Do you know what the fastest growing content category is online?
It’s “live” content, which is growing at a rate of 147% a year since 2014!
Live content, as its name implies, is what happens when a brand or content creator broadcasts video content in real time over a variety of channels, from Google Hangouts to Facebook Live to Periscope...
The next great war for attention is here and it's going to be fought over what becomes the dominant platform for live content in 2017 and beyond.
There’s still time to jump on the Live Content bandwagon while you can to be an early mover and reap the biggest benefits.
Here's your brief rundown of the current live platforms:
- Periscope has a firm hold on those ages 13-22
- Facebook live is most popular with those in their mid twenties
- Google Hangout is trending towards being focused on business communications and content
And to make things even more competitive, Facebook is now actively promoting live content allowing you to get maximum exposure when you go “live.”
So why should you even care about live content... what does it mean for you?
Well, for starters, live content is important because:
- It’s a great way to connect with your audience
- You can impart a sense of urgency to your content
- It’s growing faster than every other content type combined and it’s only getting more popular
Right now you have a choice as to whether or not you want to create live content. It’s my belief that you will not have this choice much longer, and it’s better to get in a little early rather than risk being a little late.
To help get you set up on Live Content, we created a quick-start guide to walk you through exactly how to use Live Video, including:
- What Platform You Should Use For Live Content
- 5 Ideas For Live Content That Your Audience Will Love
- How To Promote Your Live Content Before, During and After Your Broadcast
Let’s get started by looking at each platform to see what's right for you...
What Platform You Should Use For Live Content
- It’s Free. The first benefit of Periscope is that it’s free to use and simple to set up. You can create an account and be broadcasting within 2 minutes.
- It Comes With A Built In Audience. The second benefit of Periscope is that it connects with your Twitter account allowing you to broadcast to your Twitter followers without needing to link anything or rely on telling your audience to join you on a new platform they might not have.
- It’s Cool. Lastly Periscope is the “coolest” of the live streaming platforms and does the best with younger audiences especially teens.
- Videos are only saved 24 hours. Unlike on other platforms where your live content is saved and can be watched later, Periscope deletes your videos after 24 hours, meaning the only people who will see your content are those that get to it within 24 hours.
- No Monetization. As of 2017 there is no way to monetize your Periscope videos through advertising, or subscription services. If you’re looking to make money off your content, Periscope might not be for you.
- You Can’t Brand Your Content. The only logos you’ll see on Periscope videos are the Periscope logo, so you miss out on the chance to brand your content or put your website in the corner of the screen.
- Group Chat. The first benefit of Google Hangouts is the ability to group chat with as many people as you want. This is incredibly helpful, and not a feature all of the live platforms have yet.
- Cross Device Compatibility. Another benefit of Google Hangout is that you can sync your conversation across devices. If your laptop is running out of juice you can switch to your phone without having to find somewhere to plug in.
- YouTube Integration. Google Hangouts syncs with YouTube automatically allowing you to save your live content for anyone to watch after the fact.
- It Isn’t Free. Google Hangouts can be used in a free version but if you want to unlock all the cool features like device syncing it’s going to cost you between $5-10 a month.
- The updates. The other major problem with Google Hangouts which users are already shaking their heads about is the constant stream of updates that Google Hangouts seems to have, especially over the last few months.
- Followers are notified. One of the best things about Facebook live is that all of your followers are automatically notified that you are going live, or that you were live recently. This is a great way to get more viewers to your stream.
- Good Metrics. Facebook has a ton of helpful metrics and analytics that will help you to understand who your audience is, what time it peaked and a ton of other useful details.
- Ability to re-target. The biggest benefit of Facebook live is that if someone is watching you but not a follower of yours you can advertise to them using re-marketing if they watched your live stream.
- Limited to 90 mins. The first con to Facebook live is that it limits how long you can be live to 90 mins. So even if you have killer content and a big audience at 90 minutes they hit the shutoff switch.
- Not a dedicated “live” platform. People go to Facebook for a variety of reasons OTHER than just to watch live content so you will need a strategy for driving your followers to your live stream.
- You have to pay to play. As with everything on Facebook you have to pay to get your content distributed to a larger audience.
By now you should have a good idea of what platform is right for you and your business!
Make a decision right here and now to commit to that platform for at least the next 90 days!
