How live video will benefit your business

Can you remember back to a time when video wasn’t a common sight on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter? No, me either. In fact, I can’t imagine that many people would feel social media was as enjoyable or interesting if they no longer had the ability to watch videos when they logged in.

We, as consumers of social media, now enjoy the videos which appear on our timelines on a daily basis. They could be a video from a friend, a funny video which has gone viral or educational material shared by a business or domain expert but irrespective of the type of content we are all enjoying them and we are all watching them.

We love watching videos and according to Hubspot the majority of users will watch at least 3/4 of a video which is great news from a marketing perspective as it gives you scope to get your message across. Now, what’s also interesting here is that a lot of people are watching videos in silent which means it’s important for anyone creating a video for marketing purposes to ensure they can communicate their message with someone watching in silent.

This may sound strange but consider how many times you’ve watched a video in silent as you scrolled through your Facebook timeline and you had to watch it in silent because it probably wasn’t appropriate to have the sound on at that time.

Video has come along way since the time when we would only see a video by going to YouTube. In fact, according to a recent BBC article, Facebook now has 8 billion video views per day as compared with YouTube’s one billion and despite the two platforms arguing over metrics the numbers are incredible.

These numbers are the reason why video marketing on social media is now seen as such an important part of your business marketing strategy. People are watching a lot of video, they’re likely to watch at least 2/3 of your video and people love to share videos they’ve enjoyed.

Not only is video already huge, it’s growing year-on-year. It currently accounts for 57% of internet traffic with that statistic likely to reach almost 80% in two years time and this will likely be down to the arrival of live video.

Live Video Broadcasting

By now, you’ve probably heard a bit about live video broadcasting but if you haven’t don’t worry because I’m going to explain a bit about it now.

Every video we currently watch on the internet has been pre-recorded. Whether it’s a professional or corporate video or some humorous video that’s gone viral, they’ve all been pre-recorded. The only live broadcast we’re typically used to seeing is either something on a news channel or a sporting event but an application called Periscope has changed the game.


Ok, previously you could do live video via Skype or Facetime but these are one-to-one experiences rather than one-to-many, which is where Periscope comes in to its own. In 2013, two guys called Kayvon Beykpour and Joe Bernstein were travelling and came up with the idea of a live broadcasting application. Provided with some funding they set about creating Periscope in 2014 and the application hadn’t even properly launched before Twitter acquired it in 2015 for a fee reported to be in the region of £40-50m.

The way Periscope works is it allows any user who owns the app to broadcast a video and once they begin broadcasting any other user of the application can view the live broadcast. Users, in a typically social way, are able to click on the screen to provide hearts (positive recognition) and are able to comment and engage with the broadcaster.

The way in which Periscope has grown in 2015 means there’s already a big user-base and this means that from a purely personal perspective it’s a fascinating application. You can now watch live broadcasts from people all over the world, which could be anything from a sunset in Australia to a tour of a market in SE Asia or a live school baseball game in the US. The fact you’re viewing the video live makes it all the more interesting.

Now, there’s a reason why Twitter paid a significant amount of money for Periscope and that’s because in 2016 you can expect Facebook to launch it’s Live video functionality. Already implemented, it’s currently only available to verified users but it will be coming to all of us this year and hence Twitter knew it needed to compete.

Live Video for Business

Periscope isn’t just about following someone as they walk around New York though. Those businesses who’ve been quick to see the potential in live broadcast have done so with great effect. Whilst they recognise that you could provide a pre-recorded video on a topic related to their business they realise that it doesn’t allow them to engage with their customer-base like a live broadcast does.

They are using Periscope to deliver videos in which they can interact with an audience. That is, they’re not just broadcasting some content which is useful to the people viewing but it allows for two-way communication on both a personal and professional level. These videos are informal; these business owners are on their sofas, balcony’s or walking down the street. It doesn’t matter, what matters is they’re providing good content, they’re promoting their business and they’re engaging their audience at the same time by talking to them, answering questions and often, going off topic (but that’s ok!).

Facebook Live will offer a similar service although we don’t yet know what it’ll look like when compared with Periscope. However, from your business perspective this does offer great opportunity.

We know video is a very good form of marketing so what about Live Video? Well, that’s going to depend on the nature of your business but it’s something you should be considering now and planning for when it’s available.

Live video, like mentioned above, doesn’t have to be formal and in fact that may well be part of the beauty of it. You could use live video in a number of ways, some initial ideas are:

  • Sharing useful/educational content with your audience
  • Showing behind the scenes footage of your business
  • Providing demonstrations (“How to…”)
  • Doing live Q&As
  • Interviews with customers

The potential is huge and the opportunity to communicate with your audience is going to be significant for your business. Remember, it doesn’t have to be polished but as long as you’re providing content which people find interesting you will be able to create a following and promote yourself and your business.

Video is on the increase, Live video is the next big thing and you should start thinking about how your business can benefit from this new functionality.


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