The Effect of Live Streaming on Digital Marketing
These days, there are so many ways to spend a marketing budget. Two companies with the same budget could end up using their resources in completely different ways. Today, we want to talk about how marketers can leverage live streaming.
In this guide, you’re going to learn:
- The impact of live streaming
- Why live streaming has a future
- The benefits of choosing this marketing method
- Some live streaming ideas
- Top tips for success
With this in mind, grab your tea/coffee, get comfortable, and start reading!
The Impact of Live Streaming
Did you know that, compared to reading a blog, around four in five people are more likely to watch a video? Every year, the amount of video content consumed increases, which has led to video and live streaming features from Facebook and many of the other major social media platforms.
Why has live streaming risen above the others? For one, accessibility. Today, the average consumer is very different than even 20 years ago. Now, they want to get to know a brand and really trust them before spending money. Not only do they want to learn about their environmental behaviors, they want to see the character of a brand. Of course, live streaming provides this opportunity.
As we’ll see later in the guide, there are a great deal of live streaming opportunities. Fortunately, consumers can watch these live streams wherever they are in the world. As long as you have a live streaming strategy, it can be a great way to get closer to the customer and build a relationship (you can even answer their most pressing questions live!).
Why Live Streaming Has a Future
At this point, we should probably address a concern many will have. Is live streaming just a phase in the wider digital marketing timeline? This is always a risk, but there are three reasons why we think live streaming is here to stay:
- Huge Audience — Firstly, with all the different live streaming ideas, brands have an opportunity to reach out to people that haven’t yet come across their name. Rather than hitting a set list of people with email marketing, live streaming can attract people you didn’t even know could be interested.
- Rise of Smartphones — Secondly, we all know more people with a smartphone than people without, right? With smartphones so common these days, people can watch live streams whether they’re commuting to work, on their lunch break, waiting for an appointment, or even just on the sofa at home.
- New Opportunities — Thirdly, as we’re going to see later, there are great ways to interact with an audience regardless of your niche. Don’t assume that live streaming isn’t an option for your industry or audience; you might be surprised.
If you want to know more of the numbers behind live streaming, we recommend this article from Tech Co. With different infographics, you’ll quickly see why it’s a viable digital marketing strategy.
See Related: How to Get Started with LinkedIn Live Streaming
Benefits of Live Streaming
Next up, we want to go into the benefits of live streaming. If you’re currently considering where to spend your marketing budget in 2020, this section is for you!
Does live streaming attract ROI? Compared to traditional videos, it has an interactive nature, which normally draws more viewers. According to Facebook, Live videos are viewed three times longer than the standard video.
Also, considering your investment, it’s generally easier to live stream than create a video. With a live stream, you hit the Live button, do your stream, and then finish. With a standard video, there’s all sorts of editing, filming, and creation involved. Therefore, you get more engagement from a smaller investment.
As we’ve mentioned already, one huge benefit of live streaming is better relationships with consumers. Suddenly, your brand has a face and voice on which to pin their loyalty. With different streams, you can show your personality, assist consumers with common problems, and position yourself as a brand that wants to help. Of course, you can also show your knowledge and become a leader in the market.
Grow Credibility and Trust
Continuing from the previous point, this extra engagement and visibility allows the company to build trust and credibility. Especially when you converse with consumers in real time, it becomes a conversation between two people. In particular, it seems viewers want to see behind-the-scenes tours and streams that allow them to get closer to the business.
Work with Influencers
Working with influencers is more difficult than it once was. Instead of getting an influencer to simply mention your name or products, we recommend getting them actively involved. A great way to do this is through, you guessed it, live streams.
For example, many brands are starting to work with influencers while holding events. With an influencer as the host, your audience is likely to tune in, in which case you’ll automatically get more eyes on your stream.
Live Streaming Ideas
As promised, you aren’t alone in this journey. Below, we’ve laid out some brilliant live streaming ideas to get you started.
- Announcements — Why release news with a statement or a simple social media post when you can generate a buzz of excitement with a live stream?
- Interviews — Find experts in your niche or influencers and get an interesting interview going.
- Q&As — Your audience is likely to have some questions about your service and products, so a good way to get engagement is to give them the platform they need to ask these questions.
- Events — Are you running or attending an event? If so, get one of your employees to live stream it. While some brands stream conferences, others go for product launches, presentations, and talks.
- Behind-the-Scenes — As mentioned earlier, behind-the-scenes streams allow consumers an insight into the business that wouldn’t have been possible years ago. Why not show off the office or introduce the team? Audiences love to see the real people who make your company tick.
- Customer Support — Similar to a Q&A, you could also open up the floor to anybody who currently has an issue with products/services. Rather than making customers use the phone or email support, hold one of these live streams once a week for an hour and it will be easier to keep customers happy.
Top Tips for Live Stream Success
Finally, we want to provide some advice for live streams. Sadly, some companies have spotted the opportunity without actually getting the results they desire. We have some key tips that will help in avoiding this!
Remember, live streaming is completely different to produced videos. In other words, your audience isn’t expecting (and probably doesn’t even want) perfection. These days, companies are scared of being imperfect when this could actually be one of the secrets to success. Allow viewers to see who you really are.
We aren’t saying you can’t loosely plan the stream, but you don’t need to meticulously plan every second. Especially when talking to the viewers themselves, allow the stream to take on a life of its own.
In a similar vein, be willing to throw the plan out the window if it just isn’t working. More often than not, viewers will actually guide the stream with their comments and questions. If you’re giving a tour of the office and lots of viewers have questions about one particular room, don’t feel as though you need to move on just to stick to the plan. Humor the audience and give them the stream they want.
Although it might seem like it at times, you aren’t alone. Instead of thinking you’re responsible for all content, take a risk and get others involved, whether it be colleagues, influencers, suppliers, clients, and any other stakeholder in the business.
Show You Care
Next up, we can’t understate the importance of your brand perception. Without directly saying it, show people that you care. Offering customer support and Q&A streams help with this. All of a sudden, you’re not just another company hoping to get their money.
Show Value and Offer a Call to Action
Live streams are all well and good, but we’re guessing you want them to take action after viewing. If this is the case, point them in the right direction before ending the stream. Put links in the description and help them keep their connection with you alive.
Finally, have fun. If you’re having fun, your audience will have fun too. Don’t put yourself under pressure, don’t over-plan, just see the merits of live streaming and reach out to your audience!