Looking for simple tips for live streaming like a pro? Worried that your blogging strategy, social media push isn’t going too far? Does your publishing velocity need a herculean push? Read on 👇
Note: This is from the perspective of someone who attends live streams on a weekly basis. Too many to count. These are my takeaways as a live stream attendee. About me doing live streams? Someone motivate me please.
Streaming democratizes content production. Apart from the ability to find and consume live streaming content, you also have a democratized opportunity to “produce” content.
Switch from consumer to producer and you’ll end up doing a lot for your business.
Let’s not talk business for a while; let’s just focus on the fun stuff you (and I) love to do: Streaming entertainment.
According to Google, between 2019 and 2020, there’s been a whopping 800% increase in global watch time of both ad-supported and purchased feature-length movies.
The watch time for live content is up 250% in the U.S. specifically, watch time on TV screens is up 350% for documentaries and 450% for news.
Between mid-March and mid-April, 60% of viewers signed in to YouTube on TV screens watched a video published in the last 7 days.
Convinced that live streaming has potential and reach at least?
Now, let’s follow through with some simple tips for live streaming, why it makes sense for your business to adopt and embrace live streaming, & how it helps you pack a punch to your overall digital footprint:
Show up and Mesmerize (Read: Be Yourself)
There’s only so much that written text can do. Further, you can polish, grind, sand, and polish some more that you’ll only showcase the best of your content.
Here’s the problem: you’ll find it hard to connect with your customers. You see? Your customers don’t want jargon thrown at them nor do they expect polished “Pulitzer” material when they consume your content.
All that they seek is a way to connect with your business,relate to your brand, clap along, cheer along, and resonate with you.
It’s hard to do this with just text and images. It’s much easier (and way more effective) if you do it with live streaming.
Instead of thinking “strategies”, “leads”, and “sales”, just make the effort to show up. This alone is more than what most businesses can’t do. Gives you a definitive edge as long as you do it consistently, right?
It’s hard to be consistently showing up on Live streams, hosting them, talking into the camera without even your mom in attendance (there was a time when she’d at least read a blog post or two).
But that’s just the nature of the game. Patricia Benandez of The Verge wrote about several live streamers on Twitch who streamed for years before gaining ground and making it big (you decide what’s big).
Consistency applies for everything: from live streaming to blogging; from ads to landing pages; from success in investing to reversing diabetes.
Out of all the simple tips to live streaming, this is the one you should walk away with.
That’s just how it is.
Start with YouTube Live (for free). Or Start with Restream and push your live stream to several platforms (such as Facebook live, Instagram Live, and LinkedIn live at once (also for free).
Live streaming is a great way to make your business and brand more visible, build more relationships with your audience, and increase engagement on the internet. Learn how to live stream for your business now 👇
Meanwhile, viewer habits are changing (notwithstanding the complex consumer habits that are also changing. Throw in the pandemic here and it’s more complex than ever).
The global video streaming market size is all set to reach USD 223.98 billion by 2028, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc, expanding at a CAGR of 21.0% from 2021 to 2028.
The reach is insane. The format is welcome.
Learning how to livestream for your business is the best thing you’d do then.
Why should you live stream?
It’s the next best thing to being there in person (with every single viewer, visitor, and potential customer). Live streaming helps you build relationships with your viewers, potential customers, and existing customers.
Here’s what customers expect from brands in terms of live streaming and live video, according to Vimeo Livestream:
81% watched more live video in 2016 than in 2015.
80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog.
82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts.
For 56%, breaking news is the type of live video content they watch most often. Conferences and concerts are tied in second place with 43%.
67% of audiences who watched a live stream purchased a ticket to a similar event the next time it occurred.
87% would prefer to watch online if it meant more behind-the-scenes content than a standard TV broadcast.
45% of audiences would pay for live video from a favorite team, speaker, or performer.
67% of viewers say quality is the most important factor when watching a live stream.
Favorite video platforms for live streaming and live video in order of preference:
Facebook Live: 66%
How to Live stream For Your Business (Like a pro)
Live streaming is gaining momentum in the social media world. That’s all good. How do you get started with live-streaming? What if you’ve never done it before but you are itching to start?
