Live Video Streaming Tools: The Best Apps for Going Live

There was a time when marketers preferred U stream to share memorable moments with audience. Of late, it has become increasingly difficult for them to advertise before audience. This discomfiture is quite understandable. To some extent, it can be attributed to the endless choices and limited knowledge of live streaming software. There is no denying that live video streaming apps are dime a dozen but is there any merit in pontificating about technology issues associated with live streaming software? The key is to identify the best apps for going live and subsequently connect with audiences.

Let’s get started without any further ado. The following popular tools are used by individuals, business owners and event holders who want to broadcast live video over the internet to their audiences.

Live Video Streaming App #1: Zoom

More often than not, Zoom is used for video conferencing. Zoom can be used to conduct webinars with large audiences. The best thing about this video conferencing tool is that it enables marketers to live stream videos to the popular video sharing website YouTube. And yes, marketers are at liberty to live stream videos to Facebook as well. They can share the screen and host multiple guests.  In essence, Zoom is a mid-level application. Coming to the quality of video being live streamed, it is topnotch.

Zoom has its own limitations. It doesn’t allow you to bring in images and scenes.

Live Video Streaming App #2: Crowdcast

Crowdcast is yet another mid-level application which is used for broadcasting webinars. It’s more of a live streaming teaching tool to enable audiences learn from your experiences. Let me recall my pleasant experience with this tool. Not so long ago, I hosted a paid 3-day digital conference on Crowdcast. I created and scheduled a couple of events and to my surprise, conversations thrived. Thanks to its chat capabilities, this live video streaming app lets you lend some context to the scheduled events.  You can simultaneously live stream to Periscope, YouTube and Facebook. By the way, payments can be accepted via Stripe.

Live Video Streaming App #3: Ecamm Live

Ecamm Live is a basic level live video streaming app which has the advantage of being user-friendly and absolutely affordable. It also lends you the convenience of connecting directly with Facebook. In addition to broadcasting via your profile and page, you can broadcast high quality videos through a Facebook group. In less than 5 minutes, you can go live. Thanks to its built-in feature, you can do away with the hassles of frequently looking at your phone to follow the comments of your audience. There is a shortcoming though – you cannot add guests. Moreover, this app is not platform agnostic. It is available only on Mac. This is where mid-level live video streaming apps like Zoom and Crowdcast come into picture.

Live Video Streaming App #4: OBS Studio

OBS Studio is one of the most powerful live video streaming apps. It is available on both Mac and Windows platforms. And most importantly, it is free. With OBS Studio, you can simultaneously broadcast to a host of platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitch, Twitter etc. It is not that easy to play with this live video streaming app. A bit of learning curve is expected of you.

With basic and mid-level live streaming software, an internet bandwidth of 5Mbps will suffice. But OBS Studio requires not only an internet bandwidth of at-least 10Mbps but also a powerful computer equipped with a great processor. Anything less than 10Mbps will impede the quality of live videos. This tool has got the ability to highlight comments and facilitate conversations. You can initiate chat sessions with multiple guests, share your screen and split the same.

For all intents and purposes, you can organize a pre-live coming soon session. Your live video streaming experience is assured to be seamless and smooth.

There are advanced tools like Wirecast which require decent computing power, a fast processor and a high-end graphics card. Needless to say, such tools are expensive. More often than not, Wirecast is used by professionals. Low budget marketers cannot bet their chances on advanced premium tools. It is suggested to try basic live video streaming apps like Ecamm Live before purchasing high-end tools like Wirecast.

How to Stream Live?

Now that you know the why’s of live streaming, let us give you some insights on how to make B2B live videos. There are two very effective means that can help you with live streaming:

1. Social media:

Social media are great platforms and should be your first choice if you plan on going live. Most importantly, Facebook provides a feature called ‘Facebook Live’ which is fully dedicated for the businesses to go live and interact with their customers. It is the most effective way of video marketing because Facebook has billions of users from all parts of the world. Moreover statistics reveal that nearly 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day and have high reachability of audience.

2. Apps and Websites:

Today, there are so many video streaming apps and websites which can help you set up a live video streaming for your business. All you have to do is make a list of your requirements, choose the most suitable app or website, install and / or create an account as per your budget. The rest is taken care of by the app or the website owners. By using this option, you have an advantage of guaranteed audience since the websites and apps already have established themselves in the market and have a respectable number of audience.

