Lessons Learned on Live Streaming’s Risks and Rewards

By Gary Beemer

liveRecently AMA Tampa Bay hosted Kerry O’Shea Gorgone – writer, attorney and educator – at our keynote speaker luncheon where she discussed how to keep live streaming legal. So why is it important to live stream – and more importantly – how do you do so successfully without inadvertently harming your brand or company?

Live streaming can take many forms – webinars, entertainment, education and conferences. It can also be breaking news or another spontaneous event that attracts a large audience quickly. Facebook Live and Periscope are two platforms that are confident in the future of live streaming as a major new marketing tool.

1. Increased exposure can be gained by streaming live content online where it is accessible without limits of physical locations. Your venue may hold 100 people, but online your capacity becomes limitless. The more people, the more exposure – and that’s great for brand building.
2. Competitive advantage has its foundation in standing out from your competitors. Live streaming allows you to not only tell your intended story – but to SHOW it in real time.
3. Showing content can drive engagement to a deeper level than traditional forms of advertising and encourages active participation from interested viewers. Engagement deepens our relationship with customers and leads to higher conversion and retention rates.
4. Live streaming carries a sense of urgency that can make watching it more valuable than scripted and regularly scheduled content. When national news coverage sends live reporters into a dangerous situation we are glued to our screens because we don’t know what will happen next. The drama is unfolding and unpredictable, piquing and maintaining our interest.
5. If your live streaming becomes popular it can become a cash generator. You can create live gated events where only subscribers or pay-per-view customers have access to content.

1. Going live doesn’t mean going unscripted. Create a storyboard that outlines your content step-by-step so you can appear spontaneous but in a very organized way.
2. Control your location and be cognizant of what copyright protected materials – written, logos, live or video – may be present and avoid showing them.
3. Avoid certain locations like beaches where the lack of clothing could become an issue and do not show children unless it is in an appropriate setting with proper safeguards in place.
4. Get signed releases from anyone appearing in your content. This takes some pre-planning but will save legal headaches later on.
5. Have contingency plans and be prepared to change locations or other aspects if necessary.

So go live, but understand the risks and how to mitigate them so you can use this tool to build your brand, customer engagement, and ultimately revenue.

Mark your calendar for the next AMA Tampa Bay event on January 26, 2017. Speaker Miri Rodriguez will share Microsoft’s Social Storytelling Formula. For more information, go here.