What should I invest in first? How can I maximize my reach on live streams to make more money and build a bigger audience for myself or my company’s products/services?
Let’s dig in:
Get over camera shyness for video
I start with this because despite having physically trained thousands of people in classroom settings and in humongous arenas(in another life), and the fact that public-speaking is easy for me, I am still extremely shy when it comes to doing videos (talking head) and livestreaming.
I know the pain. I also bear the cost of not starting yet (part of the reason why I write this blog is to remind myself that I should start livestreaming too). I even signed up for Restream.
If you have to practice first, start using some of these fantastic tools for video and make short videos. Start a YouTube channel and record your screen maybe. Slowly, make your way to “talking head videos” and get used to the camera.
You’ll have to take the first steps. There are just no two ways about it and you can’t escape from it (believe me, I tried and I keep trying).
Start with a reliable, fully-featured live streaming app
As if doing live steams wasn’t hard enough, you don’t want to wrestle with technology as far as doing livestreams go. Technology does help though. Here are some of the best live streaming apps for your business.
Personally, I love Restream — it’s free to start with, simple to set up, and you can stream out to multiple destinations (such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live, LinkedIn Live, and more)
You can also create and manage live stream graphics (such as lower-thirds, overlays, and more), handle chat (incoming from multiple sources) in a single window, and more.
Don’t mind the start (shivers, no audience, and human errors)
If it’s your first live stream ever, it’s going to be downright scary. Plus, it’s not likely that you’d have a sizeable audience to begin with. Don’t bother.
Just get on with it.
The biggest takeaway is to not look at the numbers before you start. If it’s your first time, just get on with it and have some fun!
I did a few sample (and private live streams) along with some closed community live streams earlier (limited to just one host and myself with a handful of live viewers watching).
I’ve found that if I can’t keep a smile or laugh through my nerves (and let me tell you there will be nerves), then it’s best for me to take a deep breath and pretend as if I am in an actual room full of people (works for me since I am used to public-speaking, coaching, and training).
Despite that, my live streams (the experimental ones and the handful of private live streams I did) are a complete disaster. I am learning though.
Even if you’ve never done livestreams before, it really helps if you can do the following:
Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.
Stand up and talk (this helps you release energy better, the standing posture automatically enlivens your body, helps you gesticulate naturally, and helps you speak and communicate better.
Know what you are going to talk about since it helps you stay focused. It’ll help even more if you are passionate about whatever it is that you are going to talk about.
Despite all of this, you are likely to fumble for words, use fillers like “umms” and “aahs” and maybe even forget what you are going to talk about. Just about then, switch to a natural way of choosing to pivot by addressing some of the questions in the chat, or by narrating a story you just remembered.
Don’t Ramble. Don’t Waste time
I attend several live streams (along with webinars). I also watch several on-demand webinars, YouTube videos, and pre-recording events.
All of this just so that I can learn how to live stream for business and sometimes also to learn from the community at large.
I notice the following:
People tend to waste time (a lot of time) by rambling away complete nonsense instead of getting to the topic (or maybe I am wired to think like this and no one actually minds? I don’t know). More than 10-15 minutes are spent just talking away sweet nothings. I just think that your viewers’ and livestream attendees’ time is precious and you shouldn’t waste time, ever.
I don’t want to know what you did last summer, how you enjoyed your recent trip to the Bahamas (not that any of these trips are helping us with the travel blues we all have now), or anything else that doesn’t relate to the topic the livestream is about.
Please, don’t drift away while doing your livestream. I know it’s natural (and that’s how we all are). Yet, this is a livestream and our attention spans are limited.
If you have to do a live stream, please do take your time out (limited) to say hello, welcome your viewers, address a few people there, and do take efforts to relate to them. Just try not to waste time.
You can do live streams alone
You don’t need co-hosts, invite guests, or have some illustrious line up of swashbuckling heroes to speak on your live streams.
