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The Growth of Live Streaming and Short-Form Videos on Facebook

Have you ever heard of Mari Smith? Since 2007, she has been a leading voice in the digital marketing industry. According to a social media agency Hong Kong, if Facebook is considered the king of social networks, Mari Smith is the “Queen of Facebook.” It is because she has helped a broad range of well-known businesses with their Facebook, Instagram, and social media strategies. 

Mari was named as one of Forbes’ Top Social Media Power Influencers. The global media company described her as a preeminent expert on Facebook. She was also the author of “The New Relationship Marketing” and co-authored “Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day.” These books paved the way for a large Facebook community, Mari Smith’s Social Scoop.

Even Facebook has asked for Mari’s help. She was headhunted and hired to become a consultant of Facebook Blueprint’s certification program and lead Facebook’s Boost Your Business Series. Here, she was able to level up key marketing approaches for brands and businesses. With these experiences, Mari shares her unique insights about the growth of live streaming and short-form videos on Facebook.

Facebook Live Streaming and Chatbots

According to a video marketing agency Hong Kong, Mari believes that a combo of Facebook Live and chatbots can produce the best results among ads and campaigns. Over the last q12 months, live streaming gets the best organic engagement and reach. The main key is consistency. By broadcasting the best content, education, and tips regularly, organic reach will start to climb significantly. Mari suggested partnering these live broadcasts with call-to-actions that get your audiences into the DMs. From there, you can maximize opportunities by implementing chatbots. 

To help improve one’s approach to live streaming, Mari mentioned that it is best to use the right hardware and software. A DSLR camera can make a big difference even if you are broadcasting from a home studio. The right lighting can make your on-camera appearance remarkably professional. A good microphone can help your audiences clearly understand your messages during the live event. Mari has also noted that there is always a place for live streams via mobile devices on Facebook. Yet, high-end studio setups can literally put you above your competitors and generate more revenues. 

Short-Form Videos and Stories

The most significant growth in social media marketing over the last years is the evolution of short-form videos and stories. Mari, and everyone else, very well know that 500 million Instagram users tap into the power of Stories daily. Mari has noted that Facebook has created Stories as the platform ran out of ad inventory in its news feed in 2016. The company was forced to look for other options to place ads on content streams. So, it came up with the idea of copying Snapchat’s ephemeral story format. 

Then, there are “Reels.” As TikTok hit the spotlight, Facebook tried to clone such sensational short-form videos. In August 2020, the platform launched Instagram Reels. They are fun and engaging 60-second music clips that captured the hearts of the millennials. Mari has noted that Instagram has currently been favoring Reels in terms of discovery and reach. That is why it is high time for brands and businesses to embrace such a short-form video format. With Facebook integrating Reels in the main platform, Reels ads can be more powerful as paid placements. Like Instagram Stories, Reels will continue growing. 

Mari highlighted that it really made sense for brands and businesses to put effort into creating short-form videos like Reels and Stories. They can extremely fuel top-of-the-mind awareness on top of Facebook feeds. They have a more engaging and intimate appeal among your target audiences.

The Key to an Effective Facebook Marketing Strategy

After Apple’s ATT update, Facebook and Instagram advertisers need to get creative with using first-party data. Mari is a top advocate of data privacy and the freedom of choice among online users. With Apple’s ATT update and Google’s impending support for cookies by 2022, brands and businesses have to accept the sea of changes. 

For Mari, the key to an effective Facebook marketing strategy is designing an evergreen model that generates measurable results no matter what changes and updates come. Mari highly recommends the basic approach of: “Content + Engagement + Conversion. Rinse. Repeat.”  

  • Start by creating excellent content that your audiences are craving. Help them find tremendous and valuable information to solve their problems. 
  • Engage regularly with your audiences by replying to their comments and messages. Acknowledge their reactions and share. Embrace Facebook Live to connect with them in real-time. 
  • Use CTAs to generate conversion. It is important to get your audiences to visit your websites, find out more about your offerings, and buy them. 

Mari visualized that a complete eCommerce experience, 5 years from now, is the integration of the Facebook family of apps. According to a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong, the initial drive was to make it easy for users to connect with brands and businesses through an integrated messaging API – Messenger, Instagram Direct, and WhatsApp. She is positive that the drive will continue after Facebook bought the Kustomer CRM platform. It will fuse information and support services seamlessly. Together with AR/VR, Facebook’s digital coin – Diem, and Facebook Pay, the platform will still be the king of social media.

