Live Streaming for Business: Tips and Tricks Part 2

by Steve Secor

A few weeks ago I talked about some tips for live streaming content and format. Giving your viewers a behind-the-scenes look at who you are and how you do what you do are great ways to connect with your audience. Keeping your videos a little imperfect and unpolished helps your videos feel authentic. But these aren’t the only things you need to know. Once you know what you want to film, there are multiple platforms to use. What I want to talk about in this blog are some good options for streaming platforms.

There are many different platforms available to stream your material, and each one has unique characteristics that give it an advantage. Video quality, price, customer support, and software capabilities are all important factors to consider when choosing a streaming platform.

YouTube Live
This platform is great for college sports (which is the majority of the live streaming I do currently). First of all, it’s free. It also has event archive capability, which means you can choose to make your videos available to view later, or you can choose to “hide” them for a certain time. There are also great viewer statistics available, which helps measure your live streaming success. However, they do not have human customer support (if I run into an issue mid-stream, there’s no one I can call). Although they have some great troubleshooting options online, if you get stuck, there isn’t anywhere you can go past what you can figure out on your own.

Vimeo has recently gotten into the live streaming game. It isn’t free, but there is a variety of pricing plans based on your needs. Vimeo streams in high-quality with no ads. They also have very helpful human customer support. They also have great customizable settings so you can keep your streams private, embed them on a website, live chat with viewers, and stream multiple events at once. But if you’re looking for a free option, it’s not the one for you.

Wirecast is another great streaming option. They offer streaming to any social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.) with more camera capability. Wirecast is a great option for education, news, sports, churches, and more. It even has its own hardware that can be custom configured for your needs. But as you might guess with all these capabilities, they are also the most expensive of these three options. I’d recommend Wirecast for larger organizations with a large following.

So now that you’ve chosen your platform and live streamed a video, what should you do next? As I mentioned earlier, you can choose to archive your video stream. That way, you will be able to utilize the content later on in a blog post, on your website, or in an upcoming newsletter. This is a perfect opportunity to not only recycle content and save yourself time but also to promote your live streaming efforts. (Don’t forget to promote your live stream before and after your event!)

No matter how you choose to live stream, you can reach so many people through this medium. Live streaming technology is one that crosses all generations and business types. Kids are doing it for fun, families are doing it to share what is happening in their lives, performers are live streaming to make their audiences larger, and a business would do it to—well—grow their businesses. So whether you own a business, want to start one, or want to grow, start streaming!