Now that you’ve decided what platform to use let’s talk about what kind of content you want to do live...
The easiest kind of live content to create is live Q and A sessions where you ask your audience for questions and you answer them as they come.
If you’re just getting started and don’t have a big audience yet you can position the Q and A session as a “Most frequently asked questions” session and answer the 5-6 questions you get asked the most in between live questions.
2. One Topic “Expert” Talks
People get way too caught up in having to be the # 1 expert in their field that it often keeps them from taking action.
In this article you can clearly see that you can prepare a great 1 topic “expert” talk on any subject in just a few minutes.
You might even want to survey your audience with a few different topic ideas to make sure that they are interested in whatever topic you choose for your “expert” talk.
3. Field Trips
One of the coolest things about live content is that it allows you to take your audience with you whether it’s inside a live sporting event or a simple behind the scenes look at a day in your life, live content allows you to share experiences with your audience.
A great way to tap into this is with the what I like to call “Field Trips” if you have an upcoming event or know you’ll be going somewhere cool, let your audience know a few days in advance and then give them a countdown so they can be sure not to miss it.
4. Panels and Discussions
Most live content platforms allow you to bring others into your live streams; this is a great opportunity to do interviews, discussions or my personal favorite panel discussions of a certain topic.
For example, a friend of mine is a party planner to the stars who recently did a panel on Valentine’s day party decorations with 2 other experts in her industry... This video got more than 10,000 live views!
The other benefit to panels and group discussions is that you can pool your followers and everyone who is speaking can promote the live discussion to their list or followers!
The last type of live content I want to talk about is demonstrations.
Demonstrations are great because they show what your product or service can actually do. The more “out there” or unconventional your demonstration is, the better suited it will be to a live content formula.
Can you imagine if The Will It Blend IPhone Video was live? Take a few minutes to think about what the most VISUALLY impactful demonstrations you could record are, and then start recording them live.
By now you should have a good idea about what kind of content you want to create for your first live broadcast.
Take a minute now to write down 2 or 3 of the 5 ideas I just shared with you and commit to doing your first live broadcast this week!
How To Promote Your Live Content
Lastly before we wrap this article up, let’s talk about how to promote your content before, during and after.
How To Promote Your Live Content Before
Before you go live, you want to make sure that your audience is aware of it, so you need to start by asking your list or followers if anyone is interested in seeing a live broadcast.
Once you’ve gotten a positive response you’ll want to create a live content list for those who are interested in your live content to sign up for.
After that you should send 1-2 reminders about the content including one that let’s the reader know that they only have a few hours before you go live.
Another great tactic for promoting your live content beforehand is to do a countdown starting 2-3 hours out.
How To Promote Your Live Content During
Once you are live, you’ll want to figure out ways to send out teasers about what you are discussing or demonstrating.
For example, Bomani Jones of ESPN promotes his live content show The Evening Jones with tweets which show the questions he will be answering and give out a link to come join live.
How To Promote Your Live Content After
Lastly you’ll want to promote your content AFTER you have gone live, especially if you are recording on a platform like Periscope which will delete the content within 24 hours.
One often overlooked benefit of Periscope deleting videos within 24 hours is that it imparts each live broadcast with a real feeling of scarcity because no matter what they will be deleted within 24 hours so you can honestly tell your audience that they better get to it before it’s gone.
If you produced great live content, don’t be afraid to promote it after the fact anytime something related comes up.
In this article we looked at what live content is, and why it’s important.
Then we looked at the pros and cons for:
- Facebook live
- Google Hangouts
After that I walked you through 6 types of content your audience will love:
- Q and As
- 1 topic talks
- Field Trips
- Peak Experiences
And lastly we looked at how to promote your live content before you do it, during the content on social media, and afterwards.
You are now prepared to embrace the trend of live content successfully, don’t get disappointed if you don’t’ have a massive audience right away, that happens when you’re ahead of the curve.
Have you ever seen that movie “The Big Short”? That movie based on the Michael Lewis book of the same name follows a group of investors who were ahead of the 2008 housing crash, and you know what they lost millions of dollars before they eventually cashed out the greatest trade of all time.
Live content is the next big thing, and now you’re ready to surf the wave and cash in big when everyone else figures it out!
I want to hear from you, what are some of your favorite kinds of live content? Comment below and let me know!
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