For brands and retail marketers, live online video can be a powerful hook to grab—and keep—customers’ attention to boost brand marketing efforts. According to industry experts, a prerecorded online video will hold consumers’ attention for about two minutes, but live streaming video can keep audiences engaged for 20 minutes or even longer. The trick is to make those live streams must-see experiences or viewers won’t tune in, let alone stick around to make a purchase.
So what can marketers do to ensure live video events will draw and delight target audiences and, ultimately, help drive revenue? In a recent webcast, Fritz Brumder, CEO and founder of Brandlive, a live interactive video platform for brands and retailers, and Stacy Nawrocki, director of product marketing for IBM Watson Media, offered some savvy advice for marketers large and small.
Just about every minute of every day, there’s a live stream event taking place somewhere in the world — on social media platforms, corporate networks, and entertainment company apps. From the recent solar eclipse to the Mayweather-McGregor fight to the MTV Video Music Awards, online users are showing a healthy appetite for seeking out live video events to watch.
Of course, every event needs an audience — and given the effort that goes into a live streaming event, video planners want to ensure that, at start time, there’s a large and highly engaged audience. Social media can be used to whip up enthusiasm before the event, encourage discussion during the live stream, and continue the conversation after it ends.
If you are looking for some additional advice for marketing your video content, or creating marketing videos, also be sure to check out our on-demand 9 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Video Marketing Strategy seminar.
Want to know how to setup a live stream?
This article walks you through 8 steps from start to finish in terms of managing the sources and settings for your live stream. This includes everything from choosing a video source and lighting, to a live encoder and managing your connection. If you consider yourself already setup on the video and audio side, skip to step 4. Also, if you are more interested in perfecting your current setup or curious how to best handle the delivery aspect at scale, watch this Five Video Delivery Mistakes to Avoid webinar.
- Camera or other video source selection
- Lighting setup
- Audio source selection
- Choosing a delivery method
- Selecting an encoder for live streaming
- Inputting encoder settings
- Securing a stable upload speed
An expert in North Korea agreed to an on-camera interview with the BBC in March but a few seconds in, everything went pear-shaped.
First the man’s young daughter walked in and he gently tried to coax her out during the interview. Then his eight-month-old son strolled in on a squeaky walker. Finally, the man’s wife frantically tried to herd both children out of the room.
The clip went viral, to the point where Robert E. Kelly, the so-called “BBC Dad,” felt compelled to give a press conference explaining himself.
Most glitches during a live stream don’t rise to that level of comedic gold, with a lot of them related to delivery issues that could be corrected for through scaling as mentioned in this Scaling Video Delivery to Reach Massive Audiences white paper. Very often, though, unexpected problems during live streams leave the impression that the presentation is unprofessional. But presenters can salvage such moments by taking some cues from the world of improv comedy.
It’s challenging for enterprises to deliver internal video because streaming video consumes so much bandwidth. For instance, if a 100-person company site has a 100 megabit-per-second internet connection, and just 34 people watch a live stream of CEO town hall at their desktops at the same time, they can cause a network outage.
Three main approaches solve the problem. One is unicast delivery, where a single video stream is sent from the source to an onsite unicast server, which caches the content and distributes it to hundreds or even thousands of viewers while minimizing the impact on the internet connection and network.
A second approach is multicast delivery, where a single stream from the video source is received by a specially-configured router, which addresses the video packets so that they simultaneously serve multiple viewers at a site. Cable and telecom companies use multicasting because of its bandwidth efficiency.
When Taylor Swift launched her Wonderstruck fragrance at Macy’s in Midtown Manhattan, she was accompanied by hundreds of excited fans and dozens of media outlets. Also present was video production company Suite Spot, working in the background to make sure the event’s video live stream went off without a hitch.
Suite Spot regularly produces major events like this: filled with high-profile people, large viewing audiences and heavy logistical burdens on the people behind the scenes. While the events themselves can be formidable undertakings, the exposure and excitement generated by a live stream can be a major asset for any company.
