Livestreaming media content through internet platforms has emerged as one of the most revolutionary and useful channels to expand your outreach because it allows people to interact with your offering in real time from anywhere. From entertainment to infomercials, leveraging livestreaming to increase publicity has taken the digital world by storm due to its quality and convenience for viewership. But even so, to run an effective livestream campaign, proper planning and execution is critical to achieve success.
Recently, the team and I were responsible for running the social media marketing for the World Values Network's annual gala in New York City, an organization that disseminates and promotes Jewish values in media, culture, and politics across the world. Central to our goal of promoting the gala, we were tasked with livestreaming the event so the public could watch online.
The Facebook livestream of the gala, which was broadcasted on Facebook Live and Periscope via Twitter, encompassed the whole event from the moment honorable guests arrived at the venue through the evening's final speeches. The gala lasted four hours. In that time, it garnered more than a million views through its online broadcast platforms, with its viewership spanning the whole globe.
An event that featured notable guests such as Rwandan President Paul Kagame, TV star Dr. Oz, and Rabbi Shmuely Boteach is immediately intriguing, but only with the proper marketing strategy and execution could it reach and entice such a vast audience. Here are three crucial areas that my team capitalized on that should serve as a general rule when aiming to optimize livestreaming success and maximize outreach.
1. Planning and Promotion
For your broadcast to maximize its outreach and impact, it's imperative to lay groundwork beforehand. In anticipation of your livestream campaign, make sure that people know it's upcoming, when they should tune in, and what channel it's being streamed through. Otherwise, your live content will not receive the proper attention while on the air.
Effective methods of promoting your stream include press releases, posts on social media, and even word of mouth, all which position you and your content to be widely circulated and shared. Without this proper planning and promotion, you will lose potential viewers who never got the memo that something was going on.
2. The Viewer's Experience
In addition to the careful attention you have spent on your offering, it's crucial that you devote equally as much focus on making your viewership's experience as best as possible. Because even if you have a killer message, if the people you're reaching don't receive it well, all went for naught.
Make sure your audience can easily identify what is going on, and if possible, organize your stream into multiple segments to it to keep it consistently new and interesting. Next, find ways to get your viewers involved. Use livestreaming channels that offer interactive forums so that your audience can like, comment on, and share your content. Engage with them before, during, and after your stream to foster inclusiveness.
"New models of content creation should factor how users can interact with the story," said Dipak Patel, CEO and Co-Founder of Zeality, a company that creates virtual reality solutions for media and entertainment. Finding creative ways to get viewers involved drives what he calls "next generation engagement," and will help your offering separate itself from the pack.
It's also important that your event lasts long enough for people to catch it. It's best to elongate your livestream to give more people the opportunity to access it, as long as this doesn't create dull, unnatural gaps just to use up time, as this will kill consumer appeal. People have shorter attention spans today than ever. Put yourself in your viewer's shoes. If you were scrolling down your news feed, would you watch this?
3. Great Content
At the end of the day, your offering trumps everything else, and so without terrific content that stands out from your competitors, you will be overlooked. The content you bring to the table is what speaks loudest, and is the prerequisite for creating notability in any area.
"Livestreaming provides the platform, and now it's up to users and businesses to develop content that people respond to," said Michael Berean, CEO ofGrace Innovation and an integral contributor to my team who was the mastermind behind our unprecedented livestream success. "Anyone who is good enough to create content that the market responds to, can become an influencer or thought leader online."
Anyone can run a successful livestream campaign to showcase their offering, and spread it further than ever imagined. With these three areas of focus in mind, your growing audience will identify your content's value and provide it an even broader scope.
Take advantage of the power of livestreaming. According to Berean, "It's revolutionary, and it's only going to get better."
Nathan Feifel contributed to this article.