How to engage your audience with live streaming
Technology has made it possible for brands to interact with consumers across geographical and social barriers, but it has also created a new challenge: how to stand out in a world where automated ads, emails, and SMS drown out the good stuff.
The holy grail of marketing today is to stand out against the noise of social, SMS, email, video marketing, and all the other channels vying for consumers’ attention. And in order to do that, you have to utilize marketing technology to foster deeper, better relationships with online consumers who have an affinity for your brand.
Why? According to Adweeks, customers are likely to spend 50% more on a brand with which they have an emotional connection.
Human-centric interactions are the single most effective way to initially get customers’ and prospects’ attention and build long-lasting relationships based on trust. This is why chat, voice, and video calls are becoming prevalent in apps across marketing, sales, and support use cases. They allow personal, authentic, and high-touch social interactions that boost engagement and enable powerful emotional connections.
Today, multimedia technology enables one more engagement channel: live streaming.
In-app live streaming made easy.
Live streaming for mobile apps
Live streaming merges the thrill of events unfolding in real-time, the attention-grabbing of video, and the engagement of community watch. This highly addictive engagement format is relished by marketers worldwide, and brands now commonly use it to enthrall large audiences excited to commune over their beloved topic.
Evaluating your options to engage with live videos
1. Social live platforms
In 2008, YouTube hosted its first live stream. Despite a lukewarm start, today, social live streaming looks more like an obsession. Nearly a third of all internet users report watching at least one video live stream each week. Most social platforms offer live video, including
- Youtube, since 2008
- Twitch, since 2011
- Facebook Live, since 2015
- Twitter, 2015
- TikTok, 2017
- Instagram, 2021
These public social platforms present opportunities for extensive reach among influencers looking to grow their audience.
While there are almost no technical limitations in producing a high-quality live event, the platforms’ brand, data privacy & operation rules are set and apply to everyone. For those who don’t comply, accounts can be demonetized and even shut down. The experience is also limited by the music choice, adequacy of shareable content, and forceful monetization models, which can involve distracting or obtrusive advertising, research, and other marketing activities.
2. Third-party software as a service (SaaS) video platforms
Many private SaaS (software as a service) companies offer solutions to stream video content. They promote ease of use, white-labeling for rebranding, security, and privacy; privacy being a key differentiator against the public social platforms mentioned above. Privacy features of many SaaS options include:
- Password protection
- AES encryption
- Domain restrictions
- Geographic restrictions
- HTTPS video delivery
- Dynamic token security
Many support Over The Top (OTT) content delivery and live streaming. They are video specialists supporting many video formats, delivery standards, and transcoding capabilities. Their solutions provide out-of-the-box live streaming software with highly customizable delivery workflows, operational data analytics, and more.
Popular OTT companies include:
- Brightcove (2004)
- JW player (2005)
- Wowza (2005)
- Vimeo (2007)
- IBM Cloud video (2016 Ustream acquisition)
SaaS live-streaming solution is ideal for:
- Private meet & greets
3: API-powered live streaming apps and websites
SaaS solutions mentioned above do include some low-level API access, but it can be marginal. APIs are for developers who need programmable access to cloud platform services to integrate them directly into their software. As a result, APIs deliver an unmatched level of customization.
Live streaming APIs give developers full flexibility to build a custom-branded user experience while getting full control over data, privacy, and operational rules.
Many APIs offer live streaming, and one of the first considerations should be the scalability and reach of the infrastructure to ensure high-quality and low-latency video delivery.
Questions to ask before choosing an API:
- How many concurrent participants will you be able to host?
- How many cloud regions is the infrastructure featuring?
Once these requirements are fulfilled, the video delivery aspect, while paramount, is not sufficient. The live-streaming service must also deliver best-in-class capabilities to support high engagement, effective sales & promotions campaigns, and quality support.
Typical questions related to engagement should include:
- Is live chat available?
- Is the live chat as scalable as the video streaming service?
- Will the live chat and live video be synchronized in real-time?
- How good is the live chat experience?
- Is the live chat moderated?
- Is the moderation AI automated or human-based?
- Can I set my own moderation workflow and rules?
- Are separate group chats available so that friends can exchange privately?
- Can friends join a private voice or video call during the streaming to participate in a watch party?
- Will I be able to send polls to the audience?
- Will I be able to send notifications to people who haven’t joined yet or have left the event?
How to power your mobile apps and websites quickly with Sendbird
Sendbird Live is the latest API of the Sendbird platform, which offers chat messaging, voice, and video communication for the websites and mobile apps of world-leading brands. Sendbird operates on a highly scalable, reliable, and secure cloud platform that hosts over 300 million monthly active users and is trusted by many digital leaders such as Reddit, DoorDash, and Hinge.
With a global video infrastructure spanning 6 AWS regions and WebRTC technology, Sendbird Live delivers high-quality and low-latency video to create a superior live experience for users worldwide.
Our highly abstracted API, simple UIKits, and Flexible SDKs make it easy for your brand to regain full control of your user experience, data, and monetization model.
Learn more about Sendbird Live and see how easy it is to start live streaming on your turf and terms.