Unless you have been living under a sizeable boulder for the past two years or so you have probably come across a live-stream on Facebook or Twitter. This is not a novelty but still the implementation of these technologies into effective marketing seems a bit distant to companies.
Why are we streaming?
That is the big question. The big benefit of a live stream is viewer interaction and presence. The event that is being streamed is happening now. Everything is happening NOW, THEN (has passed but can be explored by rewinding) and SOON (is around the corner in the near future). The purpose of a live stream is to communicate the present moment and get people to engage in it. That is a live stream. A stream without presence and engagement is just a video and should be sent back to the planning team and made into a scripted video.
An ongoing event such as a seminar is a perfect example of a good topic for a stream. There are many people who cannot attend due to lack of time or travel budget but might still be very interested in watching the event. And the recording of the stream serves as a documentation. The stream “lives” fairly effortlessly thanks to the scheduled program of the actual seminar and doesn’t require input from presenters.
A stream without presence and engagement is just a video and should be sent back to the planning team and made into a scripted video.
The real challenge is producing a live stream from start to finish. Live TV and radio is considered by many as “sacred”. The amount of precision and planning before a live TV-broadcast can be amazing. Whereas a live stream (especially a FB or Periscope) is considered as an act of less precision. Here is where things can go wrong for brands and companies. Broadcasting a live stream without planning and preparation is like taking a good aim at your foot and firing in rapid.
A live stream can be a great tool for communicating as long as you do it right.
Here are a few good questions to ask yourself before streaming:
-Should we stream or should we film a video?
-Why are we streaming?
-Who does what?
-What are we going to talk about or show? Make a script or a cheat-sheet
-How are we going to engage the audience?
-Do we have a plan B if something goes wrong or not as planned?
All this preparation may seem daunting to some but it is a part of the marketing communication plan. And the plan-B and the “what if things go wrong?” segment is a big part of your damage control plan.
A well-planned live stream is a great channel for communication, a great way to engage with people and a lot of fun to do as long as you PLAN AHEAD.