YouTube Live has brought live streaming of company events to mainstream audiences — it’s more broadcast than podcast! No longer herky-jerky single camera talking heads (think Max Headroom for those of you old enough) buried in obscure hard-to-find streaming services. YouTube Live and the available software are a powerful and complete show package that allows end users to plan, produce, and leverage multiple cameras and talent and go live from anywhere in the world. The best part: It’s on a channel that just about everyone knows how to navigate.

There’s a reason broadcast TV stations fell in love with the live shot decades ago. Live broadcasts are immediate; they have energy, excitement, and the on-location lure of a place the audience couldn’t be.

So who cares, you say? You’re right; most won’t, but you should. Smart companies can bring their customer to company events.

Two Rivers Marketing had the opportunity to set up and support eight successful live broadcasts for an industrial client at a large and important industry trade show. The resulting product was a live event with multiple cameras and three “hosts” presenting the show. It was a great success, and the good news is the event is still generating clicks months after the broadcast on YouTube.

Think of the possibilities: the trade show floor, the news event, a product launch or open house and the best of all — an interactive show and tell.
Trade shows: Of your current or potential customers, how many actually go to the trade show to visit your booth? Would you say 10 percent, 5 percent, or even 1 percent? How many WANT to go? YouTube Live allows you to bring your customers to the trade show floor and let them experience the energy, excitement, and new products at the booth in a short and precisely communicated format.
News events: You don’t have to wait/hope for news coverage when you can cover your own event and broadcast it live directly to your audience.
Open houses or grand openings: Have you opened a new state-of-the-art plant? Is your dealership expanding? Have you made the 1 millionth machine? Tell the world. Live.
Show and tell: Think of it as an opportunity to have your customer in the shop and show him or her tips and tricks and how-tos of your products.

All of the shows are interactive. The audience can ask questions and make comments through YouTube’s messaging function. Live interaction with your customers!

There is lots of pre-planning and pre-work that must occur for a live event — however, up until now the idea of a “live” Internet broadcast meant live streaming on an obscure channel only navigable by the better-than-average user.

In addition, you can’t just put up a live shot and expect the audience to arrive. You need to deliver a concerted and strategic communication to your core audience, including YouTube Live fans and social media followers, well in advance and leading up to the day. This communication will “train” the expectations of your viewers.

Leveraging a professional video team with live experience is a must. A poorly produced and undisciplined broadcast is just as ineffective as a single-camera talking head. A professionally produced and polished live broadcast speaks volumes about your company.

A few things to know:
• Your company channel must be approved by YouTube for live events.
• The recorded version of each live event remains on your channel after the broadcast. Users who are unable to watch the event live can still catch it later.
• Internet connection is vital. A weak connection will create obvious issues.
• If your account qualifies, the service itself is free as is the basic Wirecast for YouTube streaming software. To leverage multiple cameras and incorporate graphics you will need to make an investment in upgraded software ranging in price from $199 to $549. A capture card for your external camera(s) is also required.

YouTube Live has removed the arduous hardware and software needs for the creator. It has eliminated the nearly impossible task of finding and navigating for the average online user.

YouTube made posting and sharing videos online mainstream and easy. Are you ready for the next step from YouTube? Action!

About Two Rivers Marketing

Two Rivers Marketing is a full-service business-to-business (B2B) marketing communications agency. Email us with your thoughts or questions at blog@2rm.com.