Do Consumers Actually Engage With In-Stream Ads? [New Data]

In 2020, video outpaced blogging and infographics as the most common content marketing strategy.

As users increasingly turn to video content for entertainment and education, most social media platforms have become more focused on expanding their visual and video capabilities. Now, the average social media user sees videos in the form of live streams, Stories, or Newsfeed posts on a daily basis.

Consumer preference for video over other mediums is only expected to get stronger. Although millennials watch more videos on a regular basis than Gen X and the Boomer generation, the age group’s consumption still pales in comparison to Gen Z.

As a marketer, you likely already know how effective the combination of video and marketing tactics can be.

At this point, we’ve seen millions of brands boost awareness by going live on Facebook and LinkedIn. We’ve also seen brands report gaining traffic from video-based Instagram Stories with swipe-up links.

While video marketing seems like a winning tactic in 2020, you might ask, “What about video-based advertising?”

While posting a marketing video on social media or your website might cause you to gain traffic or brand awareness, launching an ad that encourages viewers to click to your store might provide both of those benefits — plus a more direct path to revenue.

Download Now: State of Marketing Report [2020 Version]

When looking into paid video promotion, one of the common offerings you’ll hear about — especially if you plan to advertise on social media — is in-stream advertising.

An in-stream video ad is a promotion created by a brand that runs before or during a video on a streaming platform, such as YouTube. Aside from appearing in popular videos, these ads can also appear in Stories or live streams on platforms like Facebook.

To give you a visual of what an in-stream ad looks like, here’s a screenshot for an Olay ad that appeared before a YouTube video I recently viewed:

There are a handful of perks to in-stream advertising. The first is that your video can be targeted to audiences similar to your brand’s or can be placed in videos that match your ad’s keyword. With these types of targeting options, you can present your ad to viewers that match your audience’s demographics or interests. Because these viewers might have similar interests and purchasing motives as your customers, a well-targeted in-stream ad could ultimately result in a higher chance of purchases.

Another perk of in-stream ads is that these videos don’t need to be incredibly long or detailed. Depending on the platform you use, you can often launch ads as short as five seconds. While this gives marketers a limited amount of time to grab a viewer’s attention, it also means they’ll need to produce less content than they would for a long-form marketing video.

Aside from length and targeting capabilities, the last and most obvious perk of in-stream ads is their ROI potential. Even back in 2016, shortly before Facebook launched its in-stream ad offering, a Google study revealed that YouTube ads — which are usually in-stream — saw higher returns than television ads.

Sounds great, right?

Although the perks above might have you ready to invest in in-stream ads, there are still a few things you’ll need to research and keep in mind.

Even though in-stream ads are shorter and can be spoon-fed to your audience with ad targeting tools, your content will still need to convince those viewers to click on the ad’s link and buy your brand’s product. This in itself can be a major challenge for video advertisers.

How Consumers React to In-Stream Video Ads

While successful in-stream ads are possible, there are still important user-behavior barriers that you’ll want to keep in mind as you aim to create a winning promo. To help you determine some of the biggest barriers you might run into, I surveyed 400 consumers about how they interacted with in-stream ads.

Do Consumers Actually Click on In-Stream Ads?

Many in-stream ads include a call-to-action that you can click or tap to visit a brand’s website or ecommerce store.

But, do people actually click these CTAs?

To determine how often people clicked on in-stream video ads, I first asked the survey pool, “How often do you click on in-stream video ads that appear before or during a video?”

When you consider that in-stream video ads are sent to target audiences and demographics, rather than a wide pool of users, you might think that people will regularly click on this type of advertisement to learn more. However, the outlook was quite grim for in-stream ads in this particular survey:

how often do you click on in-stream video ads

Data Source

While 42% of people say they “almost never” click on in-stream video ads, another 22% say they’ll click on an ad “once a week.” Only 22% will click on two to three ads per week, while the remaining 15% say they don’t watch online videos.

As you plan your in-stream video strategy, remember that the results above are just from one small consumer pool. Had we asked this question to a particular demographic or a group of users on a specific platform, the numbers might have been different.

Although you should continue to do research about the pros and cons of in-stream ads, you should still keep the results above in mind. This data speaks to the age-old theory that people either completely avoid ads or mentally tune them out, regardless of their format or type.

