Many retail RDs are media trained, and frequently work with their communications departments to film videos as a way to reach shoppers with food, nutrition, and culinary insights. The latest trend in communications is live video streaming, one which provides a less expensive, more personal two-way engagement with shoppers. Even more compelling is the fact that users watch live videos for three times longer than regular videos, according to Social Media Today. According to eMarketer, adults in the United States now spend an average of 1.25 hours watching digital video content each day (a 261% increase from 2011), and social media users spend 30% of daily media time on user-generated content like live streaming videos.
There are two live video streaming programs most popular today, each with advantages and disadvantages. They are:
Facebook Live. The newest kid on the block, you access this system right from your Facebook account. To live stream, simply hit Update Status and tap on the Live Video icon. You can advertise the live stream in advance, and when you are about to go live, add a description of what’s about to happen. Once you are live, you can see how many viewers are tuned in, names of people watching the live stream, and real-time comments and questions from viewers. A key advantage of Facebook Live is that the video is saved to your timeline, and viewers can watch it at a later time. You can delete when you choose. Facebook is prioritizing and promoting live videos into news feeds right now, meaning your videos will reach more people than your other content. Other advantages include that you can live stream into groups or event pages, that you don’t need to download a separate app in order to live stream, and that Facebook has a larger viewer base than the other systems.
Periscope. Use of Periscope requires that you download the app and sign up for an account (or log in with your Twitter account), but beyond this it is extremely easy to use. It’s basically plug and play, and it’s ease of use is one of its best advantages. By default in Periscope, all your streams are public, but you can ban users one at a time or use a private link to share your broadcast with a select audience. Live streams are archived in Periscope for 24 hours, but then go away, making the best use for documenting what’s happening right then and there. You can, however, save the video and post it elsewhere for viewers to watch at a later date. With Periscope you can geotag your videos, and the program is compatible with GoPro.
Regardless of the system you decide to use, it’s clear that live streaming is an impactful way for retail dietitians to have authentic engagement with shoppers, to extend their brand, and to promote programs and services.
Next week, tips on how to use live streaming successfully will be covered in the second of this two-part series.