Live video is a new driving force in digital marketing. By 2021, the live video streaming industry is set to explode to from $30 billion (2016) to $70 billion! That’s a huge opportunity for brands to find creative new ways to reach new audiences. Live video is accessible, it’s personal, it’s interactive, it evokes urgency, and it is exciting. Even Elon Musk realized the great potential of live video streaming when he streamed the launch of his Tesla Roadster into outer space.
At its core, the power and potential of live video comes down to a single factor: human interaction. People want to talk to people. They don’t want to be sold to by some impersonal ad that is targeted with big data. That’s why live video can be such a powerful marketing tool for your brand. When you go live, you put a face to the business and allow people to engage with you in an exclusive way.
What’s more, people don’t purchase with their heads, they purchase with their hearts. No matter how much interesting information you give people about your product, their emotions will determine whether they want to buy your product or not. People want authenticity in advertising, which is why you see a huge push towards “buying local” in the food and restaurant industries. Building real relationships that make the customer feel listened to and important can drive your business’s success. The live video medium is your way to build that relationship.
How to Increase Engagement
Take fashion brands like Coach, Nordstrom, Lulu’s, and Forever 21. Their live video marketing is closely tied to their influencer marketing campaigns, meaning they get popular creators on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to advertise on their behalf. In turn, the creators receive some form of payment for providing brand exposure on their channels. Nearly 73% of luxury clothing brands have some sort of influencer marketing campaign currently. One of the perks? Live streaming “unboxings” and “fashion reviews” provide authentic and exciting takes on the brands the influencers are wearing.
Many companies are starting the use the ephemeral nature of live video to their advantage. Sharoomba, an Israeli cosmetics seller, was able to drive her sales up 86% by advertising a Facebook Live video and then offering limited-time offers during the broadcast. She provided an incentive for her audience to engage and a call to action to turn that engagement into sales. The incredible thing is that a video like this is not expensive to produce and the ROI can be astronomical if done right. Let Aftermarq give you a couple friendly tips for your next live video streaming marketing campaign:
Know Your Audience
No one wants to put a ton of effort into creating and producing a live streaming video only for no one to actually watch it. Sharoomba’s approach is an excellent example of knowing your audience. She knew her people were mainly busy moms and young women, so airing the video around 9pm would work best (since that’s when both of those targeted audiences would likely be online). She also created a Facebook event, asked her potential attendees what products they would like to see, and she posted teasers every few days to entice more live viewers.
Engagement only occurs if the right audience is engaged. Customers will not watch if they are not interested, so you must generate that interest. Unless you already have a huge following, it is critical to build the audience before a live show so you can convert engagement into sales.
Plan Ahead and Make an Impact
Like Sharoomba, it’s important to plan ahead to have a successful live video stream. Questions to ask yourself include:
When and where should I promote the broadcast?
Is the content I am producing consistent with my brand?
What structure should the broadcast follow?
Will I give demos of my product?
What would make the audience feel included?
What story am I trying to tell/sell?
Once you’ve got these questions answered, the next step is to figure out how to engage the audience. Creating urgency by offering incentives to watch the live video stream and a call to action at the end of the video are critical to converting engagement into sales. Remember that video is a visual medium, so live videos can benefit greatly from good visuals presented along with an authoritative narrator.
Where Can You Stream?
There are many options out there today for live video streaming platforms, but not all of them serve the same purpose. Some platforms are geared towards younger audiences, some towards more professional audiences, and some even towards gamers. Once you know your target audience, take a look at one of these platforms and get started:
Not long ago, Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying, “In five years most of Facebook will be video.” With the advent of Facebook Watch and Facebook Live, there are a plethora of opportunities available for live video streaming. If you are already using video on Facebook’s platform, try live video: since the latest research shows people spend 3 times longer watching live video as opposed to watching a video that is no longer live. With 8 billion average video views per day, Facebook Live is the best place to reach the biggest audience.
This is one of the best places to generate brand authenticity and reach a younger audience. Instagram Stories has over 300 million active daily users and the design of the platform makes for great storytelling regardless of whether you have a visual brand or not. Personal stories and customer engagement are key to creating a great Instagram brand profile.
This is a great platform to engage in enterprising marketing. Major brands like the NFL, BBC, and Buzzfeed use the platform to engage with millennial and Gen Z audiences. Small brands can stand to benefit as well since Snapchat has a 61% engagement rate (much higher than Instagram) which means you can get an enormous value from even a small live video streaming campaign.
4. YouTube Live
This platform is built for live video. It is the most SEO-friendly and flexible live streamer out there. YouTube live videos often have higher production value and the great thing is you can save the video for use in future campaigns.
Twitter recently purchased the live video streaming app Periscope which allows for a playback of the live stream after it has ended. Deals like the NFL’s Thursday Night Football package show it is invested in developing live content to market on its platform.
The “DVR” World and You
In today’s “DVR world” it is easy to have your “creative and world-changing” marketing campaign find itself forgotten after one click. Marketers no longer have the option of ignoring live video and nearly 95% of marketing executives agree that it is now an important part of their marketing strategy.
By marketing through live video, you create something akin to what sports have been creating forever: the fear of missing out. Live videos are unscripted, interactive, and authentic. You don’t have a script to help answer questions and comments as they come in. It’s just you and the customer. And that’s the glory of live video! You can engage your customers like never before and create that human connection that’s been missing from marketing for so long.