Live streaming is all the rage these days, and there is a good reason for it. Not only is it cheaper than creating a video, it gives a personal insight into the workings of the culture of a company that pictures and text just can’t do.
With Twitch starting the live stream revolution in May of 2014, along with the recent creation of Meerkat and Periscope, live streaming is now mainstream where people can stream their entire lives if they wanted to. It’s just going to get bigger, so you need to hop on that now.
There are a number of different things you can live stream to drive engagement and brand awareness for your brand, so here is a quick list I came up with (in no particular order):
1. Backstage Access
I’ve seen a few backstage streams from the UFC (@ufc) and have been down right mesmerized and I don’t even really watch the UFC. When a viewer gets a backstage view or a “behind the curtain” view of a fighter, producer, creative, etc, it makes them feel like a VIP. If you’ve had full VIP access to anything, you know that it makes you feel special, maybe even loved, which is what you always want to strive for with your audience. This connection brings about loyalty and brand advocates, which in turn brings about a real life conversation with friends and family, which if you’ve done any research on purchasing habits of people, you know is the most you can ask for.
People crave information. Give it to them. Adobe Creative Cloud (@creativecloud) gave Jason Levine reins over their Periscope and had him give a quick tutorial of Lightroom where he edited a video live while giving tips and trick on the inner workings to Lightroom. I sat and watched him on there for 20 minutes or so and even though I have never used Lightroom, I was glued in. Remember that people will come in and out of the stream, so don’t get frustrated when the same question is asked 10 times.
3. Tour Of The Office
Take a page from Conan’s book and have fun with it by introducing the audience to the various personalities in the office. When you put a face with a certain aspect of the company, (accounting, marketing, delivery, etc) you in turn make the company more memorable. When you introduce these coworkers to the audience, make sure to ask the audience if they have any questions on either the day-to-day life or the worker themselves. This creates an even deeper level of understanding for the audience.
4. Keynote Speaker
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a keynote speaker, but if you ever go to any events where there are speakers, you can live stream those and give people that VIP access that I was talking about earlier. A number of events people just can’t make it to for one reason or another and will be thankful for the live stream.
5. Q&A (Customer Service)
This is pretty straight forward. Just hop on, give a specific topic that you would like to discuss then take questions. It works really well with creative aspects like video, audio, and image editing, but can work for any business really.
6. Behind The Scenes On The Inner Workings
This reverts back to the whole VIP point from above. There are no doubt a lot of things going on at your business no matter what size your business is. Giving people a behind the scenes view of the inner workings of an office or company give people an attachment that photos and text just won’t do. Do you have an employee/coworker that is somewhat funny? Ask them questions about what they do at work and how they do it. Do you have a creative department that gets together and brainstorms ideas on a whiteboard? Live stream them throwing around ideas. You never know, the audience might give you a great idea or some feedback on one of those ideas that you can feed off of. Whatever it is, make sure you are interacting with the people viewing the stream.
7. Office Birthday Party Or Celebration
Everyone can relate to birthday parties or celebrations. Involving this into your live stream allows for the audience to join in on the fun even when they aren’t there. I’ve seen a stream of a company sending off their interns for the last time by setting up a pinata. It was so much fun that I followed them and was more than happy to give a “Farewell and best of luck” to them on their adventures. This kind of stream gives the sense of inclusion that everyone craves.
8. Music Recording Sessions
I’ve only seen a handful of these steams, but they always grab my attention for dozens of minutes due to the VIP treatment and the vulnerability that comes with artists messing up on a song. Usually, people only see the end product that is fine-tuned and flawless, so seeing all the work that goes into creating music is mind-boggling.
9. Creating Art
This goes right along with number 8. Art is usually seen as an end product, so showing the work that goes into creating art from nothing can be intriguing. This can include paint on a canvas, makeup artists, welding, glass blowing, wood burning, sewing, tattooing, you name it. Just make sure the interaction with your audience is still there throughout the creation.
10. New Product Launch
The highest viewed streams I have ran across are unveiling of video games, phones, tech, and clothing. This should tell you that people love new and shiny things. Take advantage of this and create a great title to your stream and introduce your new product to your audience. Again, this comes down to that VIP feel that only people privy to these unveiling events have access to. As always, be sure to answer questions from the audience to keep the conversation flowing.
11. Live Reviews
There are a number of YouTube videos of people that have given reviews of products that have millions of views, so why wouldn’t a live review with Q&A involved not work just as well? This is similar to a new product launch because more often than not, the review is going to be of something new and shiny. Feed people’s interest and they will follow.
12. Special Offers
Just like companies do with Snapchat and Instagram, try promoting a special offer that is only offered to the live stream audience. Maybe try this: Ask the audience to take a screenshot of the video and bring it into your business for 25% off your order or something similar. This will bring boots into your doors, which is ultimately always the goal. Get creative with it and try doing some research on what companies have done with Snapchat and mold it to work for live streaming.
13. Crowdsourcing (Focus Groups)
I like this one because it gives the audience an opportunity to have their say in the inner workings of the business. I like the idea of a food company asking what their next flavor should be or what they should name a certain dish. You could take this a bit further and ask what problems they have with a specific product of yours and see if they have any solutions that would benefit the business. This goes back to the VIP treatment and makes the audience feel like their opinion is wanted, and when people feel invested in a business, they are much more likely to spread the word or purchase your product.
14. Breaking News
Most people want to be first. If you’ve seen any major YouTube publisher, you will see comments that say “first” just because. TMZ (@TMZ) takes this and runs with it. If there is a new lawsuit involving a celebrity, you better believe that their stream will be up and announcing it immediately. I’ve seen news networks send someone on-sight of a house fire and robbery interviewing witnesses and police at the scene. It’s almost like the movie Nightcrawler that just gives you a here-and-now feel that edited film just doesn’t create.
I have seen a number of interviews done on Periscope and hope the trend continues because it is extremely engaging and fun. When you interview someone, really anyone, make sure that you incorporate the audience into the questioning. Remember that live streaming is meant to be a direct interaction between your stream and the viewers of the stream. Have fun with it and even ask some of the sillier questions that are brought up, but don’t fall for the trolls.
16. Show And Tell
There is probably a sign, picture, action figure, or something odd in your office that doesn’t quite fit the general decor or feel. You’ve also probably been asked about it by customers or even coworkers. Guide the audience to this item and just tell the background of it and invite people in your area to come and check it out. They will no doubt have questions, so answer them if you can.
Live streaming is in-the-moment. Have a general guideline set to how you want to proceed with the current stream, but don’t be afraid to go on tangents if the audience takes you there. It’s all about interacting with people in real-time, so enjoy it.