Since becoming available widely in April 2016, Facebook Live has become the go-to platform for live video streaming.
Facebook’s user penetration brought live streaming to the world’s biggest audience. Existing services, such as Twitter’s Periscope and YouTube Live, hadn’t enjoyed the level of mainstream visibility that Facebook’s product instantly received.
According to LiveStream, "78% of online audiences are already using Facebook Live."
Travel brands were hesitant to jump immediately into live streaming. Now that streaming is available via a platform that most brands have invested heavily in, some are considering how to integrate it into the 2017 content and media plan.
This is wise, because the numbers are growing: A recent LiveStream survey found that 81% of respondents watched more live video in 2016 than the year before -- and an amazing 67% said “watching a live event inspired them to purchase tickets for a similar event in the future.”
And in certain regions, such as China, live streaming is the dominant form of video. The appeal is so strong that brands are specifically targeting engagment within the livestreaming culture.
So who’s streaming well?
It can be difficult to understand how a brand or destination can integrate streaming into a current strategy. Let’s consider four examples of successful live streaming, and how your brand might leverage the medium.
The South Florida Eagle Cam: This is a standard “live stream an animal” event. And yes, there can be tens of thousands of people watching this at any given time!
What sort of interesting occurrence is happening in your area that could merit a live stream?
After all, even this puddle received worldwide attention!
World’s Toughest Mudder: This active event series was Livestream’s eighth most popular event of 2016!
Beyond the obvious (that people like to watch live sports), the popularity of this stream highlights the potential for unique events to deliver outsized attention on live streaming media.
Note the costumes, engaging host and overall silliness of the video. Livestreams should be as authentic and unstaged as possible.
Rosetta’s final hour: Space travel is something that sparks people’s imaginations. And even the most mundane of shots can capture a livestream audience’s attention.
Most people are multi-tasking for these sorts of engagements - so don’t stress about the camera angle. Sometimes behind-the-scenes access is simply what makes a live stream so compelling.
Glassdoor Roundtable on Pay Equality: What are some issues that matter to your audience?
Perhaps its which cabin to select on the newest cruise ship. Or how to use the latest features in your company’s travel booking tool.
Or even a list of the hottest restaurants in your destinations. Each of these issues matter enough to an audience - and those that don’t arrive live can always view later!
Royal Caribbean on Periscope: The company was a pioneer in the live streaming space.
Back in 2015, the brand launched the #ComeSeekLive campaign, where it featured 22 livestreams from aboard the Anthem of the Seas.
This was wildly successful, especially with its targeted millennial demographic. And there was no Facebook Live - so now, imagine the expanded scope that this campaign would get today!
Which platform should I use?
Hopefully now you’re considering how your business might experiment with live streams this year. Here’s where to start:
Facebook Live: Prioritize Facebook Live if you have built an engaged, loyal audience on this platform. Facebook Live is best for deeper dives into content, especially for conversational and informative topics. Remember that you can now also go live on Instagram, which is a double whammy.
Twitter’s Periscope: Prioritize Periscope if you have built an engaged, loyal audience on this platform. Periscope is best for more fun and bite-sized content that reflects Twitter’s more informal nature.
YouTube Live: YouTube is a mixed bag. Prioritize YouTube Live if you have built an engaged and loyal audience on this platform. Otherwise, it makes more sense to start with the platform you know best. YouTube doesn’t have the same reach as a Facebook or Twitter, in the sense of the notifications people get on Facebook/Twitter when someone they follow goes live.
Pro tip: Check out Restream, which allows you to go live on multiple channels at once! Makes it simple to engage across multiple networks.