Live Streaming: Which Platform Is For You?

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In recent years, video has revolutionised how people consume content. For marketers, video provides a stronger opportunity to engage with consumers and, when done right, can be used to heighten a campaign’s success.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, claimed in 2015 that there were an average of 8 billion daily video views on Facebook, with more than 500 million people watching videos on the site each day.

As well as traditional online video, live streaming has become extremely popular of late.Anything can be streamed online, whether it’s a wedding, a music festival, a presidential debate or even a leap into space. In fact, 1.7 million people watched the most recent U.S. presidential debate live on YouTube – making the debate the most watched political live stream ever.

Live streaming apps are transforming content consumption. What used to take a few days to record, edit and upload can now be done live with just a touch of a button.

If you’ve not yet made the move to live streaming, here’s a look at the key players and what potential they offer to both marketers and consumers.

Facebook Live

Undoubtedly the biggest contender in terms of live streaming apps, Facebook Live allows users to stream their content, as it happens, directly from their Facebook account. Thanks to breaking news bulletins and social media, we are a generation used to having stories revealed to us in a live context. Facebook Live helps develop real-time storytelling; evolving our relationship with content and news.

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Live stream viewers are also encouraged to get involved by commenting or liking the stream, allowing the creator to see how people are responding instantly. With over 1.5 billion accounts on Facebook, streaming through Facebook Live is a massive opportunity for businesses and brands – particularly as the stream will appear on users’ newsfeeds.

Expect the platform to continue to grow – Facebook has just revealed plans for a huge international marketing campaign to drive more users to the streaming app. They have also announced that live video scheduling will be rolled out to users in the near future, allowing marketers to create more cohesive campaigns around streaming.

Periscope

Periscope is Twitter’s equivalent to Facebook Live and, in December 2015, was revealed to have around 10 million active users. Using a Twitter login, users can stream videos through their phones with viewers responding with comments and emoticons. It’s also been revealed that Persicope will soon allow people to stream through their cameras, drones or computers – allowing for a multitude of options. Right now, those with GoPro cameras are already able to live stream directly onto Periscope.

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Perhaps one of the biggest moments for Periscope so far occurred on the 6th January 2016. In a bizarre breakout moment for user-generated live video, 20,000 people tuned in to watch #DrummondPuddleWatch – a live stream of people attempting to cross a huge puddle in Newcastle.

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YouTube

With over a billion users - almost a third of people on the internet – YouTube is the world’s biggest video platform and is where most people go to for video content.

 

YouTube has been offering live streaming since 2011 but this year, the Google-owned company, introduced mobile streaming for the first time.

Running in a similar way to Facebook Live and Periscope, mobile streaming through the YouTube app will encourage immediate interaction between viewer and user.

Instagram

Owned by Facebook, expect Instagram to start venturing into video streaming very shortly. The app recently launched Instagram Stories, a similar setup to Snapchat’s Stories feature, where users can post a timeline of photos and videos which will disappear at the end of the day.

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Instagram Stories can also be an effective marketing tool for businesses – look at using the timeline to cover an event you’re attending or an awareness day related to your brand by  posting relevant content throughout the day.

This report indicates that Instagram is currently testing live video – watch this space for more developments.

Which one is best?

Let your KPIs decide which platform is best. Think about what you want to achieve and who your target audience is, and then, after you’ve done this, decide which platform would allow you to best achieve these aims.

As a Facebook Live stream will appear on the newsfeeds of those who follow you, Facebook Live may be the obvious winner to you. The platform also provides more options and customisation than Periscope. However, if your main audience doesn’t use Facebook, then it’s not the platform for you.

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YouTube is another option, especially if you don’t wish to connect your stream to an existing social media account. YouTube gives you the freedom to create a video, seed it on the biggest video platform available, and then share it on blogs or social if you see fit to. Quite an impressive option.

Jack Kelly, digital and social marketing manager for Subaru of America, said in an interview with AdAge that “[Live video is] just one of those things we need to know more about, and you can’t know more about it until you actually dive deep and do it.”

Want to know more?

Could live streaming be for you? Dive deep, have a go and try out the likes of Facebook Live and Periscope for yourself. If you could do with a refresher on social media, or you'd like to get your team more involved, take a look at our training. You can also pop your details in the form below and we'll be in touch.

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