Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of this live streaming tool review, I just want to say that I LOVE Zoom. I love it. It gets me the results I want and, honestly, it works without causing my head to burst into flames. I’m sure that most of you can agree just how useful this “LIVE meeting room” software is, especially now that we cannot physically gather and do meetings in one room!
Despite Zoom’s tech beginner-friendliness, it’s not the answer to all your LIVE streaming needs.
Convenient? YES! Since it integrates with Google (Calendar, Chrome), Facebook, YouTube, and even Zapier.
Customizable? Well, not as much as I’d like.
Again, don’t get me wrong, Zoom has amazing features. There’s been a spike in Zoom users since the issuance of the community quarantine world-wide. People are using it and are getting results, as for what kind of results they’re getting, I’d say probably not as great as they could have achieved had they used software that specialized in LIVE streaming to engage multiple participants at a time.
You probably think that customizability isn’t going to hold that much weight during a LIVE stream. I mean, seriously? You’re providing your audience with so much value! You’re giving them what they need in terms of service or resource, so customizability should be the least of your worries, right? NOPE!!
If the very point of you showing up LIVE is to engage your audience, then customizability should be on your radar. Why? Because of BRANDING and target traffic optimization!
Your branding is what gets your target audience to remember you. What were the colors you used? How did you interact with them and did you stay true to your business’ core principles? How did the LIVE stream affect their perception of your business?
As for target traffic optimization, what you want is to put in (X) amount of effort and still get significant returns. LIVE Streamers do this by broadcasting their LIVEs on several social media platforms at the same time. There have been several searches done to see if Zoom can stream LIVES on Facebook and YouTube simultaneously, but so far you can only pick one social media platform at a time – so that’s another checkbox left unmarked.
To put it simply, Zoom works and is effective for the following purposes:
- 1-on-1 coaching
- Group (coaching) calls
Here are 4 of the Best and Upcoming Live Streaming Tools to use in your business and why!
1. Be.Live (Mollie Mahony’s preferred LIVE streaming tool)
This start-up is leveling up the playing field by providing features that enable you to:
- Easily promote your brand by providing options to include a logo, play around with custom colors, and even add a variety of overlays anytime during your LIVE.
- Engage your target audience with a LIVE comments feed. You can also see the engagement insights (e.g. likes and reach), as well as highlight a particular comment which is useful for when you’re answering audience questions – it even pops up at the bottom when you click on the ↑ button.
- Invite 10 guests using your Be.Live link and feature up to 4 people (3 guests + YOU) on the screen.
Pricing isn’t bad either! They have 3 member tiers: FREE BASIC, STANDARD+, and a soon to launch PRO. You’ll need either the STANDARD+ or PRO account to take advantage of most, if not all, of the best features of this software.
Budget: Between $0 to $37.50 per month
2. Ecamm (Stephanie Liu’s preferred LIVE streaming tool)
This company has been in the scene since early 2014 and is one of the best social media live streaming software out there.
Ecamm boasts features that you won’t find anywhere else, along with options that will leave a positive impression on your viewers:
- It allows you to announce your broadcasts in advance so that you can increase the odds of your viewers showing up during your LIVE stream.
- It automatically saves every broadcast to your Mac!
- It allows you to see comments and reactions from Facebook and YouTube without leaving the app.
- It has screen sharing, picture-in-picture (perfect for commentaries), and you can also play pre-recorded videos.
- It allows up to 9 people to show up on the screen (3 rows of 3).
- It allows you to add logos, GIFs, PDFs, lower-thirds, and other texts.
- It allows you to change your background with its Green Screen feature!
- If you’re a huge fan of crisp video content, they also have 4K streaming reserved for PRO users.
- Best of all, they have recently shared a life hack to simulcast (a.k.a stream at multiple platforms at a time!) using another service like Restream or Switchboard LIVE. Ecamm hasn’t finished developing native simulcasting yet, but this is an epic option nonetheless!
Pricing is reasonable and can be set to either bill on a monthly or a bulk yearly payment inclusive of a pretty sweet discount. Member categories are TRIAL (FREE for 14 days), STANDARD, and PRO.
Budget: Between $15 to $25 per month
3. Streamyard (Mary Fain Brandt‘s preferred LIVE streaming tool)
Mary absolutely LOVES using Streamyard because it’s straight-forward, customizable, and saves you a lot of time (and hair-pulling!). We’re actually using it to streamline Summit Hero – our one-stop-shop for everything you need to host a successful Summit – simply because it’s a very plug-and-play tool that gives us the most bang for our buck!
So, what features are we even talking about here? EVERYTHING THAT COUNTS!
- It’s perfect for LIVE interviews and lets you connect with 6 participants per stream.
- Lets you customize the colors, add your logo, and other custom graphics. It also allows you to upload GIFs, images, and videos.
- You can simulcast… let that sink in for a moment… you can simultaneously share your stream on different social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn (+ other custom RTMP outputs)!!! [insert thunderous applause here]
- You can share viewer comments on the bottom left of your screen. This gives you an extra 50 points in audience engagement and impact!
- Streamyard allows you to add a call-to-action in a single click.
- You don’t have to download this software to use it since it works well on Chrome and Firefox on your desktop or laptop.
- Super easy to use. We kid you not!
Pricing is just about the same as Be.Live, except this one has tons of features. Member categories are FREE, BASIC, and PROFESSIONAL. If simulcasting is your favorite feature, then you’ll want to start with the BASIC tier since it allows for up to 2 destinations. Consequently, you can opt for the PROFESSIONAL tier if you want to multistream to 5 destinations.
Budget: Between $0 to $39 per month
4. OBS Studio (Yvonne Heimann’s preferred LIVE streaming tool)
I’ve added OBS here in case you’re into technical bada$$ery. OBS Studio is a free and open-source software that you can easily download to start video recording and live streaming on your Windows, Mac, or Linux.
The beauty of OBS Studio is that you can enjoy the best of both (or several) worlds. All you need to do is tinker with the options and you’re well on your way to create professional online productions!
Depending on your tech-savviness, you would either love or hate OBS, but it’s hard to hate on a powerful tool that’s FREE.
As with any tool, it’s always important to know what they can offer before you start spending your hard-earned $$$, and that’s considering if you absolutely must spend at all.
Rating: 5/5 (I honestly love this, but if tech isn’t your strong suit, you’re better off choosing from the other 3 tools on this list)
What I want you to take away from this deep dive into LIVE streaming software options is that there’s more than one out there and you should always pick the one that works best for you and your business.
If you’re looking into doing an interview or hosting your own summit, you’ll definitely want to opt for a software that brings you the best results like target audience traffic growth, sales, or boosting your authority.