In January 2016, Periscope co-founder and CEO Kayvon Beykpour announced more than 100 million broadcasts have been created since Periscope’s launch in March of 2015. Not only are lots of people using Periscope on their phones to easily broadcast videos, but even more people are watching them. According to TechCrunch, 350,000 hours of video is streamed daily, while FastCompany says people are watching 40 years worth of live video every day!
As services like Periscope, Blab, and now Facebook begin rolling out their live stream platforms, now is the time to understand the best ways you can use these tools to connect and keep the attention of prospects long enough to turn them into long-time customers.
Monique Johnson, CEO and founder of Ehm Ooo Media, produces videos for businesses and brands that tell their unique story. In a recent webinar I hosted for her, she provides a wealth of information on recent livestreaming developments, and best practices for planning, selecting the right platform, and syndicating your videos to get more eyeballs on them. Check out the webinar recording below to hear all of Monique’s suggestions on livestreaming.
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Small Business Trends: What’s your definition of live streaming?
Monique Johnson: Let’s get started with just the definition of what live streaming is. If you look it up in the dictionary, it’s simply just the transmission of an event over the internet. The two main keywords or parts that is very important is event and internet. Now, an event can be anything. It doesn’t necessarily mean you being at a concert, you being at a sports event, you being outside. An event is just simply you, you putting out your story, you creating this “events” that you want to share to the world.
Live streaming isn’t new at all. I’m sure, many of you are very familiar or heard of Ustream and Justin.tv. They were the two major platforms that came out in 2007 to introduce to the world how you can just go on these platforms and just start talking to people.
In 2013 Google Hangouts came about, Google Hangouts+ and Google Hangouts. That’s when I feel like live streaming came back or was reintroduced in a unique way. That’s where you could have other people up to ten people on the screen, everyone was talking to each other. It allowed you to automatically sync to YouTube and have it go live. People could watch live. Of course, YouTube Live, their platform started being introduced in 2013.
Small Business Trends: How has Mobile Impacted live streaming?
Monique Johnson: Livestreaming was reintroduced but as you notice, all of these were pretty much, well, actually all, except for Snapchat, were all desktop platforms. But 2015 was a huge year. It kicked off with Meerkat which was launched at South by Southwest.
A couple of months later, Twitter decided to take over this company and call it Periscope. It was a huge competition between Meerkat and Periscope. With Meerkat you could schedule ahead of time and you didn’t have to worry about your recordings being available only for 24 hours. There were pros and cons for each and the communities were different. However, unfortunately, I would say Periscope has pretty much surpassed Meerkat completely but it’s pretty understandable because they have the backing of Twitter.
Later on, in August I believe, is when Blab was released. For those of you who don’t know what Blab is, let’s just say, it’s the simple way of Google Hangouts. However, you only can have four people on the screen.
Later on, Facebook Live was released to the mobile users by iOS. Meaning, iPhone users. That was released in December of last year. However, Facebook Mentions was released earlier but that was only for people who were celebrity status on fan pages. Certain people could use the fan page to do live video. Now, Facebook has been rolling it out to the consumers or to the “average group” who don’t have fifteen thousand fans.
Check out the video of the webinar:
Small Business Trends: Why is it Important to live stream today?
Monique Johnson: Number one, it’s because we’re live. You’re live. Think about the times when you went to a TV show or a concert and you were able to see it live. That made you feel special. That made you feel that you saw something firsthand before it’s released to everyone else. The whole idea of being live is phenomenal. The fact that it’s raw, people will “know, like and trust you” even faster because there’s no editing and they’re seeing you for who you are or seeing the brands or seeing behind the scenes live. The fact that it’s something that people can see firsthand and see it right then and there, it’s huge.
Another reasons can be accountability with coaching challenges, behind the scenes access, real time engagement within community, using it as a piloting system, using it for a pre or post-show Q&A with your viewers, multichannel with webinars or presentations.
Lastly, it’s free, guys. All of these platforms and especially the ones I mentioned from mobile devices, let’s see, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Blab, Periscope. MeVee, all of those, Meerkat, they’re all free.
Small Business Trends: How do you determine which live streaming service to use?
Monique Johnson: I use mostly Snapchat, Blab, Periscope, and then, I’m experimenting more and more with Facebook Live. I use all of these but the thing is, when I do, which we’re going to tackle next, which I think is going to be huge for you guys, is leveraging each of these platform and have them work for you on different levels. My philosophy is pick the ones, like play with each of them, pick the ones that you’re most comfortable with, and leverage them off of each other which we’re going to tackle next. However, if you just feel that you can just handle just one at a time, that is totally fine, but it’s all about consistency. You have to be consistent with everything else, with marketing, social media, all of that. It’s all about consistency and engagement. In order for you to really take advantage of these platforms and the community and to grow your community, it’s all about consistency.
