What are live streams?
Live streams are real-time transmissions that are provided in the form of video and/or audio via streaming platforms. The video and audio data are transmitted over a computer network. A time limit for the live broadcast is usually not specified and can be selected individually.
Live streaming in B2B? Does it make sense?
Even if you now think that live streaming is only important for influencers or celebrities: Definitely no! B2C companies, in particular, are increasingly using this option for broadcasting events or behind-the-scenes insights. Politicians also opt for live streams for current crises or for explosive occasions.
B2B companies can also benefit from live streams. For example, you can position yourself as an expert on LinkedIn or strengthen customer loyalty with helpful tutorials. Another reason: The user numbers speak for themselves because according to Statista, 92.9% of B2B companies are represented in social networks in 2019. Live streams can, therefore, also increase the visibility of the brand in social networks.
Which social media channels are suitable?
Let’s meet live – Livstreaming is now offered in many social networks. However, you should first ask yourself which channel suits the company and, above all, the target group. If the target group is not on Facebook, for example, it makes little sense to start a live stream there.
Facebook’s Livestream offer is called Facebook Live and is the easiest to use for most users. As special options in the live stream, backgrounds can be changed, or a variety of filters can be selected. A little tip: animal filters are not recommended for professional live streaming.
YouTube is a streaming platform, and videos can be uploaded. That’s why there is also a live function here. We recommend this channel to all companies that have already relied heavily on Google tools, as the handling is similar. A helpful feature: information cards for interactive elements, images, video clips or call-to-actions. The only disadvantage: Your own YouTube channel must have at least 1,000 subscribers so that the live stream function can be used.
Twitter users can use the live streaming function via the “Periscope” app. This app has specialized in building a community and is also very easy to use. In addition to the live streaming function, live videos from other users can also be searched for and viewed by location and topic. The special thing about it: Live videos can be sent privately to selected followers or customers.
Instagram Live is the name of the function in Instagram. Here you can interact with the audience at the same time because they can ask questions and thus be answered directly live. Another highlight: All followers are reminded by push notification that a live video is currently available.
On the other hand, the live streaming offer from LinkedIn is still relatively unknown. This is not accessible to everyone. To gain access, you must first request this from the LinkedIn team:
Of course, LinkedIn is best for business topics that are also a little more complex.
Which content is the right one?
Choosing the right content is the be-all and end-all – because if it is boring or does not suit the company, then hardly anyone will participate in the live broadcast. Therefore it is important to find exciting and current content that interests the target group. We have summarized a few options:
1. Behind the scenes
This format is very popular with many B2C companies and is used regularly. The followers feel closer to the company or the brand because a more personal bond is created through this experience, and the followers are involved in everyday life.
2. Live from the fair
The absolute classic: live streams from the fair. Many companies already integrate this format into their external communication. This is especially helpful for everyone who does not have time to visit the fair or who simply live too far away.
In the current Corona crisis, in-house exhibitions can also take place digitally via a live stream. An in-house digital exhibition requires a little more effort. The best way to do this is to work with a professional production company, as several “stages” have to be prepared. Another variant is a digital exhibition stand. It welcomes customers and provides information about innovations, products or services.
3. Live interview with employees
Interviews with employees provide further insight into the company. This gives viewers an insight into the company and, ideally, can also ask employees to live questions. This format is particularly suitable for HR marketing.
4. Live interview with experts
Another format for B2B companies are live interviews with experts from the industry. Some customers often deal with questions about products or services that are easy for experts to answer. A format with this content can have a high added value for the company. The company scores with professional competence, and a bond with the customers is established.
Webinars are one of the most popular formats in live streaming for companies and employees alike. Further training is important in times of digitization: You always want to be up to date with the latest trends in the industry.
For this reason, this type of content can gradually influence the awareness of the company positively.
In addition to the above ideas for the content, we have even more inspiration for interesting topics:
- Product presentations
- Employee introductions
- Job advertisements
- Job explanations – what does a Junior Digital Marketing Manager actually do?
- Q & As
- Tips & tricks in dealing with products
- Press release live
- Get a taste of the company live – for applicants
Live streaming – how it works!
Setting up a live stream is actually relatively easy if you are familiar with social media. Before doing this, you have to start with choosing the right content as soon as the topic is set, and the first outline, the right channel for live streaming is selected.
Once the first measures have been implemented, the content is prepared to step by step. At the same time, we recommend publishing the live stream date on various channels in order to make the target group aware of it.
The technical implementation works a little differently on every social media channel. In the following, there are short step-by-step instructions on how to start a live stream on the individual channels.
Live streaming is very easy on Facebook. The live button is located under the field for a new posting. If you press this button, you get the following picture:
First, you are made aware that the target group will see the live broadcast. Then you get the view in the second picture. Before starting the live video, you can select different backgrounds in the images below. This feature is still available during live streaming.
In Instagram, the live function is hidden in the Instagram story function. To do this, tap on your own picture on the top right of the homepage to start an Instagram story:
In this view, you have to swipe to the left under the button until the live view appears. Then you can press the button at the bottom in the middle and start the live stream.
If you want to set up live streaming via Twitter, you must first download the “Periscope” app. In the app, you can not only register with the log-in data from Twitter but also with Facebook, Google or a telephone number:
Then access to the camera, microphone and location must be permitted in the app. Then you get the following views:
Before a live stream, you can invite people directly or skip this point. You then get the view to start the live streaming on the red button.
As soon as the LinkedIn team has activated live streaming, you can see the access for LinkedIn Live in your own profile or on the company profile below in the picture:
If you then press the button, you will be directed to various streaming services, all of which are chargeable. For this, you also need studio software.
Live streaming on YouTube is a bit more complicated than on the other social media channels. However, you can also stream with a webcam on this channel without any problems.
First, you have to call up the Creator Studio tools on the computer and select “Live streaming” in the settings. A live stream can then be created in the YouTube app.
The first activation of a live stream in YouTube can take up to 24 hours. Take this into account in your planning.
• Make sure that no third person is disturbing the live streaming
• Check beforehand whether the technology is working properly
• Start speaking immediately and do not wait for viewers
• Get to the point and do not stray from the topic
• Interact with the audience
Live streams are a great way to get in more personal contact with the followers and the target group. We recommend participating in some live streams first. This gives you a sense of how these work and which social media channel suits the company.
Setting up live streaming is not that difficult if you know how it works and what technical basis you need for it.