If you're looking for ways to advance your marketing content right up to the cutting edge, you need to explore livestreaming. This extremely trendy use of online video to broadcast real-time events has plenty of uses in nearly any industry – and it's available on popular platforms like YouTube. What, you say? Livestreaming on YouTube? Yup – let's go over the basics.
YouTube Live Streaming? How Do I Find It?
YouTube has actually had livestream capabilities for years now, but they were a very minor part of the service. Livestreaming really took off in 2015 and 2016, so Google started investing more in YouTube streaming capabilities – which is why you may just now be hearing about them. In late 2016 the company released an updated version of its livestreaming tools, and moved livestreaming to its own, more prominent section in YouTube. You can find it in Events in the Creator Studio. "Events" is the catchall term that YouTube uses for planned livestream...events.
I'm Busy, Just Tell Me: What Do I Need to Livestream?
Two things. First, you need an officially verified YouTube channel. For brands active on YouTube, this should be no problem at all. If for some reason you don't have a YouTube channel yet, you need to create and verify one to have the ability to livestream – and gain other benefits on the video platform. If you're not that invested in YouTube, then something like Facebook Live may be more your style.
The second thing you need is even easier – no livestreaming restrictions for at least 90 days. Google may ban livestreaming capabilities for a while if they get complaints or note inappropriate YouTube behavior. Again, this should be no problem for the average business, unless you are making some truly strange videos.
What Sort of Streaming Options Do I Have?
Two different options. The first is a quick and dirty shortcut right to livestreaming, called Stream Now, which is available right from your dashboard. This is more useful for individuals, but businesses can jump right into livestreaming too. If something particularly interesting or important happens that you hadn't planned for, you can use this tool to stream it ASAP. You can set this stream to public or private as needed.
The second option is called Events, in the Creator Studio. This option is designed specifically for professionals: It allows you to preview how everything looks before going live, gives you backup streams to help smooth the feed out and save the day if something goes wrong, and better control over when you start or stop the stream.
What Kind of Events Should I Broadcast?
Simple answer: If you find yourself thinking, "Hey, I wonder if people would like to see this?" then you should livestream it.
Complex answer: YouTube suggests you focus on "tent-pole" events that are made to appeal to as wide of an audience as possible, including celebrations and trending topics. Obviously there are limits for B2B opportunities here, but you get the idea. Other good options include a stream to kickstart a new campaign, go hands-on with a new product, or announce a new project.
How Can I Get People to Watch Live YouTube Videos?
Tell them about it – and then give them a link to your YouTube Channel! It's smart to announce your livestream a day or two before the event, then send out a reminder the day of. Finally, send out a quick announcement telling people that you are starting the livestream.
After a Livestream is Done, Can I Share It?
Yes. You can publish the livestream on your YouTube channel, and from there easily share it across social media. You can also embed the stream on your blog or website, although Google suggests that you have an approved AdSense account to make this easier. YouTube's typical analytics will also apply to livestreams. Make sure you use proper YouTube SEO and fill out all the metadata for best results!