Creative trend: How to capitalise on 2.5 billion social media users with live streaming

With social platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Periscope in full swing, industry experts are calling live streaming the hottest trend in social media. As a result, creative teams, marketing and PR agencies are looking to get involved and use live streaming to increase engagement. 

Cisco estimate that 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be video-based by 2021. And with studies suggesting that live video is more appealing to brand audiences – 80% reportedly prefer watching live video to reading a blog, and a further 82% favour live video to social posts – it’s no surprise that the world’s media and marketing giants see it as a great chance to deliver high quality content to their audiences.

Popular platforms

Social media live streaming really found its feet following the launch of Facebook Live in April 2016, with the opportunity to reach a user demographic of two billion people proving too good for brands to miss. It allowed them to communicate with consumers in a way that was previously reserved for costly television productions, with interactivity and user engagement at its core. Viewers can post comments and react during Facebook Live broadcasts, providing brands with the unique opportunity to respond directly to their audience.

While Periscope proved popular and beat Facebook Live to the punch by launching over a year earlier, Facebook Live quickly established itself at the top of the live streaming game. Unlike Periscope, Facebook didn’t have to spend any time encouraging people to sign up, and it didn’t take users long to figure out how to use the new functionality as it was built directly into an app they were already comfortable with. Perhaps most importantly, Facebook users already had access to a large network of contacts, deterring them using another live streaming service with a smaller user base.

With one billion hours of video content being watched daily and over one billion active users, content producers and businesses alike are using YouTube’s live streaming functionality to increase their presence on the world’s largest video network and reach a colossal portion of internet users. Conversely, is a popular live streaming platform used primarily to broadcast video gaming, eSports, creative content and music events, with 2.2 million unique streamers. In 2014, it was ranked fourth in peak time US data traffic, besting Facebook and Amazon among others, so is a great choice for creative agencies looking to attract more eyes to their work.

How has the business world responded?

Right now, every media and marketing company is trying to harness the power of social media and its humungous (and continuously growing) user base, and live streaming is just another way for them to make the most of it.

Live steaming is especially effective for news and political broadcasting. From leading media organisations to local newspapers, the news industry dove right in, with big players like BBC and The Guardian regularly streaming live across social platforms during newsworthy events – recent examples include the 2017 general election and 2016 EU referendum results. Likewise, CNN broadcasted live on Facebook for a solid eight hours in January as the United States prepared to announce its next president. The video received a total of 24 million views, and placed within the top ten most watched of the year. Even the White House have been making use of Facebook Live, airing speeches and weekly addresses live to hundreds of thousands of viewers around the world.

For businesses who rely heavily on advertising revenue and brand awareness, live streaming can seriously bolster their content output. Social media behemoths Buzzfeed and LADbible specialise in creating attention grabbing content that pulls in tons of clicks. In this video, the Buzzfeed team tested how many elastic bands it would take to make a watermelon burst. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, this video had an impressive 807,000 live viewers, and has a current total of 11 million views. Videos such as this likely have something to do with why Buzzfeed earned a cool $3.1 million from Facebook just to provide live content. Similarly, LADbible live streamed an ice cream showdown in July 2016 to see which of their four lollies would melt quickest – as of writing, the video has almost 6.5 million views.

Should you bring live steaming in-house?

If you want to utilise social media’s multi-billion-strong user base, then yes. With proven results demonstrating its effectiveness in increasing engagement, as well as all the stats suggesting that audiences prefer video content to everything else, it really is worth taking advantage of. While it’s tempting to get stuck in and start shooting on your phone right away, we reckon that you’ll see better results if you invest in some dedicated live streaming products. Not only will they allow you to brand your streams and produce more complex broadcasts, the overall quality will be better too, which is ideal if you want to stand out from the competition.

It’s worth purchasing technology from reputable brands as they’re far more likely to provide all the technical support you might need. They usually offer upgrade paths that’ll help you get your hands on the latest kit when it’s released, support incoming trends, and provide users with the ability to record and reuse content down the line. If you’d like to check out our essential equipment recommendations, you can read more here. Once you’re kitted out, we suggest running some test projects before you start streaming for real. Things can go wrong when you’re live streaming, so that way you can get a feel for producing live content and ease growing pains, develop your internal workflow, and avoid any silly (and costly) mistakes on your first proper shoot.

If you want to know more about social media live streaming, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email If you’re ready to start shopping head to our design storeFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


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