Reference: https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/smt-expert-series-mari-smith-discusses-the-growth-of-short-form-video-fac/605371/

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The Best Live Streaming Equipment

Modern social media users consume more video content than ever before. A vast majority of them prefer to watch a live broadcast over a recorded video. Facebook Live, Twitter Live, YouTube Live, and Periscope are the top platforms where users commonly go on a live broadcast. Statistics also show the power of live streaming such as:

  • Live streams are preferred by 82% of social media users over a brand’s social post.
  • Live streaming will cover 82% of the Internet traffic by 2022.
  • Live video campaigns boost engagement rate 2x than influencer marketing.
  • Live videos hold the viewers’ attention 10x to 20x longer than recorded videos.

On Facebook Live alone, there were around 2 billion viewers last year. This shows a quadruple climb in just a single year.

  • Facebook Live produces 6x more interactions than traditional videos.
  • Facebook Live gets 10x more comments than regular videos.
  • Facebook users watch Facebook Live 3x longer than recorded videos.

The fastest way to go on live streaming is by using a mobile camera with built-in audio. But for brands and businesses, going on a live stream is much more than marketing and technology as a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong has noted. To establish a good reputation, brands and businesses need to use professional live streaming equipment to make their live broadcast stand out. Here are some of the best ones!

Audio Equipment

A social media agency Hong Kong notes that in live streaming, audio quality is more important than video quality. This is because audio relays the exact message of a live video. As long as the audio quality remains high, the viewers can grasp the message of the broadcast even if its image fades or stutters. There are 3 types of audio equipment for live streaming.

  • Entry-level and prosumer video cameras have low- to medium-quality audio systems.
  • Professional video cameras have medium- to high-quality audio systems. This is the same quality as USB and 3.5mm microphones.
  • There are also professional video cameras with XLR microphones that have excellent audio systems.

The best live streaming audio equipment is wired 3.5mm lavalier mic or consider XLR microphones. They both meet the global standard for audio quality and durability.

Video Cameras

A video marketing agency Hong Kong notes that video cameras for live streaming come in different trade-offs. Brands and businesses need to understand that there are thousands of live streaming cameras available in the market. But it is important to get the right one that would fit the needs of a brand’s industry or niche. 

  • Entry-level video cameras cost cheaper with a price range of $300 to $700. Their video quality can be good provided there is proper lighting. They have basic connectivity features and don’t have manual controls. These types of cameras can be ideal for small businesses and startups showing behind the scenes among their loyal followers.
  • Mid-range video cameras have better image quality than entry-level ones. The prices of these types of cameras range from $800 to $3,000. They have an HDMI connectivity feature and offer few manual controls. Also called prosumer cameras, these types of cameras work best when going live to host Q & As or interview an influencer.
  • Professional video cameras have higher resolutions and sensors. The prices of these types of cameras range from $1,500 to $25,000. They produce excellent image quality under SDI and XLR connectivity. With manual controls, professional video cameras allow interchangeable lenses and are more durable. If you want to go live to launch a product or highlight the value of a brand, these video cameras can very well help you stand out among the audiences.

The quality of connection and images are very important when doing a live stream. It may be hard to engage with the audience if your video camera’s connectivity is suffering. The audience may also leave watching a live stream if they cannot view the host and guest clearly. Thus, the best live streaming video cameras are the professional types. They can be an expensive investment but will produce good returns in the long run.

Video Streaming Accessories

The equipment needed for live streaming is not limited to audio microphones and video cameras. Brands and businesses will need a variety of accessories to tie the production together. These include cables, lights, light stands, tripods, and other random things. They can make live streaming more engaging and fun. 

  • DisplayPort, HDMI, and SDI cables are the best cables to use during live streaming. DisplayPort cables are perfect when connecting to LCD monitors within short distances. HDMI cables offer good connections between audio and video equipment as long as their distance does not exceed 50 feet. For longer distances, SDI cables are recommended. 
  • The best lighting system for live streaming is the three-point system. It is the use of a key light for the live stream’s overall exposure, a fill mirroring the key light on the opposite side of the camera to allow dimming or increase lighting as needed, and the backlight to make a subject shine from behind. 
  • The best tripods for live streaming are those with fluid heads. They are tripods with movable plates to capture movement in smooth pans and tilts. 

THE BOTTOM LINE

Using the best live streaming equipment is crucial to the success of a live broadcast. Viewers can tolerate spotty streams for around 990 seconds, so live streamers should make sure that their audio and camera system connects well. To further capture the viewers’ attention, live streamers can use accessories to make them more engaging and fun.