Before you go live, it is crucial to know who your audience is and what are you trying to achieve by going live. Set your objectives straight before you decide to go live and engage your customers. Keep watching this space for more insights on live streaming marketing. Our best wishes are with you and your venture. Cheers!

Our best wishes are with you and your live video streaming. Cheers!

If instead of streaming videos live, you wish to create a video and then share it, do check out Rocketium. It’s a web-app that let’s you create videos quickly at scale.

Recommended Video Size For Various Social Media Platforms

Videos are an integral part of an engaging social media presence. As a video maker, it can be hard to keep track of the different video size specifications for different social networks (specifications like video format, aspect ratio, video sizes, duration, etc). You can bookmark this article as a reference guide to create the best video sizes for every social media platform.

Video Size for Facebook

Video consumption on Facebook is increasing every year. I will not be surprised if Facebook is your go-to platform for video – both as a marketer and as a user. These are all the places where you can use videos on Facebook:

1. NATIVE VIDEOS ON FACEBOOK

This is the most common type of video on Facebook, and though it is difficult for brands to get a good organic reach because of Facebook’s recent updates, it is still a viable way to share video.

Native video sizes on Facebook
Native video on Facebook

Video Guidelines

  • Recommended video size: 1280 x 720
  • Orientations accepted: Landscape, Square, Portrait
  • Accepted aspect ratios are 16:9 (for landscape), 1:1 (for square) and 9:16 (for portrait).
  • Mobile renders all videos to 2:3
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Recommended video formats: MP4, MOV
  • Max duration: 240 minutes

2. NATIVE VIDEO ADS ON FACEBOOK

When you boost any of your videos, they become native video ads, and they look like other videos, residing in users’ feeds. Once played on the desktop, they stick to the right column as you scroll down to the next post.

You can boost any of your existing videos and they will show up as native video ads to your selected audience. Do note that such videos are labelled as ‘Sponsored’.

Facebook video ad by netflix
Video ad by Netflix on Facebook

Video Guidelines

  • Recommended video size: 1280 x 720
  • Orientations accepted: Landscape, Square, Portrait
  • Accepted aspect ratios are 16:9 (for landscape), 1:1 (for square) and 9:16 (for portrait).
  • Mobile renders all videos to 2:3
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Recommended video formats: MP4, MOV
  • Max duration: 240 minutes

3. CAROUSEL VIDEO ADS ON FACEBOOK

You can use Carousel video ads to showcase upto 10 images and videos within your target audience’s news feed. You can use the extra space to highlight different products, showcase specific details about a single product, service or promotion, or tell a story about your brand that develops across each carousel card.

Infact, Digiday claims that Facebook’s Carousel ads are 10 times better than its regular ads.

Video sizes of carousel ads on facebook
Example of a carousel ad on Facebook

Video Guidelines

  • Minimum number of cards: 2
  • Recommended video size: 1080 x 1080
  • Orientations: Square
  • Accepted aspect ratio is 1:1
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Recommended video formats: MP4, MOV
  • Max duration: 240 minutes

4. FACEBOOK COLLECTION ADS

Collections is an ad format that makes it easier for Facebook users to discover, browse and purchase products and services from their mobile device.

A video collection typically includes a cover video followed by several images, hence making it perfect for displaying multiple products or multiple variations of a single product.

Example of a Collection video ad
Example of a Collection video ad

Video Guidelines

  • Recommended video size: 1200 x 628
  • Orientations: Landscape, Square
  • Accepted aspect ratio is 16:9 (for landscape) and 1:1 (for square)
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Recommended video formats: MP4, MOV
  • Max duration: 240 minutes

5. FACEBOOK COVER VIDEOS

Facebook cover videos are similar to cover images – they occupy the space at the top of your Facebook Page. The video will automatically start playing in mute when a user visits the page. Visitors have the option to unmute, or expand to play the video in fullscreen.

