Lights, Camera, Action…

What is live streaming video? It’s internet content that is delivered in real-time. That is, as events happen. It’s also one of the hottest trends today, especially at retail, and is one that’s readily adaptable to the independent practice as well.

Here are several things you need to know about how and why you should consider adding streaming video to your social media mix.

The Trend

Today, 90% of adults in the U.S. own and use a cell phone. By the end of 2020, there will be over 6 billion smartphone users around the globe. That means that 7 of out ten people on the face of the earth will have access to and use mobile phones. The biggest growth area? Video. In fact, Cisco’s Visual Networking Index reports that views of video will account for 80% of online traffic by 2020.

The Basics

To create your own video, all you need is a cell phone with a camera, a steady hand, and an app like Periscope that you’ve downloaded from the app store… plus something to video. The point is that you invite viewers in to share an in-the-moment experience. And, whatever your message, be sure to close with a call to action.

What To Capture

It can be an event like a fashion show, an interview at a trade show, a celebrity sighting or patient testimonial. Another idea? Show your dispensary’s expertise and videotape an eyewear makeover. You can also use streaming video to offer fashion or style tips, talk about blue light or dry eye, report on hot trends in eyewear, or promote a special offer.

Why Video?

Why should you consider featuring video information about your products? Because 73% of consumers surveyed said they’re more likely to buy a product or service if they watch a video explaining or showing it. Keep it short, though. Never post a video that’s more than 5 minutes in length.

The Options

When it comes to easy-to-use downloadable apps, Periscope has stolen the show. It’s biggest competitor, Meerkat, shut its doors last year. And relative newcomer YouNow puts an emphasis on viewer broadcasters.

Periscope is free from iTunes and Google Play. One of its features is integration with Twitter. The streams can also be watched for 24 hours and, better yet, can be saved to a Periscope/YouTube channel. It also offers feedback in terms of viewers, comments, etc.

Though Periscope is the biggest buy in the land of easy-to-create streaming video, everybody has jumped on the bandwagon. For example, Instagram increased its video capabilities from 15 seconds to a full minute. And Facebook added a feature that allows users to stream live into their newsfeed. The video remains on the user’s Facebook page, letting visitors replay later.

Bottom Line

It’s all about show instead of tell. And what better way to educate consumers — especially millennials — about eyewear than with a 3-minute video that you’ve created?

Do you already use streaming video to promote your practice? If so, please share any tips or suggestions below and join in the conversation.