My Experiment with Live Streaming
Cost, accessibility and ease of Live Streaming is driving an increase in adoption by marketers across sectors. However, I've yet to see much clarity on best practice for using the technology within corporate marketing communications.
So, with the spirit of adventure, curiosity and in duty to you (my beloved audience member) I thought I'd dive in, start streaming and begin evaluating the technology and possible benefits for marketers.
Setting up a Live Streaming Solution
To setup Live streaming there are three things you need:
1. form of source media (e.g. a video camera or a video game console), to capture your content.
2. Some encoder software, to digitize the content in a format ready for delivery.
3. At least one broadcast platform (e.g. YouTube or Facebook Live), a channel on which people can engage with your content,
To run a live stream, you first need 'encoding software'. This sounds a bit 'techy' but think of it as a video camera for your laptop.
I opted for Open Broadcaster Software. The software was relatively simple to download and setup on my MacBook Pro (there are versions for windows too).
Next you need to decide which 'channels' you will stream too. if you run a YouTube channel already, this is an obvious place to start. YouTube channels allow you to 'live stream' by default, and your streams are saved and can optionally be made available as 'normal' videos after your broadcast has ended.
As well as YoutUbe, Facebook incorporates streaming capabilities and is likely to be a major player going forward. But there are 10's of others including Periscope, Ustream and Twitch.
Whilst looking around I came across a nice tool called ReStream.io. The main benefit of this tool is that it allows you to send your stream to more than one Broadcast channel simultaneously.
So, you've setup your streaming software and connected your broadcast channels, but what are you going to stream. The use cases for marketing are not obvious, and as with any 'new' digital marketing tactic you need to ensure it is connected with your strategy and consistent with your brand. But, for me, there are big opportunities to use Live Streaming to enahance events, knowledge sharing and customer service.
For the purposes of my experiments, I chose to use Live Streaming to share some of the Digital Skills training material that MintTwist have developed.
Although an experienced speaker I am far from a professional presenter and as such the quality of the delivery in some of the content may be a concern. I'll let viewers be the judge of whether it is a source of amusement, indifference or disdain.
For organisations looking to craft a live streaming channel for their audiences the presentation of the content is obviously a crucial factor and investing in channel branding, a presenter and production guidance would certainly be advisable.
If you want to stay connected with insights into what works in digital marketing, take a look at the Discovering Digital YouTube channel.
If you are looking for strategic and/or tactical support from an experienced, consultative and friendly London based Digital Agency with multi-national partners, that can help you and your team then it's certainly worth speaking with MintTwist.