Cover video sizes on Facebook
Cover video put up by Buffer on Facebook

Video Guidelines

  • Recommended video size: 820 x 462
  • Orientations: Landscape
  • Recommended video formats: MP4, MOV
  • Min duration: 20 seconds
  • Max duration: 90 seconds

Video Size for Instagram

Instagram’s advertising revenue has increased significantly in the last year. Understanding Instagram video ads and their impact is very important for an advertiser if you want to execute the perfect ad campaign on Instagram.

1. INSTAGRAM STORIES

Stories run in a full screen, vertical format. With 60% of stories viewed with sound-on, be sure to share content that sounds as good as it looks. This means selecting the perfect music track for your video is very important.

Video Guidelines

  • Recommended video size: 1080 x 1920
  • Orientations: Portrait
  • Recommended aspect ratio is 9:16
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Recommended video formats: MP4, MOV
  • Max duration: 15 seconds

2. INSTAGRAM NATIVE VIDEOS

You can post Instagram videos in either the landscape or the square format. However, square video size has an edge over landscape video size.

Square videos consume more real estate on the user’s screen. This means your viewer is not distracted by other posts and the metrics of your own video (views, likes, comments, etc). The only thing a user sees is the video and the CTA associated with it.

Video Guidelines

  • Recommended video size: 1080 x 1080
  • Orientations: Landscape, Square
  • Recommended aspect ratios are 16:9 (for landscape) and 1:1 (for square)
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Recommended video formats: MP4, MOV
  • Max duration: 60 seconds

3. INSTAGRAM CAROUSEL VIDEO ADS

These work exactly the same as Facebook video ads. You can showcase up to 10 images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link.

Video Guidelines

  • Minimum number of cards: 2
  • Recommended video size: 1080 x 1080
  • Orientations: Square
  • Accepted aspect ratio is 1:1
  • Max file size: 4 GB
  • Recommended video formats: MP4, MOV
  • Max duration: 60 seconds

Video Size for Twitter

As a digital marketer who is active on Twitter, it’s all about grabbing your users’ attention with enticing and click-worthy video content. In the sports and entertainment industry, Twitter is often the go-to for sharing video content.

You also need to keep yourself updated with some good practices for Twitter videos.

All video sizes for twitter
An example of a video on Twitter

There are 4 types of videos on Twitter: recorded videos, live videos and imported videos and promoted videos. The same video guidelines apply to all these videos.

Video Guidelines

  • Recommended video size: 1280 x 720
  • Orientations: Landscape, Square and Portrait
  • Accepted aspect ratios are 16:9 (for landscape), 1:1 (for square) and 9:16 (for portrait)
  • Max file size: 512 MB
  • Recommended video formats: MP4 for web, MOV for mobile
  • Max duration: 140 seconds

Video Sizes for YouTube

YouTube is the second-largest search engine behind Google, and the largest for videos. As a marketer, YouTube is the perfect space to promote, educate and share video content about your brand.

1. NATIVE VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE

YouTube allows users to upload different types of media formats and the freedom to use plenty of different dimensions. However, videos in smaller ratios tend to have black bars (known as pillarbox) to make them fit into the YouTube player without cropping your content.

YouTube native video size
An example of a native video on YouTube

Video Guidelines

  • Recommended video size: 426 x 240 (240p)  to 3840 x 2160 (2160p)
  • Recommended Orientations: Landscape
  • Accepted aspect ratio is 16:9 (for 4:3 ratios, pillarboxing is added automatically)
  • Max file size: 128 GB
  • Recommended video formats: MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, 3GPP, and WebM
  • Max duration: 12 hours

2. VIDEO ADS ON YOUTUBE

Google claims that brands advertising on YouTube often receive a 20% increase in traffic. Now, YouTube video ads are pretty straightforward and can be classified into skippable, non-skippable, mid-roll, and pre-roll video ads.

These ads follow the same video size and specs, they just differ in their maximum duration.

  • Skippable Video Ads:

These videos can be set to play before, during or after the original video content and users can skip it after 5 seconds. This ad format is the only one that allows advertisers to monetize the views from any viewing device (desktop, tablet, mobile, TV or a gaming console).

  • Non-Skippable Video Ads:

These videos can be set to play before, during or after the original video content, but users are forced to watch the full 15 seconds. But, views from TVs or gaming consoles do not count as monetizable views.

