Live Streaming: Life in Real Time

How businesses are using live streaming to their advantages

BY GABRIELA ARGUETA OCHOA

Live streaming has made everything from witnessing a presidential debate through Instagram Live to watching a celebrity go through natural birth on Facebook live possible.

Not only has social media live streaming made people’s lives more accessible, but more businesses have been using the tool for promotional purposes.

A Media Kix study says 52 per cent of teenagers use Instagram, which now has live stories, while only 41 per cent use Snapchat. Businesses have a growing audience to engage with.

Sheena Blake live streaming her versus for versus event. Photo by Gabriela Argueta Ochoa

Sheena Blake, founder/CEO of Toronto-based Discovering Diversity, a publishing company that aims to “provide space and create a platform for EVERYONE’S story,” according to the company’s website. Blake says live streaming has been a great tool for her business. “Personal narrative is what people want, it makes them feel more comfortable.”

Not only does Blake use live streaming to promote new book releases and upcoming events, but also to host webinars to provide guidance and resources to aspiring and established writers. She has hosted live streaming sessions about various aspects of self-publishing like distribution and getting over writer’s block.

[Live streaming] provides opportunities to communicate with other business owners. More authors companies and coporations will definitely turn to it,” predicts Blake.

When Cris Guerzon and his friends Michael and Jesse decided to start the ETC3 podcast “about anything and everything” last year, they turned live streaming as part of their strtegy. They decided to create accompanying vlogs for the show, as well as preview episodes through Instagram live streaming. Guerzon says through the process his team has learned new things about recording and editing video.

He looks forward to learning more about creating “better” video content.

“We want our future videos to cater to more viewers and eventually expand our brand.”.

Guerzon says the easy access to these new social media tools will give more platforms to those who do use these options.

“Anyone can create a live stream or video nowadays. With the new features on Facebook and Instagram,” he says. “People can just hit that “live” button and it’s worldwide.”

Sheena Blake live streaming her versus for versus event. Photo by Gabriela Argueta Ochoa

Live streaming has served as a personal business platform and connection to consumers for 21-year-old Nikkita Croswell, who says it has helped her make-up business become more recognized.

Although her YouTube channel NikkiTV helped business, Croswell says most of her viewers came from Facebook and Instagram.

“Live streaming has helped my brand by just connecting more personally with my viewers,” says Croswell. “They get to know the real Nikkita, not just MUA Skeye.”

She adds that she can only see her brand expanding in the future because of live streaming and social media.

Toronto-based social media strategist, Jennifer Joseph says live streaming can have many benefits for small businesses and entrepreneurs like Croswell, Guerzon and Blake. “You can use [live streaming] to show you’re an expert,” she says. “It shows you are dedicated to your brand … [Forming] a connection with people and answering questions about your brand, it shows you care.”

Joseph says the advantage of live streaming is that it can be done from anywhere, but she adds there is a possibility of negative impact as well.

“[Live streaming] will continue to improve, but I think we will become a lazier society,” says Joseph.

“Instead of purchasing a ticket to an event, people will be able to view it online. People tune into real news on Twitter, instead of picking up a newspaper.”

Joseph says these kinds of patterns show a lot about where the industry is going. She is convinced live streaming is “here to stay.”

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