While video advertising does offer the perk of audience targeting, you’ll still need to produce intriguing, interesting, or valuable video content to be successful.

In-Stream Ads and Purchase-Related Conversion

Before you start panicking about the results above, there were some optimistic findings in this survey. Although the consumers I polled are less interested in clicking on in-stream ads when they see them, they might still consider buying the promoted product.

When I asked, “Have you ever purchased a product that you learned about from an in-stream video ad?”, more than one-third of respondents — or 37% — say “Yes.” Meanwhile, 52% say, “No.”

Have you ever purchased something you saw in an in-stream ad?

Data Source

Of those who haven’t made a purchase related to an in-stream ad, 39% simply selected, “No” while 15% say, “No. I avoid in-stream ads at all costs.” Meanwhile, 9% say they “don’t watch online videos,” and thus wouldn’t have the option to see in-stream ads or make a related purchase.

While the percentage of people who won’t haven’t made a purchase after seeing an in-stream ad is quite large, this is somewhat expected when you consider online attention spans and how most of these consumers also say they don’t usually click on in-stream ads.

On the other hand, the percentage of people who’ve made a purchase after seeing an in-stream ad is still more than one-third of the group we surveyed. This might hint that there is a solid chance your in-stream ad could result in a purchase.

When do consumers click the “Skip” button?

When you look at the results above, you might think to yourself, “Consumers might not click on my ad, or purchase my product, but they’ll still watch the content. — Right?”

The truth is, most types of online content have just a few seconds to grab a consumer’s attention. Video content is not exempt.

As with any video marketing strategy, you can’t expect audiences to watch your content just because it’s right in front of them. Video ads, which often feature a “Skip” button, might have an even smaller window than the average marketing video.

When asked, “When given the option to skip an in-stream video ad that plays before or during your video, how long will you wait before skipping?”, a whopping 37% say they’ll “skip an ad as soon as possible,” while 20% say they’ll click skip in five seconds or less.

how often will you skip an ad appearing before or during a video?

Data Source

The interest in skipping isn’t a shocker. We’ve all done it. Sometimes, we just want to watch the video we planned to stream and don’t really care about the ads that are put in front of us.

Although the result above comes from just one small group of consumers, it aligns with mounting research which shows that global attention spans are narrowing — especially online.

While the average consumer’s attention span shouldn’t scare you away from an in-stream ad strategy, you should certainly keep it in mind.

To be successful with in-stream video ads — you’ll need to create content that grabs your viewer’s attention as soon as possible and is valuable enough to ease annoyances related to seeing an ad in their video.

In this example from the job search site The ad immediately draws attention with a video of meowing kittens. Then it embraces its pre-roll placement by calling out YouTube viewers for watching videos because they’re “distracted from their job.” Towards the end of the ad, the site’s founder, tells the viewer to click on the video, which will send them to the job site:

How to Launch a Successful In-Stream Ad

As you’ve seen, there are solid pros and cons to in-stream advertising. While the cons shouldn’t scare you from trying this marketing tactic, you should still keep them in mind in order to create a video that can avoid constant skips from your audience. Here are a few tips to keep in mind

Throw viewers into the action.

Based on what consumers told us, you have anywhere from one to five seconds to grab your viewer’s attention before they zone out or skip your ad. You’ll rarely have more than 10 seconds to sway them.

So, begin your ad with an action-packed scene or concisely explain your product as quickly as possible. Don’t take time to get to the point — even if the ad platform you’re using allots a 30-to-60-second video.

Ask yourself, “Is this content valuable to prospects?”

Audiences will either skip your ad because they just don’t want to see a commercial, or they’re bored by your content and want to get to their video. This is why it’s important to create ads that either entertain your viewer or educate them about a product or brand-related topic they’ll value.

Use examples as inspiration.

Luckily, millions of brands have already tested out in-stream advertising. While this means the pool of advertising could be competitive, it also means that there are plenty of effective ads out there that you can watch for inspiration.

Next time you’re watching a video that begins or features an in-stream ad, watch the content. Take a mental note of why you do or don’t want to skip the ad. If you’re considering engaging with the ad and tapping to learn more about a product, ask yourself, “How did this content persuade me to click?”

