If the major television networks haven't yet profiled your business, you might consider Livestream, a video platform that functions as both a virtual TV studio and an embedded video player—which gives users the tools necessary to produce and broadcast wireless HDTV.
We spoke with Livestream co-founder Phil Worthington, who created the service as a tool for organizers of conferences, concerts, red carpet and marketing events to connect with their audiences.
“Live streaming can be an effective marketing tool for these event owners, and as an industry it's grown 600 percent [since] last year, validating that assumption,” says Worthington. “[We’re for] anything that has a built-in audience, that’s looking to expand its reach.”
An industry that grows 600 percent certainly is enticing, but as a small business you want to make sure a service like Livestream is what you need and that you know how to use it to it’s fullest.
“It's not a magic bullet for everyone,” says Worthington. “There needs to be content behind the broadcast, but if there's something going on, and someone out there may be interested in it, then it's a great way to reach those people and have them engage your brand, and each other.”
Livestream’s goal is to “democratize” live television. That means removing the biggest barrier for entry into the medium: high cost equipment. Eliminating something as costly as a satellite truck, which prices at hundreds of thousands of dollars, puts live broadcast production in the hands of the masses.
“We used citizen journalism as our champion use-case, and although we still empower this segment, we have since realized that one-time events are the bulk of our content, [so we’ve] focused our energy reaching and serving that customer base.”
Livestream is just four years old—with a staff of less than 100—yet during its rapid growth has opened up four offices around the world.
“Our CEO, who brought us all together, was based in New York and we had access to investment there,” says Worthington. “None of us wanted to move to Silicon Valley, which was against the grain for a tech company four years ago. One of the other co-founders is from Bangalore and wanted to go back, which presented a unique opportunity for an offshore development team that could still be closely managed by a person we trust. Los Angeles opened later, when we realized the value of having a local sales team to service the film and music industries over there. A fourth team in Ukraine also joined us as part of a software acquisition we made.”
Could live streaming be the way to go for your next business event? The key is to keep it simple and follow these three steps:
Identify whom you’re trying to reach
Be realistic, but also aim to exceed expectations. For example, when streaming concerts, Livestream provided custom channel pages for the band Foo Fighters and singer David Gray, which integrated live chat, Twitter and Facebook. During the 2008 presidential election, Livestream partnered with Indianapolis Star. And on New Year’s Eve, the company collaborated with the Times Square Alliance, which streamed the celebration live from New York City.
Communicate with your audience in language that is simple, clear and easy to understand
Now that you potentially have everyone’s attention, it’s up to you to be concise and clear with the content you're sharing. Facebook’s live streaming channel that broadcasts from it’s Palo Alto headquarters uses Livestream for announcements and interviews.
Tailor your message, your service to the needs of your targeted audience
Sharing your keynote speech and the innovations of your businesses at a conference or expo should stay focused on those two agendas. Adding more to the mix when you’ve got the Internet watching and listening will only confuse people and go off task.
Image credit: Livestream.com