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Best Practices for Livestreaming

The struggle to differentiate marketing strategies from that of competitors is something most businesses feel on a regular basis. Finding new ways to reach out and relate to consumers has become much easier with the advent of social media.

One of the newest trends in sharing with consumers is via livestreaming. According to a survey done by LiveStream, 80% of consumers prefer to watch live video from a company than read a blog post, and 82% want live video over written social posts.

As this trend grows, it’s obvious that video is becoming one of the most effective ways to reach an audience, if it’s done well. In that same survey, 67% of respondents said video quality is the most important factor in a livestream.

Many apps now offer this as a capability, including Periscope and YouTube. Facebook Live has become another prominent livestreaming arena and provides an efficient way to interact with users. Ustream and Twitch are other popular apps currently in use.

Example of Facebook Live video from The New York Times

If you’re looking to expand into livestreaming, there are effective ways to do it. However, there are common pitfalls that businesses and people have experienced. Check out some tips on how to avoid issues with livestreaming, including security and legal risks.

Video quality is key. The LiveStream survey showed that 90% believed video quality was the most important aspect of a Facebook Live video, while 23% would hesitate to buy anything from a brand with a low-quality video. If you’re going to livestream, consider purchasing some higher quality equipment or even hiring someone to do it for you. This ensures best possible quality during the live stream event.

It’s difficult to reach audiences in different time zones. If you’re livestreaming at 8:00 AM Eastern Standard Time, customers in the Pacific Standard time zone are probably still asleep. This means you may have to broadcast at separate times, which requires more resources and company time.

Anything can happen. Livestream can’t be edited, and so it’s important to take precautions to avoid any actions that could hurt your brand. If a negative issue arises during a livestream, there’s nothing you can do to avoid it. Negative comments from those watching can affect the stream as well. If someone comes on with a potentially offensive comment, this can overshadow the stream’s effectiveness. Keep these in mind while livestreaming, and try to control any anticipated issues before beginning the stream.

“These are real-time messages,” said Twitch chief executive Emmett Shear in an interview with the Independent. “This isn’t like Facebook posts that get to sit there for a few hours. This is like, you gotta be on it 30 seconds after they posted it, because that’s the entire window of impact.”

There are legal issues to consider as well. Make sure to avoid any issues with copyright, and only use images you’re authorized to use. If a person is featured in the livestream and you’re using it for promotional purposes, then you need to obtain written and signed permission from them to use the video. “Right of publicity” allows a person to not let you use any aspect of their likeness in content.

Livestreaming can be an effective tool when used correctly, and can help your brand reach larger audiences when you work to avoid these pitfalls.

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