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Demystifying the Usage of Live Streaming on Small Businesses

The advent of live streaming

Live video streaming simply means taking real-time coverage of an event and broadcasting it directly to your audience via the internet. The live streaming can be experienced through TV, webcasts, mobile devices and social media channels.

New age video streaming and OTT service providers have gained a substantial amount of popularity as well as an extensive user base from across the globe. Recent developments in this industry are now focussed on providing a more secure, scalable and 0-coding video streaming platforms with customized subscription options and state-of-the-art technology.

However, there are several other forms of communication like emailers and web conferences but the communication strategy of today is incomplete without OTT and live streaming video platforms. With OTT as a part of your communication strategy, it makes you stand apart and capture the attention of your user base.

Thus, integrating your business functions with a live streaming strategy gives digital ecosystem, the power to expand its reach across the globe. It helps in breaking the geographical boundaries and boost your user engagements exponentially.

Why live streaming for smaller businesses?

Somewhat similar to social media channels, live video streaming too, makes the content more personalized and user-centric, which is useful for the business. Live streaming, if done properly is a great marketing asset as it can be accessed by anyone, anytime and anywhere and bring the audience closer. It also creates a medium of trust due to personalized and on-demand content which gives the user a sense of belongingness.

What needs to be Broadcasted?

While broadcasting your content it should always be kept in mind that it’s an opportunity for the business to connect with your user base at a different level other than social media channels. Giving insights about your content makes your user feel comfortable, this gives them a unique memory and increases the recall value of the brand.

The rise of On-demand video streaming

The video industry has undergone a paradigm shift post shifting to the digital format, i.e. on-demand video streaming. Initially, the traditional forms of video sharing, i.e. television have been witnessing the maximum consumption, however, it started seeing a downfall with the rise of the internet. The increased access to high bandwidth and its growing penetration into the society made on-demand video streaming omnipresent. The emergence of high-end multimedia devices added a cherry on the pie on the already increasing popularity of the internet and users started consuming more and more digital video content through these devices.

As the traditional form of TV viewership started shifting from mainline, it gave way to the new age of on-demand video streaming to an entirely fresh segment of audience – The Youth. This advent led to a sharp-shift for video traffic and its consumption. Studies show that the number of users increased from 31.9 million unique viewers to 54 million, which was an increase of approximately 69%. It is also reported that by the end of mid-2014 the viewers crossed the 200 million mark.

The only controller of video consumption – High-speed internet

The internet speed is the only factor that controls the amount of digital video consumption. There is a clear linear relationship between the speed of the internet and video and both of them are interdependent. It only relies on the fact that as soon as the ISPs start getting higher bandwidth requests, then only the demand for dater internet would be fulfilled. The video streaming of HD and UltraHD content is also expected to rise with the improvement of internet speed. As of 2018, the combined share is expected around 21%.

It’s not limited to small businesses only

Leading brands too are offering on-demand video content with multi-screen support. It is imperative that a certain user prefers both long-form, as well as short forms of video content. Movies are the most preferred category while consuming on-demand video, this category is valid across all segments irrespective of age, gender and demographics. The 2nd most preferred category is live video streaming which includes sports, events, and user-generated content. YouTube has been the biggest catalyst in popularising these user-generated content.

Apart from entertainment, infotainment was also found to be a preferred section across categories and demographics. Leveraging educational OTT platforms to share your education-based content is another popular way for small businesses to market their content to users across the globe with relatively affordable monetization options.

Advantages of live video streaming

Easy to initiate

With the advent of the latest on-demand video service providers live video streaming costs have gone almost negligible. All your user needs is a stable internet bandwidth and a mobile device capable of playing back the streaming content. The live streaming content can be easily enjoyed by downloading a specific application or over social media applications that offer live video streaming. Also, there are several online tutorials that can be referred to before live streaming your content.

Real-time interaction

While live streaming or broadcasting your content, such as product demo or event broadcast, you get a real-time feed from your audience. The feedbacks can be instantly addressed over the live communication channel which can either be social media, YouTube or any other choice of OTT platforms available in the industry.

However, it is a little tedious to both read the question and address it simultaneously, hence a colleague can be utilized to perform the desired job. This gives a more approachable solution to issues related to the brand.

Direct integration of Call-to-action (CTA)

CTAs can be directly integrated into the live stream requesting the user to take a specific action instantly. A link or a button can be embedded with an optional promotional offer to lure the audience and encourage them to take the desired action. 

Engaged Viewers

Content distribution and continuous user engagement has been one of the prominent marketing challenges. OTT based live streaming platforms get undivided user attention because users on the device are not allowed to switch to another tab channel and also due to the availability of the content of choice.  

Seamless promotion

The promotion of products and services of the brand becomes seamlessly easy with on-demand live streaming platforms. All you need to send is a broadcast notification, which reaches your user base across the globe. This captures a much wider user base as compared to the conventional forms of advertisement. Live streaming platforms offer a comparatively cheaper way to promote your product and services across the globe.

Content consumption at marketer’s ease 

One of the biggest advantages that live streaming gives over other marketing channels is that your audience consumes the content on your time. This gives you 100% authentic traffic, as only the loyal ones stay back with you. This gives your content complete effectiveness as it is being consumed only by the user it is meant to be. This generates a very higher rate of acquisition as the content is being on a niche basis. This level of direct advertising is not provided by any other form of marketing channel.

Complete video protection

Certain new age live video streaming platforms have taken security to the next level. Some of these are even offering comprehensive blockchain technology to safeguard the content from unauthorized access and illegal downloads. With blockchain integrated into the system, they have enabled digital watermarking which is a symbol of trust and ensures complete content security. With smart contract technology, they also provide a host of other benefits to small businesses and alike. 

Live video streaming services cater to a variety of user segments and satiate their specific demands. This carves an opportunity for small businesses to increase their revenue and fulfill their advertising needs by marketing their localized content to audience segments across the globe. In this on-demand video streaming business, internet bandwidth plays a humongous role in spreading the content. Now that 5G is on its brink to penetrate the current 4G market, the user, as well as the business, is definitely going to see a real tough competition.

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