Small Business Trends: How do you create that consistency with your live streaming efforts?
Monique Johnson: The first step I say when it comes to live streaming is creating, what I call, show planners. I wanted to be all over live streaming but what really held me back was coming up with what do I say? I decided to create these planners where I can put it in a notebook and refer back and forth, whether to see what I tackled recently or to see if there’s a new topic that I should tackle. MeVee and Blab are two types of show planners that I created. I think that the very key is you can’t just put it on the livestream and go record. It’s going to be an epic fail. You need to outline your videos. I’m not saying coming up with a script. I’m saying, outline them, have a bullet point. That has helped me tremendously.
Also if you’re just doing a small two and a half minutes of a live stream video, that’s equivalent to three hundred to five hundred words of a blog post. All you got to do is one, press the record button, say, on a Periscope, have it recorded, and then, next you know, post it on your blog and have it re-announced or just at least have the show notes beneath it. That’s it. That makes the whole idea of creating or consistently creating blog content easier for you, especially for those who are companies or major brands and it just eats a lot of time.
Small Business Trends: Are there other important services to help with live streaming efforts?
Monique Johnson: Katch.me is a service which I highly recommend for you to sign up where it’s completely free. What they do is they automatically posts or publish your recordings on your Periscope or on Meerkat to their platform. If you want your recording to live longer than 24 hours, then, you want to sign up for Katch.me. Also, what’s very important about Katch.me is you want to make sure that you are optimizing your titles and doing the general SEO type of things that you do for anything else that you publish, because now, if you’re optimizing your videos on Katch.me, they’re now being ranked in Google which is huge.
Small Business Trends: How long should you live stream for? Is there any rules of thumb when it comes to the length of a live stream?
Monique Johnson: However long or however great your content is. Most of my Periscopes in general lasts between thirty-two and hour, depending on what it is, depending on what you’re doing. As I mentioned, you can do different things like, for instance, this webinar that I’m doing right now, it’ going to be about an hour. There’s people who’ve actually “scoped” – that’s the colloquialism for the Periscope community – have done live scopes of their whole conference or conference sessions which can be from one to two hours, depending on what it is.
I would say, that’s a trial and error. I would say, at least initially, you want to make them, I guess, ten to fifteen minutes but a really, really good content because that’s the thing. The attention span on these type of live stream platforms are very slim to none and you need to engage people immediately. Otherwise, they are going to leave in a heartbeat.
Small Business Trends: How do we get people to watch?
Monique Johnson: I know a lot of people are like, “Okay, this is great, especially for a Periscope, it’s live for 24 hours. What I do next?” You put all this time in these communities, creating these videos but they disappear or, you know, what do I do with them next?
The whole idea of syndication, next, what you want to do is upload to YouTube and conduct some keyword research based on the topics that you’ve created or based on the … Actually, I would recommend doing the keyword research before you actually do these uploading to YouTube or especially, if you plan on using YouTube as a way to expand your reach, grow your reach, upload to YouTube, conduct some keyword research, you want to optimize your video title, you want to utilize YouTube cards. If you guys are not familiar what they are, they’re pretty much going to replace annotations. It’s a feature that is available to YouTubers or people who create content that allows YouTube push people out to external websites, push them to additional videos, creating a mini network for yourself. YouTube cards literally displays like a card or pops up on the … Excuse me, like a screen on the card.
I definitely recommend you start using YouTube cards. They are clickable now on mobile devices which is huge because annotations can only be clickable if you are watching the video on a desktop, not on a mobile device, but YouTube Cards are now clickable on your mobile device which is huge. You’re getting more and more traffic to your websites and to your other videos, wherever you’re pushing them or your audience, too.
Small Business Trends: Any new live streaming services on the horizon to keep an eye on?
Monique Johnson: In January, a few weeks ago around CES, MeVee was released. I would say they had some really good pros compared to Periscope. With MeVee, you could do private groups. You can make money off of the MeVee platform which is very unique, kind of like a YouTube content creator. There’s some other things that MeVee has that the other platforms don’t have. They’re smaller and they’re just a startup and they’re located out of New York. They’re still working out some quirks and things but they’re really good at customer service and there’s a really good community that’s growing there.
This is part of the One-on-One Interview series with thought leaders. The transcript has been edited for publication. If it's an audio or video interview, click on the embedded player above, or subscribe via iTunes or via Stitcher.