The State of Live Video (And Where You Should Head)

5 Quick Tips for Social Video
5 Quick Tips for Social Video

Now that PR pros are well-versed in video production, the ante has been upped with savvy audiences demanding live video interactions too. We know that sorting through the benefits of each platform can get confusing fast, that's why Christian Karasiewicz shares an overview of the technology that is meeting the demand for live streaming, including Youtube Live, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Instagram Live (not to mention Snapchat Live Stories or AP Live). He also offers up different ways to integrate live video into your next campaign.

It’s no secret that live video is what audiences are craving. In a recent study from Livestream, they reported that 80% of audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. Couple that with the fact that 67% of audiences who watched a livestream purchased a ticket to a similar event the next time one was available and you can see why social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Periscope are pushing live video.

With audiences more interested in watching live video, one has to wonder what the ripple effects will be across various industries in the coming year.

For example, PR has already been forced to adapt and evolve. Instead of publishing press releases that most people gloss over, they’re moving towards visual content to capture the attention of customers as they become more mobile savvy.

As video continues to gain popularity, the array of choices can be dizzying. So, we decided to look at live video on our favorite social media platforms and how PR can tap into each one.

Live Video On Social Media Platforms

Facebook Live

Facebook Live is the 800-pound gorilla, but they have every right to be. They waited for everyone to make their push into live video and are now starting to add a host of features that make it easy for anyone to go live on Facebook. For example, you can choose between going live on a Profile, in Groups, Events and if you’re a business or public figure, on Pages. Facebook Live works well for all devices. They currently account for the lions share of live video usage.

If you’re considering using Facebook Live, be sure you have the right tools to produce quality live videos, as 67% of viewers say quality is the most important factor when they choose to watch a livestream.

YouTube Live

Similar to Facebook Live, YouTube also offers their own live streaming option. While it isn’t as easy to use as Facebook Live, nor is it open to everyone (you need 1,000 subscribers to get this feature), if you already have a well-established following on YouTube, you can go live on YouTube to further connect with your audience. If you’re only starting out, consider using Facebook Live.


Periscope is Twitter’s version of live video. When they first launched in 2015, there wasn’t much competition. Today, everyone talks about using Facebook Live. But Periscope is still popular. In fact, they have one of the best discovery tools for finding relevant “scopes” to watch. However, if you decide to use Periscope and don’t yet have a large following, use broad hashtags to get your scopes seen by a wider audience.

Instagram Live

Like Facebook, Instagram offers a live video option too. They’ve been slowly adding new features, such as the ability to bring on guests during your broadcast. Since they are only beginning to offer live video, this is the platform for your experiments.

Live Video For Your Social Media Campaigns

Now that you’re aware of the different social media platforms for live video, here are some examples of ways you might use each one to help with outreach.

Events and Conferences

One area where live video shines is at events and conferences. Instead of live vlogging everything that is happening share short videos with viewers to give them a taste. To help broaden your reach, consider bringing on people who are with you at the event and introduce them to your viewers.

Discussion Panels

Were you asked to be on a discussion panel? One way to liven up the panel is to livestream it to your audience (make sure you ask the event first if they allow you to). Live streaming panels can be a great way to bring in more viewers and build awareness for your participation on the panel.

On-The-Street Interviews

Want to make your content more exciting? Consider conducting on-the-street interviews. Not only can these be live streamed, but if you share them on your social media channels, you can also embed them on your blog to help drive further engagement around posts.

Weekly Live Video Show

Another way that PR can leverage live video is to create a weekly show. For example, I run a weekly social media marketing talk show where we cover the latest social media news. In your case, if you find yourself publishing multiple press releases each week, why not look into creating a live video show? You can use this to share all of your press releases at once – don’t forget, people are busy and don’t have the time to go back and check your site to see what’s new. It also helps your audience start to learn more about the people they interact with at your company.

Repurposing Video

One last way you can use live video in social media campaigns is to repurpose video content. For example, if you upload a video to your company’s YouTube channel. Instead of letting it sit there and hope people watch it, during a live video stream, you can mention this content and share a link to it. There are plenty of ways to position a live video strategy. You might focus on company announcements, new products or product features, blog posts, other video content, and so on.

PR Takeaways

Live video can be a great way to develop stronger relationships with customers. While there are a lot of live video options to pick from, here are some things to focus on.

  • Go where your customers are
  • Use live video to highlight other initiatives such as industry thought leadership, blog posts, events, new product features, etc.
  • Give your audience a peek inside your business and the people who help make it what it is
  • Quality trumps quantity