Live video streaming for small business
Creating live video content for your business is a sure-fire way to engage your audience with your brand. But is there much more benefit to real-time than pre-recorded video?
Live video streaming is a relatively new service offered by various online platforms, which adds another dimension to creating video content for your business. Using services such as UStream and LiveStream, soloists can film and stream video in real time to their audience, often at no cost.
Most applications have a free service with advertising or you can upgrade to a paid service to remove these.
SMEs are only beginning to understand the benefits of live video streaming.
One key benefit over regular video content is that it adds a sense of immediacy to broadcasts, and allows business owners to drum up some tension and interest in the event well in advance.
For example, you might promote that “On Monday at 10am I will feature my amazing new product and 10 viewers will get one for free.”
"One key benefit over regular video content is that it adds a sense of immediacy to the broadcast, and allows business owners to drum up some tension and interest in the event well in advance. "
Another benefit is that many streaming services allow you to ‘chat’ live with your viewers, allowing you to modify your content, answer questions and address customers’ objections in real time. Most services also connect easily with your social media accounts so you can invite friends, tempt people to watch as you are filming, and even stream straight from Facebook via a third-party app.
Using the above programs, you can choose to either have your video added to the its history of past broadcasts, which people can watch at any time, or you can choose to monetise your stream.
For instance, a consultant producing a live presentation could offer viewers who can’t attend to watch it later for a fee.
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Some examples of how live streaming can be used include:
Product/service telecasts: Introduce a new product or discuss a service via a live weekly telecast. You could create free, five-minute long educational ‘hot shots’ so that clients can get a feel of your level of expertise before buying.
Corporate events: Extend the audience of your presentation, launch, business breakfast etc. by filming and streaming it to other potential clients audiences around the country (and world) in real time.
Online services: Consultants can incorporate live streaming into their services, offering online sessions to groups of time-strapped executives.
Time-sensitive information: Use live streaming for a ‘big reveal’ of some kind, about which audiences would benefit from being the first to know.
You are only limited by your imagination for the uses of live video streaming. You can view ‘popular’ streams on the aforementioned websites for more examples, but this is still a very new medium so it presents a great opportunity to carve your niche.
Tips for live video streaming
Some might be worried about the ‘live’ aspect of streamed video content. My advice would be: practice before you preach! Rehearse your segment carefully before going live. Set a scheduled start and end time to keep it tight. During filming, have notes – preferably on a large board situated off camera but easy to read – or else typed notes on hand.
Make sure your home office video recording studio is well set up, and that you have the right equipment, lighting and framing.
If you want to raise the standard of your live video, but can’t afford a professional to help with filming, consider buying a broadcast-specific webcam device.
Live video streaming is a great tool for helping business owners establish credibility in their area of expertise, especially if you can’t afford traditional marketing. Leverage the ‘live’ element, and your content could achieve even better results than regular video.
Are you interested in experimenting with live video streaming? What’s holding you back? Or what has been your experience?