Use Live Streaming to Promote Your Event: Why, When and How

Oct 14 2016

Live streaming seems to be one of the most current hot topics in the media promotion right now, and with introduction of Facebook Live it's easier than ever to just hit a button and start streaming. We break down 3 current social media tools for live streaming and why you should choose one over the other to create a live promotional material for your event.

1. Facebook Live

Facebook Live provides the most simple and accessible feature for creating a live stream and reaching the right audience at a right time. With a live-preview play in timelines, the ability to save the video and use it for other promotion later and you don't have to have mad video production skills to create one. In a nutshell - it's a great, accessible promotion tool that almost works itself.

The Key to creating a successful Facebook Live video, is to make it as interactive as possible and to encourage audience participation. Not sure where to start? Check these campaign examples to get inspired:

- Buzzfeed created a Dance Off Competition where they have requested the audience to vote for the best move or the next move to come. A social media manager for BuzzFeed kept the interest throughout the broadcast by asking questions and encouraging the audience to comment even more.

- The Metropolitan Museum of Art broadcasted an opening of the new exhibition, where a few people were actually invited to the opening, one could participate in the opening ceremony via the Live Facebook feed.

- Dunkin Donuts used Facebook Live to create a special "behind-the-scenes" video with a tour of a kitchen, cake presentation, a recipe and even a competition announcement at the end. Altogether a well-orchestrated live video that stays relevant even after the broadcast is over.

How can you use Facebook Live to promote your upcoming event? if you have a special guest or a performer for your event, organise a Facebook Live interview before the event starts, get the audience to ask the questions. If you're organising a course, do a short Facebook Live session where you can showcase what the course is going to be about. If you have a series of ongoing events, it also makes sense to use Facebook Live to broadcast from a few of your first events to show what it's like to participate in the next events to come. There's really no limit to what you can do, as long as it enhances the experience and heats up the interest for your event.

Want more examples? You can view a live Facebook Live Video map and see who's broadcasting right now.

2. Periscope

Periscope is a live video tool from Twitter. If your main audience hails from Twitter rather than Facebook, it might make sense to use it instead. Another good reason to use Periscope over Facebook Live is the fact that Periscope can easily connect to a GoPro (starting form Hero4) or a DJI Drone camera, which makes it perfect for live sports events and presentations. Your audience can get a unique view of your event (or before your event) - which is an additional selling point.

Downsides to Periscope: broadcasts are only available for replay for 24h and, although you can share the broadcast on both Facebook and Twitter, it doesn't automatically play in the timeline, reducing the video visibility.

3. YouTube Live

Live streaming has been available on YouTube before all the other apps started to offer this option. This means that the setting fro live streaming on YouTube are the most versatile: you can use your laptop, connect a different camera (even a 360 camera, if you fiddle around with it), embed the stream on your website and schedule the live stream as well. YouTube have also made it possible to live stream directly from the YouTube app. So, if you're technically inclined about live streaming your event or creating a live stream for promotion, YouTube is the way to go.

Some of the downsides to the YouTube streaming: if your main audience is interacting on Facebook, a YouTube live stream is not a good idea, unless it's exceptional (like a 360 live stream), simply because a YouTube video doesn't look great and doesn't auto-play on Facebook. The whole set up also requires more set up and scheduling, unless you're using a YouTube app and stream from the mobile, but then you're limited to your technical set up and it makes more sense to use Facebook Live.

To conclude: use Facebook Live to create a simple, highly engaging live stream for promoting your event; use Periscope to give a different perspective to your event live or to heat up the interest; use YouTube if you want to stream high-quality content using a more sophisticated set up. In general, Facebook Live is a great place to start to see where the live streaming takes you, give it a try.