Online, real-time streaming can be a great way of marketing any event. By live streaming your event or parts of your event, you’ll be enabling people who couldn’t attend physically to view it all online as it happens, or at least catch up on the parts they wanted to see most.
As you might expect live video is already hugely popular amongst celebrities, influencers and news broadcasters, but it’s a feature which is accessible to everyone, and you should absolutely be using this great marketing tool for your next exhibition or event.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the main platforms for live video and provide some tips and insights on to how to use these tools.
Video exploded on Facebook in 2015, reaching eight billion daily video views. Facebook videos have a 135% greater organic reach compared to photo posts and these viewers are much more willing to watch a video than read a static post about an event, topic or product. Facebook users spend 3x as long watch live video than they do watching video content that is no longer live, showing that there is a huge advantage to live streaming rather than a post-event video (which still remains a successful strategy to post-show marketing).
With over one billion users and hundreds of millions of hours of video YouTube is absolutely huge. The platform has been offering live video since 2011 but has recently announced a new chapter: live streaming through the mobile app which will allow spontaneous and intimate opportunities. YouTube has its own collection of celebrities and influencers known as ‘YouTubers’, and in recent years the power of these stars has become massive with most teens today recognising these celebrities over TV stars. However, YouTubers spend hours editing video footage and it is unlikely that they will start to use YouTube live due to the nature of their videos. Which means that there is plenty of room for a new type of celebrity on the platform – one who brings consistently good live footage to their subscribers.
The Twitter-owned Periscope had 200 million broadcasts streamed in its first year but, while a popular live streaming tool and still in active use, hasn’t really seen huge growth over the past year or two. Launched around the same time as Meerkat (another early innovator of live video streams) it had a strong competitor from the start but has largely been eclipsed by other platforms. If you have a strong following on Twitter you will likely find Periscope a useful tool and it’s absolutely then worth investigation. However, if your focus lies with other social media accounts you’re likely see greater benefits from other channels.
Snapchat is the fastest-growing social network in history. 150 million people now use the platform every day – which is more than use Twitter – and collectively more than 10 billion videos are viewed every day on Snapchat. The typical Snapchat user is young, active and enthusiastic, but the platform is seeing huge growth across all demographics. Social media users already spending more time on Snapchat than every other social network, and it has become well-established with brands who are using the platform daily to bring fun content to their followers. Other Snapchat tools such as geofencing – which lets you implement location-based overlays that users can apply to their Snaps – are increasingly being used for larger exhibitions and conferences, and Snapchat is expected to launch additional marketing functionality later this year.
The controversial launch of Instagram Stories – which is essentially a Snapchat copycat product – has unveiled another contender in the Live Video race. The Facebook-owned Instagram has 500 million active users, the new Stories tool is already in heavy usage by the platform’s top celebrities, brands and power users. It will be interesting to see how this new feature impacts the world of live video and whether it becomes a genuine threat to Snapchat.
HOW TO USE LIVE VIDEO AT YOUR EVENT
Live video gives you the opportunity to reveal something new to your community. Usually, your social media outposts will display a polished version of what is happening at your latest event, but behind the scenes footage can give your event additional flare and personality. People love to watch things unfold – especially if it’s live with a sense of risk and excitement! While you want to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible, an ‘anything could happen’ approach can really trigger a huge surge in views.
INTERVIEWS & Q&A
Have a guest speaker at your event? After broadcasting their talk or presentation to event attendees why not conduct a live interview or Q&A with the speaker. You could even use the live chat options on most of the platforms to enable viewers to ask their questions and get answers in real-time – this can generate tremendous engagement. Once finished, save this footage and upload to YouTube or your chosen channel to use as part of your post-show marketing strategy to maximise ROI.
MANAGING LIVE VIDEO
Running any fun competitions, games or shows at your event? Use social media to provide followers with an agenda of what and when everything is taking place so they know when they can tune into your live feed. This means you can break your event down into live video chunks meaning that no one is required to be recording the entire day. Plan a timeframe of events to go live – this could include delegates arriving and setting up, the doors to your event opening, key speakers, seminars and competition announcements.
Video is heading to the heart of all things social media and marketing, so plan for the future now and start to implement a live video strategy into your event. This way you can find out what works well and what doesn’t to give you a head start before everyone else – including your competitors – jump onboard. Live streaming allows for instantaneous connectivity and can run seamlessly alongside your other event digital strategies to humanise your event branding and build relationships. Happy filming!