What is YouTube Live?

Up until recently, the majority of content watched on YouTube was pre-recorded and then uploaded onto the site for billion viewers to see. Thanks to the introduction of YouTube Live, this has all begun to change.

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Over the past few years, YouTube has been bringing a range of updates to its service, catering both for the audience and those supplying the videos to the site. Businesses and individual are now able to start streaming videos in real-time, and this can have dramatic outcomes.

YouTube Live

Live Streaming with Live Chat

Further developments in the field of live video streaming mean that while an audience member is watching your live video, they are also able to chat with your company in real time using the live chat feature .

Live chat on streaming can be implemented both on the web version of the site and the mobile apps, making the viewer feel even more included in the events that are taking place on the screen.

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For you as a business, it is nice to see any immediate reactions to the content you are providing, and potentially make any adjustments that are realistic and possible. For the viewer, if they see their reactions and suggestions are being acknowledged and considered, this can help you build up a good reputation with your customer base.

Why Use YouTube Live?

YouTube live is a great news for businesses with regards to exposure and can really help to get your brand name out there and show your (potential) customers what you can do for them.

You can rest assured that a high proportion of your customer base is already on YouTube, as this the largest video streaming site in the world. Around 3 billion hours of video are streamed every single day. Furthermore, the fact that YouTube streaming can be enjoyed using a mobile device is very advantageous, and many Smart TVs are also developing that capability.

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YouTube Live is providing you with the opportunity to not only partner with one of the biggest video networks in the world, but it is also giving you the capability to stream valuable content on every single device that is able to play a video. This is something you do not want to be missing out on.

Any event a business creates or hosts in the real world has physical and geographical restrictions, making it inaccessible for a worldwide audience. This can hugely restrict the exposure and the message you are trying to get across.

Streaming these events live on the internet can overcome this problem by making the content available for all to see. This means your audience capacity can be practically unrestricted, which could be hugely beneficial for the reputation of your brand.

It also gives your content a sense of urgency that an ordinary uploaded video fails to convey. A regular video uploaded onto YouTube is available all the time for people to watch, therefore it is highly likely people won’t put effort into watching it immediately. If your video is available for one time only, interested people would feel more compelled to watch it.

A live stream is a fantastic way to stir up a little bit of interaction between you and your new clients, which presents a unique business opportunity. Through the use of live chat a back and forth conversation with numerous participants makes it possible to create an unforgettable discourse.

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This is just one of the many different ways in which live chat can be beneficial to you and your audience if used correctly, and the great thing is, a good live steam can be achieved with very little cost to you.

Another way for generating direct income from your stream is to charge people to watch your stream, creating an entirely new type of revenue.

If charging to watch is unsuccessful, then you can just offer viewing for free next time. What companies often fail to remember is if they were hosting an event in which attendees were physically at the venue, then chances are they would pay a fee, so why not when viewing a live version of the event also?

Very few companies are taking advantage of this new opportunity, so if you do, then you will automatically be standing out from the crowd. It is a great form of differentiation, be it a webinar, conference or a tutorial, and you should be making use of this favourable addition to your marketing plan.

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YouTube earns the majority of its money through advertising on the site, so adding a video is often free. Unless you are using an outside company to create the stream, then the event will only be as expensive as you want to make it.

As such a new venture, it won’t be long before other businesses start to take note and step up with live videos of their own, so it is advisable to get going before it becomes too mainstream and ordinary. Part of the appeal is the fact that you will be one of the few, but there is no telling how long this will be the case.

How to Use YouTube Live Streaming

Say you have taken in all the benefits and decide you want to start using YouTube live as a part of your marketing.

How do you go about doing this?

All you need is some form of recording equipment, a YouTube account and a YouTube channel. Once you have signed into your YouTube account, then you are ready to get started.

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Simply open up the ‘My Channel’ page and then open up the ‘Video Manager’. From here you should see a button that lets you enable live events, and from here the fun can start. You can click the create live event button and the broadcasting is almost ready to commence.

Before you begin, you must first enter a little information about what the video is going to entail, such as the title of the event, when you want to schedule it to take place, a short description, some tags, and adjust the privacy settings. If you are streaming a video that you want everybody to see, then you want to make it public.

There are also some advanced settings you can make use of such as giving the ability to enable live chat during the broadcast. You can also automatically block any spam content through this option. Allowing embedding is also a good option as viewers are able to embed the video on their own website, which can increase viewing dramatically.

You can add categories, create an age restriction, set the video location, select the language, allow comments, set a broadcast delay and many other options. It may be worth doing some research and take a look at what you are able to do a while before the event is scheduled to take place.

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When all the settings are configured to your preferences, you can start the live video. Click ‘Go live now’, and then confirm the start of the event. If you wish to (although very few do) you can broadcast for 8 hours straight! When your event is finished, simply press ‘Stop broadcast’, and people will no longer be able to see what you are up to.

It is all well and good having some great live content available for the world to have access to, but the real challenge comes when you try to get as many people to tune in as you can. There are many things you can do to increase viewership, and some of these can be found below.

10 ways to grow your YouTube live video

Create a Teaser Video

If visitors to your YouTube Channel don’t know what your live event is going to be about, it is highly unlikely they are going to bother tuning in. Get them excited, make your YouTube event something that is worth waiting for and create a teaser video.