If you don’t feel like searching out ads on social platforms, we’ve also got plenty of content to help you. Check out this rundown of effective short-form ads from small businesses and Super Bowl brands.

New Call-to-action

Originally published Jul 15, 2020 7:42:55 AM, updated July 15 2020


Video Marketing

How HubSpot Video Managers Coordinate and Produce Content Remotely

In early 2020, video overtook blogs and infographics as the most used type of marketing content. Around the same time, remote work grew more than ever before.

As companies quickly began to pivot to remote workspaces, video marketers were left wondering how they would create content with the same production level as something filmed in a brightly lit studio with professional equipment. Additionally, video creators who once filmed interviews or explainers featuring thought leaders needed to determine how they’d continue to incorporate talent remotely.

Despite the challenges of making videos from home, companies like HubSpot ultimately figured out processes that allowed them to keep creating helpful content for their audiences.

If you’re a video manager working remotely for the first time, you might still be learning how to navigate and produce effective content on a timeline.

To help inspire new video strategies, I spoke to HubSpot’s Academy and social media teams to get tips on how they implemented and created new remote production processes.

Access Now: Free Video Marketing Starter Kit

How to Coordinate and Create Videos From Home

1. Brainstorm content ideas that your audiences will value.

As you would with any content marketing campaign, consider topics that will educate, entertain, and delight your audiences — even when they’re clearly filmed in an at-home setting.

To come up with video ideas, schedule a virtual brainstorm with your team. Consider your brand’s goals, messaging, and problems you can solve for your audience with informative content. Then narrow down a list of topics based on their level of value and how feasibly they can be made from a remote location.

For examples of marketing videos you can easily make from home — even on a limited budget — check out this blog post.

2. Create a video production plan.

Any great content marketing strategy begins with a production plan. This was especially true for our HubSpot Academy team, which regularly films and publishes video content from our physical offices.

“We put together our plan shortly after the HubSpot offices went remote,” says Stephen Fiske, HubSpot Academy’s video producer. “We’ve typically always filmed in our studio, but knew that wouldn’t be an option for the foreseeable future. So we had to pivot quickly, and come up with a solution that allowed us to continue creating content for our customers and prospects.”

To make a solid remote video plan, go over your current production process and determine which aspects you can make virtual, such as editing, filming yourself, or adding animation. Then, talk with your team to determine workarounds for the things you’re most used to filming in-person, such as studio interviews.

For example, the HubSpot Academy team had to ask questions like, “How will we film the thought leaders or Academy professors?” or “Are there ways we can support our talent remotely?” After answering these questions, the team came up with a strategy that enables their professors and thought leaders to film themselves.

With HubSpot Academy’s process, Fiske says, “We’ve been able to continue creating content efficiently while meeting our high-quality standards.”

“We know how important our education is for customers and prospects around the world, so we created this process for them,” Fiske adds.

Around the same time, HubSpot’s social media team also worked together to create a plan for their fully remote video strategy.

“For me, most of the pre-production process hasn’t changed much. There is certainly less in-person face-to-face interaction during ideation and pre-production but the process is still the same,” says Thomas Hutchings, an associate editor and animator on the social team.

“One big change, as you can imagine, is video production itself,” Hutchings admits. “From equipment to set space, I needed to dig deeper into my creative toolbox to come up with adequate workarounds that would still serve our customers and audience to the best of my ability given the circumstances.”

While HubSpot Academy’s new process primarily involved enabling talent to record themselves, Hutchings’ involved everything from, “DIY rigs to rearranging my whole living space.”

While Hutchings has done a lot to build out his home video production process, like Fiske, he notes that teamwork has been key to video production success.

“My manager and director have both been very helpful in making sure we have what we need, so I’m lucky to have their support,” Hutchings adds.

3. Get the right equipment.

When planning out remote video strategies, one of the major questions the Academy and social teams asked was, “What equipment are we able to use?”

“All on-camera presenters were sent a remote filming care package. Our video editors would do a “virtual location scout” of their homes to determine the best location to film in. They would also walk the presenters through how to set up the equipment,” Fiske explains.

Similarly, Hutchings explains that the social media department was able to get him the equipment he needed.

