In the past year, we’ve seen a rise in live-streaming social platforms. Snapchat, Periscope and Facebook Live have provided users and brands the opportunity to capitalize on even more real-time moments in social, and are establishing themselves as leading platforms in the space.
In November 2014, Snapchat introduced us to Sponsored Stories that gave ordinary users a “behind-the-scenes” look at exclusive brand events. The following March 2015, Periscope – Twitter’s standalone live-streaming platform – launched and allowed users to report and discover the latest news via real-time video streams. Most recently, Facebook Live was rolled out to brands in January 2016; its native integration within the Facebook app offers amplified reach, compared to other platforms.
With multiple live-streaming platforms available, marketers must now consider which platform(s) will be most effective in driving campaign objectives and ultimately business results. Below are some considerations for marketers when determining the best live-streaming strategies for their brands on these platforms.
Small to Zero Media Budget
- Use Facebook Live or Periscope: Both Facebook Live and Periscope automatically notify fans when live-streaming begins and provide options to subscribe and follow along. Facebook Live will also soon start prioritizing live videos in the Newsfeed, surfacing them to the top of users’ feeds, even without paid promotion. And Periscope can automatically play on the Twitter feed when user scrolls through.
- Consideration: Organic Snapchat Stories can also be effectively leveraged if a brand account has an active and existing follower base.
- 360i Success Story: 360i used Periscope to broadcast a behind-the-scenes set tour and cast interview roundtable for an entertainment client leading into the season premiere of one of their shows. The stream was a large success – specifically earning high viewer retention and extremely positive sentiment while being one of the first entertainment brands to use the platform. The activation yielded an exceptional number of views (3x the number of followers for the brand on Periscope) with no paid support or prior promotion of the event.
Trying to Reach Millennials
- Use Snapchat: Snapchat claims to have more than 100 million daily active users, and that 60% of US smartphone owners ages 13 to 34 use the platform. Thus, it presents itself as the go-to platform for reaching a young and highly-engaged user base (without additional targeting) during live moments.
- Consideration: Periscope and Facebook Live can leverage Twitter and Facebook’s robust paid targeting capabilities (interest, location, event, etc.) to reach the coveted Millennial audience as well.
- 360i Success Story: During Fashion Weeks around the world, fashion bloggers, designers, and brands have utilized Snapchat Stories to give the average follower an exclusive look at events happening in each city and behind-the-scenes glimpses at a variety of runway shows. Although the Stories only last 24 hours, their impact persists even after the snaps disappear in the form of increased reach (via users and influencers sharing branded content) and long-term brand equity.
Looking for Longevity
- Use Facebook Live for sequential stories, Periscope for events that last 24 hours or less, or Snapchat for a collection of moments that are up to 10 seconds each: Since Facebook Live videos are automatically saved to the page, users can retroactively view content, allowing them to understand a sequential campaign story, even if they join halfway through. On Periscope, videos can live for up to 24 hours when “replay” is enabled. On Snapchat, brands can build 24 hour-long stories using the “Story” feature.
- Consideration: Content on both Periscope and Snapchat will automatically disappear after 24 hours.
- 360i Success Story: 360i used Facebook Live to create a weekly content series to accompany a popular late-night talk show. Using engaging talent, on-air promotion, and Facebook Live’s extended shelf-life, the reality television network successfully maintained the audience’s attention (while streaming and after the live-stream ended) and told a sequential story from post to post. Additionally, Facebook’s prioritization of live video in the News Feed helped the video garner 5x the average video reach and almost 3x the average video views.
Performance Data Beyond Video Metrics
- For organic content, use Facebook Live for the largest breadth of analytics: During the live stream, Facebook Live notes the number of people watching, and after the stream ends, the usual video and post metrics are accessible within the Facebook Insights dashboard.
- Consideration: Periscope and Snapchat only provide basic video metrics within 24 hours of the live stream and require manual aggregation.
- 360i Success Story: 360i leveraged Facebook Live to broadcast an exclusive Q&A session for an entertainment client. Without any promotion prior to the event or retroactive paid support, the Live videos surpassed all organic benchmarks, with significant increases in reach, interactions, and video views. Comments on the videos were overwhelmingly positive and fans appreciated getting a behind-the-scenes look at the event.
Want even more insight into these live-streaming platforms? Below is a cheat-sheet that compiles each platform’s capabilities. Additionally, be on the lookout for a post next week on emerging live stream platforms we saw at SXSW Interactive this year.
Cover photo via Entrepreneur.com.