4 Biggest Live Video Streaming Platforms and How Your B2B Brand Can Win on Each One
Live streaming saw explosive growth in the early days of the COVID pandemic, with an incredible 99% year-over-year growth from April 2019 to April 2020. Many brands across sectors are continuing to make live video part of their marketing strategy in 2021, organizing everything from webinars to large-scale virtual conferences.
With so many different streaming platforms to choose from, knowing where — and how — to launch your video content can be daunting. We feel you!
Here are some tips on how your B2B brand can tailor its video content for four of the best live streaming platforms, deepen your relationship with your audience, and reach new fans. Let’s dive in!
As a business-oriented social network, LinkedIn is particularly valuable for B2B companies. According to Chief Marketer’s 2019 B2B Marketing Outlook, 74% of B2B marketers said that LinkedIn was the most effective social channel for their brand.
“74% of B2B marketers said that LinkedIn was the most effective social channel for their brand.”
In many cases, LinkedIn also happens to be the network where B2B companies have the largest and most engaged audience, with over 46 million B2B decision-makers using the platform. Thus, live video streaming on LinkedIn is a surefire way to tap into an extensive network of active professionals and increase your brand’s visibility.
Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn requires that users submit a request to become a live broadcaster, so make sure you plan for this in advance. Criteria for approval to go live includes having enough followers (500 followers for Pages, at the time of writing) and posting original content on the platform regularly. You’ll also need to download and install a third-party tool for your stream, as LinkedIn doesn’t currently offer a native solution.
Unveil a new product or service
Streaming on LinkedIn is a great way for B2B brands to reveal new products or services that are coming out. As we’ve said, the live video streaming platform hosts a large network of business professionals, so it’s an ideal spot for building — and spreading — product awareness.
Make sure to hype your live announcement in advance so that your audience knows something big is coming and can make plans to tune in. Invite people to join your live broadcast by posting about it on your website and sending information out to your mailing list, as well as sharing about it on your social media channels.
The live announcement could follow a few different formats. One of your executives could begin the virtual event by making a speech about the updates and fielding questions from the audience. Or you could organize a conversation between two members of your product team to talk about the more technical aspects of your new release.
Whatever format you choose, make sure to make this event interactive and give your audience a chance to ask questions during your stream.
Keep your content professional — but get creative
LinkedIn is an all-in-one business platform for networking, job searching, and knowledge sharing. With that in mind, keep the live content you share focused on professionals’ needs and interests.
That said, keeping it professional doesn’t mean your content should be stuffy. Connect with viewers on a personal level by highlighting the employees behind your brand. Some companies use LinkedIn Live to conduct tours of their offices, showcase what employees love about the company, or even broadcast an AMA (ask me anything) with their CEO.
With over 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram continues to increase in popularity, especially among younger audiences. 64% of people under age 25 use Instagram weekly, according to Reuters’ digital trends report.
“As a visually-driven platform, Instagram is the ideal platform for showcasing your brand’s creativity.”
As a visually-driven platform, Instagram is the ideal platform for showcasing your brand’s creativity. IG Live is a solid streaming solution to test out content ideas and get instant audience feedback — your viewers can react with emojis and comment in the moment, which can help spark ideas for future videos or posts.
Use Instagram Stories to hype up your event
Once you have your live event planned, you can use IG Stories to build excitement around it. Stories are a perfect tool for this since you can post several without overwhelming your followers’ feeds.
Share the basic details like the date and time of your event and drop preview snippets, such as your guest speakers’ bios or highlights of what topics your live video will cover. Instagram even has a countdown sticker that you can add to your story to visually build anticipation.
Take advantage of IG Live’s features and customization
Instagram has many customizable add-ons that you can use to make your live video stream really pop — filters, split-screen with your guests, comment pinning, and more. There are lots of ways to make your Live stand out and have a bit of fun throughout the event. We do always suggest that you do a technical run-through in advance, though — you definitely don’t want any surprises during your broadcast.
If you’re on an iOS mobile device, you can also add photos or videos from your camera roll, which will move your live video to the top right-hand corner of the screen.
Facebook is still the most widely used social network by far, with over 2.85 billion active users. Host a FB Live event to tap into that audience and build engagement on one of the longest-running social media platforms around.
Spend more time live video streaming
The Facebook algorithm rewards videos that are 3+ minutes and shares them more widely, so don’t be afraid to create longer online video content here. The longer your live stream, the larger the audience you are likely to reach. Not to mention, viewers will be more likely to discover and share your event while it’s happening.
Pin your video
Facebook lets Page admins and editors pin posts to the top of the page, which can be a good way to ensure that visitors to your Page will see them, no matter when they arrive. Pin your live video to the top of your Page’s News Feed to get more traction while you broadcast. After your Live is over, you can share the video to your Page and pin it again so that visitors can watch a replay.
YouTube is the most-used video streaming service in the United States — far ahead of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Over 30,000 hours of content are uploaded to the platform every hour. Attracting viewers by creating a high-quality YouTube Live event allows you to connect with new folks and attract more attention.
“YouTube is the most-used video streaming service in the United States — far ahead of Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.”
Before going live on YouTube, there are a few requirements to keep in mind. First, you need to verify your channel at least 24 hours before your event. You’ll also want to prepare a title, description for the video, and thumbnail image in advance. Finally, you don’t need your live video stream to look perfect, but you should still aim for a presentable setup. More specifically, check for decent lighting, a clean background, and a relatively quiet space to record in.
Create a YouTube Premiere
With YouTube Premieres, content creators can schedule a video in advance and watch it along with their audience. It’s a great way to create hype, build a stronger relationship with your audience, and see how they react in real time.
When you set a video as a Premiere, a public shareable watch page is created and published.
Use that page to interact with your subscribers and potential viewers in advance and get them excited. You can also embed the link in an email or share it on social media to tease the premiere across your channels.
Provide regular recaps
Some viewers will join the stream partway through, so make sure you allow them to catch up on what’s going on. When you see new people joining your Live, greet them and do a quick recap of what they’ve missed. It can be as simple as taking a quick pause while you’re talking to say something like: “I see a bunch of new people have just joined us. Welcome! So far, we’ve been talking about X and Y, and now we’re going to look at Z.”
After your live event
No matter which platform you stream video on, the fun doesn’t end after your live event is over — next, you’ll want to make sure that you save your content so you can repurpose it later.
You should save your live video on your social media profile so that anyone who missed the live event has playback functionality and can still watch it. But you can also use your content in other ways by embedding the video in an email or blog post, crossposting it to other social media platforms, or cutting it into snippets to become part of a future marketing campaign.
The other thing you’ll want to do after your virtual event is check your video analytics. Each live streaming service has robust analytics that can give you valuable insights into what’s resonating with your audience, what time you should schedule your live streams, and what kind of content your viewers want to see. That way, you can use these insights to improve your content and make each live stream even better than the last.