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The amount of available live streams on the internet increases drastically every day. As more marketers and broadcasters find it to be a useful medium, more of them are adopting streaming into their business strategies. As with most marketing initiatives, streaming is an exposure play, content creators want the maximum number of eyes on their content. But in today’s day and age, one must create an eye-catching live stream to get the viewer’s attention within the first few seconds of viewing.

Video consistently performs better than other kinds of digital advertising media online, but it’s still important to stand out from other marketers breaking into the live video game.

Here are some tips and tricks for making sure you create an eye-catching live stream that viewers will see.

1. If you have the budget, consider paying for professional production.

You can spend next to nothing to stream from your phone or hire an award-winning production company that will create an Oscar-worthy web series. There are now production companies that focus on live streaming. Some specialize in fashion, others in tech, music festivals, or company webinars. So, which is best for you? Well, that depends on budget.

For example, a typical one-camera shoot with a decent production company will run anywhere from $5000-$8000. On the other hand, as more and more brands are shooting compelling content on mobile phones, the cost of production is edging towards 0. But before you decide to go the iPhone route, be sure that you’re providing higher content value in exchange for the loss in production value.

 

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2. Build FOMO with your live content.

People gravitate to a live experience. The fact that a video is live and will end at some point already contributes to viewers’ fear of missing out, so make sure your video’s frame or background clearly indicates that the stream is live. A countdown to the end can increase this effect even more.

If you want to stand out from other live content, there are some additional steps you can take as well. Make sure your content provides the viewer with an incentive to stay in your audience. By placing special announcements or giveaways at the end of a stream, the viewer’s F.O.M.O will hopefully force them to stay until you close the proverbial curtain (of course, be sure you’ve made it clear that this is what you plan on doing so people know they have something to wait for).

eye-catching live stream ashton kutcher

3. Involve relevant influencers.

Content promoted by influencers can be especially eye-catching. For example, when Home Depot wanted to boost holiday sales, they found that having Martha Stewart on screen during a live event helped attract a large audience. Give your audience an opportunity to engage with a recognizable face in a live context.

This is especially useful for events that are meant to raise awareness or funds for a cause. Each year, 24 Hours of Climate Reality with Al Gore regularly garners millions of viewers (check out this case study to learn more). Of course, this is in part due to the topic, but the presence of Al Gore and celebrity hosts can be the thing that first catches a viewer’s eye.

 

4. Emphasize personal interaction with your audience.

Ultimately, your live stream is about communication, and just like any other interaction, it’s important to use body language that indicates that you (or whoever is on camera) care about what you’re talking about and how your audience feels. Make eye contact. Lean in. Try to move around. Take advantage of the fact that your content is live and in motion.

 

eye-catching live stream

 

5. Most Importantly … Know Your Audience!

With the ease of today’s content creation, audiences are more diverse than ever. Take the time to survey your audience, ask for feedback and engage with your viewers on a regular basis. The more interactive your broadcast is, the deeper the connection with your audience will be.

For example, if you run a broadcast focusing on the current political climate, maybe tone down the on-screen elements. Your target viewers will likely be attracted to a more serious aesthetic, and minimizing on-screen distractions can help them focus more on the meat of your content. If you plan on streaming a holiday crafting session, create a seasonal frame that gets people excited about the time of year.

Webinars, panels, and conference keynotes tend to perform best when there is a dynamic, professional-looking, preferably recognizable leader on screen talking, while powerpoints are less dynamic and don’t fully grasp the attention of professional audiences. As I mentioned earlier, you want to take advantage of the fact that you’re working in a medium that incorporates motion. Why turn your dynamic content into something stationary? If you can, avoid motionless, text-heavy elements.

Knowing who your audience is and what they want will help you determine what kind of on-screen and frame elements will attract attention, and what kind of content will keep them engaged.

What’s more, what you learn from how your audience reacts to your live stream will provide valuable information about what kind of content, influencers, frames, and layouts will perform well for future live events. Make sure you have access to a platform that provides you with analytics and specific information about your audience.

