April 30, 2015
With the launch of Meerkat and the rise of Twitter’s competing app, Periscope, live streaming is gaining ground as one of the best ways to engage and entertain followers via social media. If you want to take advantage of the power of video in the coming months, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with the available technologies and develop a live stream strategy that maximizes the value of your content and gets you noticed.
The 3 Major Live Stream Providers
When Meerkat broke through at the recent SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, Texas – surpassing more than 100,000 users in a single weekend – the power of live streaming to appeal to the masses was finally realized by those within the social media and marketing industries. While there are other small niche sites, and many more can be expected to launch in the coming months, three live streaming video apps and sites are currently leading the way.
- The first player in the live streaming field was YouTube – and they continue to lead the way. YouTube and Google+ Hangouts work together to allow users to broadcast live conversations, meetings, lectures, and anything else for free.
- As mentioned, Meerkat has gained some serious traction since being introduced only a few weeks ago and comes in the form of a mobile app that allows users to stream video whenever they want and wherever they are. While live streaming Hangouts may appeal more to businesses and professional settings, Meerkat is expected to cater to the younger crowd. Twitter, however, has already delivered this promising startup a blow by cutting off some access to the social networking site.
- In addition to slowing Meerkat’s rapid growth, Twitter quickly announced the launch of its own app, Periscope, only days after the SXSW Interactive conference concluded. They reportedly purchased the app for $100 million in January and it will allow Twitter users to live stream video from within the social networking site.
Tips for Live Streaming
While the marketing community will learn a lot more about live streaming dos and don’ts over the next few months, here are a few tips for beginners looking to develop a live streaming strategy now:
- Increase your followership. As Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard writes, Twitter is great because, “You can use it to develop an engaged community that trusts you and listens to what you have to say.” While you never want to pursue quantity over quality when it comes to users, you’re going to need a solid and active followership to make your live streaming count. If you only have a few hundred Twitter followers, it may be best to focus on bolstering your account before immersing yourself in the intricacies of a live streaming strategy.
- Choose a content focus. What will your focus be? Like any content strategy, you need to hone in on a particular focus or niche to be successful. Options include live broadcasting, question and answer sessions, live look-ins, and event streaming. In order to choose one, think about your brand’s personality, your target market’s pain points, and through which channels your live content will be disseminated.
- Try something new. Because live streaming is so different and unique, there are plenty of opportunities to make a splash by trying something new. The NFL has already announced that it will broadcast a live game football game online on October 25. Several car companies are also throwing around the idea of live streaming a car launch. Your best chance to increase brand awareness and utilize this new trend is to do something unique.
Video Matters in 2015
In the coming months, the value of video content will continue to trend upwards as more live streaming sites and apps hit the marketplace. As a business owner, marketer, or entrepreneur, maximizing the value of your content will require you to craft a strategy that engages with users and takes advantage of all the available features.
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