There is a lot of talk around live video lately, we’re curious about what live video can do for business and if it will ever overtake traditional pre-recorded video. Live video is by no means a new trend, YouTube for example have allowed their users to live broadcast videos for a number of years, but with Facebook’s latest emphasis on broadcasting live video through its site, live video seems to be gaining traction again.
With more and more people turning against traditional television subscriptions and opting for on demand services such as Netflix and Hulu, it is no surprise that the cable networks are starting to feel the pressure.
Marketing budgets are being increased in favour of digital advertising and less and less is going towards television. With this new development an opening was established to present live video online. Multiple sporting events are now streamed live across multiple platforms, and it seems media giants are predicting that eventually people will no longer turn to television but to the online world, where they will find, multiple live events being streamed and an array of on demand video.
In January 2015 Twitter acquired periscope, an app that allows a user to broadcast live. Twitter has also begun to live stream events on the site, most recently Twitter won the right to stream NFL games live on Twitter. Facebook had also put in a bid but either didn’t win or pulled their offer.
In the world of social networking Facebook is king, with over 1.3 billion users, no other site comes close to that amount. So it’s safe to say once the social networking giant makes a change, the entire industry will feel the ripple effect.
YouTube has offered live streaming now for a number of years, but it has stayed within it has stayed within its platform. It’s difficult to randomly stumble across a live video that you may be interested in, that is where Facebook live streaming changes things. Live videos will appear in an individual’s news feed, so it’s much more likely that a user will find a live video and watch it while scrolling through their newsfeed. This is significant change for brands as they will be able to access their audience in real time, and get a true sense if they’re target audience are happy with the content they are producing.
However YouTube are fighting back against those rumours that they’re no longer innovative with their most recent announcement. They are introducing 360 degree live streaming, kicking off with the first 360 degree live broadcast from the Coachella music festival. This is a further development to the introduction of 360 degree pre-recorded videos back in January 2015.
But with all these development, will they make a huge difference to how a business use video for marketing purposes? Yes and no. Live video will introduce some exciting opportunities for businesses to connect with customers on a new platform, but we can’t see it replacing video advertising any time soon.
Live streaming allows a brand to break down barriers between themselves and their customers. Giving customers a deeper insight into the brand. No longer would it be a faceless company but rather a brand with an identity and personality that seems more trustworthy. People who trust a brand are more likely to buy from said company, so live video streaming is a great way to build that trust.
Live video also allows the person creating the video to monitor its audience in real time. So people can see who’s watching and where, and will be able to determine if the content they are producing is appealing to their customers. They can use this data for future pre-recorded video.
Of course one of the main benefits of choosing pre-recorded video over live is the quality of the video. When recording a video you can usually make all the design decisions before anyone sees it, and you can control the content that is produced. With live, anything can happen, which makes it a lot more difficult to control. Pre-recorded video can be used for multiple reasons on multiple platforms, but if a live video doesn’t turn out as well as originally anticipated, the likelihood of it being beneficial to the company is severely reduced. Even if the video has great content, data and Wi-Fi connections are still not perfect, so a bad connection could make your video feed skip and jump, leaving out vital pieces of information that you wanted to share with your audience.
Live is an interesting concept, and is probably best to consider it for your business, however avoid making a live video just for the sake of it. You should consider your audience and what they would actually like to see. The chances of your audience wanting to see a half balding man in a dark room talking about his business for 10 minutes probably won’t get a high number of views and engagements. If you are unsure if you should be utilising live video then take the time to decide if you want it and in the meantime create a pre-recorded ad or informative video in order to engage your audience.
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