Over half of the United States is watching livestreamed video on a regular basis. Now is the time for eventprofs to take back TV.
If you're not livestreaming your events, why not? Recent research by the consultancy firm, Magid, has found that a majority of US internet users (56%) watch livestreamed content at least once a month with almost half (48%) watching weekly. Hot on the heels of video on demand, livestreamed content has now entered the mainstream. While most internet users are now quite familiar with livestreamed content, there is still work to do, as over a quarter (28%) of those surveyed said they had never watched livestreamed video content at all.
The survey also found that a quarter of those surveyed felt livestreamed content made people feel more informed and up to date, with one in five saying streamed content made them feel like part of an event.
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - It Will Be Livestreamed
Traditional television has given events a rough time for a while. It's not uncommon for an event to have to change its schedule to fit into (or around) a primetime slot. Not only that but the world of TV is still obsessed with shiny edited content that fits neatly between ad spots. That's not how events work. Events are live by nature and many believe that the best way to bring events to a wider audience is to do so as it happens; not as the TV execs see fit.
One thing that the research from Magid indicates is that consumers are becoming comfortable with the concept of watching live content over the internet. In fact, for some, it's becoming the norm. Internet users now are demanding all possible content to be available wherever they are and on whatever device they are using. Video is not excluded from this and you only need to look at your Facebook, Twitter or any social media timeline to see that livestreamed video is becoming commonplace.
Social Media Livestreaming
One of the biggest drivers behind the adoption of livestreaming is the growing support of social media platforms. YouTube has been at it for years and now Facebook and Twitter have also stepped up their game. There are plenty of advantages to using a social media based platform including relatively low costs and being plugged directly into the live timeline of your audience. It's almost impossible to say which social media livestreaming platform is the best right now but we'll keep you updated as the battle rages on.
It's important to note that although social media streaming is a great solution, it does rely on the brand having a strong social media presence and a strategic approach to how it is used. Simply setting up a Twitter account and going live will not get you views. You will need to build your audience and keep them engaged, just as you would for any social media campaign.
One Stream Or Many
With the myriad available free platforms for streaming video content via social media, there's no reason you can't have multiple streams. For example, gaming event audiences might benefit from streaming via Twitch, YouTube and Twitter to reach different segments of their audience. Many a social media guru has echoed the words "fish where the fish are" and this cheesy sounding mantra still stands where streaming to social media audiences are concerned.
Although many of the platforms themselves are free to use, be aware that setting them up and operating them takes time and effort. ROI should always be front of mind (or why would you bother?) with any marketing tactic, so just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Especially if the costs outweigh the return. Equipment overhead is another thing to factor in. Different platforms may require different equipment. For example, you can only broadcast directly from a mobile app on some platforms, whereas others will allow you to plug in cameras and an entire OB (outside broadcast) suite.
Livestreaming also brings several opportunities to get creative with sponsorship content. Instead of having an event broken up at times that suit the TV network, it's the eventprof that controls the schedule and ultimately how the sponsor's message reaches the audience.
When considering sponsorship options, it's also important to think about the limitations of the platform. For example, a stream that comes directly from a mobile device, such as Twitter's livestreaming, can't have any bespoke post-production so it's not possible to brand the stream itself. In these situations, creative placement of sponsor branding around the event and ensuring it's in the shot when people are viewing is key. Creative use could also be made of sponsor lounges for interviews and fireside chats.
7 Tips For Creating Engaging Livestreamed Content
- Livestream snippets of exciting content from the event such as a private interview with a celebrity or VIP attending.
- Show what is going on behind the scenes - an AAA pass.
- Livestream some of the speaker's presentations or quick fire 2-minute pitches.
- Highlight broadcast worthy speakers from the show.
- Encourage high-profile vloggers, bloggers or other influencers to livestream from their own account about their attendance at the show or to take over your account.
- Share any major announcements such as award winners being unveiled and products launched.
- Consider taking your livestreaming to the next level with 360º Video or virtual reality
Subscription Based Livestreaming
Of course, it doesn't have to be free. Event content is extremely valuable to those in attendance and also those sponsoring the event. Through livestreaming, you can effectively make your event accessible to almost anyone, almost anywhere. This gives eventprofs another potential revenue stream by making virtual event attendance a paid subscription. Not only does this benefit the event by adding a revenue stream but it can also benefit attendees by offering the event experience to people who wouldn't otherwise be able to attend.
The days of livestreaming being called a fad are long gone. With over half of US internet users regularly viewing livestreamed content, it's time the world listened. We've been talking about livestreaming events for a long time and some of you have been doing it even longer. For some, these are still uncharted waters but with consumer interest rapidly rising, it won't be long before livestreaming is an expectation rather than a luxury.