For many companies, using video as a marketing tool is a must. It is a highly shareable form of content, and as such, it is effective as a means of reaching potential customers. While there will always be a place for carefully crafted and scripted videos, there is also a benefit to taking advantage of live video options as a way of erasing barriers between you and your clients.

Live Video Options

Live video is still a relatively new phenomenon in online marketing, but there are several platforms that allow you to experiment with it.

  1. Periscope is a mobile app available for both iOS and Android that allows you to stream live video direct from your phone. Periscope is linked directly to Twitter.
  2. Facebook Live allows you to combine live video marketing with your social media marketing. Facebook Live videos can be created from your computer or phone.
  3. Google Hangouts Live was actually the first live video streaming option. The link to Google makes it appealing since using it can help boost your SEO.
  4. Meerkat is another mobile app, similar to Periscope but without the Twitter connection.
  5. YouTube Live video has mostly been used for live streaming news and sporting events. It’s not as interactive as the other options mentioned, but still has the potential to be effective.

Each one of these platforms has its benefits and may work for you depending on where your potential clients are most likely to see it.

Live Video Marketing Ideas

Now let’s look at some ideas of ways to use live video to market your business, products or services.

  1. Show how a product is made. If you have a unique and interesting manufacturing process, live video is a good way to give potential clients a look at the care and attention that goes into making your products. A big part of marketing is finding ways to make prospects see your products as valuable, and this type of video can help you do that.
  2. Demonstrate a new product. It’s one thing to show somebody a photograph of your product, but what if you could show them what it looks like in action, instead? Some products loan themselves to being demonstrated on camera. There are many ways to show off your product in a live video, including unboxing it to show what customers will get if they buy it, demonstrating how to use it, or even showing multiple uses for it. For example, if you sell clothing, you might do a live video of a fashion show to demonstrate the versatility of the apparel you sell.
  3. Do a behind-the-scenes view of your business. What if you’re selling a service instead of a product? One of the best ways to help people understand what you have to offer is to shoot a behind-the-scenes video. For example, you might use a live video to introduce viewers to your employees and have them talk a little bit about what they do to service your clients. Another option would be to give customers a sneak peek at something new you are developing or designing.
  4. Stream a live event. Live events are a great way to connect with potential customers—and the event doesn’t have to be something big for it to be entertaining and interesting to your viewers. You might decide to live stream a show, such as a fashion show or a video shoot. Alternatively, you might decide to speak at a conference and live stream your speech with permission from the event’s organizers. Another option would be to do a live class or webinar where you explain something of interest to people in your industry.
  5. Interview an influential person in your industry—or have someone interview you. Posting written content on your website and social media accounts is important, but when you appear live in front of people, it humanizes you and helps them feel connected to you. You can choose to interview someone influential, filming your discussion so viewers can watch it live. Or, you can turn the tables and have someone interview you about a particular aspect of your business, thus providing customers with some insights into who you are and what you have to offer.
  6. Host a live Q & A session. One of the very best things about online marketing is that it allows business owners to get on-the-spot feedback with their customers. A live Q & A is a very effective way to put yourself in front of viewers and give them an opportunity to talk to you directly about your product or service. Live videos on Facebook, for example, don’t allow you to respond to comments—in writing—in real time. However, you can ask viewers to type questions and then answer them on air. Later, once the video has been archived and is on your page, you can respond in writing to questions that you didn’t get to during the video.

The bottom line is that live video marketing gives you the opportunity to connect with existing and potential customers in a way that feels personal, and that can help you grow your business.Opinions expressed here by Contributors are their own.

Los is the Co-Founder of Ambitious.com the leading provider of free, live education for today’s entrepreneur. Featuring weekly live Masterclasses from the world’s top experts to help you live your best life.

He’s also Managing partner at The Collective – a consulting and incubation shop working with retailers and influencers to scale new brands and sales channels.When hes not working hes at the gym or eating tacos at his favorite spot in Orlando.