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Go Live: 4 Tools To Reach More Customers With Live Streaming Video

Mari Smith

Have you experimented yet with the various live streaming apps out there?

This wonderful live television medium helps to create more intimacy and connection with your audience.

The closer your prospects feel to you and your brand, the more loyal and engaged they become. 

Here are four tools out there to help your business expand it's customer reach.

Related Article: Mari Minute Episode Two: How to Use Facebook Live for Business

1. Periscope

Owned by Twitter, Periscope boasts over 10 million active accounts and is one of the most popular tools to broadcast live. Periscope recently announced that live broadcasts can now be viewed directly in the tweet stream, which is awesome. Previously, you needed to focus on building a whole new audience on Periscope. Now, it’s easier for your Twitter followers to discover your live broadcasts.

Periscope home page

Here are some great examples of periscope marketing campaigns.

2. Facebook Live

Facebook first launched Live to select public figures with verified pages in August 2015. Early in December, Live became available to a small percent of iPhone users on their personal profiles and then to all verified Facebook pages later in the month. 

If you’re fortunate enough to have the verified status on your page, you can access the Live feature either through the Mentions app (iOS or Android), or the native iOS app.

In this video, renowned author, Brené Brown, broadcasts her first Facebook Live to share more information about one of her upcoming courses.

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Facebook gets 8 billion video views a day, and part of those views comes from the Live broadcasts. Plus, as soon as you’re finished streaming, the video is on your page wall (Timeline), the same as a native video.

Video on Facebook gets higher organic reach than any other type of content, so it’s definitely worth getting ready to add Live to your marketing plan just as soon as you have access.

Read more tips and best practices on using Facebook Live.

3. Hangouts on Air

This is one of my favorite tools to use for live webinars. Google’s Hangouts on Air is a robust product, allowing simultaneous streaming through your G+ account, YouTube account, and anywhere you wish to embed the live (YouTube) player. For instance, I broadcast my live webinars using an app called 22Social that pulls my Hangout on Air on to my Facebook Page.

Mari Smith Facebook 2016 Trends page

Bearing in mind, 88 percent of Facebook users access the platform via their mobile devices, so we want to ensure live broadcasts are easily viewable on mobile. Typically, Facebook apps are not visible on mobile. But, the 22Social app URL is a ‘smartlink.’ That is, whether someone clicks on your link on desktop or mobile, the app will open and play smoothly according to device. I have the URL MariSmith.tv redirect to the 22Social app on my Facebook page. 

4. Blab

This fun live broadcast app allows you to have four chat spots so you can bring on guests. Many users are hosting regular shows, and even locking out one seat to allow for a regular cohost. Blab has been growing in popularity lately, and is becoming a very effective way to start your own regular show. For example, my good friend, Mike Stelzner – CEO of Social Media Examiner, hosts a morning Social Media Marketing Talk on Fridays. Other live broadcast apps include Meerkat, Mevee, MyEye, and NomadCast.

Related Article: Likes Go Live: How to Use Live Video for Your Business

Mobile vs. Desktop

With Facebook Live, Periscope, Meerkat and others, you’re limited to broadcasting only through your mobile app. The cool thing with mobile live streaming video apps is you can face the camera at yourself or outward to capture your surroundings. While broadcasting, you can alternate between the front-facing and facing outward camera.

With Blab and Hangouts on Air, you can broadcast from your desktop – that means you can use a good webcam, excellent microphone and share your desktop to conduct workshops, for example.

What Equipment Do You Need?

For most live streaming apps, as mentioned above, you just need your smartphone and the app.

A small, inexpensive microphone can help improve your audio quality and reduce ambient noise. Check out this mic by Miracle Sound, or this mic by Audio-Technica.

For apps that allow streaming through desktop, personally I love my Heil PR-40 microphone with pop filter, shock mount and boom, as recommended by my buddy Cliff Ravenscraft, The Podcast Answerman.

podcast microphone Cliff Ravenscraft

For desktop or laptop webcams, your computer’s built in camera may be just fine. Or, I like this simple Logitech HD webcam.

How Long Should Your Broadcast Be?

Facebook Live broadcasts can only be for a maximum of 30 minutes.

Periscope, Blab and Hangout on Air users can broadcast for an unlimited time. However, my recommendation is to aim for between 20-60 minutes. I have heard about livecasts lasting as much as 24 hours, but that’s a bit much.

Give Your Broadcast a Catchy Title

Of course, the title should be related to the focus of your broadcast. Plus, when people get a notification that you’re live, the title is the only thing they see when deciding whether they want to join you.

Mari Smith live video about Third Party Tools

Everyone has very short attention spans these days. As more people start using live broadcast apps for both personal and business reasons, viewers will likely be more discerning about what they choose to watch.

Have a Focus for Your Broadcast

Be sure to give some thought as to what you plan to talk about ahead of time so you don’t have a rambling discussion about nothing. For example, you could host a live Q&A, do a product demo, tutorial, how-to, unboxing, behind-the-scenes, or discuss breaking news.

Related Article: 7 Cool Facebook Tricks You've Never Heard Of

Encourage Your Viewers to Come Back for More

Whichever app your choose, during your live broadcast, you should see the number of live viewers, which followers are tuning in and comments in real time.

While people are watching you, be sure to invite them to subscribe so they can be notified the next time you’re live.

By streaming live regularly, you can better establish yourself and your brand as the go-to expert in your field. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of where we are headed with live broadcasts. Businesses that are optimizing the technology now will get a jump-start on the competition.

Image Credit: NanoStockk / Getty Images
Mari Smith
business.com Member
Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is hailed as the premier Facebook marketing expert and one of the most influential and knowledgeable new media thought leaders in the world. In fact, earlier this year, Facebook hired Mari to go on tour with the company to teach business owners across the United States how to grow their businesses using Facebook! Forbes named Mari as one of the Top Ten Social Media Power Influencers several years in a row. She has over 1.3 million followers across her various social channels, and is the author of The New Relationship Marketing and co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day. Mari speaks at major events around the world, often sharing the stage with many notable celebrities and thought leaders.