Live streaming - or live stream marketing - refers to the practice of broadcasting a live event over social media platforms. It has become a popular way to create a virtual shopping experience for digital consumers, and has changed the way companies interact with their audiences.
At present, the industry is worth $70 billion, but it is expected to grow 320% by 2028 (Grand View Research). This article will explain this popularity by going through the many advantages to live streaming for marketers.
Consumer expectations have changed dramatically over the last decade, and they want more from brands than they did in the past.
Today, a company’s trustworthiness and environmental consciousness are key buying factors, and internet users want to know what a company is like before buying anything.
Live streaming provides companies with the ability to answer these questions in a consumer-friendly way, and brings with it a range of other benefits for marketers:
Video has long been the most popular content medium for internet users, and live streaming moves the concept forward by adding personalization and boosting engagement.
Keeping consumers engaged in a distraction-rich world is one of the biggest challenges faced by marketers - particularly on social media.
For, even though live streams target a large audience, individual consumers can both experience immediate feedback and interact with other viewers.
This makes it feel more like a conversation than an advertisement, and this goes some way to explain its popularity among audiences.
Unlike traditional videos, live streaming is an event in itself - it just takes place online.
The format means that there’s no limitation on who can come to the event, and makes your content accessible to people that you otherwise wouldn't be able to reach in the real world.
This is particularly useful at the moment, with the pandemic meaning that more people are wary about sharing space with large numbers of people.
And unlike radio, live streams have an unlimited reach - meaning that anyone in the world can tune in.
Crucially, you are in control of the timing of a live stream; this naturally curates your customer base since only the people most likely to buy from you will fit the event into their schedule.
When done well, marketing creates a sense of excitement about your products or services among consumers, and makes them feel as though they have stumbled across something really special.
Live streaming builds this excitement and drives sales, since it puts a real person on screen in real time, who can build urgency for a product.
What’s more, the feeling of community, interaction with the presenter and potential for limited offers makes viewers feel both inclusive and exclusive.
Live streaming is incredibly cheap, since companies don’t have to worry about things like renting a venue, travel costs, security, and so forth - meaning that this kind of content would represent a low risk component to your marketing strategy.
It’s very easy to do, since all it requires is a smartphone or laptop with a camera, and an account with whichever live streaming service you opt for. What’s more, and in contrast with traditional videos, consumers expect little in terms of production quality.
As such, live streaming offers the potential for a high return on investment, though this is dependent on the number of followers you have on the live streaming platform you use (or the audience of the influencer or presenter you use for it).
Live streaming is a great medium for showing consumers that your company is trustworthy, with the required expertise to address problems.
Consumers get a kick out of their questions being raised and answered in a live video, meaning that you can engage with them on a personal level, while still connecting with a large audience.
This increased trust is great for revenue, with every audience member a potential sale.
Live streaming offers a wealth of content opportunities - from interviews and Q&As to product demos and reviews.
Nor is it restricted to live video or audio, since you can include a variety of forms of content and multimedia, including pictures, text and live chat.
Recording your live stream means that you can squeeze more value out of it over time.
This means that the event can then be uploaded onto your website, YouTube or other social media platforms, making it available for people to watch at a later date who might then be motivated to attend your next event.
You can also splice it up and use it in whichever way you want, creating anything from short videos to podcasts.
Live streaming enables marketers to promote work on other channels. This can be done by simply asking the audience to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter.
Live streaming is growing in popularity, with 80% of consumers preferring them to blogs, and 82% preferring them to normal social media content (Livestream).
However they haven’t reached the point of saturation for the moment - no doubt because marketers are unsure how to integrate it into their funnel.
This means that it is a great time to try it out if you haven’t already.
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