But, if you work at a startup that can’t ship equipment to you — or even budget it in the first place — that shouldn’t stop you from making videos.

According to HubSpot’s video managers, you can find a number of tools at home, or purchase them affordably online. Here’s a quick list of things you’ll need:

A High-Resolution Camera

In a HubSpot YouTube video, featured below, Hutchings explains that a DSLR is the best camera to use for at-home videos, but an iPhone or other digital camera will also work.

When it came to HubSpot Academy, video creators and subjects were loaned an IPad Mini and an attachable wide-angle lens, which were both easy to use and enabled solid video recording.

Lighting Fixtures

“Lighting can make a video look almost professional, even when it’s shot on just a phone, but it’s all about the placement,” says Lindsay Daly, a video editor and animator for the social team.

If you don’t have traditional film lighting tools, you use light fixtures you have at home, such as lamps or natural light. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is the angle and positioning of the lights and camera.

“Your light source and camera lens should be pointed in the same direction on to your subject. Otherwise, that video recorded in front of your window is going to look more like an anonymous silhouette interview from a crime drama,” Daly points out.

To avoid any video mishaps in apartments with poor natural light, HubSpot Academy also sent its video subjects a straightforward lighting ring with a stand. The stand holds the ring light as well as an IPad or phone to provide professional-looking lighting.

video creation kit

Sound Equipment

In Hutchings’ how-to video, he also explains that you should film yourself in a quiet environment. If sound is coming through muffled on your camera or phone, you can also affordably purchase a microphone online. One mic to consider is a lavalier mic, which can clip to a subject’s shirt. This type of mic was included in HubSpot Academy’s remote video kits.

microphone used by hubspot remote video marekters

For tactical tips on creating your own home production studio, check out this video tutorial that Hutchings created for HubSpot’s YouTube channel:

[embedded content]

4. Pick the right background.

Despite how hard we try, many of our homes aren’t aesthetically pleasing on camera. Even if we have a clean house, brand new furniture, and gorgeous curtains, our homes might have unexpected issues that make it very hard to film on camera. These issues could include distracting decor or poor lighting.

This is why HubSpot Academy made picking the right background a priority in their process. According to Fiske, each presenter that’s filmed from home does a video test with the HubSpot Academy editor. As part of the test, the presenter walks around his or her apartment and sits in a few locations while on a video call with the editor.

After the talent or subject walks around their home, the editor gives feedback on which locations work best and lighting adjustments. This ensures that all videos the editor receive won’t need to be re-shot due to background mishaps.

According to Fiske, a few great background options that you might find in your own home include bookcases, backgrounds with plants, and brick walls. You’ll want to avoid sitting in front of windows without shades which can cause lighting issues, as well as plain white walls which can be dull, might also impact the white balance of your video.

If you don’t have a video editor to help you pick out your own background, it can be a good idea to film yourself in different locations with different amounts of light. As you review each clip, ask yourself questions like, “Is my background distracting?”, “Do I look like a dark shadow due to the lighting?”, and “Do I look overexposed because of too much lighting?”

5. If you’re not the subject of a video, enable your talent or thought leaders to film themselves.

Aside from sending Academy presenters equipment and testing backgrounds with them, Fiske explains that editors and video managers would try to support their talent in other ways via video call.

For example, if a presenter needs assistance or feedback, Fiske says that “during filming, our video editors can join the shoots remotely, allowing them to direct the talent, and work with them to get the best lighting, framing, and audio.”

Hutchings says his team has also taken steps to enable talent to film themselves for HubSpot’s social channels. To him, one key to this process is using empathy whenever possible.

“I’ve had to direct videos via Zoom and troubleshoot situations for things I didn’t anticipate, like dogs barking in the background, construction noises, or poor cellphone camera angles.” Hutchings shares. “One thing that keeps me on a positive note is empathy. I know that I’m not the only person going through this. I know that we are all in this together. So if a dog barks in the background and a viewer on YouTube notices it, maybe they can relate and appreciate the authenticity behind it.”

“Many folks are going through challenges of filming remotely, and it’s not just the editors that have hurdles. It’s also your talent,” Hutchings says. “They have become more involved in the shooting process than before, which can add another level of complexity. Being patient and providing thoughtful practices goes a long way.”

