By J.T. Ripton
Digital video streaming has transformed the way in which we consume entertainment. Such platforms as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and others have provided consumers with an unprecedented level of freedom. Rather than being at the behest of broadcasters’ schedules, we have the power to create our own. This freedom extends to creation, too, as online video-platforms allows any individual or business to become broadcasters, with lucrative results: the number of YouTube channels generating a six-figure annual income increases by 50 percent year on year.
As well as recorded videos, live interactive broadcasting has become incredibly popular, with Facebook Live and Periscope the most common tools connecting people in real-time. Anyone with an account and a phone can broadcast live, enabling users across the world to engage with their followers in a direct way, combining video and audio to great effect.
Companies in all sectors can integrate live interactive broadcasting into their processes to communicate with existing and prospective clients, maximizing their engagement in a cost-effective way. How can you use live interactive broadcasting to revolutionize your business?
Host Interviews With Colleagues or Special Guests
Live interactive broadcasting is all about engagement, and presenting an insightful interview with a skilled colleague or special guest is an effective way to keep followers hooked.
Every businesses has its own experienced experts, whether they have been with the company since day one or simply have deep knowledge on your products. Live broadcasting gives you the power to sit down this individual and pick their brains on areas of interest to followers. Opening up to viewers’ questions enables your audience to actually become involved, and direct the interview to suit their own interests.
For example, if you have a new product on the market, the expert may be able to answer technical questions or resolve common issues. A special guest, such as a prominent figure in your industry, can take direct questions and speak to a (potentially) global audience rather than the interviewer alone.
The chance to ask key or well-known figures those burning questions is rare, and if you can give your followers that opportunity, they’ll be much more likely to stick with your brand.
Stream Live Broadcasts from Global Events
Conferences and exhibitions take place around the world every year, bringing representatives from countless companies together in one space. Not only are they a great place to network, they also give a valuable insight into upcoming innovations, products, services, and more.
Broadcasting live from any of these events empowers you with the freedom to invite your followers into the venue with you. Whether you want to show off a new product you’re showcasing or take them on a tour of some fascinating exhibitions, you can do so with just your phone and an app.
Not only is this incredibly useful for those people who wanted to attend a specific event but couldn’t, it also allows you to take questions and directions from viewers. You can ask them where they think you should go to next, or pose their questions to exhibitors.
Rather than simply grabbing snippets of footage from an event and compiling them later, live broadcasts put you and your followers in the moment, allowing you to explore the setting together.
Provide Real-Time Training or Troubleshooting on Your Products
Let’s say you’ve just released a new phone or laptop to the market, and have been receiving the same questions or complaints again and again. You can either use the same text-based responses in forums, contact forms, live chats, and more – or you can broadcast live training videos to help customers in a more engaging way.
Live broadcasting lets you host in-depth training on new or upcoming products, walking buyers through its function in a far more satisfying way than wading through an instruction manual. You will get to give consumers the answers they really want and need to know.
Once you’ve broadcast a live training video, you can then upload it to your site to educate more people in the future, or add it to your FAQ section.
Take Viewers on a Guided Tour of Your Workplace
With live interactive broadcasting, you have the capacity to guide followers around your office, factory, store, or any workplace in real-time. Taking your existing and prospective customers ‘behind the scenes’ brings a more personal aspect to your brand, as you’ll be showing them how their products or services are processed in a real, practical way.
This is much more authentic and engaging than a promotional video edited by professionals and littered with sales-speak. It also lends more credibility to your business if you’re willing to open up and introduce your team at work on their everyday tasks.
This also shows off the more human side of your company, reminding followers that your products or services are provided by ‘real people’.
Invited Followers to Partake in Live Interactive Webinars
An interactive webinar is the perfect situation to bond with your followers. Rather than hosting a planned piece with two or more experts discussing subjects in a dry way, you can open your webinars up to the audience watching at home.
Invite viewers to ask questions on a subject or share their own ideas on the topic. This flexibility ensures your webinars are more engaging, more informal, and feature a diversity of thoughts and opinions. Without a rigid plan in place or a script to work off of, you (or your hosts) should feel free to be themselves, injecting humor and anecdotes as they see fit.
Again, this demonstrates your brand’s personal side, making you more than just another ‘faceless’ company presenting just another bland webinar, and the better your customers feel they know you, the more trust you will earn.
However, to provide your followers with the best live interactive broadcasting, you have to invest in the best service. You want to stream video which is of a high video and audio quality, for a crisp viewing experience. Any lagging or loss of connection will frustrate viewers. If it happens too often, do you think they’re likely to come back to you in the future?
Tony Zhao, CEO of video chat company Agora.io, highlights the importance of investing in a high-quality service to maximize your viewers’ experience:
“Broadcasting from a location that suffers from weak internet, or to viewers in remote areas of the world, signal issues pose a real risk of poor connections. If your followers are faced with lagging video, dips in sound, and other technical issues, they may well grow tired – and abandon your live broadcast altogether. Your reputation may also suffer.
“Agora employs 80 data centers around the world, for the crispest performance regardless of where you are, allowing you a much wider reach than competitors without the same strong connection. This high quality is vital to keep your audience satisfied in the long run, and prevent them looking elsewhere for informative live broadcasts.”
Have you considered how live interactive broadcasting can help your business grow?
J.T. Ripton is a freelance writer out of Tampa, who focuses on topics relating to business and technology. Follow him at @JTRipton.