Streaming services have become a big deal recently. Since people realized they could keep up with events even when they could not physically attend, companies are seeing an incredible surge in access.
This scenario also creates an opportunity for brands that work with content: they can use live streaming tools to provide outstanding experiences to keep customers returning.
By entertaining your users with streaming sessions, you can interact with them, create a long-term relationship, and engage them even more.
That’s why we’re going to sort through some of the best services to help you go live. It doesn’t matter if it’s real-time coverage, videos, webinars, live blogging, etc.
1. Facebook Live
You are probably already familiar with Facebook. It’s the most popular social platform, but it also offers a streaming tool for live content — Facebook Live.
The tool is really easy to set up, and you can define the exact privacy settings you wish for the event.
You can direct the event towards your followers, even allowing them to react with “like” or “love” and comment as everything is happening.
You have a good view of metrics, such as average watch time, who your viewers are, and where they come from. Facebook also allows you to save videos on your page for those who couldn’t watch real-time.
However, there are some cons to consider: you don’t have control over comments, so negative ones will appear for everyone. Additionally, you can only stream it on one platform, and if your brand intends to attract people from other channels, they will have to go after another option.
Besides, if you’re looking for some advanced features, forget Facebook Live. The service is more suited for those who want just a straight-forward streaming platform.
Among the free options, we can’t forget to mention YouTube. The most popular video platform on the internet is also an environment for brands, artists, and others who wish to produce content in real-time.
You can create captions, capture comments, access analytics, and talk directly to people with questions.
Another good thing about YouTube is that once the video it’s published, it’s easy to find via Google search.
In addition to that, you can go live simultaneously on more than 30 platforms, which solves the problem you face when using Facebook, for instance.
To organize an interactive live session, you won’t need much: only your browser, a camera, and a microphone.
Then, you will be able to add captions, screen sharing, backgrounds, and much more.
You also get analytics, performance monitoring, and brand customization. The cost is $19 per month or user.
If your company intends to create a live event with Q&As, polls, quizzes, and comments, you may want to look at Live. It’s an engagement suite that helps you turn your users into active co-creators in a streaming session.
You can curate content from YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and display it on a social media wall, showing what people are saying about the main topic.
You can also use storytelling, combining user-generated content, videos, and images to generate a remarkable experience.
Live is perfect if you need support for real-time coverage of important events, such as sports matches, awards shows, elections, etc.
You will have everything you need to engage viewers while having them catch up with what’s happening, as it’s happening.
While most of the options we’ve seen so far will only provide you a video service, Live allows you to create a complete, dynamic experience with videos, images, text, social walls, storytelling, and more.
Your team can also moderate comments, add advertising monetization, and live blogs with ease. Not to mention that you will have control over metrics and all manner of analytics you could need.
For those brands aiming to produce videos with additional advanced, technical features, Wirecast is a good alternative.
Users can add more people to the event, stream a video in different languages, and work with a remote presenter.
How much does it cost? Well, we have two products: Wirecast Studio, $599, and Wirecast Pro, $799. However, you only have to pay for it once, and you can use the software whenever you want.
Streamyard is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to get started in your browser.
You can stream your content on the most popular channels and networks, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But you have to pay attention to the different plans they offer.
With the free version, you get the Streamyard watermark in your videos, on-screen comments, 9 guests at the same time, and screen sharing.
Nevertheless, if the brand needs more functionalities, they can choose the basic plan or the professional one.
The basic allows you to set up your branding, without the watermark, with sessions lasting up to 4 hours — all of that for $25 per month.
If you go with the professional version, you can stream for 8 hours and send it to 8 different channels for $49.
Be.Live is another web app. The tool allows you to invite 10 people for the session, but it only shows 4 on the screen at a time. To improve interactivity, you can see the viewer’s comments from Facebook on screen as well.
The free version is limited to 3 videos a month and only 1 guest per video.
The standard+ plan offers video sharing, 3 guests, unlimited events per month, branding customization, and it costs $29.99 per month.
In addition to being the main videoconferencing solution, Zoom also provides a streaming service for brands.
Although it’s not the best solution one would expect from such a large player in the online video game, it’s easy to configure and features Q&As, polls, and real-time chats. You can stream a video to Facebook, YouTube, and certain paid options such as Restream.
However, you have to deal with a Zoom logo over your images. Also, you don’t get advanced tools, since streaming solutions are not really their specialty.
To receive more functionality, though, you will need a pro account, which will cost you at least $14.99/month.
Live streaming tools become indispensable once they allow brands to attract users and interact with them directly.
Since technology has allowed us to overcome geographical barriers, it’s essential to know how to utilize that and offer excellent virtual experiences to customers. This way, the brand can keep them interested and connected.
If you’re thinking of doing a live stream, you need to know more about sponsored streams and how you can generate revenue with your live sessions. Don’t forget to read our content about it!