Zen Media’s Shama Hyder on why brands should go live
Shama Hyder talks about how brands can make the most out of livestreaming
It’s no longer a secret that the coronavirus pandemic has led to increased social media and video consumption. And, there is no slowing down as we head into 2021.
It’s a tactic that smart brands will use, as evidenced by Techjury reporting that 80% of consumers would rather watch a brand’s livestreamed video than read one of its blog posts.
Below is the video interview, along with a transcript that has been lightly edited for brevity and clarity.
Why is livestreaming important for brands?
Livestreaming is really important because video is important and video connects consumers — whether you’re B2B or B2C — to your brand like nothing else. In fact, did you know that over 64% of people will watch up to a 30-minute commercial video clip versus 24% who will finish reading an article.
Now, what livestreaming does is it takes that video element and it makes it even more personal. It brings it even closer because the audience knows that it is “live” and you’re able to connect with them in real time. So, whether they’re able to give feedback to a chat mechanism or whether they’re able to ask questions, it takes video and personifies it. Livestreaming is a great option for brands who are looking to engage prospects, to have better relationships with their current customers, to engage them better and, of course, to be able to tell their story.
What kinds of things can you livestream?
It really depends on whatever provides your audience maximum value. That’s right: What is your audience hungry for?
You really have to think more broadly in terms of content marketing. Perhaps it’s an interview with an expert in your field? Perhaps it’s trends of the day? Perhaps it’s certain lessons learned? We’ve done everything when it comes to live video for clients, from groundbreaking ceremonies to new leadership. Whenever you have a moment, you have something exciting or something you want to share with the world, livestreaming is one of your best bets.
How long should a livestream last?
How long a livestream should last, whether it’s Facebook or LinkedIn or Instagram, is really up to you and your audience. For certain things, a livestream can go 30 minutes, 45 or even an hour and you will find that the audience is engaged. The important thing is not to limit the livestream necessarily by a certain time period, but really to make sure that you are delivering valuable content during that time. So unlike a lot of other videos where the audience will watch for a few minutes and fall off, what happens with a livestream is that the audience is watching and sometimes they can click off and then they also come back. Your livestream has the advantage that it can actually be a lot longer than recorded videos.
What equipment should you use?
There are so many ways to do it, depending on the technology you’re using. You can use the native platform, like if you’re doing Instagram live, you’re probably just using your mobile phone. If you’re doing Linkedin, you might be using your laptop or your phone.
There are two things regardless of the video — because most of that is high HD output at this point — that you should keep in mind and that is lighting and sound. These two things are absolutely important if you’re doing a livestream. If you have a guest, make sure that they also are following these two tips.
My first tip is to make sure that you have good lighting. There’s nothing worse than watching someone on a livestream or video feeling like it’s a little bit like a “Blair Witch Project” where you see a lot of shadows. So you want to make sure that it’s well lit.
The second thing is your audio. We’ve all been there where we’re straining to hear what the other person is saying and that is not a good experience. Make sure that you invest in a professional mic. There’s a whole range of them with different price points that could work for you, but make sure that your audio is solid.
How can you market your livestream?
Marketing your livestream is very important. You really want to make sure that you have a strategy around how you’re going to market your livestreams. Here are some tips to keep in mind: One, make sure that the topic and the subject are really valuable to your audience. There’s nothing worse than a livestream that doesn’t provide value. So you really want to spend some time before you get in front of the camera, before you go live, thinking about what it is that your audience will derive the greatest value from. You want to think about: Who is the audience? What’s the content?
The next thing you want to do is pick a specific date in time. Even though it’s live, you want to tell people when they need to tune in. Make sure that you keep in mind time zones and so forth, and pick a time where you are most likely to have the highest number of attendees.
Another thing you want to do is use the rest of social media. Let’s say you’re doing a livestream on LinkedIn. Make sure that you are promoting it on Instagram, on Twitter and on Facebook. Or, if it’s an Instagram Live, make sure that you are promoting it on all the other platforms.
Of course, don’t forget your email marketing list. That’s probably where you will get your most engaged following from. Once you have your livestream, remember that you can always post-market, too. Chop up the video into bits; make it compact, make it easy to digest so you’re getting a lot more mileage for your livestream.
What is your favorite platform?
LinkedIn is my favorite place to livestream right now and, very simply, it’s because the algorithm likes it. We know for a fact that social platforms prefer videos in their algorithms, meaning when you post a video it does much better than an actual text post, an image or almost any other type of content. So if you are really looking to be able to connect with the audience and you’re trying to reach a lot of people, then live video is your best friend. On LinkedIn, you can see that the algorithms really give it preference over almost any other type of content.