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The teaser should be launched a few days or a week prior to the main video release, and in many ways should act as an advert without giving too much away. In addition to covering a brief insight into the content the live stream is going to include, you should also supply the key details including the time and date of the release. If possible, you should make the teaser as shareable as possible to increase the number of viewers.

Gradual Teasers

Take the idea of teaser trailers a step further and create a series of short teasers that can be released gradually through the weeks leading up to the main event. 2 to 3 weeks should be a solid buildup to help increase the overall interest.

With each episode of the teaser you should reveal a little more about the content of the live video, but make sure to always include the time and the date in case some viewers only manage to catch one of the episodes.

Ensure the Streaming Link is Release in Time

Often companies will make the mistake of not releasing the streaming link early enough, sometimes even waiting until just a few hours before the live event. Ideally you should ensure the link is out in the open at least 24 hours in advance, or 48 hours if possible. This will not only generate interest around the event but will also serve as a secondary reminder to people in addition to the teaser trailers.

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Releasing the link early will not have any detrimental effects on your audience, so you may as well release it with plenty of time to spare.

SEO

As with most things on the internet, SEO is extremely important. In addition to just the video, your whole live channel should be optimised for search engines such as Google.

Keywords that are relevant to your live event should be implemented into you channel so they show up when you channel appears in search engine rankings. This way your channel will stay current, and search engines still have time to index your event.

Offer Incentives

As a general rule, people like gifts and offers, as it gives them a chance to save some money while gaining something positive.

Time after time companies have shown the power a free gift can command. For example, offering a gift with an additional purchase makes it much more likely for an individual to make that purchase in the first place.

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The same idea can apply to incentivising people into watching your live video. Some examples of such encouragement could include a free downloadable e-book or vouchers to use on your website at a later date.

Time It Well

It is likely that not everyone who wishes to tune into your live event will be from the same time zone your business is in, and this is something that needs to be taken into consideration when deciding on the best time to host your event.

Make sure, when you are going through the promotional process, you tag a common time zone designator so everyone knows exactly when it is they should be tuning in. If you as a company know you have a lot of clients coming from a particular country, you should do your best to accommodate them.

Partner Up

Partnering with other companies is a great way to accumulate viewership, especially if the company or individual you are partnering up with already has an established audience. If you are offering valuable content, then it is likely that your partners’ audience will also become yours.

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It is vital that any potential partners you are considering are closely related to your brand so you can benefit from a cross-audience interest, in this way you can both benefit from the partnership. Ensure you conduct solid research before reaching out for any partnership as you do not want your brand associating with a company that could give yours a bad reputation.

Custom Announcements

If you, like many businesses in the 21st century, have a social media presence, then you can use this to your advantage.

You can use the social media channels to share a custom post that is purely about your live event, spreading the word to everyone who follows you and beyond.

You can do this before and during the event to remind people to check in. In addition to social media you can create custom announcements via email, text or other forms of advertising such as a company blog post.

Send Invites

If there are any particularly significant people you want to tune into your video, then you should let them personally know that the event is happening. You can reach out to bloggers and other influential people in your industry by sending personal emails that invite them to participate in the event.

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You could even share with them the embed link with the hope of them including it on their own blog or website. With the influence of other people in the industry, you are likely to gain more viewers thanks to their good reputation.

Get Help

Every little thing helps, so why not enlist the help of all your friends and family and work colleagues? Get them to spread the word and share the news on their own social media channels.

Although this may sound like a small step, the more people that know about your event, the better. To make things easier for them, you could ghostwrite a teaser piece for them to include in their social media post, they may be more likely to help you out.

The Big Reveal

This is a particularly important point when it comes to live events, you need to promise your audience something big. This will help to create a buzz, and people will want to find out what the big secret is. You could let your audience know you are going to reveal a secret they can only find out if they watch the video live, or that you are going to give some useful information or material.

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You will, of course, have to actually to deliver when the time comes, so you will have to put some thought into the actual content of the video. You can use this big reveal as a big part of your pre-event publicity.

Be Consistent

If you plan on making a live event series, then you should aim to be consistent with your videos. Ideally you will host your events on the same day and at the same time of day, making it easier for people to plan around your events and anticipate when they need to be free to tune in.

Creating multiple videos can help to grow your audience and build up more of a conversation around the topic. Like a TV series, if you leave your videos on a cliffhanger or with an unanswered question, people will be encouraged to tune in next time to find out more.

Highlight Clips

Following each live stream event, you can pull out some of the best bits to create promotional material for future live events. If people like what they see, then it is likely they will want to get some more of what you can offer next.

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This year and in years to come, live streaming is likely to turn into one of the hottest trends which can connect you and your brand to current and potential customers. It is not just YouTube that is offering the live streaming service, Google Hangouts also provides a way for people to promote their products using a built in audience and Facebook live has the potential to propel the everyday person to instant fame.

YouTube live has huge potential for businesses, building brand reputation, inspiring views to action the information you are giving them and pointing people to other content already on your YouTube channel. You can tap into this great marketing potential with very little effort and see the results for yourself.