Live streaming isn’t a trend; it’s fast becoming the dominant form of communication in the connected age. In fact, 78% of online audiences are already watching video on Facebook Live. It’s not hard to understand why with a camera on every mobile phone putting creation at our fingertips and access to audiences just a click away. While consumer-centric video has led the way to an increased “video fluency”, B2B Enterprises are poised to create these superior experiences as well.

Much of live streaming’s current popularity is around chat/discussion, feedback, polls, etc., and yet they’re not often called interactive elements. “Interactive live streaming” might seem like a new fad with Facebook’s aqui-hire of Vidpresso, but audiences have been interacting with video experiences for a long time! Remember when YouTube Creators started asking audiences to “like,” subscribe, and comment on their content? These prompts were some of interactive video’s earliest collection of data and influence behavior.

But what if your live stream doesn’t belong on YouTube or Facebook? We’ve got you covered. To seamlessly create a superior live stream experience for your Enterprise, keep reading.

How to Get Started with an Interactive Live Stream

As with any video communication, when using an interactive video platform or live streaming solution, you’ll first want to consider your goals. What kind of experience do you want to deliver to your video streaming audience via a live event? What are the key business outcomes?

Regardless of the audience (whether internal or external) and use-case, the primary objective of business video remains the same: getting the message through and getting data to prove it was received. Consider the following elements to make live thrive:

  1. Seamless Delivery: where and on what devices will audiences be viewing this material?
  2. Thoughtful Interactivity: how can the experience be made better through layering supplemental content, like slides, into your live stream?
  3. Active Participants: which opportunities will you provide for audience interaction?

With interactivity, your live stream becomes a “lean in” opportunity. Prospects, customers, and employees aren’t passively watching your video feed, with the temptation of email just a click away. Punctuating business messages with supplemental content means your audience is more likely to retain the information. Live feeds layered with interactive information provide a richer experience, deeper content and optimum delivery.

5 Ways Interactive Video Streaming Takes Business Communications Further

Here we outline several ways you can make your Enterprise audiences part of the presentation, creating an “activated” viewer –

1. Create Better Conference Keynotes 

Marquee events are a massive investment for Enterprise companies. Many brands are now charging for post-conference video recordings, allowing access to this wealth of knowledge at a fraction of the price of an in-person ticket. And while live-streaming keynotes certainly drum up press and social media buzz, the experience is lacking as many video viewers don’t feel like they’re at the event. Adding slides to your event ensures that both keynotes and learning sessions can be streamed, offering an experience on par with those of conference attendees as well as providing another source of revenue.

2. Provide Product Updates to Customers

Video product updates are a quick and easy way to connect with your customers as many would rather watch a video than read a product update. But if you have a fairly robust user community, don’t stop there. Set up a live stream and review your latest product updates and solicit feedback. Doing this during a beta test allows you to answer questions, anticipate issues, and alter the product path more expediently.

3. Engage Employees at CEO Town Halls

Successful companies live stream their conversations with the CEO to offices around the globe to maintain transparency and keep important messaging intact. After all, who wants to play the corporate version of telephone? Providing employees direct access to the CEO via live event solicits employee involvement and flattens corporate structures.

4. Optimize New Employee Onboarding and Continued Training

Employee learning programs pose a unique challenge of balancing education and engagement. A conference call over six global offices while a manager demos the product doesn’t leave a positive impression with new hires. Live streams that allow the employees to see the speaker while reading the content, are better retained, similar to video transcriptions. Also, onboarding doesn’t just have to product-centric, consider how IT procedures could become more efficient if these day-to-day activities were live-streamed with employees able to follow-along and troubleshoot questions in the moment.

5. Communicate Complicated HR Policy Changes

HR teams could teach marketers a thing or two about email open rates. The fear-mongering *3RD ATTEMPT – DEADLINE IN ONE WEEK* always seems to get an open, right? Joking aside, Human Resources professionals often make requests of employees that are time-consuming and not easily understood. By live streaming policy changes and sending a follow-up video quiz, they can quickly get everyone on board.

Just as live video revolutionized cable and brought excitement to local news and morning TV shows, online video is jumping to live as a way to maintain engagement and make the viewer part of the story. Media professionals and B2C marketers love live streaming on social for these built-in feedback loops with viewers, but now it’s time for B2B marketers to create these same engaging, data-rich environments for their audiences.

A longer version of this post was originally published on client site, HapYak, as How to Bring Your Live Events to the Next Level with Interactive Video Streaming in October 2018.