With Facebook’s famously failed acquisition of Snapchat a few years ago, we take a look at Snapchat vs Facebook Live and how brands can leverage these platforms for live video streaming and increase their brand's awareness.

Four reasons to use Snapchat for Live Video Streaming

The live streaming war is heating up, and even though Snapchat doesn't have a live streaming option at this very moment, Snapchat may be better-positioned to dominate the space due to the fact that the average Snapchat user consumes at least 30 minutes per day of content per day. I truly believe that sooner, rather than later, Snapchat will introduce a "live" streaming button within their app so users can easily and quickly broadcast.


Disappearing Feature

The most well-known capability of Snapchat is its disappearing image and video capabilities. This feature is able to provide its users with a platform where they can showcase their pictures, videos, and stories, allowing them to have complete control over their content, without the hassle of privacy settings. In addition to that, users are also able to set a timer on how long their posts can be viewed. This feature has always been mostly utilized by individual users of the app rather than businesses. However, a company called Grey Group has recently created a unique and innovative way to use this feature for the World Wildlife Fund in Turkey and Denmark. Titled the #Lastselfie campaign, they have related the feature of the disappearing snaps to different endangered species. The World Wild Life Fund explains that “The emphasis of this new campaign is to underline that if we don’t take action in real life, these species will disappear for real.”



#LastSelfie raised global awareness and in just three days WWF reached their donation target for the entire month!

#LastSelfie raised global awareness and in just three days WWF reached their donation target for the entire month!


Stories Feature

Snapchats stories feature provides a unique way for users to create a type of timeline throughout their day by stringing together different videos and pictures. This feature is usually used as a way for users to connect with their flowers especially during special events so it’s as if their followers are enjoying the event right there with them. Two different companies who have utilized this feature are the NBA during Kevin Durant's MVP announcement; by creating a three photo story to encourage fans to watch the announcement in real time, and GrubHub to find an intern with “Snapchat Skillz” they posted a six picture story and asked that interested candidates apply with a “snap of their best doodle”.

Deep Linking

Recently, Snapchat has enabled a “deep link” through their “Discover” feature for publishing partners, which allows them to promote their channels on Facebook and Twitter which have links that lead directly back to the app. Now people are able to visit Snapchat without having to open it in the app, by clicking on a link that will direct them straight to the specific page and not the homepage. This functionality allows publishers to measure their Snapchat engagement by tracking the demographic and amount of people who clicked on their link. Vox was one of the first companies to use this feature by linking their snap about World AIDS day.

Live Sharing

Approximately 7 billion videos are viewed each day from Snapchats’ 100 million daily users since 2014. Snapchat has also tied themselves with live music events, allowing viewers at the same event to create stories and share snaps, a great way to share live music events. Coachella and the iHeartRadio Music Festival have already tapped into this unique sharing feature for concert goers, enabling them to almost recreate the fascination of live music and of course share with fellow concert goers, for different vantage points or share with friends who were not able to be there live. The 2015 MTV Music Video Awards were also able to tap into this feature and received more viewers on the app than the actual network! When Snapchat Discover launched in 2015, iHeartRadio created a channel that allows its followers to view song previews and artist interviews. Many other media companies such as Buzzfeed, Comedy Central, and National Geographic have also jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon utilizing it for Snapchat specific quizzes and articles, likely realizing the unlimited benefits of the app’s unique features and growing success.

This image from reelnreel.com shows off all of the publishers using Snapchat discover

Four Reasons to use Facebook Live for Live Video Streaming

In Facebook's continued efforts to promote video content within your News Feed, they have recently launched Facebook Live, their version of a live video streaming service, that allows anyone to broadcast live videos straight from their mobile device, directly into their Facebook News Feed.

Why should marketers get excited about Facebook Live? Because it's a unique way to use the power of live video to share and communicate their brand's story, communicate with their audience in real time in order to build authentic, intimate relationships with their fans and followers.

Interact with Audiences in Real Time

This feature allows users to share live video directly with designated groups, draw and add filters to video content as it is being filmed, post reactions which materialize as an animation in the video as it’s played and show a map of everyone globally that is currently streaming live video. 24 Live is a relevant addition to Facebook Live, as this web hub, which features the best Live video content from the past 24 hours, allows Facebook to finally compete with Twitter in real-time content. The feature allows companies to connect with their audience in real time, as a way for them to surpass conventional marketing techniques. An example of one marketing specialist, Guy Kawasaki, who utilizes facebook live to show off his travel spots and share tech pointers with his followers.

