Feature: Page (1) of 1 - 06/21/16

Real-time video streaming is the new craze in the business world

By Paul Fitzgerald for America's Backbone Weekly

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Live streaming video is a powerful, spontaneous way to share your business, products and customer service while interacting with current and future customers. Think of it as one-way video chat with verbal conversation that may very well be the future of live TV.

Facebook Live Video and YouTube, to name two examples, will help grow your audience and bottom line. The more live streaming you produce means you will ultimately attract new consumers and this helps with boosting sales of your products or services. In a tool adopted by businesses seeking a competitive edge, companies now have an inexpensive and easy way to interact with potential customers in this real-time medium, allowing access to live events and creating feeds including communication with employees that can be beamed worldwide

In 2014, content - that is information - made up 64% of the world's Internet traffic, but recent Cisco data tells us that by 2019 video traffic will make up 85% of all Internet activity in the U.S. Traffic from mobile and other data devices will rise to 66% in the next four years. Live video online is proving to be a new and unique tool for internet users to obtain information quickly and efficiently.

For the latest launch for live video streaming, check out the 2015 release of Periscope, the live streaming video app on Twitter that has practically gone viral. With Periscope, you can post live videos as part of your tweets. Compared to the established brands like Meerkat, it has some differences: its chat function is great and you can save videos for later review and center your shot before going live features not available on Meerkat. Every business, however, should explore and investigate different live streaming options for their audiences and go with what works in terms of delivery and budgets.

The Livestream app is another established option that streams thousands of events daily that are published by businesses and individuals all over the world. Then there's Facebook Live, a decent alternative. As an iOS app it allows real time communication, lets you save the video and post it on Facebook. Around three billion people stream videos on that platform daily.

What About Snapchat?

U.S. Cellular technology experts and thought leaders who offer the right answers and solutions for your business suggest Snapchat as a live streaming tool. Snapchat has grown into an exceptionally popular mobile app where users can send both videos and pictures (snaps) and then watch them self-destruct after viewing. You can add graphics over the top of the shot, which is fun, and send it as a text message. You can broadcast a 24-hour collection of your photos and videos. There are literally thousands of businesses across the U.S. utilizing Snapchat, like Taco Bell, Sour Patch Kids, and Grub Hub, to name a few. They are now engaging new audiences and this is a real plus on the sales front.

The raw, "authentic" look is somewhat by design, but the production values should improve, says Facebook. New software tools will allow for multiple cameras and on-screen graphics. Ultimately, it may end up looking a lot like what you see on TV. Livestream's Facebook-friendly $400 wide-angle Mevo camera, due this summer, will allow low-budget broadcasters to cut to different camera angles.

Now What to Broadcast

Live video streaming directly contributes to audience growth and financial gains and this is why you will want to stream exciting moments from your corporate event, your latest product launch, or to introduce new staff or clients to your audience of followers. At the right place and time, it can work promotional magic.

Rule No. 1 of Live Streaming: Have a Purpose

Once live streaming is activated, it can take a few minutes for your audience to arrive so hang tight: their live comments and questions can transform the experience from a regular recorded video to something wholly interactive. Have a conversation, answer viewer questions and be yourself. But keep in mind that streaming video will chew through your data plan. If you can't hop on Wi-Fi, keep an eye on the time.

And you can post it on Facebook or YouTube for those who don't catch the live broadcast can watch it later. While it's often unclear that the action is no longer live, Facebook is working to include earlier comments into the playback, so it becomes obvious that the action already happened. On Periscope, playback expires after 24 hours. The company is working to give videos longer shelf lives.

Real-Time Video Streaming Success Stories

There are a number of businesses who are experiencing the benefits of real-time video streaming. Dunkin Donuts, Nestle, Nissan, Ford and Experian, along with an array of small and medium sized businesses in retail, fitness and communications, to name a few examples, are now utilizing this new technology and their new products and services are successfully selling because of it. Once you draw in new audiences with this technology your sales will only grow. Real-time video streaming is an amazing tool on the infotainment front and it gets your business noticed. Go live, grow your brand, and stay ahead of the competition.

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