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The popularity of live streaming has grown exponentially since 2015. This exciting, new content tool is predicted to become more popular in the year ahead, too. Live streaming apps, such as Twitter’s® PeriscopeSM, MeerkatSM and Facebook® Live, allow users to shoot and live stream video directly from their smartphones. It’s a fun and engaging way to share family time and personal adventures with friends and followers—in real time.

Live streaming has a place in the business world as well. Sharing business content via live stream is an effective way to engage customers, show transparency and enhance reputation. And you guessed it—nonprofits also are using this tool to share day-in-the-life moments, moving stories, exciting news, events and more with friends and followers. Read more for tips on live streaming for your nonprofit.

Live streaming best practices
There’s no shortage of types of content to stream. Consider question and answer sessions to educate and inform, client testimonials to show impact, news broadcasts to share exciting announcements or event footage to bring your gala to those who can’t attend. Regardless of what you stream, follow these best practices to become your own success story:

  • Plan: Live streaming is one more tool in your content strategy toolbox. As with all other marketing activities, it’s best to have a plan. Start by defining goals and objectives.
  • Be compelling: The purpose of a live stream is to show, not tell. Be sure your footage mirrors this best practice.
  • Practice doesn’t make perfect: Strive for authenticity, not perfection. Remember, it’s a live stream, not a scripted pitch.
  • Consider your format: People may join or leave your live stream at any time. A strictly linear storytelling approach may leave viewers hanging.
  • Don’t self-promote: Live stream is all about authenticity. Your footage should reflect your brand, not blatantly promote it.
  • Include audience interaction: Live stream is the perfect outlet to interact with your audience. Encourage feedback, questions and reactions to your content.

Of course, you’ll want to promote your stream. Post the topic, date and time you’ll stream on all your social platforms. Encourage friends to share your posts by offering prize drawings for those who do—selfie sticks and remotes, power banks or combo screen cleaner/phone stands are great rewards.

You may also wish to promote future streams at live events. Those who join you in person may appreciate knowing they can still take part in future events, even if they’re unable to attend. Imprint links to your social outlets on tablet props and smartphone straps and hand them out at events.

Remember, while live streaming is fun, it also has a role in promoting your nonprofit and all the good it does for the community it serves. Try it today. Lights! Smartphone! Action! For more on the topic, check out our Blue Paper®.

Hackl, Cathy. “Periscope vs. Facebook Live: Is the battle over live streaming heating up?” The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post, 10 Dec. 2015. Web. Retrieved 05 Jan. 2016.

Mander, Jason. “Trends 2016: Rise of Live Streaming.” Trends 2016: Rise of Live Streaming. N.p., 7 Jan. 2016. Web. Retrieved 06 Apr. 2016.

Holmes, Ryan. “Weekend Read: Do the Latest Live-Streaming Apps Make Sense for Business?” The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company, 3 Apr. 2015. Web. Retrieved 05 Jan. 2016.

“Live Streaming | 4imprint Learning Center.” 4imprint Learning Center. N.p., 09 Feb. 2016. Web. Retrieved 06 Apr. 2016.

Doble, Katherine. “Spreading The Word: Does live-streaming make sense for your business?” Miami Herald. Miami Herald, 12 Dec. 2015. Web. Retrieved 05 Jan. 2016.

Dormehl, Luke. “How Entrepreneurs Can Leverage The Power Of Live-Streaming Apps.” Fast Company. Fast Company & Inc., 08 May 2015. Web. Retrieved 05 Jan. 2016.

Battles, Ryan. Using Periscope for Business: How to Engage Your Audience with Live Streaming. Self-published. Printed by CreateSpace, 2015.

 

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