Faster Internet, video technology, and kids with camcorders helped push online video’s stellar growth. Now YouTube and online video are part of our daily work and personal lives. However, over the last year or two, there has been a new video technological revolution: live video.
I’m not referring to conference call technology, although it is also very useful. No, I am speaking about broadcasting services that allow you to connect with customers or an audience and get real-time feedback. It can be a one-of-a-kind engagement tool, if it’s utilized properly. Let’s explore some reasons to use live video and a few best practices:
Some of the Benefits of Live Video
Live video has a couple of big advantages over recorded video and other forms of communication. Some of the best include:
- Immediate engagement with an audience: With live video, you can hold town halls or other events to get community feedback and respond to that feedback. They can ask questions and you can answer. No other online format has such real-time feedback.
- It’s viral and social: Most live video services are integrated with Facebook and Twitter, meaning that you can bring in new viewers and potential customers as you’re doing the live video.
- It’s also a recording: Almost all live video can be exported to YouTube as a recording.
Live Video: What to Do
While there are an infinite amount of directions you can go with your live video strategy, I’ve compiled a short list of best practices and suggestions:
- Make it a conversation, not a speech: The first rule of live video is that it shouldn’t be a speech (at least the whole thing). Take the time to open up your chat or a Twitter feed and answer questions from there. You can really address user or customer concerns this way.
- Have a plan: You have to stay entertaining in a live video, so have an outline of what you want to say and keep the conversation and discussion going.
- Promote it: Let your audience know about the upcoming broadcast, tweet about it, and embed it on your blog.
- Don’t say anything you wouldn’t tell your mother: This one should be self-explanatory.
The key to any great online video is to engage your audience.
A Few Live Video Providers
If you’re excited to get started, there are a range of great live video providers, including Ustream, Justin.tv, and Livestream. If you want to connect multiple webcams for video, Tinychat (which we use to power Mashable’s video chat room) and Stickam are solid options.