The History and Rise of Live Video Streaming
Over the last half a century or so, Americans have been fascinated by live video. On September 4, 1951, Harry Truman spoke at the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in San Francisco and, for the first time ever, it was broadcasted live. Four months later, The Today Show would become the first broadcast morning news program airing live in the U.S. Since then, we’ve loved live video, from our favorite news stations to our guilty pleasures of reality television.
The Rise of Online Video
In 2005, live television shifted. YouTube was born and, within one year, became one of the fastest growing sites on the Web, uploading 65,000 videos every day and reaching 100 million video views. YouTube certainly didn’t invent the idea of live video streaming (and most of the videos didn’t claim to be filmed live in one take), but it did significantly contribute to the popularity of online video and the notion of peeking into someone else’s life via video, as opposed to writing.
Since YouTube, we’ve seen the expansion into actual live video streaming platforms. Arguably the first video livestream platform is the aptly named Livestream, which was launched in 2007. Today, there are dozens of platforms, including DaCast, Upstream, Bambuser, and Showcaster.
Live Video Streaming Gets Social
Beyond these professional platforms, social media sites have launched their own amateur-turned-professional live streaming platforms. In 2015, Periscope, a live video streaming app, was developed and acquired by Twitter before it even launched. When airing a live video, Periscope users can tweet out a link to their Live Stream to attain viewers. They can also choose whether or not to make their video public, or they can make it visible only to select users. This is a great option if, say, a financial advisor wanted to host a live video presentation to clients who didn’t live locally, but didn’t want any outside viewers seeing. The popular photo social network site, Instagram, also introduced the ability to upload video clips in 2013. These clips were limited to 15 seconds until early 2016 when the limit increased to a whopping 60 minutes.
Currently the most popular among younger generations, is Snapchat, with more than 100 million daily users. Similar to Instagram, you can post images and short videos. But more interesting are the newest conversations surrounding Snapchat, Robo Advisors, and financial advice. Snapchat is looking to expand into a Robo Advisor platform, like Betterment, using algorithms to manage users’ money using ETFs and similar low-cost diversified investments. Whether or not it makes sense for a social media platform to enter into investing is a whole other argument.
And the latest to enter the live streaming world is Facebook with Facebook Live. Stream live video, invite friends and followers to watch, send out early notifications, and allow viewers to interact in real time. Facebook Live is one of the more impressive streaming platforms via social media because it’s easy to use and has the ability to make the biggest impact.
Incorporating Live Video Streaming Into Your Marketing
The question now is, should advisors and insurance agents be using live video streaming in their marketing? We’ve shared many times the importance and impact of video marketing. You can see countless articles on video marketing here. In the simplest of answers, yes, video is worth using in your marketing.
However, live video starring yourself isn’t comfortable for everyone. If you’re willing to give it a try, start making a few short videos using Periscope and only inviting your closest clients and family members. It will be less intimidating for you knowing that only a handful of people are watching. From there, you can slowly build up to hosting more live videos and eventually open them up to the public. Think of them as an online presentation or webinar.
Can’t imagine yourself in front of a camera? Don’t force yourself. Nerves show on camera and there’s no need to put yourself in an uncomfortable position. Instead, stick to other forms of video marketing, such as utilizing educational videos on financial topics that you can share via social media, email, on your website, and in presentations.