2017 is the year of live streaming

January 12, 2017

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First it was the year of the mobile, then content was king, 2016 saw video rule, and now live streaming is well on its way to taking over in 2017.

Live video isn’t a new concept to us anymore, we are definitely familiar with the likes of Periscope, Snapchat Spectacles, Facebook Live, Twitter Live, YouTube LiveHouseparty, and soon to be Instagram Live.

Video is set to be the fastest growing content category across desktop and mobile until at least 2020, grounding video as a crucial element of digital marketing strategies. So what do you need to know?


 Livestreaming 101

Livestreaming blew up in 2016. Snapchat received 10 billion daily video views, Facebook got 8 billion, and YouTube received 4 billion  – igniting video as the number one content category of the moment.

The social media giants are shouting from the roof tops about live video and for good reason. In 2017 video content is expected to represent 74% of internet traffic. 74% of ALL internet traffic!!

Facebook is really pushing for live video since users spend 3x more time watching live video than pre-recorded video. Facebook even send users notifications when one of their friends, or a page they like, begin a live stream. But, we have seen this before. Facebook launches a new offering, early adopters see fantastic results, and then all of a sudden something changes – yep I’m talking about Facebook algorithm updates.

Facebook has given us a window to reach and engage with an audience more than ever before by updating its newsfeed algorithm to prioritise live video over other content forms. Brands should be very conscious of this when creating social media content calendars and consider incorporating live video into strategies. But remember, the quicker you get involved in live video the better results you are likely to have.


Shift from canned to authentic content

Successful YouTube videos require a decent bit of kit: lighting, editing, a script and not forgetting a good setting – they are polished. But live streaming is in the moment, unscripted and raw – an odd concept perhaps, but it works. Live video receives three times the amount of engagement than pre-recorded video.

We are seeing a shift from the polished and edited, to the organic and unscripted. A shift from canned content to authentic content.


What does it mean for brands?

Brands will need to use live video to engage with target audiences in an immediate and unscripted way, using live streaming to humanise their products and services with behind the scenes clips, product launches and Q&A’s.

Live streaming is a great opportunity for brands to connect with their audience, promoting two-way conversations over the traditional one-way approach. Viewers feel like they have more influence over the content as they comment or pose questions to the host, providing them with a sense of control.

B2B top tip: including live video within marketing strategies will help to boost brand awareness, lead generation, and online engagement… 53% of marketers agree.


Basically, be camera ready

Live streaming creates an entirely new digital space to reach more people online. It is the time to experiment with content and analyse the most appropriate way to use live streaming features on multiple social platforms.


  1. Be ready, always ready, to shoot. You never know when or where a prime piece of content will show itself.
  2. Invest in the technology. Even though users are craving a real(er) type of content, quality is still important –, especially for brand image.
  3. Plan ahead. Include live video shoots within content calendars especially with events you can prepare for.
  4. Don’t forget that live video can also be used as an SEO opportunity. Save and upload successful videos to YouTube channels or websites, allowing users to share and further engage.

The takeover of live streaming is inevitable and brands who invest into it will be the ones who will thrive in this ever-changing social world.

What are your thoughts? Sound off in the comments below, or let us know @HarvestDigital.

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