Live-Streaming: Is It for Your Small Business?

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Earlier this week, Apple released the latest version of the iPad. Hours before the tech was introduced, my inbox was flooded with invitations to watch a live-stream of the release. Numerous media outlets were covering the event, and from the comfort of my computer, I could easily take part.

Later that same day, the New York Times announced that Neil Young’s latest benefit concert was going to be streamed live over the internet. Now I was getting curious – what else was being live streamed? A little research brought me to new.livestream.com, where, if I’d like, I could watch the James Beard Food Conference (appealing) or the latest courtroom developments in the Sean Taylor trial (not so much). Dell Computers was also offering a live stream of their panel discussion on the future of computing.


Does Live Streaming Have an Application for Small Business?

Live-streaming is a valuable tool to have at your disposal if you are hosting an event that many of your customers and brand fans might be interested in, yet not able to attend. For example, a book store might choose to live-stream author appearances. A jewelry store might live stream a trunk show where a designer introduces the latest pieces now available. Customers who are at work or who can’t make it in person for whatever reason can still be part of the event.

There are several different companies that (for a fee) offer live-streaming capabilities to the small business owner. Before you sign up, it’s important to understand that what matters most here is not whether or not you have the ability to live stream an event; it’s whether or not your customers have the ability to watch one! As a small business owner, you want to have some idea what kind of technology your customers use regularly. This will play a large role in determining whether or not live-streaming is a good idea for your business. If your customers are using iPads, smartphones and tablet computers, you’ve got nothing to worry about. If your customers aren’t as tech-enabled, you’re going to want to think the decision to live-stream through carefully.

Do you have more questions about live-streaming events and if this tool has a place in your marketing mix? Give us a call! We’re here to help!

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