Live streaming is becoming an increasingly popular way for brands to connect with their audiences, market themselves, and promote specific products and launches.
Today, more than 35% of marketers use live video as part of their social media strategy and this number looks set to climb higher.
Why is live streaming so important? There are lots of reasons this medium has skyrocketed into the mainstream recently, and lots of reasons why it looks set to become an even bigger part of our online lives. For companies, there’s a huge amount of potential here.
In this article, we’ll take a look at why live streaming is so useful to brands, and show you some of the ways you can use it to your benefit.
Why is live streaming so useful?
What is the impact of live streaming? Here are just a few of the main advantages of this medium for reaching your audience and growing your brand.
- People want to see live streams. 82% of people prefer live video from a brand over standard social media posts. (Livestream) This high demand means companies who fail to employ live streaming are failing to give their audience what they want. Brands who do prioritize live streaming will find it easy to steal and engage your followers.
- People watch it for longer. According to Forrester, users watch live video 10 to 20 times longer than on-demand content. That means live streams are considerably more engaging than other types of content, allowing you to make a real impact on your viewers and giving you much more time to forge that all-important bond with them.
- Young viewers want it. Almost half of Gen Z watches their favorite shows live on social media. As time goes on and younger viewers make up more and more of the market, live streams will become ever more in demand. Companies that get started now and establish a live video presence will be getting ahead of this very predictable trend.
- It works well with social media. LinkedIn Live streams have increased by 158% since February 2020, a trend mirrored on many other social media platforms. Live streams are a great way to make an impact on your social media followers and engage at scale.
- Live video is personal and builds relationships. A live broadcast led by a real person feels more intimate and personal than a pre-recorded video or something like a blog post. It provides real-time interaction with the possibility of live Q&A sessions and product demonstrations.
- It works well with influencers. 89% of marketers today say they believe influencer marketing to be effective, and live streaming is a great way to connect those influencers to your audience. Seeing a familiar face in a live video can really raise your brand’s profile in the eyes of your potential customers.
Now we know some of the reasons why live streaming can have such an impact, how can brands make sure they do it right? There are a number of key principles to follow here to make sure you connect with your audience the right way and make the most of this powerful new medium.
- Be authentic. Today’s online audiences are good at working out when content is insincere or fake. Make sure your live streams don’t fall into this trap — make an attempt to provide real value while preserving the personality of your presenters. Don’t reel off lists of business buzzwords and insider jargon, instead treat your live streams as real, face-to-face interactions with customers.
- Give customers the option to self-select how they learn about products and engage with the brand channel. Today’s customers are used to having freedom when it comes to discovering and consuming content. Make sure they can access the right content at the right time (which is usually right now).
- Keep things simple. There’s no need to make your live streams into the opening ceremony of the Olympics. Keep effects and embellishment to a minimum and make sure the focus is tightly on your product and the host. Any unnecessary distractions will just increase the risk of mistakes while confusing your viewers. However, at the same time, you need to keep it entertaining and provide an engaging, human experience to keep your audience watching.
- Be prepared for failure. Unlike pre-recorded videos, live streams take place in real-time which increases the risk of mistakes and failures. Be ready for this by having backup equipment in place, understanding your bandwidth, and doing a few practice runs before the main event.
- Promote your event widely. To get the most out of your live streams, you’ll want to get as many eyes on the screen as possible. That means promoting your event on whatever channels you normally use to reach your followers. Social media, email, and your website are some ideas.
- Have a clear purpose and call-to-action. Before you start preparing for your stream, get clear on what you want to achieve and the message you want to send out. This will give your stream much more purpose and direction, and allow you to create a compelling call-to-action to give your audience something to do next.
- Share recordings of your event afterwards. The real beauty of live streaming comes from its real-time nature, but the content is still valuable when viewed later. Remember to share recordings of the event on your various channels so you can benefit from views and engagement long after the event has finished. But remember to stress the benefits of attending live so your audience makes time for the main event!
Live streaming can have a massive impact on your audience and allow you to connect with them much more effectively to grow your brand.
At Whisbi, our platform is built to drive live engagement at scale, harnessing tools like live video to grow your online presence. Our Whisbi Engage solution in particular is built to drive top of the funnel engagement with live one-to-many video broadcasts and has generated truly impressive results for our customers.