Just this thought alone keeps many people away from just starting with live streams (often left wondering how will you even manage to get other people talking on “your” live streams) — and the same thing applies to podcasts as well.
You’ve just been brainwashed into thinking that you “always” need others to co-host live streams.
You can start off with live streaming all alone. By yourself. Just show up and talk.
Eventually, you can bring in others to join you but it’s not as if it’s a mandate.
Give something away during the livestream
For the effort, the time, and the fact that your viewers did bother to attend your live stream, do give something away (pass along your free lead magnet, give away a discount coupon for your products and services), or anything else that you can give your audience access to.
Just like all forms of content, your livestreams must finally tie-in to your ROI.
You need tangible results from this seemingly herculean task of doing livestreams each week (or month, or whatever moves the wheel for you).
Don’t forget to repurpose Livestreams
Live streams don’t ever have to be one-off events. Repurposing your livestreams is an awesome way to build a repertoire of content that you can use elsewhere:
Actual live stream can be edited and turned into a full-length video that you can post on YouTube. Most live streaming tools allow you to record and repurpose your content.
Distribute bits and pieces of your live stream on social media. See how well Dubb does this exact thing by converting parts of their Podcasts, live streams, and Interviews into Twitter Fleets or by sharing them on social media.
An edited live stream, when transcribed, turns into text that you can edit, polish, and turn it into a blog post.
A couple of live stream events, can be bundled together, and given away as free lead magnets to grow your email list. Segment these lists in your email marketing software such as ConvertKit,Mailchimp, or Drip.
How do you plan to use live streams for your business? Tell me all about it.
The world of live streaming — along with live streaming apps — is constantly growing and changing.
What was once a niche form of content has become an essential tool for many different businesses, organizations, and individuals.
From Facebook Live to Youtube Live, from Periscope to Twitch, from Amazon Live to [You guess what’s coming next], there are plenty of options available when it comes to live streaming apps for businesses.
There’s a reason that’s happening: viewing habits are changing. Billions of people prefer the low-key, personable, real-time, non-production variety of video content.
Something that’s real, by another human, and that others can relate to.
Live streaming provides just that.
An increasing number of businesses are turning to live streaming apps to improve their global audience.
Whether broadcasting a sports event, musician performance or lecture, live streaming is a great way to drastically increase your viewer engagement and provide viewers with on-demand content following the broadcast.
Which of these live streaming apps will you choose? What live streaming apps are the best fit for your business?
Here are the best live streaming apps for business that will help you get started (and a few points that should help you inch closer to your decision).
Note: Several social platforms have live streaming built in and we aren’t covering those (examples include Instagram live, LinkedIn live, Facebook Live, and others).
However, please do note that the “live” features on social platforms will end up being “destinations” for several of the livestream apps listed below:
Another note: There are live streaming apps for gaming, live streaming apps for developers, and several other Live streaming SDK available which we won’t cover as well. Also, there’s Amazon Live (not covered) and there’s KickStarter Live (also not covered).
We’ll cover only third-party live streaming apps that you can use for your business (not as a developer, not as a gamer, etc.).
You know Vimeo. I know Vimeo (Vimeo just went public as well, but that’s for another day). Did you know that Vimeo has live streaming as a feature now?
Vimeo is already a great tool for video prospecting, OTT (a great use case for Vimeo), screen recording, regular video hosting, and even Vimeo Create (one of tools for creating social media worthy videos or video ads).
Now, you can do live streaming with Vimeo as well (available only for its premium and enterprise plans). The Vimeo premium plan starts at $50 per month (paid annually).
Vimeo is a video-sharing platform that has had plenty of time to perfect its service, and with live streaming built into it now, you’ll have no trouble finding an audience for your broadcast on Vimeo Live (it even offers unique features like chat moderation, live stream graphics (such as lower-thirds and overlays), and more.
Vimeo also provides in-video lead generation forms (connected to a few email service providers such as MailChimp, for instance), ability to launch polls, live chat, and more.
Restream is a popular live streaming app that can be used to broadcast from any device.
