One of the most important skills of any aspiring entrepreneur is to know how to harness cutting-edge tech to ensure success in their business.
In recent years, many new technological developments have claimed a place in the business plan of small enterprises. Some of them, like the Internet of Things or blockchain, are reserved for the select few that have specialized in a field that allows them to explore ambitious projects.
Others, like live streaming tech, have numerous applications that can easily benefit any small business, regardless of the sector in which it operates.
The success of live streaming tech
Live streaming has been the bedrock of a silent revolution lately, which can be felt across a wide range of industries – from social media to gaming to news coverage.
It is not the same as on-demand online video streaming, which has seen tremendous success thanks to Netflix and its competitors. By contrast, live streaming tech supports the simultaneous recording and broadcast of multimedia over an internet connection.
It has been a particularly good fit with the lifestyle approach underlying social media platforms, which focus on a sense of direct and immediate communication.
Facebook launched its own Facebook Live platform in 2015, while Twitter released its Periscope app on that same year. Meanwhile, YouTube, which is part of the Google family, has also launched a dedicated YouTube Live branch.
Live streaming has also traditionally been used to broadcast news and sports events in real time, like the UEFA Champions League games or the FIFA World Cup.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup that took place in Russia last year is a stark example of the success of live streaming.
A survey published on Statista shows that while 62% of respondents planned to watch the World Cup on TV, a whopping 25% stated they would watch it on the Internet, with 13% turning to their mobile devices and 8% preferring their tablets.
Live streaming is also big in the gaming industry, while the immense popularity of Twitch is mostly based on users live streaming gaming content.
There is an incredibly high number of people who flock to Twitch just to see their favorite pro gamers play beloved titles like Dota 2 or Overwatch.
The popularity of live streaming applications and their potential for attracting big crowds reveals an opportunity for small businesses to use this tech in order to generate profit.
Live streaming for your small business: A marketing dream
Live streaming can become a powerful tool, especially for small enterprises that do not have the budget or workforce of big corporations.
If used cleverly, it can help you reach out to a wider audience that you could ever be able to using traditional means. And do so for next to no money, since at least in the case of well-known platforms like Facebook Live this opportunity is for free.
Live streaming is a virtual goldmine for marketing purposes, as it can be used in a variety of ways to create hype and raise consumer awareness about your business.
You can create your own channel on your preferred social media live streaming platform, and start producing a line of live streaming videos which will allow you to liaise with current and prospective clients.
These could help you build on the hype already generated for big events – depending on your industry, this could be anything from a product expo to the world-famous annual Academy Awards.
You can film your reactions attending the event and share it with your customers. On some platforms, like Periscope, you can even invite guests on your live streams – perfect for allowing audience members to drop in and engage with your brand.
Create brand awareness.
You can also use live streaming to make videos that allow spectators a sneak peek into your brand. Like live streaming a sample of how you make your products or a behind-the-scenes look at your company location before launching your new line of services.
Big companies such as Mercedes Benz regularly broadcast live events like the launch of new models online.
This can be tailored to your industry: for instance, a restaurant can live stream their head chef putting the final touches on the dishes on their new fall or spring menu.
This is typically the kind of content that gets clients to connect with your company and feel part of your brand. You can also host Q&A sessions on your brand or on matters related to your sector, which is bound to attract customers that are keen to learn more about your line of work.
It can also help you reach out to a new demographic and diversify your audience.
According to Techjury.net, 63% of individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 are watch live streaming content on a regular basis. While it is estimated that live streaming will produce 82% of global internet traffic by 2020 and the industry will grow to $124.6 billion until 2025.
Furthermore, the same course reveals that more than 80% of customers prefer watching a live stream over reading a blog. While 67% of people who watched an event on live streaming bought a ticket to a similar event and 45% stated that they would pay for exclusive live video content of their choice.
If you want to take it one step further after you have established your brand on live streams, you can explore monetization techniques like ads, donations, or even a pay-per-view approach.