Live streaming (otherwise known simply as streaming) is a great way for charity digital leaders to connect and engage with audiences directly. The popularity of this easy-to-digest video content is immense
For charities of all sizes, live streaming has the potential to transform not only digital fundraising but also to capture new audiences.
Demand for video is strong. Vimeo, the video hosting and sharing platform, reports that growth in live streaming has sky rocketed – in 2018, the platform found 47% of global consumers increased their live streaming from the prior year. Looking towards the future, Cisco, the software company says that by 2022, video content will comprise 82% of all internet traffic. The live streamed video gaming tournament Fornite Creative Showdown, shows how valuable the channel is. This year’s prize money of $1 million went to the winner’s charity of choice.
Charities of all sizes can start live streaming on social media. Hootsuite, the social media management platform says that there are many reasons to go live on social media. Some of the best reasons to broadcast includes:
Charities are creatively exploring ways to live stream and fundraise at the same time. In response to the the COVID-19 crisis, US-based charitable organisation Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation coordinated the One World: Together At Home concert series. Featuring popstars Ellie Goulding, Celine Dion, John Legend, Lady Gaga and many others, the efforts have already raised $35 million for COVID-19 relief charities.
Unsurprisingly, the heavy-hitting organisers of the event and popstars created urgency, buzz, and engagement amongst fans and audience members. The event was streamed on both commercial and social media platforms including Amazon Prime Video, Facebook, Instagram, LiveXLive, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo, and YouTube, making it accessible to all audiences. The event attracted over 20 million viewers world-wide, showing just how popular live streaming is.
Charities can make the best of live streaming by following our practical tips:
2. Decide on your channel: Early into your planning, make sure that you’ve thought of how people will be watching your live stream, on what social media platform, and for how long. Some of the most popular live streaming platforms include Twitch, YouTube Live, Instagram Live, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Ustream.
For charities looking for added authenticity, DonorDrive recommends integrating live streaming fundraising activities from supporters on all chosen channels.
3. Make sure your payment options are in place: Charity Digital recommends thinking about which tools streamers can use to collect donations. To help drive digital fundraising efforts, DonorDrive, Tiltify, Instagram stickers, and other digital extensions can help streams direct supporters to payment pages.
This doesn’t mean you have to forget more traditional digital fundraising methods - live streaming can also include links to JustGiving pages and dedicated micro-sites.
4. Keep track of content: Audiences can join live streams at any moment in the social media broadcast. For charity digital producers, it is important to ensure that the agenda and content is easy to understand even if audiences join mid-way. Charities can also post planned feeds, Twitter content, and social media links during the live stream to drum up further engagement for audiences not tuned in.
5. Engage with audiences during the live stream: The draw of live streaming is the interactive element with audiences during the social media broadcast. To engage and excite audiences, SproutSocial recommends addressing questions and comments as they come through during the live broadcast.
In fact, SproutSocial reports that live streaming motivates ten times the number of comments when compared with recorded formats. The two, or more-way conversation encourages supporters to come forward and provides valuable feedback for charity digital leaders.