6. Create a remote video production guide for internal use.

Every business is different and can vary when it comes to video production budgets and capabilities. Odds are, if another video manager or employee joins your team, they’ll have some questions about how your brand creates videos scalably and remotely. This is why Hutchings and Fiske both made internal video production guides for their teams, talent, and other HubSpot employees.

“I created a short guide and an in-depth video to help our talent navigate the process of filming themselves and how to submit their footage,” Hutchings explains. “This will save you time, so instead of repeating yourself to new talent you can send along a guide and get back to what you do best, creating. Also, in the future if remote work does in-fact become more prevalent, these guides will come in handy.”

Meanwhile, Fiske created a detailed internal guide that highlights every step of HubSpot Academy’s production process from start to finish. He then shared it with the wider company so employees outside of his department can reference and use it as needed.

Creating Valuable Video Content for Your Audience

While the HubSpot Academy and social media teams might have slightly different strategies, they’ve approached remote video with the same goal: create valuable content.

As you continue to build your remote video strategy and test out scalable marketing content, your production process will get smoother and you’ll learn what videos truly engage your audience.

“No matter how fancy or basic your set-up is, content is still king,” Hutchings concludes. “If you still forge great content that provides exceptional value to your customer and audience, viewers won’t mind some lighting issues or audio that’s of lower quality. Equipment is important, but there’s a bit of wiggle room to be creative and find solutions that will still get the job done.”

If these tips have inspired you to create a remote video production process, check out this post on three effective marketing videos you can make from home.

video marketing starter pack

Originally published Jul 1, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated July 01 2020


Video Marketing

Where and How Often Do Consumers Watch Live Video? [New Data]

By 2027, the live video market is expected to surpass $184 billion. And brands are taking notice.

By the end of 2018, marketers were using live video as part of their social media strategy. Since then, this number has likely grown as brands continue to use a number of online platforms to stream virtual events, Q&As, and other content that their audiences will value.

Although brands are jumping on the live video bandwagon, you might still wonder if live video is really worth investing in. After all, creating any video costs your company time and money. Additionally, measuring the ROI of a live video can be tricky.

Before you decide to implement live video planning and production into your strategy, you’ll need to learn more about this content’s consumers, how often they watch this content, and which platforms they primarily use to stream it.

Learning about your prospective audience’s live video behaviors will allow you to consider a strategy that offers them valuable content while meeting them on the platforms they’re already on.

To give you insight on how often and where general internet users watch live video, I conducted a survey of more than 400 people using Lucid software. In the survey, I asked two questions: “How often do you watch live videos?” and “Where do you watch live video most often?”

Download Now: State of Marketing Report [2020 Version]

How Often Consumers Watch Live

When I asked consumers how often they were watching live video, I didn’t expect a large percentage to say they were consuming it more than once or twice weekly. As a marketer and social media user, I was expecting that only a few people would regularly stop everything and devote time to watching streams on fast-paced online platforms.

However, when I looked at the results, I was surprised by how frequently consumers were actually watching live videos.

According to the data, 57% of those surveyed watch live video at least three times per week, while only seven percent said they never watch live video.

how often consumers watch live video

Data Source

While the result above is fascinating to think about, you should keep in mind that this is just a survey of one small group of consumers rather than a representation of the global internet user population. Additionally, just because our pool of consumers regularly watches live content, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re watching branded content.

Although you should take this result with a grain of salt, the data above, combined with mounting research that shows how live video is growing, signifies that this format might be more than just a trend. .

Although you should consider your budget, audience, and the time involved in a live video strategy before your create or plan content, this result indicates that you might want to keep this tactic on your radar.

Where Consumers Watch Live Video

Now that you know live video is capable of generating solid viewership, you might be wondering where the best place to stream your first video actually is.

You’ll want to pick a platform with a high user base, but you’ll also want to make sure that the site you choose has an audience that aligns with the audience you want to engage with..

When you start by picking the best platform for your brand and audience, you can learn what it takes to be engaging on this site, and adapt your content from there.

But, simply choosing a platform can be easier said than done.

At the moment, almost all of the top social media platforms — including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and now even TikTok — have live streaming features. Additionally, emerging platforms like have gained notoriety for primarily hosting live content.