Restream also offers the ability to schedule streams in advance, do multi-streaming or simulcasting (broadcast live streams to multiple platforms such as Facebook Live, LinkedIn live, YouTube Live, and more), and you can even use it for remote broadcasting (it supports anything that has a browser).
The Restream service is available on the cloud (no downloads). So, no matter what kind of device you’re using, you’ll have an app that will work to help broadcast your live stream to the world waiting to knock on your doors.
LightStream is rather new, just showcased itself on ProductHunt, and is as promising as it gets.
It’s a lightweight live streaming app and it doesn’t require you to do any downloads (I don’t think any of the other tools require any sort of downloads).
LightStream is so easy, it’s stupid. It doesn’t require anything more than opening the app and hitting start: I’m serious when I say that you can literally just open it up from your phone and create a broadcast in less than five seconds.
There really isn’t any barrier to entry at all (which is something that some of the other tools might have, including the sky-high costs of some of the live streaming apps here on this list).
Catapult is a live video streaming app that’s designed specifically for your business. Catapult focuses on four main parts to help grow your business with live streaming: Capture, LiveStream, Video On-Demand (VOD), and Convert.
With Catapult, you can broadcast and syndicate your live event to a global audience for live and video on-demand streaming platform.
With no geographic limits, broadcast your streams in live 4K video to any device, anywhere in the world.
Post each livestream, convert or repurpose your livestreams into Video On-Demand and make them available as lead magnets, sell, resell as packages or new digital products.
Castr is a new kid of the block, joining the ranks of all-in-one live streaming and video streaming solutions. With an impressive count of 200,000+ users at the time of this writing, Castr live streaming has some pretty smart tricks up its sleeve.
Castr comes with live streaming, video hosting, simulcasting (broadcasting live streaming to multiple destinations), Video On-Demand (VOD), and also IP camera streaming.
There’s also a handy feature called “Live to VOD” where your live streams are stored as Video on Demand (on the cloud) and you can even choose to monetize these videos, if you wish to.
DaCast is an all-in-one live streaming app helping you launch high-quality livestreaming backed by top tier CDN (Content Delivery Networks).
With DaCast, you can launch and manage your live streams, take advantage of the online video platform (OVP), DaCast’s OTT, and Video on Demand (VOD).
With DaCast, you also get 24 x7 support along with video hosting, an all-device HTML-5 player, integrate livestreaming with their VOD services, and also be able to monetize your videos.
Last time I heard, there are no viewer limits. DaCast also provides multi-bitrate viewing experiences, provides mobile support, and gives you access to quality live streaming.
Stream Now by StreamHash allows you to launch seamless live streaming along with features such as polls, live chat, allow users to follow each other (create a community, maybe?).
Further, it also provides you with a built-in “user subscribe” feature which makes it possible to grow your audience (just like that).
You also get to put up a paywall (with a pay per view feature), accept payments using PayPal, tweak your settings using a Dynamic Admin panel, and you also get handy Android and iOS apps.
IBM Cloud Video
IBM Cloud Video is a comprehensive, heavy-hitting Video hosting, transcoding, live streaming, automated speech to text and analytics, all rolled into in a comprehensive cloud video platform.
Equipped with Watson enabled machine learning, you can livestream globally (anywhere, anytime, on any device).
As a part of live streaming, you also get to engage target audiences with interactive chat rooms, moderated Q&A, clickable video ad overlays, and live polls that are timed at strategic moments during the event.
Further, generate leads by requiring registration on live and on-demand video content.
Additionally, you also get to place the form inside the video player and by tracking what video content is viewed.
You also get real-time analytics during a live event, view poll results in an instant, and more.
I know that there are several more livestreaming apps out there. Any of those that you know of?
Please do let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to include them.
It’s no secret that video is the future of content marketing and it’s something you can’t miss if you want to get traffic with video. In fact, an astonishing 80% of people would rather watch a video than read about a topic.
If you ever wondered why and how to get traffic with video, it’s the next best thing you’ll do for your business (after the business itself).
With that out of the way, here are the ways for you to get traffic with video.
