Video might have killed the radio star, but live-streaming video is disrupting the social media empires of the meme and the selfie. Video has been growing in popularity from YouTube to Vimeo, Vine, and even Instagram, but platforms like Periscope and Facebook Live are revolutionizing how you can interact with the world online.
Maybe you’ve heard predictions like Cisco’s that say, “by 2020, 75% of the world’s mobile traffic will be video.”
Maybe it’s true. Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch. Either way, though, video is a social trend that cannot be ignored.
There’s a momentum with live-video that began with the buzz over Meerkat at SXSW in the spring of 2015 and with Twitter’s purchase of Periscope (when Periscope was still in beta-testing). Now, with Facebook Live on the scene, there is no question about market interest. Pre-recorded video is still going strong, but there’s a certain thrill and authenticity about something that is live.
Where can you live-stream video?
Periscope is a live-streaming application that you can download onto your mobile device. Because it is owned by Twitter, users can sign-up either by connecting Periscope with an existing Twitter account or by registering their phone number.
What is fascinating about live-video is the new ways it opens up for audience interaction. Instead of someone being able to “like” a total video, someone watching can like any particular instant within the live-stream. When a specific sentence is powerful, for example, someone could note their approval at that moment, making a small heart balloon appear within the live-stream. In addition, because comments posted on the videos are live, the person on screen might even have the ability to verbally respond to questions shared, mentioning audience members by name.
Periscope gives the option to tag a location of a video or not, share it publicly or privately, enable anyone or only followers to comment, and can even post a link to the live-stream on Twitter.
Users have been able to upload pictures and videos to Facebook for a long time, but in early 2016, Facebook Live was launched for streaming live-video. Much like Periscope, Facebook Live displays “likes” or similar “Facebook reactions” in real-time with floating icons that appear whenever someone in the audience responds to the video. Real-time comments add to the engagement level here as well.
After the live broadcast, Facebook Live videos remain on a user’s timeline, shifting from a status of “is live” to “was live.”
It’s worth noting that at the time of this writing, Facebook Live is available only to individual users as well as verified Pages and public figures. All business pages do not yet have this capability, but it’s most likely only a matter of time.
It appears that YouTube is also striving to remain valid in the evolving live-streaming landscape with a new app of their own rumored to be called YouTube Connect. Few details are yet known about this project, but with YouTube’s background as a leader in video, they are sure to be a contender to watch.
What are the Benefits of Marketing via Live-Video Streaming?
- The marketplace is not yet dense with competitors. Pre-recorded videos, memes, gifs, infographics, and so many other content marketing pieces are everywhere you look online. Businesses are tweeting on Twitter, pinning on Pinterest, and even snapping on Snapchat these days, but not many are yet going live. Being an early adopter has its advantages.
- Facebook Live is a free automatic boost (for now). Facebook algorithms have gone through a lot of changes. Posts only reach a small percentage of friends/followers organically these days; however, Facebook has acknowledged that they are adding live-videos to the top of newsfeeds. They’re showing off their new tool and trying to meet their audience’s interests since they have noted, “people spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live.” It’s more than likely that once live-video catches on, it will become another revenue source for the social networking giant, so take advantage of free now if you can.
- Periscope live-streams can create a feeling of exclusivity and urgency since they can disappear after 24-hours (much like posts on Snapchat). Of course, since the 2016 introduction of Facebook Live, where posts do not disappear, Periscope now has a “save” option as well.
- Experimentation is a winning strategy. While there are many tactics being discussed concerning how to best utilize live-streaming video for marketing—from making sure there is a strong title (Periscope) or description (Facebook) to ensuring that one’s WiFi or 4G signal is strong—this is the moment for testing. The medium is young. There are no proven answers. Be creative and see what can work for you.
- Both Facebook Live and Periscope videos can be embedded into your website, which not only gives your website fresh content but also boosts your SEO with these social connections.
- Getting started is simple. Because Periscope is owned by Twitter, a user’s photo and bio can be automatically populated by their Twitter profile information the moment an account is created. Furthermore, the moment a Periscope live-stream begins, you can automatically tweet an alert to your Twitter followers with a link to follow along. For Facebook, there’s no learning curve with a new network. It’s simply a matter of posting in a different way and alerting the audience you have already established.
How we interact online—as people and as brands—continues to change from year to year and month to month. Every new trend may not be right for you, but choosing the right marketing efforts for any moment in time can have a huge impact.
Are you ready to live-stream?
At Midlothian Web Solutions, we stay on top of the latest web trends so you don’t have to. Contact us today if you have any questions about Periscope, Facebook Live, or any other piece of your social media strategy.