How to choose your video streaming platform in 6 steps
Before contracting the services of a video streaming platform you should take your time. It is not a decision you should take lightly. Take a few minutes to think about your short- and long-term goals, list all the features you will need to meet them, and then look for the video streaming platform that meets these requirements.
Here are 6 steps to help you find the perfect video streaming platform for you:
- Identify your core target audience
- Define your goals
- Research your competitors
- Based on your goals choose the tools you need
- Match the platform to your audience
- Start with streaming video
Let's start defining each step:
Identify your primary target audience
Before you start, you need to know who you are creating your content for. Identifying your audience will help you tailor your content to their interests. How do you identify your primary target audience? Try answering these 6 questions to find out:
- What problems does my audience or potential customers need to solve?
- What are the secondary problems or challenges?
- What emotions do they associate with experiencing these challenges?
- What solutions have they tried?
- How have those solutions failed?
- What do they expect from a solution?
Tailor questions to your audience. When users log on, they do so to receive something, whether it's purely for fun or entertainment or to learn something they don't know. When you find out what they are looking for, you will get the right type of content.
Define your objectives
Define the objectives for responding to your audience. This phase is very simple. The answers to the questions to identify the audience will help you to know what users are looking for in streaming video. You should be able to identify a list of small challenges that you can address in your content. To define your goals, you will need to establish where your audience is in your funnel. As buyers move from the top to the bottom of a funnel, they move from being unaware of the problem to being aware of the problems, educated and then ready to buy. The type of objectives you set for each stage will vary. Here are the objectives to consider at each stage of the funnel:
Top of the funnel:
- Audience growth
- Increased views
- High engagement
- View time
Middle of the funnel:
- Audience growth
- Increased views
- View time
- Clicks to your website and landing pages
Bottom of funnel:
- Increased views
- Conversion rate (number of views to sign up, sales etc.)
Research your competitors
Create a table of your top 5 competitors.
Follow these 5 steps to find out how they use streaming video:
- Identify their platforms
Check which platform they broadcast on. Brands often use more than one platform, but it may not work for you. Knowing which one gets the most viewers can help you identify a platform where you can grow your audience.
- Find out what types of video streaming they use
It is important to know what types of video streaming your competitors are organising. This will help you identify other important topics you may want to explore. It also indicates how their funnel is growing.
- Research their monetisation strategies
While video streaming monetisation plays an important role, there are other ways to generate revenue from live streams. For example, do your competitors offer special discounts to streaming video viewers on purchases through links in the video stream description? Do they mention sponsors who paid for advertising during video streams? Once you have identified how your competitors monetise streaming video, consider this as an alternative for you.
- Research your promotion channels
Promotion is how your competitors are driving viewership and engagement with their video streaming. To do this, research their marketing strategies and look at how they are promoting their video streaming. Remember, you only need an overview of their promotion strategy.
Start by checking their social media and YouTube channel. Then check their websites and other marketing channels. If they send email newsletters, sign up for their newsletter and pay attention to how they use email marketing to drive traffic to their video streaming platform.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis will help you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your competitors. As you go deeper into the study of your competitors, you will see how useful the SWOT is for positioning your video streaming offer.
Without going into great detail, write down what the SWOT shows about your competitors.
Align your objectives with the functions you need
Discover the features that will help you achieve your goals. As video streaming platforms have different functionalities, you will need to create a shortlist of features that you need. Here is a comprehensive list that you can use as a guide:
1. Video content management system
Content management systems simplify the storage, access and use of the video content you produce. You can categorise, manage and distribute videos from a single platform.
2. Live video monetisation options
Monetisation is a key feature that most video creators are looking for. It allows them to generate revenue through integrated features, including services such as pay-per-view and subscription.
3. Automatic VOD recording with monetisation and distribution
Streaming video shouldn't take a moment. Automatic VOD recording allows creators to make recorded live video available to subscribers with the option of monetisation.
4. Global payment processing
Monetising live video can be complicated when selling access to live events, as payment processing is typically a very complex component. Video streaming platforms that include global payment processing act as quick and easy-to-use solutions that limit the risks of collecting payment for access.
Notifications help drive attendance. They usually come in the form of in-app and email alerts.
6. A branded streaming platform
Most video streaming platforms stream through their public websites, making it impossible for video creators to stream from private websites. This may not seem very complicated, but it poses a big challenge for creators.
First of all, most video streaming platforms limit the amount of viewer information that creators have access to. You only see their names on the screen. Without access to contact information, you cannot execute targeted marketing campaigns to their audiences. This means that you never have your audience information.
Secondly, the use of streaming video platforms such as Facebook or YouTube means that organic exposure for your brand is very limited. Streaming directly from your own domain helps position your brand as a leader in your industry and will offer a better experience for your audience. It also allows you to control the other elements that viewers see on your website, unlike social media profiles and competitor channels.
7. A fully customisable website
Developing a website capable of hosting streaming video offers unlimited benefits for your brand. Streaming video platforms like PLAYBAK offer fully customisable websites. Anyone can create a high quality video streaming website quickly and without programming skills.
8. Pre-registration pages
Give your audience the opportunity to pre-register for video streaming events and generate engagement with a pre-sales page.
9. Live event countdowns
Create excitement by displaying a countdown to your next live stream.
10. Live chat and interaction tools
Drive engagement and make your video stream more personal with chat and engagement tools.
11. Coupons and gift cards
Create discounts and promotions to entice your viewers to join your video stream. Your audience can purchase digital gift cards for friends and family to redeem at your shop.
12. Landing pages
Promote your video streaming event and drive engagement through landing pages. Video streaming solutions like PLAYBAK offer an easy-to-use landing page builder, with modules available to create a high-converting sales page for your live event.
13. Video editing and embedding tools
Edit and share streaming video events without using third-party tools.
14. Advanced video streaming analytics
Track and measure audience attendance and engagement during live events.
These are the most important features worth looking for in your next video streaming platform.
Matching the platform to your audience
This is a common mistake that video streamers make. They go live on all available platforms and stretch themselves too thin. Just because you can live stream on more than one platform doesn't mean you should. Focusing your efforts and attention on one platform helps you optimise your video streaming. Your audience on that platform will start to get used to seeing you live and will also start to interact more frequently. And you will be able to respond more easily to all comments and interact better with the audience.
Finding the right fit with your audience also depends on the platform and the age of your users. Important: while your competition may have a large audience on Facebook, they may be more valuable on Instagram. In that case, test on Instagram first. Practice how your followers behave before trying Facebook or any other video streaming platform.
Start with streaming video
You're about to get started. With a clear idea of who your audience is, what is most important to them, where you will set up your video streaming website and a monetisation plan, it's time to start streaming video. Gather all your ideas and plan your video stream in an agenda by identifying a background topic and developing a script with different talking points. Take the time to research the topic and create an event that adds value to your viewers' lives.
And finally, be sure to spread the word as much as you can to attract a large audience. If you already have followers and fans, using tools such as email and promoted social media campaigns can increase your reach and attract a wider audience.
Finding the perfect video streaming platform is much more than just signing up and streaming live. To get the best results in video streaming, you need to find out who your audience is, what they want and where they are. You need to find a platform that helps you achieve the specific goals of your brand and audience, whether you are selling products and services through video streaming or looking for potential customers. In either case, you need to have a tool that serves your purposes and helps you grow your brand. That's why we invite you to take the plunge and see for yourself.
Sign up for the PLAYBAK BETA version to become a #PlayBaker and get ready to see how streaming video REVOLVES your business.