Live streaming services are becoming essential in many industries today. Relatedly, many businesses now incorporate live streaming services in their marketing strategy as well. And for good reason–more and more users watch online video content on a daily basis.
As we move further from a text-based culture to an image-based culture, users (and marketing dollars) are shifting to video too. By 2016, 81 percent of internet users already viewed more live content than they did in 2015. Since then, businesses in diverse sectors have adapted to this change by adopting live streaming solutions more consistently.
Let’s dive further into this trend by exploring the applications of live streaming and the role of an online video marketing platform. Then, we we’ll review three top live streaming services for live video marketing.
How live streaming services apply to marketing
To recap the intro, modern marketers are increasingly using live video. There are many reasons for this trend. First, audiences find live video much easier to connect with than VOD. For example, the industry publication MarketingWeek says that live streaming “is key to building authenticity.”
In fact, that authenticity speaks to why audiences on social platforms watch live streaming videos an average of three times longer than VOD content.
Live streaming applies to marketing efforts in many different ways. Some businesses use live streaming for product launches and demos. Apple has been at the forefront of this live streaming use for more than a decade. Since then, however, other businesses have followed suit.
Entire advertising campaigns can occur via live stream. This is especially true since viewers can rewatch live videos later. Likewise, marketing teams can excerpt salient clips and then share them on other platforms. Florida’s Natural orange juice company, to name one example, took advantage of this after the 2016 presidential debates. Their comedic live stream was a debate in itself: pulp, no pulp, or some pulp. It caught people’s attention and spoke to the absurdity that many viewers observe in the political debates.
Live video is also great for involving the audience. Marketers can use video streaming as a chance to pull together brand advocates. Video can likewise help to educate customers, share exciting partnerships, conduct training, and more. Overall, the marketing uses for live video truly extend as far as your creativity.
And finally, don’t forget that businesses can monetize OTT video. In that case, the video itself becomes the product and revenue generator.
Measuring effectiveness and ROI with Live Streaming Services
Using video live streaming for marketing has huge benefits for business. One great advantage is that companies can quantify these benefits. Modern analytics and user data makes it easy to measure the effectiveness and ROI (return on investment) of your campaigns.
Most pro video live streaming services offer analytics tools. With the right OVP, your team can integrate these tools into your own media workflows. And you can export and manipulate that data at will. API access to analytics data from live streaming services allows you to do this programmatically.
Among the important data that you can gather from your live streaming services or platforms, such as Google Analytics, is:
- Number of viewers
- Average view time
- Geographic location
- Operating system
- Pages visited / videos viewed
- Demographic information (depending on the situation)
- Conversions as a function of cost (ROI)
Best live streaming services for live video marketing
To conduct live streaming marketing campaigns, you need live streaming services. Generally, this means purchasing a subscription to an Online Video Platform, or OVP, providing live streaming services and/or video hosting services. OVPs provide tools to help you upload, manage, and organize videos, as well as doing the same with live streams.
The good news and the challenging news: there are many different live streaming services on the market today. Each streaming platform targets different types of users. They have different features, different price points, and different customers.
In this next section, we’ll review and compare three of the best live streaming services for marketing. These include Dacast, IBM Cloud Video, and Vimeo.
Yes, each of these three live streaming services is a capable option for live video marketing. However, there are key differences among them. We recommend that you study this comparison carefully. After reading, you can conduct your own research before settling on a video streaming platform for you.
The video platform we now call Dacast was founded in 2008. Today, Dacast is a live streaming services platform focused on the professional market. More than 100,000 broadcasters have signed up for our streaming platform. In 2018, Dacast acquired video streaming host vzaar. Since that merger, Dacast has expanded its offerings to include an advanced video hosting platform.
Dacast’s main customer base extends across multiple industries. We’ll highlight four here. The first is the media industry, sometimes known as OTT. These customers focus on high-volume 24/7 streaming and most of the time are radio and tv stations. They require high-end features such as a powerful video API and affordable bulk live streaming pricing.
Online learning and education businesses also make up a substantial portion of Dacast users. So too do faith and religious groups. The other major categories of users include other businesses, governments, and sports-related streamers.
Major features of our live streaming services geared to marketers include:
- Video hosting and live streaming
- Embed your video anywhere, including on social platforms
- Customize videos with your logo and customize the player with your brand colors (available at all Dacast plan levels)
- Strong internal analytics, plus the ability to connect with Google analytics (available at all Dacast plan levels)
- Ability to package multiple videos and streams together
- Add a live viewer counter to your video streams
IBM Cloud Video
Formerly UStream, the next live streaming services provider is IBM Cloud Video. Ustream originally developed as a video chat service for members of the US military. Later, it evolved into a live streaming platform. IBM acquired UStream in 2016. Now, the platform provides a range of Cloud services, including AI, storage, and GPU computing, alongside its live streaming services.
Today, IBM Cloud Video focuses on Enterprise users. These include a number of television stations, creative online education hubs, and film production studios.
Major features of the IBM Cloud Video platform that are important to marketers include:
- Video hosting and live streaming
- Ability to embed videos anywhere
- Full branding control (but only on Platinum plans starting at $999 per month)
- Analytics platform (available on Gold plan for $499 per month and up)
- Supports packages
- Viewer counter
Vimeo, a B2C (Business to consumer) video-sharing website, purchased the live streaming video provider Livestream in 2017. Vimeo has offered a plan aimed at commercial use since 2011. However, this acquisition marked the next major move in Vimeo’s B2B pivot.
The Vimeo OTT solution is one of the new offerings the company has built since then. Vimeo offers video hosting solutions at several plan levels.
Vimeo offers basic video hosting plans at several levels, ranging from $20 to $75 per month. Serious and business OTT video broadcasters, however, will likely need something much more robust. For example, many professional-grade features are limited to a custom-priced Vimeo OTT solution. Note also that custom-priced OTT plans do incur additional fee for broadcasters (e.g. per subscriber, per PPV transaction, etc.).
Major features of their live streaming services that are important to enterprise marketers include:
- Video subscription monetization
- App building
- API access
- Large-scale live streaming
- Premium support and account management
- Vimeo integrations
- High-volume storage
Like any tool, live video requires some mastering. It also requires live streaming services. In this article, we’ve introduced you to the diversity of live streaming services providers on the market. To further narrow down your choices, I recommend taking advantage of the free trials that many platforms offer.
If you’re ready to test a live streaming platform today, you can sign up for the Dacast free trial. We don’t need your credit card details to sign up. The free trial lasts for 30-days, and provides access to nearly every Dacast feature.
Click the button below to sign up and give it a try!
Any questions, comments, or ideas? Let us know in the comments section below! And for regular tips on live streaming and exclusive offers, feel free to join our LinkedIn group.
Thanks for reading, and best of luck with your live broadcasts!
By Max Wilbert.
Note to our readers: We’ve updated this article to reflect the most accurate information as of November 2019.