 

*This blog was originally published on DaCast.com*

We’ve all heard the projections; video will account for 79% of global internet traffic by 2020.  With this in mind, marketers everywhere should be figuring out how to incorporate video into their campaigns. But simply getting involved may not be enough, you have to be innovative and optimized to stand out from the crowd. Use the trends and statistics below to leverage your 2018 budget into ROI from online video.

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64% of consumers purchase after watching branded social videos.

Social media videos can be such a simple thing to produce and distribute. With trends such as these, there’s no excuse to not be including them into every day product marketing efforts.

Live Video is eclipsing VOD in view time.

In a study from Tublar Insights, it was discovered that the average time per play on mobile is just 2.8 minutes for VOD and 3.5 for live streams. Additionally,  VOD average per play is 5.1 minutes, live averaged 42.8 minutes per play, topping the 34.5 minutes for desktops. As marketers we’re all fighting for the attention of our target customers, any extra time viewing your content is invaluable.

YouTube has over a billion users, almost one-third of total internet users.

Digital marketing has quickly become the most important aspect of every major corporations efforts. Garnering a third of the internet’s user base, YouTube may be the only place you can reach every one of your customer personas at the same time.

14% of marketers use live videos in their social media marketing .

In combination with #3, it’s easy to see why marketing with online video is so important. When you combine the user base of social media platforms with the power of video, it equals engagement and ROI.

Seventy-eight percent of Facebook users watch live streaming on the platform.

Like YouTube, Facebook has surpassed the 1 billion user mark. Go to your target audience where they already are!

The live video streaming market is estimated to grow from $30.29 billion in 2016 to more than $70 billion by 2021.

Whether you’re a product marketer or an events specialist, this is an important trend. A 3x increase in investment in live video production means more keynotes at user conferences, product reviews and rollouts, and more audience.

67% of live video viewers are more likely to buy a ticket to a concert or event after watching a live video of that event or a similar one.

If you’re not streaming your concert of event this year, you may miss out on potential audience for next year. Check out this blog for a more in-depth look at how streaming can increase ROI for music festivals.

Every year, thousands of dogs representing the best of their breeds gather for the American Kennel Club’s National Championship Dog Show. Last week, the show drew its largest entry ever, with dogs from all 50 states and over 44 countries vying for best in show and best in breed. Over 4800 purebred dogs representing AKC’s 190 recognized breeds entered the national championship, and an additional thousand took part in related events like the Obedience Classic, Agility Invitational, and junior events.

Over 400,000 people watched the show’s live stream, which gave people all across America access to a number of events, from award ceremonies for service and companion dogs, to group judging based on breed and age.

If you missed out, you can still catch the recorded content here!

The live online audience engaged at a high rate of over 16%, which is no surprise when you see the videos of sleek-coated, alert, well-trained puppies and older dogs trotting across the red carpet alongside well-dressed trainers. In particular, the ACE awards for Service Dog, Uniformed Service Dog, Exemplary Companion Dog, Search & Rescue Dog, and Therapy Dog presented powerful stories about the bond between dogs and humans, and left audiences touched to the point of tears.

In the end, the coveted award for Best In Show, along with $50,000, went to a Cocker Spaniel named Striker. Other awards were given out for best sporting dog (also Striker), hound, working dog, terrier, toy, non-sporting, and herding dogs.

The live stream was most avidly viewed by people in California, followed by Illinois and Virginia, and caught the attention of dog owners and fans alike. Ultimately, live streaming the event was a great way to spread the word about the American Kennel Club, and the event’s sponsors, Royal Canin and Animal Planet. Plus, it’s really fun to watch!

Remember to check out the highlights on the AKC site, and tune in next year!

Companies are constantly trying to find new ways to reach their audience, market their products, and stay relevant. In the current content marketing landscape, the number of distribution channels can be overwhelming. From blog posts to social media, marketing teams are always trying to keep their content fresh and interesting. In the midst of these options, live streaming often goes underutilized. From product rollouts to flagship user conferences, live streaming can be of the most versatile marketing motions in the industry.

Let’s go over 3 examples of how large corporations can use live streaming in their everyday marketing:

#1: Go Where Your Audience Is (Apple)

Finding a target audience can be difficult enough, but actually reaching that audience is another beast altogether. The best way to reach people is to market them in the places where they are already browsing. By marketing your products to your target audience where they hang out the most (the internet), your chances of garnering their attention increase substantially.