Optimize your videos for YouTube and Google Search
This is the best way to make sure that you’re getting found, as 90% of people will search on Youtube or Google before visiting your website.
Think of these videos as the “top of the funnel” content for your business. These videos will become the primary contributors of traffic to your site (as long as you add the links to websites or landing pages — in the form of cards, annotations, links in descriptions, etc.).
Create these videos for the sole purpose of intriguing your viewers. They should watch the videos only to be stunned by the value you provide, the problem you just solved, or the connection you made.
The purpose of those videos on YouTube should be to make people “click” on the links below (in the video description) and head over to your website, your blog, or the landing pages you created.
Apart from the regular content you put out on YouTube (some of these will also show up right at the top of relevant keywords on Google search), create an additional set of videos regularly that you can share within your blog posts, and on social media.
These videos should share tips, tricks, and hacks that your readers will find useful.
They may also contain links to the other content on your YouTube channel.
Go ahead and use cross-linking here and there. Let people drift from this link to that one.
But the purpose of “this” set of videos is to have a call-to-action at the end of each video driving them to your website, blog, or the sales funnel you created to help grow your email marketing list (by signing up to a free offer you make).
I know it can be intimidating to do live streams (and I am trying to get here) but live streams are a great way to engage with live audiences on the niche that relates to your business.
It’s not just the actual live stream that you should be excited about; it’s also the kind of repurposing you could do with each of the live streams you produce. For instance, a single live stream session (recorded) could help you:
Add the recorded video on several platforms (such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more)
Pick parts of the live stream to share videos on social media
Include the live stream (or parts of it) in your blog posts that’s about the topic the live stream was about.
Include the live stream (or parts of it) in your email newsletters
Tools that can help you with live steam as follows:
A recent report from Animoto found 88% marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media, while 93% landed a new customer thanks to videos on social media.
But social media isn’t the only place you should incorporate video in your marketing strategy. Video Marketing can help you convert customers at various stages–lead generation, lead scoring, marketing automation, and email marketing.
Let’s look at how you can use the power of video at different stages in your marketing funnel.
Why include video in your marketing
Countless studies and surveys have shown the popularity of video among consumers.
Being a visual medium, they help you convey complex topics in an approachable way. Imagine writing a blog post on simulation of engineering or explaining the same topic through an engaging explainer video. Which do you think would work better?
As a case study, video helps you make your customer stories come to life. What’s more, videos help boost conversions too.
Using videos in emails offers myriad benefits such as:
Explaining a concept visually
Making a human connection
Helping your brand stand out
In fact, one Hubspot study also found that users are more likely to find videos more engaging than content like blog posts, social media, and podcasts. Also, using the word video in an email subject line boosts open rates by 6%
The type of videos you send in an email depends on where the customer is in the purchase lifecycle.
For instance, you might send a quick explainer video to a brand new audience, while to those closer to the buying stage, you might send a case-study or a testimonial video.
With tools like Hippo Video you can personalize your videos to each recipient with their details like name, email, company name, or any other custom field.
Hippo Video provides valuable insights like video email opens, video views, average watch duration, and drop-offs allowing you to measure the performance of your video campaign.
Other best practices for using video in emails include adding a catchy subject line and a good video thumbnail to grab viewers’ attention.
Use video for lead generation
A video that requires viewers’ contact information for access is known as a gated video. It’s a popular way to capture leads who may be interested in your product or service.
Another way to collect user information through videos is adding lead generation forms within video. This works just like having to enter your name and email address in a form to download a piece of content.
Only here the form pops up during a video and collects the viewer’s contact information.
The lead-generation form can be placed anywhere in the video but data shows that placing them in the middle has a higher conversion rate.
Finally, you can also add CTAs to landing pages for gated content like ebooks and whitepapers to your video.
Don’t sit there and wonder if video is good for your business. In so many ways, across functions, video can do your business good. See how this Hippo Video review helps you change every aspect of your business and take it several levels up.
All you have to do is to “show yourself”. Really?
It’s not that easy. For one, there’s the pandemic-driven rift in the social fabric itself.
