The Ongoing YouTube Decision: The Pros & Cons of Going Live vs. Posting Videos

Who else is addicted to watching YouTube videos? It can’t just be me!

And guess what? It isn’t.

As of late 2019, visitors were spending an average of 15 minutes and 22 seconds on YouTube each day, making it the second-most popular website in the world.

For business owners and content creators alike, this large user base poses a huge opportunity for brand awareness and community building! And since 2011, YouTube channels have also supported livestream content on the platform.

This then begs the question, “Which is better for my YouTube channel: publishing videos or livestreaming?

While I’m sure you were hoping for a straightforward answer, the correct response is that both types of content work hand-in-hand to grow your following and tell your story.

That said, it’s critical to hone in on the power of livestreaming and published content. In this quick guide, I’ll explain:

  • The pros and cons of posting videos and going live on YouTube
  • Why you should embrace livestreaming as your next content adventure
  • How to develop a solid YouTube strategy using both types of video content

By the end, you’ll be ready to leverage published videos and livestreaming content on YouTube to share your story with the world.

The Pros & Cons of Posting Videos on YouTube

As the first method of sharing content on the platform, publishing YouTube videos is the most popular use of the website. More than 300 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every minute! But, this content format has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages for brands.

Pros:

Sharing Evergreen Content

Publishing videos on YouTube allows brands to create evergreen video content that’ll stand the test of time. These videos can become cornerstones of your marketing strategy and drive significant traffic to your website, products, or other online entities.

Building a Community of Followers

By regularly uploading engaging videos that intrigue your audience, you can build a substantial, loyal YouTube following.

Some of the world’s biggest influencers, such as Casey Neistat and Liza Koshy, developed their fan base via YouTube. You can too! As your following grows, so does awareness of your brand and story.

Leveraging YouTube’s Search Algorithm

Since Google owns YouTube, it’s not hard to see why marketers focus heavily on optimizing their YouTube videos to appear in the search engine and platform results.

Publishing and optimizing content on YouTube enables your brand to get in front of users searching the Internet for videos just like yours.

Cons:

Lacking Real-Time Engagement

Unlike certain social media channels or livestreaming, uploaded videos don’t provide real-time interaction with fans. Sure, you can review and respond to comments as they roll in. But what are the chances of your responding to someone late at night or during the day while you’re editing another video? Pretty slim.

Keeping Up with Old Content

If you create a hefty library of published content, you’ll likely need to go back and update videos as they become outdated. While evergreen videos are key, many can become outdated as trends die out or industries adapt to new technology.

The Pros & Cons of Live Streaming on YouTube

Roughly 70% of consumers prefer to watch live video on YouTube over other platforms such as Facebook Live or Twitch. We personally prefer Facebook for our own livestreams and use it with the clients we work with as well, but with 60 of the top 100 livestreams being streamed in the past two years…there’s no denying that YouTube Live’s popularity is steadily climbing.

Of course, like all forms of content, going live on YouTube has its benefits and also some major issues.

Pros

Engaging in Real-Time

The main advantage of livestreaming is the ability to have real-time interactions with the members of your audience.

You can respond to their comments out loud or in the chat feature, invite them on to share the stream with you, and take advantage of YouTube Live’s wealth of features for a highly engaging video experience.

Achieving Cost-Effective Video Content

Although livestreaming does require the right equipment (which I’ll explain momentarily), it’s a relatively inexpensive form of content creation.

Once you’ve done the heavy lifting of setting up your gear and planning your topics, all you have to do is go live, and your content is in front of your audience.

Offering an Additional Content Channel

Having a diverse range of content to tell your story is critical for brands looking to grow. And what better way to tell your story than in real-time to interested viewers?

Live streaming on YouTube is yet another channel your brand can take advantage of when looking to build a following or improve brand awareness.

And, best of all, once you finish live streaming, your videos are automatically uploaded to a “Live Stream Playlist” on your YouTube channel.

Cons

Investing in the Necessary Live Streaming Gear

While you can livestream with an iPhone and call it a day, this isn’t the most effective method for livestreaming. If you plan on livestreaming regularly, invest in the proper equipment including a microphone, tripod, and camera.

However, the cost of this equipment adds up, so budget accordingly!

Preparing for the Big (or Small) Screen

Even though livestreaming is, well, live, it doesn’t mean you can haphazardly click the button and see what happens.

(Disaster will happen, that’s what.)

It takes time and planning to execute an effective livestream video. You need to decide in advance:

  • The topic of the livestream
  • How you plan to moderate comments and fan engagement
  • What equipment you’ll need
  • How you plan to promote the livestream before and after going live

Knowing… It’s Live!

For those who don’t do well under pressure, the sheer fact of being live can be maddening. As a result, mistakes will happen.

Instead of crumbling under the pressure, roll with the punches and focus on keeping your audience entertained. If a mistake happens, laugh it off! We’re all human, after all.

Why Live Streaming Should Be Your Next Content Adventure

After reviewing the pros and cons, I bet you’re starting to think about going live on YouTube. Fantastic!

Livestreaming is an exceptional way to grow a loyal fan base, generate traction for your brand, and create content in a cost-effective manner.

On top of developing lasting relationships with frequent viewers, livestreaming also provides fans with different types of interactive content. Instead of watching the same uploaded videos, subscribers will receive notifications to watch your content as you go live.

Livestreaming provides excellent benefits for brands and viewers alike. Why not give it a go?

How to Develop a Solid YouTube Strategy Using Both Types of Video Content

Each type of content on YouTube serves a purpose, but they work together to help your brand grow to new heights. That’s why it’s important to develop a YouTube strategy that incorporates both types of videos.

1. Create a Video Schedule

To begin, create a content creation schedule that includes both uploaded and livestreaming videos. Select specific days of the week and month for each type of content.

Once you set your schedule, do your best to stick to it!

2. Choose Your Topics

Analyze your previously uploaded videos and fan comments to determine what topics to cover.

Some topics will be better suited for long, uploaded videos, while others are perfect for fast-paced livestreams! You can also schedule topics like Q&A sessions, interview series, and product launches for live streams.

3. Promote Your Content

Arguably the most important step of livestreaming or uploading content to YouTube is to promote, promote, promote!

When you upload content:

  • Cross-promote your new videos on other social media channels such as Instagram and Facebook.
  • Use YouTube’s channel features to promote new videos within other content, such as at the end of a video.
  • Let your email subscribers know you posted a new video.

If you plan to go live on YouTube:

  • Use YouTube’s Premiere feature to get fans excited about the upcoming live stream.
  • Promote the live stream on your other social media accounts before, during, and after you go live.
  • Tease the upcoming livestream in an uploaded video.

The goal is to get as many eyes on your YouTube content as possible.

4. Adapt and Grow

As you post and livestream YouTube content, review your analytics. Use this data to adjust your content schedule, topics, and other aspects of your strategy.

The more you take viewer feedback and video data into consideration, the larger your audience will grow!

Start Planning Your YouTube Strategy Today

Whether you want to upload videos, go live, or as I recommend, do both, it all starts with planning and executing a solid YouTube strategy.

If you need a strategy coach, send me a message, and let’s get started!