pro

Live streaming is not for the faint of heart. Let’s face it – it’s expensive (at least before Periscope), unpredictable (think Charlie Sheen #winning #tigerblood) and you never know how many people will show up to watch, making it nearly impossible to predict ROI. So why do so many brands do it? And why should you try to live stream like a pro?

Live video streaming is fast becoming the most powerful and ubiquitous digital tool of the Content Marketer. To put things in perspective, almost three quarters of all internet traffic is video, and live video grew 146% between 2014-2015. Users also spend an average of 2.2 hours on Periscope per day versus 21 mins on Instagram and 40 mins on Youtube and Facebook. To catch up to Periscope, which was snatched up by Twitter as a fledgling start-up, the latter two have been investing heavily in their own live streaming offering in the form of Facebook Live and Youtube Live. With all the competition heating up in the live streaming space, it is the content creators and brands who will stand to benefit. How do you make sure you leverage live streaming to the fullest? Here are some AmpLive’s top 5 recommendations to live stream like a pro:

1. Production

You can spend next to nothing to stream from your phone, or hire an award-winning production company that will create an Oscar-caliber web series. There are tons of production companies who now specialize in live streaming. Some specialize in fashion, others in tech, music festivals, or company webinars. You name it and there is a company who can do it. The question is, of course, what is your budget? For example, a typical one-camera shoot with a decent production company will run anywhere from $5000-$8000. A multi-camera shoot can range in the tens of thousands, and a midsize music concert starts at quarter million. On the other hand, as more and more brands are shooting compelling content on mobile phones, the cost of production is edging towards zero. But before you take out your iPhones, please make sure that you are increasing content value in exchange for production quality.

2. What to Stream?

A typical viewer will drop off after 3 seconds if the content does not “speak to them”, so your digital story must be compelling – interesting, funny, relevant, useful, entertaining and hopefully all of the above. Some of the streaming content we love:

A. Product Launches and Demos – Hosting a demo of your product allows potential customers to see what the product looks like and how it performs, foster interaction between your business and customers by allowing them to ask live questions and drive instantaneous interest. Couple that with a “buy now” button that links to an e-commerce backend and you’ve got instant conversions.

B. Break the News – From political candidates to brand PR teams, live streaming has been a way to control the conversation in favor of the broadcaster.

C. Concerts and Sporting Events – Increase viewership from tens of thousands of people in a physical arena to millions of people watching at home. Live streaming music concerts and sporting events create a digital sponsorship package that can be sold alongside your on-site activation package.

D. Backstage Pass – Streaming at festivals and fan-based events such as E3, Comic Con and SXSW allows viewers to glimpse behind the scenes at these exclusive venues and build trust and goodwill with the brands who have sponsored these opportunities.

E. Industry Specific Thought Leadership – Enterprise companies such as Microsoft, Dell and GE are embracing live streaming to showcase their thought leadership on topics such as data security, cloud computing and even drone engineering.

3. Drive an Audience

So if you build it, will they come? Not so much these days. It’s tough to count on people to tune in at a specific time because of our “save and watch later” consumer mentality made easy by streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. Previously, the most common ways to drive tune-in is to activate Social Media or to run ad banners driving pre-registration. As live streaming becomes more ubiquitous, live content distribution companies have emerged, helping broadcasters find the scalable live audience for their content – in real time.

4. Re-engage that Audience

Now that you’ve got eyeballs on your live stream, your job is done, right? No. It has only just begun. Who are these viewers? What do they like about my content? Do they want to hear from me again? Will they buy my product? These are all questions that can be answered with with data collected from the moment the viewer engages with your content. After the initial live stream, re-target your audience to drive them further down the sales funnel to result in conversions.

5. Metrics are great, but ROI is King

So, this is what matters in the end. You must back engagement with quantifiable results to prove ROI, and it all comes down to CPA (Cost Per Acquisition). How much do I have to spend in marketing dollars to get a paying customer? With growing live video distribution capabilities out there, you now have the tools to greatly lower CPA and increase ROI.

For more tips on streaming and other related blog posts, visit AmpLive.