Live-streaming is seen as the next big thing in social media circles, though most people misinterpret exactly why streaming is getting so much attention from the big players. Live-streaming gives everyone the opportunity to broadcast themselves and their experience, a new way to share their perspective with the world.
But the potential of live-streaming lies well beyond you or I streaming our own lives.
Here are three reasons why the live-stream shift is significant for your business:
1. Online video is growing
No doubt you’ve heard this too – online video has seen massive growth in recent times, and experts predict that we’ll only see more of it. Cisco expects that video will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019, while Facebook expects their platform to be ‘all video’ within five years.
The rise in video content makes sense – we gravitate towards the communication medium that enables us to best capture our experience. Online, that started with text, then images were added and became hugely popular, and now video is the best way to communicate within the technical limitations of what’s possible.
Because of this, your consumers are growing to expect more video content, and the ease of use and immediate connection available within live-streamed material makes it a perfect option in this regard.
2. It generates more engagement
Facebook, in particular, is very keen to get more people using live-streaming – they’re running ad campaigns on the sides of buses and looking to promote Facebook Live at every opportunity.
Because of this, Facebook is also giving their live-stream content a boost on the platform - right now, live-streamed video generates more organic reach, on average, than any other content type.
This presents a great opportunity for brands, particularly given organic reach for Facebook Pages – the amount of people your posts are shown to – has dropped so significantly in recent times.
If you want to reach more of your audience, on Facebook in particular, live-streaming is a great way to do that.
And it doesn’t have to be anything highly produced or scripted either – the most watched Facebook Live stream of all time is a woman sitting in her car in a Kohl’s car park trying on a toy Chewbacca mask.
3. It’s a future challenger for TV
While more people are clearly consuming more content online, your home TV is still the leading place for video consumption – our homes are built around our TVs being a central entertainment device.
For social networks looking to build upon their advertising opportunities, they need to also find a way to reach our TV sets, which is what they’re doing – both Twitter and Facebook have released new options which enable users to watch video content direct from their apps on their home TV screens.
In the near future, this could become the new normal – rather than skipping through the channels to see what’s on, you’ll also be able to skim Facebook and see if there’s any new content you want to watch online, all on your TV set. And with Facebook signing deals to broadcast exclusive programming on their channels, there may come a time where live-streaming evolves to be a genuine TV competitor.
This is why the social networks are so keen to push live-streaming, and why it’s worth paying attention to what’s possible. If more people start tuning in to live-streaming, that’ll make it a bigger opportunity for brands to reach a targeted audience, based on Facebook’s audience targeting capabilities, with relevant live-stream content aligned to their interests.
It’s not there yet, but it’s evolving fast.
It’s worth considering how your business might be able to use live-streaming to better connect with your target audience.