The exponential rise in popularity of live streaming in 2020 has established an undisputed fact – video will rule the media and marketing industries.
Live streaming has saved the live events industry which suffered a major blow during the global lockdown. According to Pollstar, a concert trade publication, the industry has recorded a revenue loss of at least $30 billion in 2020. Given the current situation of new lockdowns and surge in COVID19 cases, chances of live events returning to normalcy any time soon are slim.
However, the advantages of live streaming isn’t restricted to the live events industry. Marketers and businesses have realized the limitless reach and impact of video technology across a broad spectrum of audience.
A recent study stated that 80% of the audience prefers to watch a video over reading a blog and that video streaming would account for 82% of all Internet traffic by 2022.
It is safe to assume that live streaming is here to stay even after the pandemic is over. The technology may take a backseat as a way to stream live events and be at the forefront as an effective marketing strategy. Social media giants like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram have been quick to launch their live streaming platforms, inspiring businesses to market themselves and connect with their customer base virtually in real-time because they know that’s where the future is.
How Can Marketers & Businesses Use Live Streaming?
Businesses usually play safe using pre-recorded videos about their products and services. However, live streaming is both entertaining and engaging, and strikes a personal chord with the viewers. Unlike pre-recorded videos which appear to be ads, live streaming seems to be like a conversation a business has with its customers. A lot of brands, including personalities, have used live streaming to interact with their audiences, answer questions, respond to comments, or conduct interviews. This is a powerful approach to retain your consumer base.
- Live streaming behind-the-scenes allows your consumer a peek into your business’s everyday life. Let’s say you have revamped your workplace or have a new team member aboard. You can live stream these changes on your social media handles to maintain a ‘lively’ connection with your audiences. People don’t connect with logos as much as they do with faces.
- Interacting with customers directly during a live stream session establishes a positive relationship between businesses and their customers. Customers don’t have to wait on phone calls or for email replies to address their problems. You may also encourage suggestions and positive feedback from your customers about your products and service.
- Businesses should move from social media posts to live streaming to announce anything new or exciting related to businesses. An excited face making announcements about something new is more impactful than simple statuses or posts. Make sure there is a ‘fun element’ in your live streamings that reflects energy. Include links or other information that will direct your customers to your business.
- Make sure you have a rough script or an outline of what you want to and don’t want to say. Making a list of do’s and don’t will help you avoid any kind of embarrassment since, unlike in recorded videos, live streaming doesn’t have an editing option. Of course, you shouldn’t be ‘reading’ but talking. Be clear on what topic will be the highlight of your stream so that you don’t wander off the topic. It’s great to inform your customers when your next live stream will be.
Advantages of Live Streaming
- Do you have a relationship with your customers or is all just about trade? If your business hasn’t developed a positive, sentimental relationship with your audience, it’s likely that you won’t have returning customers and expanding your customer base will be challenging. Constant live streaming sessions will help you establish both a personal and professional relationship with your audiences.
- One of the major advantages of live streaming is that it adds credibility to the business and the brand. Conversing with your customers in real-time builds a relationship of trust between your business and your audience. Your customers know more about you than just images and words.
- Live streaming is the most affordable yet impactful way of digital marketing. Since people expect live streams to be casual, you wouldn’t have to spend time editing your videos before posting them online.
It’s time for businesses to focus on video marketing and design a strategy that places live streaming at its core. Live streaming is going to unfold more ways to improve revenues and offer opportunities to revamp the marketing strategies in the age of social distancing.