Apple is possibly the world’s most recognizable brand. Of all the major product releases we see every year, the seemingly annual announcement of the latest iPhone stands alone. While the conference is always impressive on its own, Apple’s distribution strategy is what sets it apart. Aside from Safari, all other internet browsers, including Chrome,  are blocked from streaming the announcement. The most important demographic for this announcement is iPhone users who do not have the newest devices and use Safari. Therefore, they are the ones who will see the announcement. 

#2: Exposure via social media (Brands at CES)

All promotion is good promotion, especially when it’s free. All you need to live stream a demo of a product or platform is a cell phone and a social media account. Leverage your company’s global notoriety to get in front of eyes. 1m twitter followers are 1m free eyes that have already chosen to view your content on a regular basis. Now that all of the major social media platforms (FB, Twitter, Instagram) offer a live streaming function, it’s become even easier. When combined,  those platforms generate billions of video views every day. With the built-in targeting strategies that these platforms offer one can narrow down that audience of billions into thousands of more qualified viewers.

For example, at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, many brands use the CES hashtag to get exposure for videos of people engaging with their products at the event.

#3: Cheaper product roll-outs (Texas Armoring Corporation)

Companies spend millions rolling out their newest products. Billboards and other more typical forms of paid media are archaic. If you go viral live streaming an innovative product launch, the free promotion lasts forever.  

In late 2014, one Texas company saw the true power of going viral:

Texas Armoring Corporation, a bulletproofing and vehicle armoring company, filmed a product test in quite the unique way. In an effort to show the degree of faith in their product, the CEO sat in the driver’s seat of an SUV while it was riddled with bullets from an assault rifle. At the end of the video, he simply exits the vehicle and implores you to get in contact if you’re interested. The video went quickly went viral, reaching over 17 million views since its release. That exposure was surely worth the cost of the windshield.

 

Over the past few years it has become increasingly clear that live streaming is an important addition to any content marketing strategy. With millions of viewers tuning in to live streamed media every day, it’s impossible to ignore as a valuable channel for reaching almost any market.

While researching industry-wide statistics to demonstrate the trend toward live streaming in marketing, I happened upon this infographic by Koeppel Direct that summed it up pretty comprehensively:

Live Streaming Trends & Marketing Tips Infographic


When you’re using live content for business, it’s important to consider your tools carefully.

Most importantly, it’s important to do a little research on which online video platforms are out there, what they do, how they’re different from one another, and which would work best for you.

We all know about Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, Youtube and Periscope, and we’ve covered them before. Here’s the 411 on a few of our other favorites:

DaCast

DaCast is a San Francisco based OVP. They are a self-service, white-label, online video platform delivering live and on-demand streaming content. Combining their set of paywall technology with web-based streaming configuration leaves you with a one-stop-shop for all your streaming monetization needs. Among PPV technologies, these tools monetization tools include reselling opportunities, and Video On-Demand offerings (among many other features).

DaCast cloud video APIs allows you to customize not only your player but also provides access to video hosting services to fit your own business needs. What’s more, the API allows users to easily access a detailed suite of analytics regarding your broadcast. By giving users the data in raw form, DaCast gives users the ability to code custom displays, pick out the most relevant metrics, and gather the most important information for your operations.

Bambuser/Iris Platform

Bambuser’s Iris Platform allows for rolling out ultra low latency, HD video streaming without having to worry about stability, scaling, infrastructure or device fragmentation. Iris can either be used by companies looking to leverage mobile live video through a ready-to-go product suite with Iris Flow, or those looking to integrate live video capabilities into existing apps or mobile platforms using Iris Dev’s advanced developer tools. 

Livestream

Livestream is the only end-to-end live video solution, providing the platform to take your events live anywhere and measure the results, the hardware to stream it, and the services to make your live strategy shine. Livestream has been trusted in the industry for over 10 years, and now with their acquisition by Vimeo, they are positioned to be a powerful streaming video platform for any creator or organization looking to broadcast their message or event and grow their digital audience and ROI. For more information on what makes Livestream different than other platforms, check out this article.

