Over the next 5 years, live video is expected to become a 70 billion dollar market. If content owners don’t start incorporating live streaming into their content mix today, they risk missing out on major opportunities in the future.
There are many benefits of going live, including increased engagement, audience development, and additional monetization opportunities. So what are you waiting for? All video businesses should be taking advantage of live streaming, even if their content is primarily VOD. With adequate preparation, a dash of creativity and the backend support of a powerful video platform like Zype, any content owner is capable of producing a successful and engaging live stream.
Do you have viewers that only consume your free content on YouTube or your website? Convert them into paid subscribers by live streaming samples of your premium content (don’t forget to include a compelling call to action to subscribe). If your free users know what they’re missing, they’re much more likely to opt for a paid subscription.
Another option - have live streams be exclusive content that is only available to your paid subscribers. Whether it’s behind the scenes access, interviews or one-time tutorials, make your live streams become a reason for users to subscribe. If you have tiered subscription levels, use exclusive live streaming content as an incentive to upgrade to the next tier.
Host a Live Event
If you already have a large or hyper-local audience, hosting an in-person event is one of the easiest ways to get started live streaming. For example, if your content is fitness oriented, why not host a group fitness class in real life and invite your digital audience to participate via live stream. In addition to being a great way to engage with your audience, it’s also a way to generate additional revenue by selling tickets and merchandise.
Pay-Per-View Sporting Event
If your content is related to sports, live streaming is an especially important component. Sports fans want to experience all the action in real time. If your content is for local high school sports fans, give them live access to all their favorite sporting events and earn additional revenue. You can require a subscription upgrade to watch live streams for the entire season, or give viewers the option to pay on a per-game basis.
Brand Sponsorships and Partnerships
Live streaming is the perfect format for content owners to incorporate a strategic brand sponsorship. In addition to hosting their live event, the fitness content owner could also include a nutritional or fitness apparel sponsorship on their live stream and create yet another source of revenue. As long as your sponsor is appealing to your audience and a discount or promotional offer is included, it’s just more value added for your viewers. Learn more about incorporating brand sponsorships as additional revenue streams on Zype U.
Promotion is key to a successful live stream, always promote upcoming live streams through social channels and email well ahead of time. This is pretty obvious, if your viewers don’t know about the live stream, they won’t know when to tune in. But in addition to driving more viewers to your live stream, the promotion will also naturally drive brand awareness.
Use your live stream as a vehicle to advertise your brand and reach new viewers who might not have otherwise come across your content. It’s not uncommon to see a spike in views from new audience segments, increased traffic on your website and a higher conversion rate for your paid subscription after a live stream.
People don’t want to simply watch content, they want to feel like they are a part of the action. Engaging with your audience has become essential to subscriber retention and live streaming is a powerful tool to organically develop a community for your fans. When your viewers feel personally connected to you and your content, they will be a loyal supporter and brand ambassador. Live streaming also increases retention, it adds value and keeps your paid subscribers engaged, making them less likely to churn.
Take advantage of two-way communication with your audience and build interaction into your live stream. Encourage viewers to tweet questions if you have a tutorial or interview format and answer live. Send out a poll to your audience and ask for special requests for live stream content. There are so many different ways you can create a dialogue with your viewers, get creative and let your audience determine the direction of your live streaming content.
Perhaps one the biggest advantages of live streaming is the fact that it is live. Because VOD is available anywhere and anytime, there isn’t any immediate need for viewers to tune in. Live streaming content is only available for a limited period of time, giving content owners the ability to drive urgency. Maybe you have are launching a new series, create urgency to subscribe and promote the content by live streaming the series premiere before it’s released.
Although live programming is typically more casual and interactive, content is still your top priority. In order to truly benefit from live streaming, the content must provide as much value and be as engaging as your VOD content.
Popular social platforms such as Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or Periscope are an easy way to get your feet wet live streaming. However, the benefits of live streaming only start on social media. Content owners can harness the true power of live streaming by producing high quality, professional-grade live streaming on their own owned-and-operated destinations, including their website, branded OTT app and mobile apps. Even if you don’t yet have budget or time to dedicate to live streaming, it’s easy enough to produce a professional live stream with your iPhone.
Owning content on your website and having a branded OTT or mobile app, are only the first steps to building and cultivating your audience. Live streaming is the next step to successfully scale your video business.
There’s no doubt that executing live streaming is difficult and many content owners fear that if their live stream fails, they'll wind up hurting their brand rather than helping. Content owners can have peace of mind by using a video platform like Zype. Zype Live makes live streaming simple and delivers a high-quality live experience to every device, every time. Get more tips and best practices for live streaming, here and go live today.