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Live Streaming: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

Updated: May 11, 2023

Is your brand feeling a bit stagnant lately? Live streaming could be the key to unlocking new growth. With the power to connect with your audience in real time, this feature offers an exciting opportunity to expand your reach, experiment with fresh content ideas, and create crazy levels of engagement.

But before we dive into the juicy stuff, let's address the burning question you're probably asking:

What Is Live Streaming?

Live streaming, quite simply, is a feature that lets users transmit live footage over the internet to an active target audience. From a business owner's perspective, think of it as a virtual stage where you can showcase your products, services, and brand personality to the world—in real time!

Once reserved for dedicated streaming platforms, live streaming has now evolved to be a mainstream feature on social media, opening a plethora of possibilities for brands to take their marketing game to the next level.

How Is It Being Used?

The world is your oyster when it comes to live streaming. We’ve seen brands utilize this powerful marketing tool in a variety of ways, including:

  • Hosting live events, such as product launches, webinars, & conferences

  • Giving a behind-the-scenes of their company or production process in real-time

  • Conducting live Q&As with industry experts or thought leaders

  • Broadcasting live performances or entertainment events

  • Facilitating interactive experiences such as polls or live games

  • Offering live tutorials or classes related to their niche or industry

  • Showcasing live auctions or sales

  • Sharing breaking news or updates

  • Holding live customer service or support sessions

Why Live Stream?

Oberlo reports that the average user consumes an average of 12 hours of online video per week, with live streams being the 4th most preferred type of video content overall. With already such a receptive audience, here are just some of the benefits of leveraging live streaming for your brand:

  • It extends your reach: Live streaming offers an expansive audience reach, as people can access your content wherever they may be. There's no need for viewers to be within driving distance of your location or even within your country to attend your brand's product launch or month-end sale. Plus, with 4.8 billion active users on social media, there could really be no shortage of people to tap, engage with, and convert into loyal customers through your live stream content.

  • It enhances your online presence: With many social media platforms prioritizing live content in their algorithms, your live stream has a high chance of appearing at the top of people's feeds. This can help you get more eyes on your brand, enhance your online presence, and even capture the attention of potential new viewers who may not have discovered your content yet.

  • It drives tons of engagement: Live streaming, by nature, encourages active participation from viewers. This results in an abundance of real-time engagement, including likes, comments, and shares, all within a short amount of time. The presence of a host manning the live stream can also help guide viewers to take actions such as checking out items in their cart (for social commerce live streams) during the stream, which can help bump up your bottom line!

  • It humanizes your brand: Brands can often appear faceless and impersonal to their audience. But live streaming changes all that by providing consumers the opportunity to see that there are real people behind the brand and build strong emotional connections. Highlighting your employees, partners, or customers during live streams can amplify this effect.

  • It allows for richer content and conversion: Live streaming allows you to go in-depth and explain complex ideas or concepts that might be difficult to convey through other forms of content. It also provides an opportunity to answer real-time questions and concerns from your audience and clear barriers to conversion on the spot!

  • It produces reusable content: Live streams can be recorded and therefore repurposed into other forms of content such as social media posts, website assets, and newsletter inserts. This saves your content team a lot of time and effort and even helps you save financial resources.

  • It’s cost-effective: You don't need to invest in expensive equipment or a large production crew to get started. A simple camera (even a phone camera will do), a stable internet connection, and access to a platform with live-streaming features are all you need. In fact, consumers are demanding that brands be more authentic. The more “candid and real” the stream feels, the better!

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Live Stream

As we wrap up our ultimate guide, we want to ensure you are armed with the secrets to making your live stream a smashing success! Check out these tips to make the most out of your live stream:

  • Develop a rough plan: While it's great to be spontaneous during your live stream, having a rough plan can help you stay on track and ensure that you're meeting your goals. Take some time to create an outline of what you want to cover and any key points you want to hit.

  • Be responsive: Interacting with your audience is one of the most important aspects of a successful live stream. Make sure you're actively monitoring your chat and responding to questions and comments from your viewers.

  • Have fun: Whether you're the host or part of the team running the live stream, allow yourself to have a good time. Plus, joy is infectious! When you’re having fun, your audience will most probably be, too!

Ready, Set, Stream!

We hope this guide has helped you understand what live streaming is and its potential impact on your business. Our team can't wait to find out what you're going to come up with! Best of luck and full "stream" ahead!

For more marketing techniques, tips, and tricks, check out our blogs at TopVA!


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