Second, it’s hard for many businesses to embrace video for everything that it can do: from communicating with internal teams to replacing meetings; from sales prospecting to generating leads; from training to community interactions.
Plus, you are busy, suffer from camera shyness (maybe), or just anxiety from having to produce all this content.
Those are precisely the reasons why you should use video. Beat your own anxiety and put in the work to earn more dividends. While there are several video tools, let’s focus on this Hippo Video review for now:
Why Use Video?
I ask, why not? While complete video marketing stats are out of scope for this Hippo Video review, here are a few noteworthy ones:
80% of video marketers say video has directly helped increase sales.
95% of video marketers plan to increase or maintain video spend in 2020.
According to Google, YouTube reaches more 18- to 49-year olds in an average week than all cable TV networks combined.
Google adds that watch time for shopping-related videos on YouTube grew in the U.S. by more than 5X over the past 2 years.
Video’s also an important part of the shopping experience:
More than 55% of shoppers use online video while actually shopping in a store, says Google.
Wyzowl says that 66% of consumers prefer watching a video to reading about a product.
Hubspot predicts that 54% of consumers want to see more video content this year.
Pinterest alone has more than 1 billion videos that users watch (you didn’t see that coming now, did you?).
Hopefully, these video marketing statistics will convince you that video is truly the “”go-to” thing now. It’ll remain that way for the foreseeable future.
How to Use Video
Use video for:
New customer onboarding
Ongoing customer nurturing
Education & training
Video for marketing
Video for generating leads
Video for customer support
Across verticals and industries like using video for:
Travel & tourism
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Further, you can use video for a lot more purposes and for practically every industry.
Besides, you can also do live streams, live videos, webinars, coaching sessions, online courses, online membership site content, social media videos, and more.
Interestingly, all of those zoom calls don’t even count.
How does Hippo Video Help?
Hippo Video is a video engagement platform that helps you use video in several ways for your business.
With the product available for customers across industries and use cases, Hippo Video helps you personalize your sales, marketing, operations, and communication efforts with Video.
The primary emphasis is on video selling, but Hippo Video can help you do a lot more such as to enable:
Sales outreach with video (with personalized outreach at scale)
Marketing with video (includes CTAs, polls, and in-video forms)
Education and training
Why Use Hippo Video?
For an affordable price, Hippo Video makes video available for everyone: from freelancers and solo entrepreneurs all the way to enterprise-level users.
Hippo Video comes with the following features that you can take advantage of:
A Simple, clean, intuitive, and easy-to-use dashboard that quickly gives you the metrics you need such as video views, engagement, and more.
Quickly import existing videos or record new videos (for a variety of use cases). If you are struggling to get started, there’s an easy “getting started” page for you to guide you through.
Build up your contact lists (could be your potential customers, sales prospects, new leads, existing customers, etc.,) and send personalized videos to them (at scale, if needed). You can also integrate with Zapier and sync your contact list with a CRM of your choice.
Make use of the video library to use as a primary home for all of your sales prospecting videos, marketing videos, and more.
Use the “Teleprompter” feature (visible to yourself, to a particular team member, or to everyone in your organization) to write/manage/edit scripts.
From the video templates page (beta), make use of the “Video Sandwich” feature which quickly helps you create intros, outros, and reusable templates for video.
Just send a link and collect video testimonials from your customers (and then use them on your marketing pages, landing pages, and more).
Create simple and quick landing pages or sales pages for each of your videos to give your videos a dedicated, personalized, and on-brand home.
Add multiple users to your Hippo Video account and collaborate with your team to expand on the potential of video.
To sum it all up, here’s a Hippo Video demo I created that you can quickly take a peek inside.
Video Resources from Hippo Video
There’s a ton of information (both informative and motivational) for you to take the first steps with video for your business.
Start with the Hippo Video blog, the podcast, the webinars, and other resources.
Additionally, there are case studies on HippoVideo for you to get inspired from.
Several eBooks can help you stay educated and provide you with the necessary strategies to win it big with video.