Originally posted on Entrepreneur.
Americans can’t get enough livestreaming video. In fact, according to Deloitte’s 10th Digital Democracy Survey, nearly one-third of Americans binge on a weekly basis, and almost half now subscribe to streaming video services. Millennials ages 14-25 spend more time streaming video content than watching live television.
For marketers, that’s excellent news. To start, millennials absorb content at an exceptional rate. And Deloitte’s survey also found that approximately three in four millennials ages 19-32 say their buying decisions are more influenced by social media recommendations than by TV ads. In other words, if you’re not onboard with the livestreaming revolution, now is the time to incorporate it into your content marketing strategy.
According to Kim Garst, who co-founded Boom! Social with Terry Williamson in 2012, livestreaming services such as Periscope already are powerful tools for content marketing. “Plus, it’s not just Periscope. It’s live streaming as a whole,” Garst says. “Facebook Live is entering the space as well, and YouTube will soon be on the scene with YouTube Connect. Facebook, in particular, has been very vocal about plans to make video a major part of the platform going forward.”
Garst points out that Facebook Live is an important part of that strategy. “The content marketers — at least the smart ones — should be making plans an adjusting strategies to take advantage of the shift toward live streaming,” Garst says. She predicts that within the next five years, “the user experience will continue to get better and better with the build-out of livestreaming, virtual reality and other things that give a real-time experience to the end user.”
Garst also believes an increasing number of companies will accept social media as a legitimate business-building tool. “It’s impossible to separate the ‘human’ part from just about any buying experience,” she says. “People buy from people they know, like and trust and social media is the best vehicle I have ever seen to allow businesses to do that at massive scale and with blinding speed.”
You’ll need to take a systematic approach to ensure you’re well-suited to embrace livestreaming as a part of your content marketing strategy. Here are five steps to integrate this new wave in your future marketing plans.
1. Ask: To stream or not to stream?
Before you experiment with livestreaming, seriously consider how it will fit into your goals for video and other content. Thinking about livestreaming within a larger context can help you determine whether it’s the right fit your business. If you opt to dip your toes, you’ll also need to be intentional about which type of content you’ll create and how to best distribute it to your target audiences.
2. Promote your live event.
If you want an audience, you have to promote what you’re offering. Begin with emails and social updates approximately two weeks in advance. Announce the topic, date, and time of your event. If you really want to intrigue your audience, stagger these details so followers must keep coming back for more information.
A week before the event, remind your audience about the topic and when it will take place. The day before, send a teaser trailer on channels frequently visited by your audience. You can generate excitement and keep the momentum going until a few hours before the live event takes place.
3. Get ready for lights, camera, action!
Like any show worth watching, livestreaming events should incorporate solid production values. Think about your lighting, sound and backdrop. Make sure the star of the event is well-informed about the desired outcome. He or she should speak clearly and authentically.
Stuck on where to find ideas for your livestreaming events? Consider some of the most popular topics:
- Share live events and announcements. Make your audience part of the action by bringing them along to a workshop, conference or new product launch.
- Host interviews or roundtable discussions. Can you connect with an industry expert or influencer to interview her or him during your event? Do you have any employees with a credible perspective who could share their knowledge? Interviews are a great way to enhance engagement, showcase your expertise and put your personality on display.
- Give your fans a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Your audience wants to see something they normally couldn’t access. Use your livestreaming event to invite them to a brainstorming session and help create a new product.
- Blog live. Instead of writing a post, schedule a live blog session. This is similar to a video blog, which also typically includes a Q&A feature.
- Host a training session. Conduct a live workshop or webinar. For example, the photography studio Digital Republic livestreams photography, Photoshop and visual content lessons.
4. Follow up with your viewers.
Keep the energy going after the event. You could recap your event with a blog post that summarizes the highlights or post audience questions and your answers. Share your blog across your various social channels to multiply your reach. This not only advances your conversation with attendees but also provides an entry point for those who weren’t able to participate. Strong follow-up might even motivate your more passive followers to tune in live the next time you invite them to one of your events.
5. Repurpose your broadcast.
Why stop at blog posts? You can repurpose your livestream to create infographics, SlideShare presentations, white papers or podcasts. Translating your livestream into other forms allows you to interact with different audience members who prefer to consume content in various ways. It also gives you the opportunity to share information via different mediums where live streaming isn’t available.
Livestreaming can be a powerful tool for content marketing as long as it’s planned, promoted and reused to reach as many audience members as possible.
Read more at Entrepreneur.
Which of these 5 steps do you anticipate as the most difficult? Leave your thoughts below!