Real-time video has taken off. Here are three ways to tap into this emerging channel and its devoted and rapidly expanding audience.
Livestreaming has been around since the early 1990s, but it has exploded in popularity due in large part to significant cultural and historic events highlighting the feature.
“The Ferguson riots were mostly broadcast on UStream,” says Andrew Grinaker, content strategy director at the digital agency Possible. “This brought a civil rights movement directly to our cellphones with raw, on-the-ground coverage. It showed people that real-time video could be powerful in telling all sides of a story.”
Less serious, but equally significant, was the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao boxing match. Many consider this Periscope’s “coming out party.”
“The fight was streamed by multiple Periscope users for others to view and avoid the outrageous pay-per-view cost,” says Grinaker. “The event drew record downloads and views for Periscope, and brought real-time video to the mainstream.”
One key real-time video is popular is that it’s inexpensive and quick to produce. As a result, more and more communicators are streaming live footage of events, exclusive performances, product launches and interviews with executives and other influential figures.
Here are three ways to get in on the action and reach a growing audience:
- Choose platforms based on current followers. Every livestream platform offers distinct features and has different audiences. So, how do you pick among them?
“Each company should investigate the size of their social audiences to determine where the best place to start is for livestreaming,” Grinaker says.
For example, Periscope is ideal if you have a large following on Twitter, he says. “Periscope is owned by Twitter, and Facebook Live is obviously a feature on Facebook—so go where you already have the biggest following.”
Register for PR Daily’s March 17 PR University webinar “Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Live for PR” to learn how to integrate livestreaming into your content marketing mix.
- Build awareness with teasers.Livestreaming is still the “Wild West” of content marketing. It’s challenging to stand out in the flurry of new video streams rushing to capitalize on audience interest.
“One way to make sure you don’t get lost in the mix is to create a ‘teaser’ to publish on other social networks that communicates the day and time of your next livestream,” Grinaker says.
“If media budget is available, promote these social posts to increase your reach and drive further awareness of the event,” he says. “To help with repeat viewers and building additional content, capture the livestream with a second camera to have content you can post and publish on all social channels.”
- Avoid common mistakes. Failure to share a teaser is the most common mistake PR pros make when first livestreaming, Grinker says. Others include:
- Insufficient budgets for paid media to help promote livestreams on social media channels;
- Capturing content on livestreams that people can already access; and
- Livestreams that are too short (usually less than two minutes). “It takes time for people to notice a livestream, and most people are willing to engage for a minimum of five minutes,” Grinaker says.
Brian Pittman is a Ragan Communications consultant and webinar manager for PR Daily’s PR University. Pamela Naumes, senior director of brand engagement at Campbell’s C-Fresh, and Andrew Grinaker, content strategy director at Possible, will share more livestreaming best practices in the March 17 PR University webinar, “Periscope, Meerkat, Facebook Live for PR: New Livestreaming Best Practices to Reach Millions.”