Live Stream Content is Changing the Way Companies and Consumers Connect
In marketing, communication is everything. Since before the first business sold its products, people have sought more immediate and substantial ways to communicate. Ways to engage audiences in the meaning of messages and enable better communication have evolved over centuries, though the pace of advance has accelerated greatly with the pace of technological change:
- Paintings on cave walls are testimony to the power of visual communication
- Messages transported by carrier pigeon speeded communications
- The invention of the telephone brought ‘real-time’ communication into reality for the first time
- The television gave businesses a new way to advertise visually
- The internet gave us email and then instant messaging
Today, video calls that were once the realm of science fiction are now a common method of communicating for business and pleasure purposes. We have moved into the age of live stream video – a method of communication which, when executed effectively, can engage audiences where they are found most frequently: on social media..
An Audience Of 3 Billion, And Counting
Social media has transformed the business of marketing. Though the original concept of sites like Facebook was an online place for people to meet, it has been found to be a significant location for businesses to connect with their target demographic – and what an opportunity it is.
According to the 'We Are Social’ report, the number of social media users stands at a staggering 3.484 billion in 2019. Potentially, by targeting social media in advertising campaigns, a business can reach 45% of the world’s population. The same report says that there are 11 new users of social media every single second of the day – almost 347 million new users every year.
From Adverts To Engagement
While social media is a huge resource for marketers to tap into, businesses have had to learn to adapt to the changing habits of social media users. These habits have been largely technology-driven, and have seen successful marketing evolve from the traditional ‘push’ sales adverts to innovative ‘pull’ engagement.
Consumers have moved on from being sold to. Today, consumers are far better informed than ever. They have information at the touch of a mobile device. They can compare product and service features with a few thumb strokes.
Millennial consumers have far different motivations to buy today. They are more likely to buy from companies with whom they share values and beliefs. They are less price-driven, instead choosing to buy from companies they trust. Businesses have responded by engaging audiences with increasingly innovative content, and communicating in ways that their audiences are choosing to engage with. Today, that communication channel is live video – a marketing method that has the power to transform brand awareness.
Why Do Businesses Use Video?
According to recent research published by TechJury, 87% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool, and 79% of consumers say that a brand’s video has convinced a buying decision. They are powerful statistics, especially when you consider that:
- Videos on social media generate 1200% more shares than texts and images
- Companies that use video enjoy 41% more traffic from searches
- 40% of consumers state video increases the chance to purchase a product on their mobile device
- 74% of millennials find video helpful when comparison shopping
Why Use Live Video Streaming?
Consumers are moving on from video at a breakneck pace:
- By 2020, 82% of all internet traffic is expected to be live streaming (Source: Go-Globe)
- Currently, 63% of 18- to 34-year-olds watch live streaming content regularly (Source: Neil Patel)
- Almost half of live stream viewers watched more live steam in 2018 than they did in 2017 (Source: eMarketer)
Of course, more viewers doesn’t mean more sales, though according to Livestream, 67% of those who watched a live stream purchased a ticket to a similar event the next time it occurred.
People love watching live video streams because, when done right, it:
- Keeps them up to date and informed
- Creates a sense of involvement
- Develops excitement
Live video allows potential customers a look inside a company. Consumers get a deep look behind the scenes, with a live connection to real people they may otherwise never meet, but with whom they can feel a connection thanks to video media.
What Social Media Is Best For Live Stream Videos?
In 2016, the live streaming market was worth around US$30 billion. By 2021, this is expected to grow to more than US$70 billion. By 2025, this will grow to US$124.6 billion (source: MediaKix). Social media platforms such as YouTube, InstaLive and Livestream are growing fast. But the gorilla in the room is Facebook.
Globally, one in every five videos are uploaded as a Facebook Live video before being uploaded elsewhere. The keyword ‘Facebook live stream’ as a search term increased in use by 330% between 2016 and 2018. In 2018, almost nine in every 10 US dollars spent on video ads in the US was spent on Facebook.
How Can Companies Engage Audiences With Live Stream Video?
Success of a live stream strategy depends on the content. Bland, faceless and emotionless content will lose an audience quickly. Companies must give their target market what it wants, and ensure that the content they post is fresh, informative, interesting and entertaining. It must add value, or consumers will tune out. Here are a few content types that work well in live streaming:
Interviewing employees gives viewers a unique insight into a company. Interviewing customers allows a brand to add consumer advocacy to their marketing in a real human environment. Introducing industry thought leaders into discussions gives a wider perspective, and lets people know that a brand considers the whole market and the points of view of others.
'How It's Done' Videos
Producing a walk-through in a factory lets consumers watch how a product is made – something they will rarely see. Consumers will have a better understanding of the quality of input products used, the processes employed to create products, and the value added to the finished item by a business’s people and processes.
Hosting training sessions on live stream video shows consumers not only how to use a product, but also the ease of use. No consumer can accuse a company of doctoring a livestream video – it’s a great way to help people appreciate a product’s use.
Training sessions are perfect for all types of products and services – from technical devices to beauty tips, to informal knowledge training for specific industries. Training hosts can invite questions and comments, and react to these in real time.
Question and Answer Sessions
Consumers have questions. What better way to address these than in a live Q&A session? Whether it is a service or product a business is selling, these forums give people the opportunity to ask the questions they have and listen to the answers to questions from other participants. Great engagement and a perfect way to humanise a brand.
Introduce New Products and Services
Live stream is a perfect channel for a new product or service launch. The first to use Facebook Live for this was GE, when it showed the world the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2017. As for the engagement factor – 56,000 views and 850 comments.
Run A Contest
Livestream contests are an exciting way to get people involved and engaged with a brand. A host asks questions and invites answers on the live stream, with correct answers entered into a lottery with the name picked winning a pre-determined prize.
Should You Choose a Career in Digital Marketing?
While the evolution of digital marketing is going to continue, one of the most exciting and fastest-growing areas is live stream video. With rapid growth predicted, the opportunities to build a highly rewarding career will grow, too.
This career path is ideally suited to people who are social media users, technically adept, and have a creative flair. You’ll be a good communicator and a self-learner, with the ability to keep up with and adapt to changing market demands and advancing technology.
If you have digital skills, enjoy working with people, and are seeking a rewarding challenge in the digital space, contact the Digital Team at Prime Insight. We know that in a changing world, it is the people who make the difference.