Many digital marketers predict that live streaming video will be a key trend for brands in the near future because it adds a human touch to digital communications. Webcasting allows brands to live stream seminars, press conferences, panels and all kinds of events to a wider audience than ever before, and in turn, increases brand recognition and builds brand credibility. Recently, webcasting tools have improved editing capabilities and become more mobile-friendly, so that audiences can enjoy on-demand content through any device whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them. Here are some of the most popular live streaming tools:
Google Hangouts on Air
Google Hangouts on Air is free! All you have to do is connect your Gmail account with your YouTube account. With Google Hangouts on Air, users can have unlimited participants and the webinar will be automatically recorded and posted on YouTube. It’s simple to switch between slides and live webcam presentation, and real-time chat is supported as well.
However, since it is not a professional webinar tool, there are some drawbacks to consider. First, there’s no direct way to promote your online event. Users of GHoA have to create a landing page by themselves to post the event information and also serve as the webinar watch page. Attendees will receive the link to this landing page where they will show up live on the event date.
Moreover, users have no access to any CRM database to get potential participants’ emails, they can only use their own email list. Lastly, there are no fancy templates to use directly. Overall, GHoA is surely a great starting point for webinar newbies from a cost-effective perspective.
WebinarJam is a professional webinar tool. Basically, it is an upgraded version of GHoA with an annual fee. Webinar Jam covers all the features of GHoA, such as unlimited participants, automatic record & post to YouTube, and a chat room.
Additionally, it offers nice analytics metrics, including sales conversion, earnings per click, and earnings per attendee. Other strong features include – free landing page templates, real-time polls and surveys during the webinar, ability to send email and text reminders to registrants, and a wide variety of payment methods for charging admission. The only drawback is the subcription cost, but if you are hosting webinars on a regular basis, then WebinarJam is the right tool for you.
Facebook launched Facebook Live in August 2015 and initially provided access to celebrities only. Now, all Facebook users can live-stream and interact with their friends. The way it works is really simple, go into your newsfeed and click the “live” button to share your live broadcasting. There’s no limit to length, as long as you stay connected to Wi-Fi, you can livestream.
Facebook Live has some unique features. First, it offers users the option of creating private or selected broadcast by integrating with a pre-established audience list. Second, the livestream videos will remain on your timeline just like your regular posts. Third, with Facebook’s built-in user base of over 1.5 billion members and your established Facebook network, the social impact is much bigger compared to other tools.
However, Facebook Live has a few drawbacks. One is that Facebook Live Videos can only be shared on Facebook. Another is no direct method to turn on/off notifications, which sometimes leads to fans missing out while others become irritated by the constant notifications.
Twitter purchased Periscope, a livestreaming mobile app, in February 2015. Periscope is unique because of its’ ability to save and play back videos for a full 24 hours after the broadcast.
Users can easily manage their preferences and notification with two lists. One is a list of the people who are currently “live,” so he/she does not have to worry about missing any important updates. The second is a list of broadcasts that user has attended within the past 24 hours; the viewing history allows the user to replay the content she likes.
Periscope also allows real-time interaction. During the live broadcasting, followers can send out as many as “heart” icons to the broadcaster to express their interest or comment to the livestream video. By seeing the real-time hearts and comments, the broadcaster can get an idea of what content or session is the most engaging, and adjust immediately.
Most amazing of all, after the live broadcasting, the broadcaster receives key metrics, including the number of viewers, retention rate, how many heartsreceived…etc, to evaluate the video performance. However, one disadvantage of Periscope is that if there are too many people in a broadcast, only those who arrived early can make comments.
Twitch, owned by Amazon.com, is an online streaming platform specially designed for watching/broadcasting video gameplays. Popular among gamers, Twitch allows users to leave audio commentary or comment and ask questions in a chat room. Twitch is a registration-free platform that can be accessed through PCs, gaming consoles and mobile devices.
Twitch broadcasters make money via the “partnership program” and receive a certain share of advertising and subscription revenue based on how many viewers they attract. Alternatively, they can accept “donations” from other users by sharing game tips. To better engage with the viewers during gameplay, Twitch streamers can assign other folks as moderators and editors; the former helps manage the stream chat from getting out of control, while the latter can save and edit gameplay highlights. All gameplays are saved forever on the platform, and users can review the content anytime they want to.
We firmly believe that video marketing is key for brands to reach their customers. Now, with real-time video marketing – livestreaming– brands have the ability to engage with consumers like never before. No matter what tools you choose or whether the objective of your live broadcasting is for personal interaction or business development, livestreaming possess powerful potential to work well in any industry and niche market.Connect with Us >>