We live in a time when customers crave a more personal connection with the brands and influencers they follow. They want more than just a product. They want an experience — which is probably why AdWeek reports that 70 percent of consumers who “feel a connection to a brand” will typically spend twice as much as average customers.
Thanks to our increasingly digital-centric society, forming those connections is easier than ever — as long as you know how to take advantage of the technology available to your brand.
One of the most successful tools being used by today’s top creative brands is live-streaming video. Understanding why live streams matter, as well as how to use it, could be key to your future brand growth.
The Appeal Of Online Video
When it comes to digital content, video stands head and shoulders above the rest. Statista reports that 85 percent of internet users in the United States watch online video on a monthly basis.
These users aren’t just looking for the latest funny cat video, either. Expounding on the results of a HubSpot study, Mimi An explains, “Respondents tell us they’re more likely to pay attention to video content, followed by news articles and in-depth multimedia articles. […] There is a clear indication that people tend to skim most written and audio content. If you want someone’s full attention, video is a great bet. Second, not only do consumers pay attention to video content the most, they want to see more video content in the future. Consumer preference for video is real, whether you’re on board or not.”
Notably, this preference for video even extends to branded content. While the numbers are certainly the strongest among Millennials and Gen Z, brand video was found to be three times as popular as blogs and other content options overall.
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Why Live-Streaming Video Matters For Brands
It’s clear that online users have a preference for consuming video content. But that preference alone isn’t the only reason why brands are increasingly shifting their resources to live-streaming video.
As Kathy Klutz-Guest notes in an article for Convince and Convert, a big part of the appeal behind live video is its perceived authenticity. Live-streams tend to avoid the overly produced look of other marketing videos, and the potential for live interaction (such as in a Q&A) creates a far more engaging experience.
She adds, “Use streaming to create conversations, give customers important information, and highlight fans, partners, employees, and new technologies (and share the spotlight). Sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses is yet another way to thank your biggest fans and enable them to help share your brand story. When done well, these approaches have generated returns for brands in the areas of publicity, engagement, downloads, lead generation, and influencer marketing.”
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, live streaming has become the only viable alternative for some brands to reach their target audience. To get more insight on this, I recently spoke with Vlad Rigenco, founder and CEO of Dood Livestream.
He explained, “The live entertainment industry — concerts, theater performances and so on — has learned that they can’t depend on a physical performance space alone. What do you do when people are unable or unwilling to come to your physical store? Live-streaming allows such businesses to create an additional revenue stream that is potentially always open. More importantly, brands and influencers can expand their reach well beyond their immediate geographic area to grow their audience at scale.”
How Your Brand Can Use Live-Streaming Video
As with any other form of content marketing, you must consider how you will provide value to your audience through your live streams. Product introductions, customer support Q&A’s, influencer outreach and presentations with partners or influencers can help present your brand in a way that appeals to your unique audience.
Make your content educational, entertaining and approachable. Consider what type of content will tie in with your brand messaging, while also giving your audience a legitimate reason to tune in.
Writing for Impact BND, Chelsea Boice gives this excellent example: “[Molbak Garden + Home] turned to Facebook Live to provide a series of live tutorials addressing common gardening and home care needs. Each video typically involves a staff member, the products, and often a change of location between indoors or outdoors.”
Continues Boice, “While this B2C brand could have easily recorded a video and uploaded it to Facebook, they instead utilized live streaming to humanize their brand, allowing users to tune in and interact with the real staff in real-time.”
You also have many platforms to choose from. YouTube Live and Facebook Live are good general options for brands, but many brands have found success through more specialized video streaming niches. For example, LinkedIn Live offers a live video platform geared toward B2B sales presentations. The right platform could prove just as important as the right type of content.
Live-Stream Your Way To Your Brand Goals
With strategic use of live-streaming, you will ultimately be better positioned to form those oh-so-valuable emotional connections with your customers.
Whether you’re giving them a sneak preview of your latest product, a nifty tutorial or a behind-the-scenes look at how you run your business, these videos should absolutely be a part of your marketing strategy moving forward.