Reference: https://www.dacast.com/blog/live-streaming-equipment/

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Live Streaming Tips for Beginners

Live Streaming is really alive! It is going to explode on a global scale this year. It is expected to account for 82% of Internet traffic by 2022. The lockdowns and social distancing measures of the year 2020 have curbed traditional physical events into virtual live events. Thus, with a diverse entertainment ecosystem, live streams have seen impressive growth. Year over year, it has recorded a 99% growth of hours watched. Live Streams last year have been watched for around 1.6 billion hours. The daily watch time for Facebook Live broadcasts has also grown 4x. While 82% of online users prefer a live video to other social media posts. With such great statistics, it may be the right time to harness the power of live streaming. If you are a beginner, here are some smart tips.

What Is Live Streaming?

Live streaming is a technology that allows people to create, share, and watch a video broadcast in real time. It is a bit like a live TV show, yet people need an Internet connection and an Internet-enabled device to create, share, or watch a live stream. Unlike prerecorded videos, live streams cannot be censored, curated, cut, or edited. Some live streaming events are private. Some examples are video conferences on Skype or Zoom. Such real-time video conferencing only allows people who are invited to join the live streaming. To make sure of its privacy, passwords protect the video conference. On the other hand, most live streams are public. This means that hundreds, thousands, or millions of users can watch it. Viewers can comment and interact during the live stream. They can also share emojis and gifts with the host.

Reality TV Shows and YouTube are the inspirations behind live streaming according to a video marketing agency Hong Kong. Here, people can show the world anything they are doing at the exact moment they are doing it. Live streaming gives people a chance to be virtual creators and presenters by connecting to audiences. Live streaming lets people directly connect to their colleagues, family, favorite celebrities, friends, etc. Many live streamers love the sense of being and self-expression that live streaming gives them. Sharing something and getting positive feedback in return can boost their confidence and self-esteem. At the same time, live streamers can also earn revenues through bonuses, brand partnerships, tips, and virtual coin gifts.

How to Get Started with Live Streaming?

Live streaming is never easy, but it is also never hard. Here are some tips on how to get started with live streaming for beginners as posted by a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong.

Establish Your Live Streaming Goals

A lot of live streamers commit the same mistake of not setting a goal or goals for their live streaming content. Before doing a live broadcast, it is important to establish your live streaming goals. A social media agency Hong Kong has noted the following as the most common goals of live streaming among social media platforms.

  • Brand awareness
  • Brand engagement
  • Build a community
  • Drive website traffic
  • Exposure
  • Generate leads
  • Revenue growth

Pick Your Type of Live Streaming Content

The second step you need to do before doing a live stream is to pick the type of content you’ll want to do. Among some popular live streaming content are the following:

  • BTS (behind the scene)
  • Contests and giveaways
  • Educational videos
  • Gaming streams
  • Interview 
  • Q&A (question & answer)
  • Product launch
  • Product promotion
  • Storytelling
  • Unboxing
  • Webinars

Pick Your Live Streaming Platform and Software

The third step is choosing the right live stream platform and software you will be using for a live broadcast. A live stream platform is a video hosting app that allows users to do a live broadcast. It is a critical broadcast tool because each platform has a particular type of audience. So, what is important is for a live streamer to use a live streaming platform that matches his audience type. For example, travel vloggers may want to use Facebook or Instagram Live. Gamers mostly do their live streaming on Mixer, Twitch, or YouTube. 

Another big step is choosing the right live streaming software. The live streaming software is an encoding program that converts live streaming into digital format. They also help customize your live broadcast by allowing you to add graphics and use multiple audio and camera sources. There are multiple live broadcasting software in the market right now. Among the most popular and robust software are OBS, vMix, and Wirecast. 

Set Up Your Live Streaming Equipment

After choosing a platform and software for live streaming, the next step is to set up your live streaming equipment. There are four essential pieces of equipment you will need to power up your live broadcast. These are the following:

  • An audio mixer that allows using multiple audio sources and microphones during a live stream. 
  • A desktop or a laptop to access your live streaming platform and software during the broadcast. 
  • A microphone to ensure audio quality on your live stream. This is very important for viewers to understand what you are saying. 
  • Multiple cameras to capture your live stream. They may either be a desktop camera, digital camera, laptop camera, or USB webcams. 

A live streamer will also need Internet access with enough bandwidth to power the live stream. 

  • The minimum bandwidth required for regular live streaming is 0.5 Megabits per second (Mbps). 
  • The minimum bandwidth required for a standard definition live streaming is 3.0 Mbps.
  • The minimum bandwidth required for high-definition live streaming is 5.0 Mbps.
  • The minimum bandwidth required for an ultra-HD or 4k live streaming is 25 Mbps.

Test Everything Before Going on a Live Broadcast

Before live streaming, the last step you’ll need to do is test everything. Never underestimate the power of testing before a live stream. A simple test can help you prevent any potential issue or problem and will let you go live on the fast track. 

Reference: https://restream.io/blog/streaming-tips-for-everyone-from-beginners-to-pros/