Adam Drescher, Suite Spot’s cofounder and partner, explains how he and his team make preparations for success—before, day-of, and after the event takes place—and speaks specifically to the nuances of running live streams at a large scale. Armed with his suggestions, anyone can successfully execute their own live stream for a primetime audience.
Also, if you are looking for tips in bitesize form, be sure to check out our 5 Pro Tips for Live Video Production guide as well.
Producing video content? Looking to increase your view counts when a new video is published? This article discusses a video promotion strategy that includes 7 different methods to increase viewership. These range from how your content is shared to syndication efforts to bolster the number of viewable locations.
If you already have a video promotion strategy in place and are looking for more advice, also be sure to check out our 9 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Video Marketing Strategy webinar. This will give some additional advice, and pitfalls to avoid, as part of your video marketing strategy.
- Embed your video in multiple places
- Tweet your videos
- Post you video to Facebook
- Syndicate to YouTube
- Create highlights for long-form content
- Publish to a channel page
- Add content to playlists
Please note, this article approaches this topic from a syndication angle. This means getting your content published and discoverable in places that will result in more views. It assumes that your content is already widely accessible regardless of the viewer’s device or connection speed. If you aren’t using IBM’s video streaming services and you aren’t sure if your content is, please read our How Adaptive Streaming Solves Viewer Bandwidth Issues white paper.
Looking for some tips to perfect your video content? How about 15 streaming tips for live and on-demand content?
This article covers 15 different pieces of advice to help along your live broadcast or improve on-demand content. There is a larger emphasis for live streaming on this list, as more preparation is involved, although some of this advice is universal or covers aspects after the stream is done that fall into on-demand territory.
If you are a bit more interested in the on-demand studio side of things, it’s recommended to also check out our Video Studio Recommendations white paper. This guide lists not just techniques to use in your studio, but also gives specific gear recommendations from microphones to lighting systems.
- Familiarize yourself with your equipment
- Test early
- Plan around lighting
- Don’t downplay your audio
- Know your upload speed
- Secure a stable connection
- Backup Internet source
- Stay organized
- Promote your live event
- Start your stream early
- Make the live stream interactive
- Utilize a CDN or CDNs to deliver your video
- Prepare for an on-demand version
- Record a local copy
- Create post event highlight clips
Think about today’s video viewing experience. Thanks to HD video, stereo sound, and high-pixel displays like the iPhone’s Retina feature — not to mention ever-higher bandwidth — entertainment and news video and audio is exceptionally clear, even for the lowliest smartphone or tablet.
Now, take that audience of viewers, accustomed to the very best HD video and deep stereo sound, and place them in front of a live streaming event that doesn’t have the same production values. Dark, blurry video and muffled audio won’t hold their attention, especially when you consider that online video drop off rates can run as high as 20 percent in the first 10 second of a video.
The good news for creators of live video is that even without a team of directors or a state-of-the-art video studio, it’s possible for organizations to up their game in terms of production quality. According to Jeff Irwin, customer success manager for IBM Watson Media, a few simple fixes and some strategic and affordable equipment purchases can make any live stream look and sound better. So read on to learn how to make a live video look professional with these 4 proven methods. If you find this article useful too, be sure to check out our 5 Pro Tips for Live Video Production guide as well.
Looking to increase your audience? Want more eyeballs on your product launch? Larger viewership on your live event? Inline video playback on social networks, like Twitter and Facebook, can be a way to bolster your audience size.
This article describes what is inline playback on social networks, the advantages of using it, how to do inline video and the end user experience while including demos.
A lot of the use cases for inline video playback are relevant to marketing. Not all types of video marketing will want to use inline playback, though. In particular, those that are directed at lead generation. Watch our webinar on 9 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Video Marketing Strategy to get some ideas on if your content is brand awareness focused, and would benefit from inline playback, or if it’s more directed toward lead gen.