  • Mid-roll Video Ads:

These videos are played mid-view (like TV commercials) and are only available for original content that is longer than 10 minutes. They are added either automatically, based on YouTube’s algorithm, or manually.

Mid-rolls can be skippable, but users must watch at least 30 seconds of the video ad before they see the ‘Skip Ad’ option.

  • Pre-roll Video Ads:

These videos are played before the original video content. They’re small 6-second video ads that cannot be skipped, and are usually optimized for mobile views.

Video Guidelines

  • Recommended resolution: 426 x 240 (240p)  to 3840 x 2160 (2160p)
  • Recommended Orientations: Landscape
  • Accepted aspect ratio is 16:9 (for 4:3 ratios, pillarboxing is added automatically)
  • Max file size: 128 GB
  • Recommended video formats: MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV, FLV, 3GPP, and WebM
  • Min duration of mid-roll video ads: 30 seconds
  • Max duration of
    • Skippable ads: 12 hours
    • Non-skippable ads: 15-30 seconds
    • Pre-roll video ads: 6 seconds

Video Size for Snapchat

Snapchat is an active network for younger generations and is used heavily by Millenials to share video content. The advertising opportunities on Snapchat are huge!

There are partner opportunities to put video within Snapchat’s discovery option, and the dimensions for which are the same. But you are required to reach out to them for more details on advertising. Snapchat users see these ads in between viewing other users’ Stories.

Video Guidelines

  • Recommended video size:1080 x 1920
  • Recommended Orientations: Portrait
  • Accepted aspect ratio is 9:16
  • Max file size: 1 GB
  • Recommended video formats: MP4 and MOV
  • Min duration: 15 seconds

Which tool can help me make videos for all social media platforms?

It is difficult to find online solutions that help you make videos for EVERY platform. But a few selected tools can help you make videos in different orientations for different social network.

Rocketium is one such online platform that gives you the option to make videos in Landscape, Square and Portrait orientations.

Twitter Video Ads: A Complete Breakdown

Video is a powerful medium to share stories, evoke emotion and drive action. And Twitter is the second most popular social media platform with B2C marketers in North America, coming in just after Facebook. This is why Twitter has invested in products and tools that make it easier for advertisers to display Twitter video ads to their target audience.

You can get super-specific and select a target audience based on locations, devices, and platforms. You can customize your audience even further based on keywords and behaviours.

Why Twitter Videos?


Twitter and Research Now conducted a research involving 1000+ people from 14 different countries and came up with these stats:

  • 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter
  • Among people who use both Twitter and YouTube, 70% watched the videos they discovered on Twitter
  • Twitter users are 25% more likely to discover a video first among their friends.
  • 41% of users feel Twitter is a great place to discover videos
Twitter Video Ads
Twitter Video Ads’ benefits. Source: Twitter

To access a detailed guide to Twitter videos, check this out.

Types of Twitter Video Ads

There are 4 types of Twitter video ads that advertisers can make and invest in. They are – promoted video, video website cards, in-stream video ads, and sponsorships (UK and European brands only). I’ve also added a few video ad examples by different brands:

1. Promoted Video Ads

Promoted video ads appear natively in users’ timelines or feeds. You can only promote an existing video tweet, so you’ll have to publish your video ad as a tweet, and then promote it. These are auto-played on mute as the users scroll through their timeline or feeds.

You can build lookalike audiences that mirror those of other brands that attract the same kind of people you’re trying to reach!

Here is an example by NFL:

2. Video Website Cards

In October, Twitter unveiled a new ad format called the Video Website Card, which it describes as “a creative format that combines the power of video with the ability to drive users back to a site to learn more or take action in the moment.”

Basically, the ad will start out as a video (auto-played) with a headline you can customise. It then opens up to a larger video and website preview, and ultimately directs you to the advertiser’s chosen website when you click it.

These campaigns can be optimized for different goals, whether that’s video views, website clicks or awareness. Here is an example by Bank of America:

3. In-Stream Video Ads

If you’re a part of Twitter’s Amplify ad program, you can opt for pre-roll or mid-roll video ads around premium content. The experience is similar to YouTube video ads.