To help you identify a few platforms worth looking into, I asked the same Lucid participants. “Where do you watch live videos most often?”

While the results about how often consumers watched live video surprised me, I wasn’t as shocked when I discovered where they were watching their content.

The platforms with the biggest audiences, and the most mature live streaming tools, took the lead. These platforms were YouTube (48%), Facebook (20%), and Instagram (13%).

most popular live video platforms

Data Source

One thing that did surprise me was that fewer people were viewing live videos on Twitter. Although the platform isn’t primarily known for live streaming, Twitter’s company was one of the first to invest in it with the 2015 acquisition of Periscope.

Although some platforms were less popular than others in this poll, you shouldn’t necessarily rule them out. For example, if your most engaged audience is already on Twitter, or your followers love your B2B content on LinkedIn, you could consider testing those platforms first since you might already have a great sense of what those audiences will engage with.

Or, if you’re selling a B2C product, you might want to focus on the bigger, broader networks like Facebook or YouTube since they have a large range of audience demographics.

As you plan your next live video event, here’s a look at what other brands are doing on popular live video platforms.

The Top 3 Platforms Consumers Use to Stream Live Video


As the world’s second-largest search engine, YouTube’s more than 2 billion-person user base is incredibly broad. This means that almost anyone will log on to YouTube and search its content for a number of different reasons.

Aside from being one of the oldest and biggest online platforms out there, YouTube’s also offered a live stream feature, called YouTube Live, since 2011.

YouTube Live allows users to broadcast live content to viewers. With this live video feature, you can share unfiltered moments, as well as allow the audience to participate with real-time comments and reactions. Live videos on YouTube are recorded, appear on profiles and feeds like any other video upload, and can be watched even after the stream has ended.

Below is a great example of a live video launched by Adobe as part of its Sketch Party series. During each Sketch Party stream, Adobe films a graphic designer sketching or designing something with Creative Cloud software, such as Adobe Illustrator. While the artist is sketching something visibly on screen, they read comments and answer questions from viewers.

[embedded content]

This stream allows Adobe to engage with audiences, highlight the raw talent of graphic artists, and show off how its software works at the same time.


Today, more than one-quarter of videos uploaded to Facebook are live. This, plus the fact that one in five of the consumers we polled watch videos on Facebook Live most often, show that this platform might be incredibly useful for live video strategies.

Like YouTube, Facebook has the benefit of having a giant global audience that represents different ages, interests, and cultural backgrounds. While this broad audience has allowed B2B and B2C brands to effectively grow audiences on the platform, many companies have also developed successful Facebook Live tactics, too.

In the branded Facebook Live example below, a clothing store called By Alexa Rae Boutique highlights some of the clothing products that can be purchased from the store’s website.

The video is formatted like a show you’d see on the Home Shopping Network as the host shows each clothing item to the camera, explains the perks of each, and notes when items are close to sold out to encourage urgency


According to our survey above, 13% of people say they watch live video on Instagram most often, making it the third most popular live platform among the group we surveyed.

Instagram has been rising in popularity for years, especially to millennial and Gen Z audiences. The success of the overall app is due in part to Stories, live video, and IGTV.

Instagram’s Live feature allows you to film streams that show up in your following’s Stories feed for 24 hours before disappearing.

Stories navigation bar on Instagram mobile app

These videos are often filmed vertically, but have similar features as YouTube Live. For instance, those recording live video are able to see and respond to questions from viewers.

Before putting time and effort into creating an Instagram Live video, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

First of all, although Instagram will show followers that you’re live through the Stories feed and via app notifications, the live symbol — as shown above — can be very subtle and easy to miss. This is unlike Facebook, which might prioritize a live video on your followers’ News Feeds.

Another thing to note is that your content will disappear within 24 hours. However, you can send your pre-recorded streams to the IGTV tab of your profile when you’re done with them. Although these videos would no longer be live, presenting them on IGTV might get them more additional views after they’ve aired.

Non-verified users can post a video between 10 seconds and 15 minutes to IGTV, while users who are verified or have more than 10,000 followers can publish videos or streams up to one hour long to this tab.

