Over recent years, the popularity of video has grown online and business owners and marketeers are well aware that video content should be a crucial aspect of their digital marketing campaigns. However, there is a new important trend that should not be ignored, and that is live video streaming.

The format has been around for a while, but, lately, apps such as Meerkat, Periscope and Stre.am are transforming the way people now watch and share video. Rather than filming, editing and distributing video clips, people are now able to live stream video from their mobile phones in order to share unique moments and crucial events in real time. Mobile video streaming apps are changing how people communicate and are causing businesses to rethink the ways in which they share their video content.

Tooling up Citizen journalist
Ever since camera phones first hit the market circa 2002, the general public has been taking journalism into their own hands by snapping important events in real time. As developers created phones with video capability and the lowering cost of bandwidth and wifi (almost) everywhere, we began to see increasing amounts of amateur footage used on the news to provide more immediate details of newsworthy events.

While smartphone video may not offer the best quality picture or clearest shot (but it is getting there), it does have a raw quality which can be very powerful. People can film events directly as they unfold; footage is more immediate, more dramatic and more accurate than if a news reporter were to file a report at a later point which would, obviously need to be vetted and verified before transmission.

With streaming apps such as Meerkat, Periscope and Stre.am and Facebook Live now available, people can share these events in real time via their mobiles and they become, in effect, the news reporters. People can witness life changing moments take place thousands of miles away in different countries; hence, video streaming is incredibly powerful for citizen journalism.

Get streaming, get social
Just as the likes of Snapchat and Instagram allow people to share their current activity with the world, live video streaming enables immediate sharing of daily life events. Special moments, such as passing an impromptu dance-off in the street or watching live music, can be streamed with friends and family and discussed in real time. It creates a new level of community and sharing, something which businesses and brands could use to their advantage.

For many businesses, adding a personal touch to their marketing efforts is crucial since it can help them to engage customers and build trust, treading on the toes of relationship marketing. By live streaming events such as Q&A sessions, press launches and product demonstrations, businesses can access a wider audience and make consumers feel more involved. Live streaming can generate more excitement; customers can witness new products or exclusive events exactly as they unfold, which is a fantastic way to build momentum during a new marketing campaign.

While professionally filmed and edited videos can be great marketing tools, consumers are all too aware that some footage will have been left on the cutting room floor. Consumers may look at these videos as too polished or too #buymystuff, whereas streamed video is live, unedited and a lot more honest. It can show businesses in a more natural light and has the potential for consumers to better trust and relate to the brand and individuals within it.

If you’d like your target audience to be more engaged with your brand, live video streaming could be the technique you’ve been looking for. While many other digital trends come and go, live streaming looks like it’s here to stay and savvy businesses should be utilising its potential right away. If you’d like more information or advice about video streaming, get in touch with us today.