Whether you plan your marketing communications in-house, or hire external social media marketing agencies to handle your PR work, it’s important to keep up with shifting trends in how people consume media. An example of this is the addition of recorded video content to written blogs in recent years. YouTube alone has over a billion users – almost one third of all the people on the Internet – while Facebook last year reported that its users watch a total of 100 million hours of video every day.
The next big thing in marketing communications may well be live video streaming. In contrast to pre-recorded video content, live streaming offers an immediate and interactive experience that brings customers closer to your brand. Live video can present a more accessible, human face of your company, in a way that pre-recorded video – scripted, rehearsed, edited and finessed to glossy, message-delivering perfection by some social media marketing agencies – can sometimes lack.
Twitter’s Periscope app, launched in 2015, was the first large-scale, successful live streaming platform. Since then, Facebook Live has brought live video well into the mainstream – and the figures suggest that live streaming actually boosts engagement over non-live video. According to Facebook, viewers comment more than 10 times more on Facebook Live videos than regular ones. That’s something that businesses can use to their advantage in their marketing communications. A live video doesn’t have to be a scripted, one-way promo piece or product demo – it can become a way for you to truly interact with your customers in real time, for example as a live Q & A session.
Live video could add real value to your social media marketing efforts, and can be extremely straightforward to plan and deliver – especially if, for example, you have already built a following for your brand on Facebook or Twitter. It’s worth noting that, according to a mid-2016 report by Social Media Examiner, only 14 percent of marketers were taking advantage of live video and, while that’s likely to have increased in the past few months, there is still plenty of scope to build competitive advantage by being ahead of the curve in adding live streaming videos to your marketing communications strategy.