Live streaming solutions are becoming essential in many industries but also in the marketing strategy of every businesses. More and more users are watching video content online. In 2016, 81 percent of internet users viewed more live content than they did in 2015. Businesses are adapting to this change by adopting live streaming more heavily.
Users (and marketing dollars) are shifting to video as we move further from a text-based culture to an image-based culture. Let’s dive further into this trend and explore the applications of live streaming and the role of an online video marketing platform today. Then we will look at 3 of the best live streaming services for live video marketing.
How live streaming is being used in marketing today
Modern marketers are increasingly using live video. There are many reasons to this. One is that audiences find live video much easier to connect with. The industry publication MarketingWeek says that live streaming “is key to building authenticity.”
That authenticity is probably one reason that audiences on social platform watch live streaming videos an average of three times longer than video-on-demand.
Live streaming can be used in many different specific ways. Some use live streaming for product launches and demos. Apple has been at the forefront of this live streaming use for more than a decade. Other businesses are beginning to follow suit.
Entire advertising campaigns can occur via live stream. This is especially true since live videos can be rewatched later. Clips can also be excerpted and shared via different platforms. Florida’s Natural orange juice company took advantage of this after the 2016 presidential debates. Their comedic live stream was a debate: pulp, no pulp, or some pulp. It caught people’s attention and spoke to the absurdity many see in the political debates.
Live video is great for involving the audience. Marketers can use video streaming as a chance to pull together brand advocates. Video can also be used to educate customers, share exciting partnerships, conduct training, and more. The marketing uses for live video are really only limited by your creativity.
Of course, don’t forget you can monetize OTT video. The video itself can become the product.
Measuring effectiveness and ROI
Using video live streaming for marketing has huge benefits for business. One great advantage is that these benefits can be quantified. Modern analytics and user data makes it easy to measure the effectiveness and ROI of your campaigns.
Most video live streaming services offer analytics tools. These tools can often be integrated into your own media workflows. Data can be exported and manipulated at will. API access to analytics data from live streaming services allows you to do this programmatically.
Among the important data that can be gathered 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 live streams.
There are many different live streaming services on the market today. Different platforms are aimed at different types of users. They have different features, different price points, and different customers.
In this next section, we’re going to look at three of the best live streaming services for marketing. These are DaCast, IBM Cloud Video, and Livestream. Each of these three live streaming services is a capable. However, there are differences among them. We recommend that you study this comparison carefully, then 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.
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 that are important 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
The live streaming services provider now called IBM Cloud Video used to be called Ustream. 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. Specifically, they provide a range of Cloud services including AI, storage, and GPU computing alongside their 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
Livestream was originally founded in 2007, when it was called Mogulus. Vimeo acquired Livestream in late 2017. The company resides in New York.
Livestream provides live streaming services to more than 10,000 customers. These include some major brands and media companies. The company focuses on the higher-end business market.
Recently, Livestream eliminated their basic plan offering in favor of their two higher-cost plans; this platform primarily targets large-scale businesses with equivalent budgets. Major features of their live streaming services that are important to marketers include:
- Video hosting and live streaming
- Video embedding available on the Enterprise plan ($999/month) and custom plans
- Customize logo and branding also available on Enterprise plans and up (all plans are ad-free and logo-free)
- Analytics available on $75/month ($199/month billed monthly) Premium plan and above. Can connect to Google Analytics.
- Packages to bundle live and on-demand video content
- Viewer counter integrated into the video player
As we’ve shared, OTT video is a powerful marketing tool. The data on that is clear. Nowadays, more and more agencies and marketers adopt live video as a key tool in their arsenal.
Like any tool, live video requires some mastering. It also requires live streaming services. Hopefully this article has helped you understand the diversity of providers on the market. To further narrow down your choices, I recommend taking advantage of the free trials offered by many platforms.
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 mid-2018.