Livestreaming has become a popular feature on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Users “go live” to show their audience everything from the concert they’re attending to the food they’re eating. The popularity of livestreaming among consumers has led many brands to try the feature as part of their marketing campaigns. While livestreaming can be a good tool to engage your audience and showcase events as they happen, it is not always the best communication method. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether to livestream on behalf of your brand.
1. Do you have something interesting to discuss or show? Utilizing a livestream to overtly sell your product or service will likely annoy your audience rather than engage it. Think about what really interests your audience. Part of the appeal of livestreaming is the element of spontaneity, so make sure whatever you want to livestream incorporates spur-of-the-moment interactions like viewer questions or comments.
2. Is there a benefit to showcasing the event live? Livestreaming works best when the event is worth showing live. Think about the events you’ve seen livestreamed on social media. These are typically high-anticipation experiences like sporting events, concerts or high-profile news hearings. Will your audience perceive an added benefit from being able to watch your event live, or would it be best to edit and post the video after the event?
3. Do you have a goal? As with any part of your brand’s marketing, it is critical to identify a purpose for your livestream and understand how the tactic fits with the bigger picture. Does your livestream content fit with your brand story? Does it add value to your audience? If the answer to these questions is no, you should probably reconsider the use of this technology.
4. Have you taken the appropriate steps to protect your brand legally? In a livestream setting it can be easy to forget items that often take brands weeks, if not months, to plan for a typical video shoot, such as obtaining signed location agreements and releases for people appearing on camera. In healthcare in particular, organizations are obligated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to obtain patient permission to use their image, so make sure you’ve worked in advance with your legal department to prepare and overcome any potential issues.
5. Do you have a plan to use the content after it airs? Livestream video is typically available for playback after the event ends, so be sure to think through the best ways to maximize exposure to your content. Also, determine beforehand how you will measure its success so you can use insights gleaned from your first experience to better plan subsequent livestreams for your brand.
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