live-streaming-appBoosting engagement is arguably the most important thing creators can do to increase revenue. It’s the metric that matters to advertisers and sponsors, who want partners with an active fanbase. Live video is a highly effective way to improve fan engagement. Most social media platforms have realized this and offer live streaming options, but creators will benefit most from streaming through their own custom app.

The Value of Live Streaming

Live streaming is hugely popular right now. Consumers are especially attracted to mobile streaming apps. It took Instagram a year to reach ten million users, but Periscope reached that level in just five months.

What draws these users is the urgency attached to live content. Recorded videos can be watched any time, but a live stream moves in one direction and is over. Even when replays are an option, people prefer the live stream. Fans like to be “in the know” about their favorite celebrities; they don’t want to feel like they’re the last to hear an announcement.

Live streaming also builds a connection with the audience. It’s live and personal, with no editing. Everything happens in real time. There’s a vulnerability to live video that gives fans the feeling that they know the creator. They become personally invested in the celebrity’s success. This effect is magnified by the similarity to FaceTime, Skype, and other video chatting platforms people use to talk to their family and friends; we’re essentially conditioned to feel closer to people when they speak to us live.

live-streaming-app-for-influencersInteraction among fans goes up as well. Fans message each other to watch together. They talk to you and each other in the comment section, sending feedback in the form of emote microinteractions (hearts, sad faces, etc). GIF and meme makers create posts to share funny or touching moments from your streams. Followers who see the live stream carry their enthusiasm to those who don’t, leading to views of the recording and future live streams.

While every post shouldn’t be premium content, live video is a potential revenue source. Only a limited number of fans can attend concerts or special appearances. Offer a paid live stream of your show to reach those who can’t. In the past creators have worried that online options would devalue their live shows, but as the practice has matured it’s become clear that watching live streams actually tends to increase the desire to see a creator in person.

Apps are the Best Option

If social media platforms offer live streaming, why do you need a custom app? For celebrities like Madonna, Kim Kardashian, and WIlliam Shatner, apps provide value beyond what’s offered by social media.

Most appealing the the ability to protect your content. YouTubers have reported their videos being lost or deleted by the platform. In some cases entire channels have been deleted because of fraudulent copyright claims or malicious “terms of service violation” complaints. Reaching YouTube customer support is notoriously difficult. Only creators who have other means of reaching out to their fan base for support can put enough pressure on YouTube to restore the deleted content. The platform insists this is a rare occurrence, but creator forums are full of people whose videos have been taken down without cause.

Besides protection, apps also keep your content mobile-friendly. Most online time is spent on smartphones and tablets. Mobile optimization increases the chances people can watch when you go live. Smartphones are designed for media consumption; on an app, video will play well and can be easily shared.

Push notifications sent through your app are a major asset. This type of messaging is popular with fans, who have a 68% rate of opting into push notifications, and almost 50% of users will click through the notification to view suggested content. Imagine the rise in views when you can give followers a personal heads-up when you’re about to go live.

Parting Thoughts

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In short, apps are the best modern live streaming tool for forward-thinking creators. Live video is leading the charge for fan engagement, and the more you take advantage of it the better your engagement numbers will be.

Reach out to FanHero to discover how you can take control of your content with a custom live streaming app!

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