In the last two posts on live video streaming (LSV), we have discussed what it is and how to use it in your business. We have also discussed the basic equipment you need in order to start offering LSV at your website. The right hosting platform can make all the difference between success in using LSV and a nightmare.

There are a number of factors to consider, including:

• Price
• Speed and Reliability
• Ease of Use
• Broadcasting on Any Device
• Customization
• Distribution options
• Marketing integration options
• Monetization options

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Price
Prices can range from free to thousands of dollars a month depending on usage and special integration and marketing features. A free service is fine to get you started and help build your audience. Once you start earning money from your streaming, then you can consider moving upwards to a paid service with more robust features.

Speed and Reliability
The platform should be available 24/7 as well as accept and broadcast videos without any lurching, jerking or lagging. Test a few of the free services on your computer. Take a couple of free trials of the paid services, and see what works best with your particular recording set up.

Ease of Use
You shouldn’t have to be an astronaut to launch your own live streaming video channel. Test the free services to see which is easiest to use. Take some free trials and determine which is best for your particular business needs. You should be able to appear confident in front of the camera, not nervous that something might be going wrong.

Broadcasting on Any Device
The service should work on any device, from large to small, from desktop to Smartphone to laptop.

Customization
Some of the services will allow you to change the appearance of the viewer, in terms of shape, color, style, fonts and so on. If you plan to use your LSVs to brand your business and content, being able to change the color scheme to match your logo and site can be an effective marketing tool.

Distribution Options
You video should be able to be streamed through various distribution options. The most obvious is that you can embed your code into your own website. Other top options include streaming onto YouTube (once you set up your account for this), Facebook, and other important video and social media distribution channels.

Marketing Integration Options
Some of the platforms offer the opportunity to market your video effectively within their interface, such as through SEO and social media sharing. This means visibility on the search engines and more natural, organic traffic based on your keywords. Some will also allow you to connect to your pay per click accounts.

Others allow integration of lead generation methods such as registration to learn more about your business and content via email marketing platforms such as the free service MailChimp and popular tool Aweber. Integration means letting your followers know what’s new with just a few clicks.

Monetization Options
Some services will allow you to monetize your LSVs directly. Sure, you’re selling products through your videos, but why not sell your videos too? Another obvious monetization option is to run ads on your videos, before, after, or during, with banners underneath.

There are many video storage platforms available online, but not all of them are able to offer live streaming. Compare features side by side to make sure you are getting the best set up for your video configuration, and for your budget if you do decide to move up to a paid service for your live video streaming and marketing.

In the next post, we’ll discuss the kinds of content that your target audience will be most interested in.