At this point, a number of brands have already gone live on Instagram and later added this content to their IGTV tab. Below is just one example of a live post that was later shared on IGTV. In the video, a representative from Providence, R.I.-based Bolt Coffee walks viewers through how to brew iced coffee with the brand’s products:

Other Platforms for Live Video Streaming


While Twitter allows you to connect with friends on its social network, many use the platform to follow news, trends, and topical discussions. This is why a large portion of the live videos you’ll see include news coverage, video of current events, or someone discussing a hot trend.

Despite much of the live video being dedicated to news or trends, some brands have experimented with streaming content on Twitter. One example of a brand that’s done this is Coinbase — a platform for storing and selling cryptocurrency. In a recent live stream, Coinbas’s CEO did an AMA — or Ask Me Anything — session where he answered questions submitted live by users.

Although Twitter owns Periscope, a live video streaming app, you can go live directly through the Twitter app. To do this, tap the “Compose” button, then tap the “Upload” icon which looks like a camera. Once you’re in camera mode, you can toggle from “Capture” to “Live” mode.

how to go live on twtter app

If you want to add a second video box where other Twitter users can stream with you at the same time, tap the symbol with two smiley faces in the upper right hand corner to invite guests.

Before you go live on Twitter, you should keep in mind that the platform doesn’t center around live video. While it algorithmically might show your content in a followers’ feed, Twitter does not have a specific home for past-recorded live videos like Facebook Live or YouTube Live does. This means that to see your video after it’s streamed, users will have to go to your profile or search for it.

You should also note whether one of the other platforms above might be better suited for your audience targets. While Twitter does have a large audience, consumers — such as those who took our survey — might think of Twitter as more of a general social media network rather than a live video platform.


While Reddit was later to the game by launching live video in 2019, brands have still leveraged it quite a bit to engage with the platform’s niche communities, or subreddits.

One way brands have leveraged live streaming is by hosting live AMAs with celebrities, company leaders, or thought leaders. The AMA format originally started as text-based discussion threads in subreddits. For example, to promote Microsoft and his non-profit organizations, Bill Gates has published a number of threads in technology-related subreddits that asked his fans to ask him anything. From there, fans added their questions and he tried to answer as many as possible.

Since live video launched on Reddit, brands have re-formatted traditional AMAs into video streams. For example, Audi recently posted a series of live streams called “Think Faster.” In each live stream, celebrities sped around in one of Audi’s newest cars while answering Redditor questions. Here’s a screenshot from one of the events which featured actress, Olivia Munn.

Reddit branded live AMA stream

Twitch is one of the newest platforms on this list. However, the live-streaming site has notably gone viral as video gamers have been using it to stream their sessions.

But Twitch isn’t just for gamers anymore. At this point, a number of marketers and brands have identified ways to leverage the platform.

One major brand that won a Clio for its Twitch-based campaign was the fast-food chain, Wendy’s. In 2019, a mission set in the popular video game Fortnite, told players to harvest beef and place it in freezers of nearby restaurants to collect coins.

Because Wendy’s claims to sell, “Fresh, Never Frozen Beef,” its marketing team decided to launch a nine-hour Twitch stream where a Fortnite avatar dressed like Wendy ran around the video game attempting to destroy freezers. As a Fortnite player, you could join Wendy and help her smash the appliance.

According to the Clio sizzle reel, the Wendy’s stream began to go viral as more people logged in to watch and post in the comment thread. Gamers also began to start attacking freezers to help Wendy’s avatar.

Building a Live Video Strategy

Although live video might seem like a great opportunity to engage with your audience, it still could cost time and money to plan and produce. Like any marketing strategy, you’ll want to research the tactic before diving into it.

As you determine if live video is right for you, and identify the platforms you’ll experiment on first, it’s important to lay out what goals you’ll want to achieve with the content.

For example, if you’re interested in pulling in views or awareness from broader, more general audiences, YouTube or Facebook might be the perfect live platforms for you. Or, if you’re interested in pulling in a younger audience, you might want to consider Instagram, which has a slightly younger audience.

To help you learn more about the live video platforms and strategies out there, check out this list of live video stats. If you’ve determined where you want to publish, but don’t know how to format your content, read this post to find out which types of live video are most engaging to consumers.

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Originally published Jun 11, 2020 7:00:00 AM, updated June 11 2020


Video Marketing