The Importance of Being Interactive While Streaming

Joe Cortez
06/12/2018 . 6 mins

Perhaps the greatest part of live streaming is engaging with the audience. Instead of watching a pre-packaged program uploaded after the fact, viewers can take part in the program and get a stronger connection with the hosts.

Is there a best way to foster stream interaction? What type of interactions work best? More importantly, how does live interaction drive better quality leads? When thinking about your company’s next live stream, keep these tips in mind to get viewers talking about your solutions.

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Why is Viewer Interaction Good for My Live Stream?

For companies new to video, it can be difficult to keep up with a constantly scrolling chat window. Reading a constant barrage of questions, and separating the actual questions from detracting comments, can sound like a lot of work. But this type of stream interaction is vital to success.

As Revlo notes on their blog, an active chat is a good way to determine the health of your community – and your live stream. If people are talking about the topic, the stream is effective in spurring discussion and planting new ideas into your leads. If the chat room is quiet, or full of off-topic discussions, then your community may not be online, and that means it’s time to look at a new streaming plan.

In addition, more live stream platforms are moving towards rewarding live audience interaction. Mixer, a new streaming site from Microsoft, actually rewards both viewers and streamers for creating interactive moments. When users create more memorable moments, they can use virtual cash – called Sparks – to gain new features. With integration in Windows 10, Mixer won’t fall off your radar anytime soon.

Looking towards the future, stream interaction is critical to any live video’s success. Companies that use interaction to their advantage will see rewards, while those that neglect audience interaction will lose out to those who do.

Now that we understand why audience interaction is important, it’s time to consider the three ways stream interaction is good for both viewers and presenters.

1. Stream Interaction Lets Viewers Control the Action

Viewers may watch a live stream for multiple reasons. Two of the biggest are because the topic is relevant to their industry, or the topic provides an opportunity to learn more about a prevalent situation. If the reason is the latter, your target audience is expecting to walk away smarter for their time.

Good stream interaction allows viewers to take control of what they want to know during a live streaming session. Instead of guessing at what the audience wants, streamers can use interactive chats, live polls, and smart click maps to put the viewers in control. Because viewers are an active part of the program, they are more apt to remain engaged and learn about a product or service.

This doesn’t mean viewers should have total control of what happens next. Instead, plan for stream interaction moments and use the results to transition into the next topic organically. The more engaged your audience is, the closer they will listen to your solution.

2. Good Interaction Answers Viewer Questions

Good interaction doesn’t stop at asking audiences what they want to see or hear. Instead, good stream interaction options allow users to have their questions answered directly by experts.

If an audience is tuning in because the stream topic is relevant to their industry, they are coming with important inquiries and hope to get answers on them. By pausing regularly for questions and delivering well thought-out answers that reinforce the stream topic, companies can cement their position as an industry leader, resulting in more leads and stronger viewer relationships.

When planning a stream, be sure to build in natural areas to collect questions and give answers based on the topic. By answering larger questions that aren’t immediately covered in the stream, you are doing every viewer a favor and establishing your company as a visionary.

3. Viewer Interaction Helps Plan Future Streams

The best part of viewer interaction is the ability to get immediate feedback and answer burning viewer questions. But it can also provide an unintended benefit as well: collecting ideas for future live videos.

During a live stream with good interaction, similar themes and concerns may present themselves in the chat. By reviewing those comments during and after, brands can discover what’s most important for their audiences and plan future content around those topics. The result is content an audience wants to watch and is pertinent to their needs.

Viewer interaction isn’t just about immediate gratification. Listening to viewers during and after a live stream can help a brand determine what’s important to their prospects. With this, sales and marketing teams can customize their messages to hit the core of their target’s problems.

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Interactive Brands Drive More Leads

If customers are the center of any interaction, it creates a stronger bond between them and a brand. By getting interactive in a live stream, companies are putting their customers and prospects in focus, answering their problems, and educating them with solutions. With this newfound affinity, customers are more likely to choose that brand because they speak directly to their needs.

While live streams can be an effective way to deliver current information to an active audience, it can also be valuable for the two-way conversation and direct feedback. When you get interactive through polls, conversations, and question-and-answer sections, your customers will retain your message better, leading to more opportunities and closed sales.

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Written By Joe Cortez

Joe Cortez is a technology-focused writer who spends his spare time on YouTube following the latest trends in live video production. He can be found on Twitter @JoeCortez.

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