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Whether you’ve been forced to pause your business, been furloughed by your employer or just started watching a lot more TV. You’ll have noticed the huge jump in use of video conferencing, live streaming and webinars to engage people. Maybe you’ve tuned into a few yourself. Artists, musicians and filmmakers So what’s the big deal about Live Streaming? A recent blog post by Hubspot details some surprising statistics about the percentage of people watching and the platforms they are tuning in to.

Quite simply its the ability of you, the content provider to deliver a (mostly) unscripted experience to your core audience, to hold their attention and deliver value and an impression that maintains or grows their affinity for you. Due to the impact of the coronavirus on business, consumer behaviour and economic challenges, live streaming actually makes a lot of sense for continuing to promote and stay relevant to your customers. If you used to make more sales in your store but customers are shopping online more, then hosting a live event about new products or how you are responding to the changes can bring added value to your clients, keep them informed and reinforce why they should choose you over a competitor.

Live Streaming isn’t expensive, but it does come with some costs. Time and planning are two of them. Being prepared with a strong objective and a strategy will make you feel more in control of the experience and also communicate a clear sense of purpose for your viewers. If you set up the value proposition for them early and use some tactics from live daytime television, you’ll attract the eyeballs and hold them longer. You don’t even need fancy equipment. A smartphone and a few accessories that can improve the sound, lighting and visuals are enough to start. If you want to get really ambitious there are set-ups to do multi-camera streaming. But don’t run before you can walk. The true success of live streaming is engaging subject matter, value for the audience and consistency. Build out a content calendar and do your homework, then turn that into a weekly or daily stream where you can carry the “show” for 15-30 minutes.

So why do brands and small businesses choose to live stream? Delivering brand impressions is a big goal, but so too is being able to create immediate engagement with the audience. Incoming comments, likes and shares provide instant feedback. If you host a Q&A, your audience can share or contribute in a way that adds value to you and the other viewers. You get the pulse of your customer and it can also provoke ideas for more follow-up episodes. A cookware store might offer a lesson on knife work from a local chef. The viewers gain knowledge, you can promote the brand of knives, your chef gets a plug for his or her restaurant and viewers can ask questions or suggest new skills they’d like to learn. What about your business can you teach, share, explore or engage with your customers?

Thinking about live streaming but don’t know where to start? Our suggestion is to book a consulting session with us. We can help you clarify the goals and tactics that work best to suit your business, time, and budget. We can also provide training to make sure you feel totally confident and in control. When you do, you’re more relaxed with the process and it becomes a fun moment to hang out with your customers instead of something to dread. Live streaming is for any type of business, and while it may not make you an overnight social media celebrity, you will be able to shine brighter than your compeition.