Live streaming is all the rage these days. OK, that's not entirely true, but there is more of it available and it can certainly be beneficial. First, let's take a look at some recent research that shows how people are getting into live streams and then we'll talk about how it can benefit your brand.

Ooyala, in the Q2 2012 Video Index, shows that time spent watching live streams on tablets rose sharply. How sharply? How about 123%! It's also moving upward for PC people as well where they're watching, on average, 33 minutes which is far longer than even the average VOD on PC. Of course, these are just Ooyala numbers and not the whole industry, but it's a good snapshot.
How Can Your Business Benefit from Live Streaming? live streamsQ2 12 ooyala

How Can Your Business Benefit and Use Live Streaming?

ReelSEO recently did a live stream, via Google Hangout and it was also on YouTube. Why? Because we could, we thought it would be fun and informative and it gave us a way to connect with you, our loyal audience (thank you for your support!). It also is a more personal connection and making it personal, makes it a stronger connection. If the experience is positive, then it's a big boost for brand engagement and uplift. So here are a couple quick ways you can use live streams to help boost your brand.

#1 - Informal chat

Informal chats with customers, users, readers, etc, can have a great impact on their relationship to the brand. Why? Because it shows that the people behind the brand are in fact, people, and not a massive corporate machine run by faceless automatons who have nothing but the bottom line in their sights. It was clear from the recent ReelSEO Google Hangout that we're a bunch of jokers and down-to-earth people who really just love online video, right?

#2 - Formal Presentation

So many products are released via these weird, exclusive, parties and press events. But why not just launch the product straight to the consumers? Sure, you can still have your exclusive, A-list event, because you've already got the marketing budget for it. I still believe that some companies and brands put far more faith in the press (of which I am a member) than is healthy. Doing a formal presentation of something straight to the masses breaks down those perceived ivory towers that brands and corps are holed up in and shows that you value your consumers because you want them to know about this new product directly from you.

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#3 - Q&A and Help Desk

Automated systems might save money, but they're cold and impersonal and frustrating. Do you want consumers to connect those words with your brand or company? Hell no! You want to seen as warm, friendly and easygoing. Live video streams, are quick and easy ways to do just that. By being immensely helpful and assisting your users or consumers to get what they need, it is only going to strengthen their connection to the brand.

#4 - Periodic Progress Reports

There's been a lot of flap lately about Kickstarter projects getting funded, but then not getting product finished on time etc. So why not have a weekly/fortnightly/monthly chat, think fireside days of old, with the backers and other interested folks and give them the low down? What? Corporate secrets blah blah blah...that creates an environment of mistrust with them. I'm not saying spill all the corporate secrets. But hey, they gave you money in good faith, the least you can do, is show them some respect and give them some insight into what that money is doing.

I'm sure there are other things like live news streams etc. but I was thinking more about directly interacting with your brand or company.

Question: Have you got other thoughts on how to use live streams? Let us know in the comments!

  • Katie Raebel

    I see where @google-82dcbf2514f8d88e436a92c8ffad2565:disqus is coming from. I think the question here is whether or not Ooyala is counting "live video play" as just the live streams and not live streams that are available for on-demand post broadcast. However, my guess would be that any platform offering live streaming (Brightcove, Kit Digital, Ooyala, UStream, Livestream, Google HOA etc.) are legitimately interested in the audience retention and viewership data as it relates to "On-Air" or "Live" broadcast streams as that feature is typically unlocked in the premium level price plans. Having data to support views and retention would be valuable to their potential clients.

  • Rocket Wolf

    I think it's a reactionary article Chris. It's also based in misinformation. The biggest reason for the boost you are writing about is based on misinformation derived from one word, "LIVE" when in fact streaming video is not live, its a recording. Every single bit of the hype and popularity is based on this single bit of misinformation. Live means (or used to mean) in real time, such as live TV versus "previously recorded".

    Today, 99.9% of the videos on youtube or elsewhere on the net that use the word "LIVE" are in fact previously recorded video, then uploaded to the internet. Ustream would be an example of an exception to the rule as ustream is live video such as that of NASA TV broadcast on ustream live, however even in that example a lot of NASA TV is recorded and the live portions are mixed in with the previously recorded video.

    G+ Hangouts is entirely different. Hangouts are LIVE but also recorded and uploaded to youtube later and then mislabeled as "LIVE" or "ON AIR" for that particular recording. A True ON AIR and LIVE hangout is in real time, not a recording.

    These flash words are what the hype is about and what draws viewers, not the actual content of what is purportedly live or on air.

    As Ronnie Bincer pointed out in his examples, there are many truly live hangouts in his "I Do" list.

  • Ronnie Bincer

    Good article Christophor.
    I've got loads of ideas for Live Stream Video... I mainly utilize Hangouts on Air to do them, but sometimes I use regular Hangouts as I don't always want the info streamed live to the Public.

    I do 'Meet & Greet' Hangouts (HO) on a daily basis... it helps me connect with new and existing clients in a much more personal way than an email or a chat can.

    I do 'Master Class' trainings with HOs...
    I do 'I just learned this, did you see it & what do you think' discovery HOs...
    I do spontaneous looking around HOs to meet new people...
    I do 'let's reconnect, it's been a while since...' HOs
    and more.