Have you heard of Periscope? This live-streaming video service app that is available to anyone, and it sold to Twitter for a whopping $100 million (wherein Twitter then re-released the app with ongoing success). But when we actually step back and look at the numbers, it’s only about a 3-5% portion of users who are actually doing the live-streaming; the rest of us are just sitting back and watching.
So the question begs to be asked: Is live-streaming just a flash in the pan?
It’s easy to surmise that, from the statistic mentioned above, live-streaming may seem bigger than it actually is. Thus, it could easily fall off the radar just as quickly as it showed up.
Our bets are on the opposite. While live-streaming services of themselves hold an uncertain future, the fact of the matter is that live-streaming itself is likely here to stay. Here’s why…
- Technology is only getting better.
The technology is only getting better with each iteration of live-streaming services. This includes the equipment needed to live-stream as well as the bandwidth that’s available for the service. Remember the webcams that looked like a little ball with an eye on it, and they were always mounted on a computer and pointed at a room and a user? We’ve come so far, and the technology will only continue to improve.
- It doesn’t cost a lot of money.
As the technology continues to improve, the cost will continue to decrease as a result. Think about how costly the first computers were, and how the cost has decreased with a concurring increase in technological advances. It’s happened with technologies like mobile phones and gaming systems too, and it’s likely to happen here with live-streaming services as well.
- You don’t have to be at a computer to do it.
Live-streaming is available on other systems like mobile devices, meaning that viewers can even be involved during their bus ride to work, their lunch breaks, and even their walk to the office. These situations are simply not always conducive to busting out a laptop or television to watch video, but mobile devices are already heavily used.
On the flipside, you can take people to different locations around the world, so utilize the ability to get out of ‘selfie mode’ and give people a tour. This helps create that special moment with your viewers to help them remember what it is you’re talking about..
- It’s transformative.
Think about it: It used to be that you needed to have broadcast television in order to see an event live, aside from being at the actual event itself. Live-streaming is transforming the way we have access to live events, including commercial events like sports to educational events like medical procedures.
The people who are going to be successful at live-streams are the ones who treat them like broadcasts. It’s exponentially more difficult to do a live broadcast as opposed to making a video and editing later. Spend time preparing it including:
- Have a presentation and topic prepared
- Pay attention to lighting
- Invest in a good microphone
- Have a way to introduce questions in a natural way
- Interaction is much higher, and questions can be asked in real time.
With a pre-made video, it’s hard for viewers to interact and ask questions as they come up. It’s easier to ‘strike when the iron’s hot’, so to speak, when you’re live-streaming since you can tend to questions as they come up. You’ll have a higher interaction rate, and you can reduce the idea of ‘I’ll think about it’, which is a huge sales barrier. You’re there, you’re looking for the interaction and sale, and you’re better able to capture the interactions from your viewers.
- Viewers are there without being there.
Even though the actual event is separated by a very long Internet connection, the ‘live’ aspect of live-streaming is what draws more users in. Why do you think statistics fall so heavily on viewers as opposed to presenters? People simply love watching live video, and they feel like they’re part of the action, even when they’re not actually there.
- Presenters are interacting with everybody even when they’re asking questions to one person.
This means that viewers can feel like they’re a bigger part of the action, and they feel empowered. It’s a positive feedback loop, because you’re audience has a little bit of say in what you’re up do, and they’re more interactive. Be a little entertaining, and understand that even though it may seem like you’re having a singular conversation, you’re actually engaging the entire viewer-base at once. And they can respond in real-time to continue the conversation.
- It’s just more exciting!
Wardrobe malfunctions, slips of the tongue, and other live blips are just part of the deal with broadcast TV, and now it’s also part of live-streaming services. You’re upping the ante, and you’re more likely to suffer slip-ups and mix-ups in a live production, and this presents an extra layer of intrigue for viewers. It’s just another hook to keep ‘em coming back for more. And the best (or worst) part is that you simply can’t avoid some of these ‘exciting’ extras.
Live-streaming allows for the sharing a unique experience with viewers. It’s valuable and powerful with businesses who can interact with their customer-base. It’s a great business tool, but it’s best for unique experiences, so finding a way to merge those two is the key.
Offer a live-streaming event for the reveal of a new product. Use live-streaming to give folks a tour of your facility. Live-stream your day at a big industry event.
Whatever you do, use live-streaming to connect with your viewers in new and exciting ways. It’s likely here to stay, because the viewership is out there. We think it’s more than just a fad because:
- The technology is only going to continue to improve.
- It’s cost-efficient.
- Viewers and presenters both don’t have to be at a computer to do it.
- It’s transformative.
- It’s interactive.
- Viewers can be there without being there.
- Presenters can interact with everyone, even when they’re asking pointed questions.
- It’s just more exciting!
You tell us: Have you used live-streaming for your business? What have you done on live-streaming services, and what has been successful for you?