Cost Effective

By utilizing Facebook Live, companies do not need to spend time or money on editing, finding a location or shooting the video content. Live is widely available and has no wait time for businesses to use it, as they are able to shoot and stream video at their leisure. The only equipment that is necessary is the Facebook app and a smartphone. NPR, a public radio network, utilized Live from the SXSW music festival in Austin called “Mega Tuesday” which allowed the station to reach fans and capture their reactions right as they happened.

User Friendliness

They have made the feature more user-friendly by placing the Live tab directly in the center of its app. Lessening a number of notifications users were getting when they liked a video Facebook explains it as “a less intrusive way of flagging the content” for users. It also makes current news more accessible to its users. According to a recent survey, 63% of users get their news from Facebook, the platform directs more people to news sites than google. This feature makes it easier for businesses to post live content and also makes it easier for viewers to see the content in their feed, in addition, Facebook Live has a more organic reach than many other types of content which is always a plus for businesses.

Mark Zuckerberg Shows Off Facebook Live

No Time Limit Videos

Facebook Live encourages its users to make longer videos, this allows businesses to gain more views and comments as the video is being shot. Buzzfeed is a good example of a company that is not afraid to utilize the “no time” limit benefit of Live, with over 70 videos and their diverse range of video content collectively throughout all their pages each video is unique with the time-varying on each depending on the content and message.

Where Facebook And Snapchat Get It Wrong

Nobody is perfect and these two are no exception. Even though Snapchat has the most rapidly growing user base they still have a lot of work to do in order to reach Facebook in the social media game, and Facebook still has some kinks to work out even if they are the social media frontmen.

Facebook's Lack of Verification

When a video is viewed no matter how long the actual content is the site will count only 3 seconds of watched video as a view “with or without sound” so it would be difficult for companies to gauge how many people are actually interested in the content unless they comment.

Facebook's Primary Use Is For Social Purposes

Depending on how many friends users who follow a company have they may miss the live video content because it’s lower on their feed, this is more likely to happen if the person has more friends or follows more pages. If it’s not a company the user wants to check out regularly then they will likely not go out of their way to look up the company’s video. Users are also likely to simply scroll through video content rather than stay to watch more from the same channel unless the content is extremely entertaining or thought provoking.

Facebook Has Weak Targeting

Many people on Facebook might not want to stop and watch videos about a company, especially if they’re primary reason for being on Facebook is to connect with friends, family and loved ones. In order to avoid this, it is important that the video content is engaging and not formatted like an ad.

Facebook Lacks Conversion

Although Live does help brand awareness within the platform, it is not a priority for Live to convert the audience towards a company’s website, it’s main focus is to keep viewers on their platform.

Snapchat's Young Target Market

Because of the young target market Snapchat has it must be careful to not use “push marketing”, if it’s a company trying to sell a product they should seriously consider that a decent amount of the app’s users are under 18 years of age and likely do not have money to pay for much more than a fast food meal. In addition to this, the appeal of Snapchat to users is its quick and interactive content so they likely don’t have the attention span while using the app to really take a look at what companies are marketing.

Snapchat's Single View Content

If a user opens a snap with their sound off and there was important information for the marketer in that ad the user will never be able to replay it and basically missed the point of the material and is now likely to forget about it. Marketers must also be careful as to how much content they add to a snap because too much information and users will likely not want to fully view the snap and too little could cause confusion due to lack of information.

It's Difficult to Get a Following on Snapchat

Because of the personal nature of Snapchat, it can be difficult for businesses to grow a following through the app. Users are looking for fun, ever changing and entertaining content so businesses must constantly stay on top of their content to ensure they are able to build a following and expand the ones they already have.

Limited Engagement

Snapchat is unlike many other social media apps in that it does not have a sharing or “posting” feature, these factors may help to set the app apart from its competitors, however, may be a reason more businesses don’t utilize the app for marketing purposes. Without these features, there are limits to the apps interactions and generation leads for companies

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