Livestreaming is still one of the hottest trends in online marketing, and it’s easy to understand why. You can reach your audience in real-time and engage with them to build relationships and grow your audience. In fact, many online businesses report live streaming as being one of the most important tools they use for marketing and growing their audience and revenue. Many aspects go into live streaming but picking the right platform is one of the most important steps. There are many live-streaming platforms to choose from, and the one you pick can make or break your success.
In order to start livestreaming, the first step is to choose which livestream platform you’ll use. A livestream platform is a website, app, or software program that allows you to broadcast live video.
There are many free & paid applications and programs you can check out and there are new ones appearing all the time. But here are the major platforms that are free and most often used by businesses getting into livestreaming.
What to Look for in a Livestreaming Platform
When choosing a platform, start with your audience’s tastes and your current marketing. If it makes the most sense to use Facebook Live because the majority of your audience is already active on Facebook, go with that option. Your first priority should be to make it as easy as possible for your viewers to join. This is more important than features and capabilities.
Thankfully, there are loads of platforms to choose from when live-streaming. Keep in mind your audience and your business goals to pick the right live streaming platform.
As I mention in Which Social Media Platform Should Your Chamber Be On?, the best platform for social media, livestreaming, or whatever else – is the one you think most of your audience is on.
Which of these platforms are you already on? Which of those has the better engagement? That’s your first choice.
With around one-third of the entire human race using YouTube to watch videos, this is a natural choice if you want to reach a large global audience.
Any niche can be found on YouTube, but the vast size can make it highly competitive. However, even YouTube reported that channels that host a weekly live stream could increase their audience by nearly 40%.
YouTube Live offers a variety of features to make your live video marketing more effective. It has real-time chat so your viewers can comment and ask questions. Robust analytics are available and it offers ways to monetize your livestream directly.
Recommended: YouTube for Chambers
Facebook Live is another great choice for reaching a huge audience. If you already connect with your followers on Facebook, this is a good option to consider.
The main benefit of Facebook Live is that it’s already integrated with the popular social media platform. Your fans will see the icon at the top of their Facebook news feed telling them that you’re live now. All they need to do is click to join you. They can comment and share right there within the platform. It also has features that allow you to promote ahead of time.
You can also go live directly inside a Group or Event.
Instagram Live or Other Social Media
In many parts of the world, Instagram has already eclipsed Facebook in popularity and its orientation toward visual content makes it perfect for live video. Features include the ability to share on other social media platforms and comment editing so you can remove spam, trolls, and offensive comments.
Again, look at where you’re already talking to & engaging with your audience. As social media trends change over time, your platform of choice will also eventually change.
If your audience is younger than twenty-five years old, then TikTok is the place to be. While their main focus is on short-form content, they make their way into the live world with 30-minute sessions.
If you’re already creating short-form video, then it might be worth testing by reposting your videos to TikTok and see how it goes. See: Getting Started On TikTok & Planning Your Account for Long-Term Success
In February 2020, Twitch had over fifteen million monthly active users, three million live broadcasts, and a little over one million concurrent users. Twitch is Amazon’s livestream offering and it has grown in popularity due to gamers using it. Since it was originally meant for broadcasting videos games, it is particularly fast and powerful. It has robust features but is slightly less intuitive to use than the other platforms mentioned above.
If gaming and marketing to men are your top priority, then Twitch is your platform as over 65% of their users are male, and nearly 91% of their live content is gaming.
Vimeo Livestream is a program to use if you want higher quality live videos. It offers the most professional look and is geared more toward professionals who want to use certain cameras and devices for production and editing.
I see organizations use this over YouTube if it’s more private (think gated content or annual awards dinner) or they don’t want to make the recording available publicly. If that’s not a concern, I’m personally a fan of YouTube (which still has some private options available) as it performs better in Google searches.
What about Multi-streaming?
Multi-streaming or simulcasting allows you to stream on multiple platforms and is an option many people pick. However, you may want to think about a few things before you go this route.
For some organizations, it can work but not for everyone. First, you want to be sure you can engage with each audience you gain from the platforms you stream to. If you have an active audience on each platform then they’re going to feel disengaged if you’re not interacting with their comments or talking about a different platform.
If that’s the case, you may want to instead download the recording of your livestream and then upload it to other platforms as a regular video.
If you’re not worried about interacting live with multiple platforms, then you likely will want to invest in a third-party tool like Switcher Studio that makes it easier to livestream to multiple platforms at once.
(Too Long; Don’t Read:) Livestream to the platform you already engage with your audience the most, or want to grow the most.