Capitalizing on Live Video for Your BusinessBusinesses are constantly searching for a new way to engage, connect with, and entertain consumers. Enter live video—a powerful platform that has taken center stage in marketing.

Live video apps such as Periscope, Meerkat, Blab.im, and Snapchat enable businesses to easily record and broadcast live video over major social media platforms, reaching the masses with incredible results. Video undeniably has more of an impact than the written word when it comes to content. Sharing videos in real time can bring consumers closer to your brand and forge lasting relationships—if you can master the medium.

Choose a Platform: A Wealth of Options

Major brands such as Starbucks, BMW, and Nestle have entered the live video scene with a flourish, using it to share thoughts and experiences with consumers. As live streaming continues to gain momentum in the business sphere, it’s clear this form of marketing is a goldmine for brands that do it right. You don’t have to be a live video wunderkind to create engaging, appealing live videos for your consumers. You just have to use the right tools.

Facebook Live is an extremely popular and completely viable way for small businesses to master live video streaming. One of its advantages over platforms such as YouTube and Periscope is that consumers don’t have to watch a video from beginning to end to see the parts that interest them. Facebook Live lets users react to certain parts of the video, giving businesses the opportunity to gather data in real time. Your business can capitalize on Facebook Live without a major investment–all you need is a camera, Internet connection, and Facebook account.

Two other popular platforms for business are Meerkat and Periscope, both simple means of broadcasting live from mobile devices and posting to social media. The two platforms are similar in terms of functionality but have different key features. Meerkat makes it easy to connect with viewers, since it displays their avatars at the top of the screen as they watch. Periscope shows performance statistics after your video ends. Meerkat has decided to become its own video social network after buckling to competition from Twitter and Periscope, but it is still a viable option for small businesses.

Create Irresistible Video Content

Live video excels for many uses, but brands are finding the most success with video content such as broadcasting live events, making big announcements, and giving behind-the-scenes company access. Small businesses can use live video to show how they make their products, launch contests, or for crowdsourcing. Brands that dominate live video follow a few basic guidelines:

    Focus on the consumer. Live video shouldn’t be all about you—it should be about your followers, platform users, and potential customers. Offer something of value to viewers instead of using it purely to self-promote.
    Share, don’t sell. Viewers expect a different message from live video streaming than from typical video advertising. Live video should be a way to share content with your consumers, not push your products or services. Leave “the pitch” behind.
    Stay true to their brand. Live video is not ideal for brands that need to keep up a façade. More and more, consumers want a brand they can trust and feel connected. Be that brand by expressing knowledge about your industry with authenticity.
    With the right live video streaming tools, your business can stand out from competitors and offer consumers content they actually want. Live video gives your brand the perfect opportunity to form a bond with users, get real-time metrics and feedback, and capitalize on the newest trend in technology. Get started with live video today, and watch your brand entertain its way to the top.

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