Imagine if one tool could enable you to engage remote teams, host global events and boost engagement with your marketing campaigns. Sound too good to be true? Welcome to the world of professional live streaming.
Video content has been growing in importance to brands for years. And now live video content – live streaming, as it’s called – is changing how brands engage people and customers again. In this blog, you’ll learn what live streaming is, what it’s used for, and why professional live streaming is so important for businesses.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
What is professional live streaming?
Live streaming is broadcasting video content over the internet. The live video footage is usually captured on a webcam, phone, camera or with screen-capture software. Sitting between the person or company on-screen and the audience is a live streaming platform which makes the broadcast possible.
Live streaming has exploded in recent years. This growth has largely been driven by its popularity among social media influencers and its use in e-sports and gaming communities.
But live streaming has another side too, a more professional business-oriented side. Valued at around $70 billion in 2021, by 2030 the global live streaming industry is predicted to be worth $330.51 billion. That’s serious business and brands – including professional and B2B brands – are waking up to the power of live streaming.
Why is live streaming so important for businesses?
In a survey published by Wyzowl, 84% of respondents said that video marketing had helped generate leads. The power of video content for businesses is undeniable, especially when viewed through a marketing lens. But the significance of professional live streaming stretches beyond the scope of marketing.
During the pandemic, customers, business partners and employees were confined to home which meant video became even more important. For millions of people, it was virtually the only channel of communication they used whilst at work. Live video is unique in its ability to create an immediate connection between brands and people. This quality makes it a powerful communications tool.
It’s no wonder that live streaming is a key part of many businesses’ marketing and events strategies. But if you think that it’s only for B2C or eCommerce brands, think again. 80% of adults would rather watch a live stream than read a blog and 82% would rather watch a live stream than trawl through a company’s social media posts.
It makes sense: all of those staff at home to keep in touch with, company conferences for remote workforces, product and service demos for prospects far away… what better medium to reach all of those diverse audiences than professional live streaming? Live streaming allows businesses to create a direct connection with the audience – no matter who that audience is: internal stakeholders, investors, employees, or potential customers. The possibilities are endless and you can explore professional live streaming use cases in more detail below.
Who can live stream?
Live streaming can be done by individuals or teams. It can be as complex or as straightforward as you like: anyone with a mobile phone and an internet connection can live stream video content!
At the other end of the spectrum, professional companies will take care of business’ live streaming needs and handle every aspect of the broadcast.
A happy medium is a do-it-yourself platform. In this scenario, a business professional with a camera, microphone, a clear message and access to a live streaming platform can broadcast live video content.
Professional live streaming use cases
Often associated with gaming and social media influencers, live streaming is increasingly prevalent in commercial and professional settings.
Here are some examples of when professional live streaming is effective:
- Product demonstrations – all the benefits of in-the-field demonstrations, without the travel. 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
- Product launches – live streaming helps maximise product launches. Broadcasting live footage boosts engagement and adds to the sense of occasion, making customers and staff feel more connected to the product. All that hard work and anticipation is taken advantage of in the moment.
- Service demonstrations – much like product demos, professional live streaming is great for illustrating how services work. Whether presenting to camera or using screen-capture software to showcase systems and software, live streaming is a powerful way to engage an audience. 94% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
- Broadcast events – give your audience an experience, even if they are physically remote. Professional live streaming allows event managers to widen the reach of events and access new audiences.
- Engage teams – while remote working offers many benefits, it can be a challenge to maintain a sense of team connection when staff are geographically spread out. Live streaming events, conferences and company updates keeps everyone on the same page and boosts employee engagement.
- Professional presentations – streaming is more than a one-way street. With the ability for the audience to interact with the brand, professional live streaming is a great way to deliver presentations. Take questions in real-time, clarify and reiterate your message and increase your chances of making a sale.
- Interviews and Q&As – there’s nothing better than getting under the skin of someone interesting! Us humans are naturally curious, after all. Whether it’s an interview with the CEO or employee get-to-knows, live streaming this kind of content gives a valuable insight into your brand and its heart – the people.
What equipment do you need to live stream?
To run a professional live stream, you will need some essential kit. The good news is, you already have it lying around!
- A device to stream content from – for most professional people, that will be a laptop or smartphone. An internet connection is a must for live streaming, preferably one that’s stable. Viewers can be unforgiving and few people will stick with a poor-quality live stream longer than a few seconds.
- A microphone – if you’re using a laptop or smartphone, you’ll have this built into the device. However, a separate mic can drastically improve sound quality, which may be worth considering, especially if you want to make the right impression.
- A camera – as with your mic, you’ll probably have access to this through your device. However, a separate camera can do wonders for your live stream: it’s a lot easier than trying to hold and speak to a tiny smartphone and it’s more flattering than talking down into a desk-based laptop.
These are the basics that will get you online and live streaming video content in no time. Of course, it’s possible to spend more on specialist equipment and the quality of the sound and video will improve. Though bear in mind that the more specialist the equipment, the greater the complexity!
A reliable streaming platform will minimise the need for complicated or expensive equipment. Beam records audio and video in the best possible quality, so if all you have is your laptop and Air pods, you can count on a quality live stream.
In addition to the basic equipment, you might like to consider some accessories. Amplify the professionalism of your live streams with good lighting so the audience can see who’s addressing them.
Do you need a broadcasting team to live stream?
The good news is that it’s possible to create professional live streams without a broadcasting team. Stream live video with the kit you already have and start making a connection with your audience today. Whether you’re a marketing professional who wants to include live streaming in your campaigns, or an events manager looking for the best return on your investment, live streaming offers a wealth of opportunities. Yes, even if you’ve never live streamed before.
If you’re interested in live streaming but need some support, no problem. Beam can help with your professional live streaming requirements. So, if it’s a simple question or a huge operation you have in mind, we’d be happy to help. Get in touch at beamstream.com/contact and we’ll do all we can.
Interested in professional live streaming?
Why not join our community and be the first to access Beam? Our Early Adopters Program is built for forward-thinking professionals. Gain a competitive advantage in your field and start taking advantage of the benefits of live streaming with access to the product before anyone else.