£10 on the table right now. I reckon the last time you went on Facebook or Twitter you saw a live video, even if you just scrolled past it. Am I right?

You might be thinking that live stream content is something new. Well, you would be wrong. Live stream has been brewing in the background for a few years now. It’s only in the last year that people are starting to use it and embed live streaming in their marketing and communications strategies.

Let’s have a look at the time line:

2014 - Snapchat introduced a live aspect within their app

2015 – Twitter buys live streaming app Periscope

2015 - Facebook Live launches for a select few

2016 – Twitter incorporates Periscope into their timelines

2016 - Facebook live launches for all

2016 - YouTube announces live streaming on mobile

2016 - Tumblr launches live streaming

Because I love throwing statistics at you, here are a few interesting facts about live stream content.

  • Streaming video, accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic, and this share is expected to jump to 82% by 2020.
  • Facebook live videos are watched 3x longer than regular videos
  • 81% of internet audiences viewed more live content in 2016 than they did in 2015
  • Ad views on live video streaming grew 113% Q3 2015, higher than any other segment of online video

So I think it is fair to say that live stream is growing incredibly quickly - and importantly, engagement with live streaming is good. We love living in the moment.


What is so special about live streaming?

Live streaming adds “an authentic human element to digital communications.” Brands might use this video content for tutorials, product launches, exclusive reveals or behind-the-scenes-footage.

Freelance content creators might use this digital content to provide a closer connection between themselves and their audience. Live Q&A for example are becoming increasingly popular.

Finally, with anything live, including TV, it’s that uncertainty that anything could happen. Will something go wrong? Who will swear at the wrong time? This has developed to such an extent whereby we, as an audience, are actively wanting something to go wrong, when live, so we can have a good chuckle about it.


Want to give it a go? Don’t overthink it

Although it is sometimes good to simply dive in to a project headfirst, you’ll often find that more mistakes are made this way. It is especially appropriate for live streams because imagine if you rushed the set up, went live, and something incredibly embarrassing happened as a result.


Live streams are unfiltered. Be careful what you do and say at all times.

So start slow. Take it one step at a time. First look at who your audience is and second, think about the platforms your audience uses. There is no point going live to an audience on Twitter if your target groups are on Facebook most of the time. Two of the easiest to get started with are YouTube and Facebook. When you know who and which channel to pick, draft a content plan and brief script, setting out what messages you want to send on a livestream. This will ensure there are no awkward silences. As much as our audiences love a mistake or two, no one likes to cringe.


I’m ready, now what?

Like any sort of content that you produce and put out there, advertise it. Tease people. Tell them that you have new content on the way a few days prior to the live stream. But be prepared. Even with this advertisement, don’t expect a huge amount of people to look at your content, it might take some time to build up an audience for your live streams.


Don’t be disheartened by low viewer numbers to begin with!

Most live stream platforms record and save your streams as they go. This is great because you now have content you can reuse. Why not do a ‘did you miss this?’ a few days after? Or take it a step further and edit the stream down to the best bits, this is a great way to get viewers who missed your stream, and are too lazy to watch the whole thing to get involved with your new content.


Treat it like TV

Remember we are living in a time where everyone is very sensitive. If you do accidentally swear or show something inappropriate by accident, apologise straight away. You want to avoid any negative reviews with your live streams because this is an unfiltered look at who is working at your company. Poor life stream = Poor outlook on your company.


Get confident, get streaming

Once you are used to the streaming and you are familiar with it all, don’t shy away from doing mini live streams. This could be anything from your day-to-day life that you want to instantly share to your audience.

By doing this it gives the impression that your company are eager to share anything interesting with their audience, and an audience is more likely to be excited about content, if the creator is excited too.

If you need some help with live streaming - or maybe some editing. Please get in touch with us.