How to Take Your Small Business Live

Livestreaming. It’s a bit of a catch-all term, but livestreaming generally refers to any kind of live video content, usually hosted on a social media platform like Facebook or Instagram. Livestreaming used to be a bit of a niche content category, with only specific apps allowing the capability and almost exclusively used by people with substantial followings already.

However, livestream videos are now used across multiple channels for a variety of reasons, with a survey from 2017 reporting that 28 percent of global Internet users watched livestream videos in the last month.

Why have livestream videos become so popular? And more interestingly, why should your business go live?

Satisfy Curiosity

Most people are drawn to livestreams, especially from brands, because it gives them insight and a perspective they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Maybe that means a behind-the-scenes look at your business operations or a Q&A with the founder. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s authentic but doesn’t give away any trade secrets or open your company up to scandal.

Real Time Interaction

According to a survey of U.S. adults in 2016, some of the most popular reasons for tuning in to a livestream were the sense of community the viewers got and the opportunity to interact with a host they admired for one reason or another.

What a livestream does more than any other form of static content is it connects people in real time, both to each other and to your business. That’s an avenue you should take advantage of!

You can interact directly with your audience, but they can also interact with you, forging that ideal two-way communication system. If you’re not getting enough participation, try reaching out through some polls, Q&As or reading live comments on the stream.

Business Benefits

Increasingly, livestreaming is proving to be a valuable tool for businesses.

80 percent of consumers would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog post, and 82 percent prefer it to a normal social media post.

Additionally, viewers will spend eight times longer with live video content than on-demand content. Livestreams convey a sense of immediacy and impermanence that attracts the viewer to stay watching for longer than they might otherwise.

In the large sphere of brand competition, live could make the difference in getting seen.

Quick Tips Before You Start Streaming

Are you ready to give livestreaming a go? Before you do, here are some things you should remember:

  • Publicize: A live video doesn’t do much good if no one’s watching! Are you streaming a special event or are you planning to make this a weekly thing? Either way, make sure your followers know when to tune in. Use your other social platforms, website and/or newsletter to spread the word.

  • Experiment expertly: Livestreaming is still a bit of a new innovation, so no one expects you to have it down to a perfect method. This means you can experiment with the kinds of content you stream. Figure out what works best for you, but make sure the video and content are both high quality while you do your experimentation. Tripods for mobile video can help a lot with stabilizing your video. (Hint: selfie sticks can even help with this.)

  • Post-stream: Did you know your livestream can have a life beyond the live? Many platforms have an option to store the video on the platform itself so it can be accessed after the fact. If it doesn’t, be sure to store the recording and upload it yourself.

With social media platforms catching on to the livestream trend and offering embedded livestream tools, it seems as if livestreaming will be one of the next big things. Even if it’s not, there are still plenty of opportunities for your business to make a name for itself with live content.