Bulldog Digital Media

Bulldog DM (recently featured in Forbes) is the world’s first and most experienced live streaming agency. Bulldog DM works with the world’s top experiences and music festivals to guide their live stream strategies with brands, marketers, agencies and distribution platforms. They are best known for their work planning, creating, delivering, and now distributing live streams for music festivals, concerts, broadcast TV events, and product launches.

Stream

Stream is a premier live-first online video platform. It removes technological barriers to live streaming by opening up live video to all platforms and devices.

Stream enables media publishers, digital networks, brands, organizations, and broadcasters to capture high-quality live video while enjoying the features required to support live and VOD (video on demand) needs.

Stream developed to avoid third party dependencies, so organizations can effortlessly scale live-first video solutions across devices — from in-event mobile live streaming to embedded web players and more. Learn more here.  

Evia

Evia provides virtual event solutions for events of all sizes, connecting organizations to their live and virtual audiences. Through Evia Ground, they offer hands-on services for live streaming, on-demand video production, and custom development. Through the Evia Cloud event hosting platform, users can deliver event content to any device via secure, branded, customized event pages. Evia Cloud also provides analytics to help users better understand their audience and event.

On24

ON24 is a leader in webinar-based marketing solutions that drive demand generation and customer engagement. With a simple user interface and powerful webinar analytics and benchmarking tools, it’s a great platform for virtual training, town hall-style meetings, and corporate webinar events.

Ooyala

Ooyala assists with OTT video broadcasting through media management and consulting, video hosting, and monetization strategy. Ooyala is a good solution for content creators who are looking to streamline their operations or gain more subscriptions, ad views, or ppv purchases. While Ooyala is not all about live streaming, they do offer Ooyala Live to deliver and syndicate live content to Facebook, Periscope, Twitch, or Youtube.

 

People gravitate to a live experience. Playoff hockey and presidential debates allow us to huddle around a screen with friends and family.

But what makes this experience live? What gives un-edited live content its visceral appeal? Urgency, suspense, fomo are all driving forces of engagement for real-time events.

Will the RedBull skier make the jump? Will Kanye do something outlandish at Bonnaroo?

This is the new brand of suspense in the era of live media. However, live is often canned.

Canned content

What about live experiences around non-live events? Shows like Stranger Things & GOT have turned pre-recorded content into live experiences themselves. Fan talkshows and chatrooms bring real-time engagement to post-live content. If you don’t watch your favorite show live, you’re missing a crucial part of the fan experience and the memes that come with it.

Community building around specific moments is essential to establishing a live experience. Brands need to engage viewers on multiple channels before, during, and after live events in order to create a cohesive narrative.

Pokemon Go created a community around a live scavenger hunt. Amazon Prime Day created a community around flash sale commerce. Live community channels can be erected on top of branded events to drive engagement and loyalty. But community building must take place on multiple media touch-points to succeed.

Before, during and in-between live

Community grows in live moments. It happens in the comment sections of Twitch, Periscope, and Facebook Live streams. Adding concentric circles of dialogue around a live event makes for a richer media experience. Cross-platform narratives also mean better distribution. Conversations that spill over from Instagram Live to Twitter lets your story take on a second life after the stream has ended.

“Complementary channels allow for more engaged eyes and voices joining the conversation, which makes a richer social and creative environment,” says Eddie Vaca, CEO of AmpLive.

Keep the conversation going

An essential engagement layer to live is influencer commentary. Having select voices intermediate and amplify a B2C relationship brings a level of authenticity to your live messaging.

Personality-driven content like a Reddit AMA or a roundtable after Real Housewives of Atlanta brings intimacy to the storytelling. We remember the faces and personality on Morning Joe, not the nuances of the debate itself.

Platforms like Thinkwire offer expert commentary that can be layered onto any live stream. These structured influencer discussions promote the brand’s narrative through their personal social channels – building community and engaging audience on new channels.

Live experiences are all about driving conversation up to, during and in between events. Streaming is a key piece to this narrative and should always be paired with other live media channels.

 

 

Tal Schwartz is founder and CEO of Thinkwire.