This is part two of a two-part article on live streaming. Check out part one, Getting Started with Live Streaming, here!
Your audience wants more live content. Whether your audience is prospects, customers, or even employees, they want more real, in-the-moment moments.
How do I know this? Because today, people want to feel like they’re a part of something, they have a fear of missing out (i.e. FOMO). Not only that, they’re also dying for content that’s authentic, something less fabricated than a meticulously planned out video set.
We all are.
Why, hello there live streaming! But wait, not the complex conference live stream where you have to hire a whole other production team … but also the modern live stream: any sort of live event caught on video in real-time.
In a recent post, we spoke all about the technology behind live streams … for all different types of live streams. Here, we’ll dive into how to make the most out of your production with an impressive strategy to back up any live stream effort.
But first … When Should You Live Stream?
Before we dive into the depths of the live streaming black hole, let’s take a step back and look at all the ways you might use live streaming today because:
- it’s use has expanded way beyond streaming your company’s user conference, and
- your strategy may vary somewhat, depending on which approach you take.
Most live streams fall into one of the following four categories:
- Event: conferences or webcasts
- Product: updates, launches, or live demos
- Company: behind-the-scenes or company announcements
- Customer: support or additional touch points
Building a Strategy for a Successful Live Stream
Now that you’ve had a high-level overview of where you can utilize live streaming, it’s important to set a dedicated strategy for your live stream efforts. Of course, the typical strategic components that exist for any marketing activity also exist for a live stream production, like:
- What is the goal? There’s no sense in starting any marketing initiative if you haven’t defined success. Are you trying to get 300 more MQLs? Or are you hoping to boost blog subscribers? Or maybe even increase engagement with your employees?
- Who are you targeting? Knowing this ahead of time will help you tailor your approach so it’s hyper-relevant to a subset of your audience instead of a wishy-washy, generic message sent to a broad audience.
- Why should it be a live stream? Understanding why this medium is the right approach to reach your goal and your target audience will help you get buy-in from all involved parties. Not only that, it will help you pinpoint great opportunities for live streaming and avoid getting involved simply because it’s a “hot medium”.
- How will you promote it? Based on the goals you want this live stream to achieve and the audience you’re going after, how will you get it to them? Where do they hang out online (or even offline)? And how will you create a sense of desire and urgency so (a) register for the live event and (b) they actually attend?
In addition, you’ll also want to consider those aspects unique to live streaming like:
- How will you keep your audience engaged?
- How will you extend the life of your live stream?
- How will you capture leads from your live stream?
- How should you measure a live stream’s success?
Let’s dive more into these attributes!
1. Increasing Audience Engagement with Live Streams
An in-person, live event has multiple opportunities to participate. There’s time to ask questions or engage in conversation directly with speakers or company leaders. In the case of a personal demo with a sales rep, “audience members” can tailor the direction of the conversation and choose where to dive deeper.
This is a lot more difficult when your audience is spread across different geographies and sitting behind screens. But if you can’t engage them with these supplemental activities they would get in-person, they’re definitely going to be more likely to drop off.
So how can you achieve the same level of engagement in a live video? Offer engagement opportunities, that’s how. The most popular are:
- Polling the audience and sharing data in real-time
- Participating in audience discussion or social chats during the broadcast
- Offering resources to reference or download throughout the livestream
And remember, get started on the right foot by hosting your live stream on a day that’s more likely to have higher engagement from the get go. This is likely in the middle of the week — Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday — according to a recent ON24 research study.
2. Extending Live Content Beyond Now
The main attraction to any live stream is that it is literally live. It’s exciting to join a community online and learn something new together or witness a great new product release for a company you love with other people who feel the same. People all over the world can tune in together from the comfort of their own office or home and participate in discussions the same was as if they had flown halfway across the world.
But the truth is, if you don’t find a way to leverage that content after the live event is over, you’re missing out.
Just think: if your CEO spent time to prepare an inspirational talk about the vision of the company, you better find a way for that to be accessible afterwards as well. If your annual user conference brought in 20 speakers and live streamed all the sessions, don’t you want all that great content available on your website for future consumption?
Yeah, you do!
Make sure that any time you’re live streaming, that you’re also recording the video so you can use it at a later date. And remember to build a post-event promotion strategy and/or email follow-up to send this recording out and increase exposure.
3. Capturing Leads from a Live Stream
Best practice says that events are the major place you would utilize live streams as a lead capture initiative. I would tend to agree. Any of the other three types are either too early or too late in the funnel (or post-funnel) to be gating. Of course, I’ll add the disclaimer that each situation is different!
So how will you actually capture those leads?
Brilliant question. There are five main ways:
- Pre-roll: A pre-roll lead capture involves a full form or email gate immediately after the viewer clicks play.
- Teaser: A teaser lead capture is when you show a clip of the content and then offer an in-video email gate or full form.
- Post-roll: This is a full form or CTA button after the video finishes playing.
- Parallel: A parallel lead capture is when a form is shown beside the video as the video continues to roll.
- Re-direct: A redirect involves simply redirecting the viewer to another area of a landing page — or entirely different page — to complete the next action. This would happen at the end of the live stream or recorded live stream.
Any five of these methods will be a great way to generate additional leads from your live stream.
4. Measuring Live Stream Success
What gets measured gets done. Right?
Obviously, the first step in measuring your live stream success is to know what your goals were at the outset. But generally speaking, you probably want to move away from benchmarking yourself against number of views and move towards more in-depth analytics indicative of a greater purchase intent, engaged employee base, or active customers.
To measure your live stream’s impact, look at metrics like:
- Attendance numbers, registration numbers, and attendance to registration ratios
- Attention span, how much was watched, and where viewers started to drop off
- Long-term recorded views days and weeks following the live event
- Other metrics specific to your goals like MQLs generated, employee engagement, influenced pipeline, etc.
Remember, when you’ve built out a brilliant live streaming strategy, don’t forget to check out this post that Zack wrote on what you need to make your live stream come to life: Getting Started with Live Streaming.