Live Video 101



Just how big has online video gotten? named 2017 the “year of video,” due to the undeniable increase in video use online. Hubspot found that 87 percent of marketers use video, and Buffer App’s 2016 State of Social Survey found that 83 percent of marketers would like to make more videos if they weren’t constrained by a lack of time or resources.

One form of video that’s become increasingly popular is live video, the process of broadcasting in real-time to an audience who is streaming the video over internet. Live video differs from a video download because the action occurring in the video takes place as it plays.

About 42 percent of the marketers who responded to Buffer’s survey said they would put more time and resources specifically into live video if they could. But, while a popular concept, not everyone is using it just yet; Buffer found that just 27 percent of marketers broadcast live video content last year.

If you’re interested in giving live video a try, but aren’t sure where to start or why it’s worth it, here’s a quick primer on the why, where, and how of live video.

Why Use Live Video

Live video has several benefits over other forms of social media or online marketing. For one thing, there’s no need for complicated or expensive equipment to produce a live video. All you really need is a smartphone with a camera.

Live video is considerably more effective at creating engagement than other types of posts on social media. According to Facebook, live videos get 10 times as many comments as standard or pre-recorded videos. Facebook users also watch live videos three times longer than regular videos.

AdWeek reported the results of a survey from Twitter, which found that when brands post a live video of an event, their favorability went up by 63 percent.

Where to Use Live Video

The majority of social media platforms today offer some sort of live video options. Facebook has Facebook Live, Twitter has Periscope, Instagram has Stories. YouTube also offers a live video option and recently announced that it would offer 4K video for live streaming.


Although many associate live video with social media, it’s also possible to put up a live stream on your brand’s website or blog. But there are a few benefits to using live video on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, rather than directly on your website. For one thing, people are more likely to find your broadcast and watch it. Most platforms send out a notification to your followers at the start of a live video stream.

How to Use Live Video

If you’re already familiar with how Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter work, figuring out how to use live video shouldn’t be too difficult. On Facebook, for example, you tap the “Live” icon when using a mobile device or click on “Start a Live Video” under the “Write Something” box when you’re on a desktop. After you’ve given Facebook permission to use your device’s camera and microphone and have written a description of your broadcast, just click on or tap “Go Live” and your stream will start.

During the live video, you can read and respond to comments from viewers and can see how many people are watching. Once you’ve finished streaming, just click or tap “Finish” and the video will be saved to your timeline.

Ways to Use Live Video

One of the great things about live video is that there are many different ways to use it. For example, live video is a great tool to use for product launches or major unveilings. If your brand is going to release a new product or will announce a major change, you can live stream the launch or announcement, so that fans or customers who can’t be there in person can get all of the details right away.

Another way to use live video is to interact with customers or to provide them with some sort of expert advice. Question and answer sessions are very popular; your audience can write their questions in the comments section and the person on camera is able to respond in real time.


Live video is also an excellent tool for broadcasting performances or concerts. Fans who couldn’t make it to a big event in person can tune in on their laptop or smartphone. You can also use live video to give fans a “sneak peek” or backstage pass and take them behind the scenes during a play, concert or when a movie is filming.

Video is estimated to make up nearly three quarters of all Internet traffic in 2017 and nearly 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook alone every day. If you’re looking to give video a try this year, live broadcasting on your favorite social media network is the way to go.




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