Twitter has been testing in-stream video ads in the UK since July by partnering with more than 260 publisher accounts. This includes Sky, ESPN, football clubs such as Manchester City and Arsenal, Global, Bauer Media, Huffington Post and Viacom, as well as global publishing partners such as Mashable, Bloomberg and Business Insider.

Here is an ad by GSuite:

4. Moment Sponsorships

Twitter’s Sponsorship program enables UK and European brands to sponsor the best video content from their video content partners.

Recently, Twitter enabled Moment Sponsorships, allowing advertisers to sponsor Moments from premium content partners and reach audiences at scale. By working with premium publishers as part of an In-Stream Sponsorship, brands know exactly which partner they are working with, and can develop deep brand integrations within said partner’s content.

Twitter Moments are the “Stories”-like feature that includes a series of tweets, including images, GIFs and video.

Here is Bloomberg’s moment, sponsored by Bank of America.

What are some best practices?

Below are few practices that have been tried and tested by many brands from different industries. Consider them as a guide, and please note that you don’t have to follow everything religiously because after all you understand your target audience best.

1. Choose What to Promote

Twitter video ads are a great way to show off  your products and services, and create an awareness among your target audience.

You can make a video catalog for your products, like Android Wear:

You can also showcase the user experience by including screen recording and snapshots in your video ad.

Offer a visual experience that will put the viewer right in the spotlight, so you can easily convey how your product benefits them, and motivate them to take an action by clicking on the CTA.

2. Humanize Your Brand

Humanising your brand on Twitter is an evergreen best practice because it consistently drives engagement. Promoted videos featuring people, especially human faces, in their opening scenes drive up to 2X more consumers to view beyond the first few seconds of your video.

Have a look at Reebok’s video ad:

3. Experiment With Different Video Types

Choosing a type of video to use depends on your overall social media marketing goals. But some types of video ads tend to get more traction than others. Try experimenting with these videos:

• FAQ VIDEOS

Create videos that answer questions your users ask frequently. This will save you a lot of time since it’s easier to understand things when they’re shown to us visually.

• TESTIMONIAL VIDEOS

People love reading customer success stories and testimonials because they can connect to these stories. Highlight a job well-done by your customers as this allows other potential customers to see the chances of being successful with your brand.

• EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS

These are great for building brand awareness. Showing your followers how to solve a certain problem establishes you as a reliable authority in your niche.

Plus, people love “how to” content!

• STORY VIDEOS

Twitter users don’t want to feel like they are being sold. Instead, they want a story that draws them in. Create videos with a defined script–a clear beginning, middle, and end. Take consumers on a narrative journey and deliver a resolution.

Twitter reported that this type of content drove a particularly impressive 9% lift in purchase intent!

4. Make Text-Based Videos

Since video ads auto-play without sound, text has become a must-have element of a social video that you cannot afford to ignore.

You can use text to keep your viewer’s attention on the message you’re delivering. To get some tips on how to use text in your videos, you can refer to this article.

Rocketium enables marketers, bloggers and advertisers to make text based videos and ads efficiently. If you’re interested, you can use RKTM10 to get a 10% discount for your first month in any of the plans.

5. Keep it Mobile Friendly

Nearly 90% of all video ads are viewed on a mobile device. I’d personally recommend you make videos in 2 orientations only: Square and Portrait.

These videos formats are the best for Twitter video ads as they take up the maximum real estate of your viewer’s screen.

6. Use Hashtags

Relevant hashtags make your video ad feel like a native tweet. This is particularly important, since most of us hesitate before sharing an ad, so make it feel as natural as possible!

[Tweet “Hashtags add meaning and help make the video more discoverable.”]

7. Don’t Forget to Add a CTA

To get closer to the goal you’ve set for your video ads, strong CTAs are a must. Let’s say a user views your video and wants to sign up to use your services. If you don’t provide him a CTA, or if you add a non-relevant CTA (like, “Follow us” in a promo video), you’ll loose this highly interested user.

Conclusion

Twitter video ads are the perfect way to combine rising trends like mobile usage and the popularity of online videos to boost the impact of your digital ad campaigns.

Understanding the elements that go into a successful Twitter video ad and knowing how to replicate those best practices in your own ads is vital to driving revenue and reaching Twitter performance goals.