How to Maximize Reach with Multistreaming Solutions
Facebook has a neat feature called crossposting. This means that Facebook will take a single upload and make it viewable on multiple pages. Each page will see the video as if it had been generated on that page. Subscribers to the page will be notified about the live broadcast. This can deliver viewers you might not have been able to get otherwise.
Crossposting takes some time to set up beforehand; it doesn’t happen automatically. You need to set up a crossposting connection between each of the pages you want to see the video on. In some cases, the connection will allow the video to post automatically; you can also set permission to “needs approval.” Then, I always recommend testing what you build long in advance of when you want to use it, so you have time to debug and figure out why it might not be working here or there.
Crossposting is a very handy feature for community events, like a fundraiser or arts event. One organization might be the source of the program, but it can set it up to be shared across multiple local business pages and other related organizations, growing potential viewership exponentially. Best of all, once the program is set up, no one has to take the time to manually share the video to the different pages. Moreover, viewer counts are consolidated and tabulated as if everyone were watching one video—which they really are. This gives you an accurate count of your entire live audience during the show.
One caveat applies. Facebook says, “Keep in mind that each live crosspost is treated as a separate broadcast on each Page. Comments and reactions from your Page’s live video won’t appear in the other Page’s crossposted broadcast, and viewers can’t see where the original live video is coming from.” So keep your branding in the show top of mind (and visible in frame) if you plan on using crossposting to grow your audience. Check out more about Facebook’s crossposting page for more info.
Overall, crossposting is an amazing—and free— way to leverage the social nature of Facebook and users’ connections to certain groups and pages to bring more exposure to your broadcast than it might have been able to garner on its own. Plus, Facebook itself is the restreaming service, at no additional cost to you. That’s a win-win in my book.
If you want to reach the big screens in homes, then tying into apps and channels for playback is a must. Several CDNs and streaming services offer the ability to create a channel or app that can be added to Roku, Apple TV, etc., so that viewers can watch your programming on their home TV or even in their home theater. This offers convenience to your audience as they are more easily able to “tune in” to your program. It also provides more control for you as a broadcaster, because pirating OTT content is much harder than pirating video accessed on the web.
The costs for such distribution are obviously going to be higher, but if you have a marquee program that warrants this type of broadcast and it can potentially drive revenue that exceeds the cost of the distribution, then it can be well worth the effort to deliver high-quality programming directly to viewers’ big living-room screens.
The last aspect to consider for maximizing exposure of your content is what happens after the event. This is where I feel YouTube and Facebook trade places. Facebook videos seem to fade into obscurity after the live event is over. Unless they are manually promoted, they never appear in searches and can often be difficult to find. There’s always so much new content on Facebook that videos quickly vanish way down the page, almost never to be seen again unless someone hunts them down deliberately.
In comparison, YouTube videos appear in Google search results. If someone is looking for a particular artist, product, or troubleshooting tutorial (such as for an engine problem on a certain car), a Google search will put a video from last month, or even 5 years ago, right in front of viewers. For that long shelf life, YouTube is hard to beat.
I will admit I’m not a Twitch user, so I can’t really speak to the live versus post-event search audience for content on that platform. Vimeo is another well-known service that has post-event hosting, but like Facebook, it doesn’t appear in most common search results. Since there’s far less general content on Vimeo and more purpose-placed creative content, it attracts far less general-purpose searching for video content. It’s a chicken-and-egg thing.
Private streaming services offer post-event hosting and streaming capabilities, but again, you are responsible for driving audiences to that content. Whether it’s niche-based content like crafts, travel, cooking, or training, wherever there’s a tie-in to a website on that same concept, that’s where private-based content viewing works. Prominent examples include MasterClass, Lynda.com, Udemy, and other similar websites. It’s private streaming, delivered to paying audiences 24/7. But the websites, or the content creators, are doing the advertising to drive audiences to this content.
The Field of Dreams-inspired maxim, “If you build it, they will come," does not apply with online video. Putting a clip online does not automatically get you a billion views. You can have fantastic programming, but it’s still up to you to get it in front of audiences.
From pre-planning the right multiplatform distribution to marketing post-event viewing, getting your content online is just a small part of the process. But carefully managing your resources and tying into existing audiences with appropriate interests can help you maximize your viewership and your viewers’ engagement with your content.