Humans naturally crave connection. COVID-19 and social distancing caused a natural spike in the use of live streaming platforms. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube all offer live streaming marketing features to connect with audiences. However, which platform is right for your business?
Equalizers Across the Board
Going live continues to grow as a way for businesses or public figures to engage with audiences. It is a convenient way to make announcements, discuss news, and share new products. For some, they go live just to chat and catch up with their fans or followers! Live streaming marketing is fairly accessible. To go live, you need a camera and microphone. However, the built-in features of technology you already have is sufficient.
Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube all present viable options for live video. While each live streaming option is unique, they share some common benefits.
- Analytics Reports – Receive demographic information about who tuned in after the end of your stream
- Easy Audience Engagement – Interact with your audience in real time with comments, Q&A features, and more
- Free to Use – No additional charge to use live features
- Push Notifications – Easily let your audience know you are live so they don’t miss out
Connection is at the core of social media use, and live streaming marketing allows this in real time. Live video allows you to connect with your audience in new ways. Instant feedback from your audience is invaluable to foster a connection.
Facebook Live: Pros and Cons
More than 2.5 billion people use Facebook. The social media giant launched Facebook Live in 2016. It allows any user to go live whether on a personal profile or a page.
- Facebook’s algorithm favors live video so you reach more people
- You can go live via a mobile device or a computer
- Built-in audience
- Live videos available to watch after livestream
- Non-Facebook users can now watch livestreams on public pages
- Option to take a break and show your audience an ad mid-livestream
- Schedule and promote your livestream in advance
- Time limit of 90 minutes
- Search engines cannot index the videos
- Unable to monetize
Facebook likely has a massive number of active users at any given time. However, Facebook Live is most effective if you have an audience you’ve built over time. It’s helpful to have an audience you can promote your live video to. As a live streaming marketing tool, Facebook Live is an added way to connect to already engaged users.
Instagram Live: Pros and Cons
Instagram has more than 1 billion users. The image-sharing platform is especially popular with younger users. Choosing Instagram Live as a live streaming marketing tool connects you with people who already follow you.
- Ability to be split-screen with a guest
- Access to a younger crowd
- Live videos prioritized in Instagram Story display
- Powerful connection with visually-oriented audience
- Limited to mostly a younger audience
- Account required to watch
- Time limit of 60 minutes
- Videos disappear immediately unless manually added to your story, and videos added to your story are only available for 24 hours
- Only able to go live from mobile device
- Mobile device must be vertical
- No ad option
- Cannot schedule or promote livestream in advance
As Facebook owns Instagram, their live features share many similarities. Both allow you to easily connect with your curated audience. However, both platforms are limited to reaching an audience within their platform confines. For example, to watch an Instagram Live, a user must have an Instagram account.
YouTube Live: Pros and Cons
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, and it’s the second most visited website. As the platform focuses only on video, adding a live streaming ability was a natural progression. They were the first of these three platforms to add the ability to go live. YouTube Live launched in the early 2010s for some users. The live streaming marketing function is now accessible to anyone.
- No account required to watch
- No time limit
- Videos are available forever
- Search engines can index videos in real time
- Potential for monetization
- Options to run different types of ads if your account is monetized
- Live streaming from mobile device only available if you have at least 1,000 subscribers
- One of the most blocked websites in businesses, schools, and other countries
- Most difficult for users to receive notification that you’re live
- YouTube gains access to your content and can use it in their advertising
YouTube is one of the most recognizable video platforms. Your audience is likely familiar with its interface. This helps make it approachable as a live streaming marketing tool. Also, users can easily search for your videos on Google or YouTube later and find them!
Making a Decision About Live Streaming Marketing
Restream Scheduler offers another option in live streaming marketing. This tool allows you to broadcast pre-recorded video as a live video to multiple platforms at once. You can maximize the audience you reach by repeating the stream and airing it in multiple time zones. You can schedule a stream to air while you are away from your computer. However, this approach removes the live interaction between you and your audience. You may sacrifice one of the most important benefits of going live for the sake of convenience.
There isn’t a singular perfect tool for going live. The best tool depends on your business and needs. It is important you understand your unique audience and how to best reach them. If you have a loyal, well-curated target audience, Facebook Live or Instagram Live would be better. If you are looking to reach a broader audience, YouTube Live would be better.
If you are unsure about how to connect with your audience, talk to one of our specialists. Take advantage of the current and future benefits of live streaming marketing on social media. Explore your options for connecting with your audience.