Customer engagement is up there with the most important things to cultivate in your business. It brings you multiple rewards at once: yes, conversions, but also customer loyalty, brand awareness, and higher visibility.
However, you may know all of this, and you’re just wondering how to actually achieve that customer engagement we talk about so often.
Coming to you from 2020 – the here and now – and looking ahead to the fast-approaching 2021, we’ve got the answer. Live streaming.
Live streaming has clawed up the rocky, competitive slope of marketing and emerged victorious as the most exciting method you can use today. Just look at the stats: the number of marketers who use live video rises by 20% every single year. What’s more, we expect the live streaming industry to be worth 184.27 billion USD by 2027.
But why is this? As we’ve both witnessed and carried out live streaming projects over recent years, we’ve discovered a solid truth. Live streaming and customer engagement go firmly hand-in-hand.
Live streaming is like a video call; the only difference is that the speaker is visible while the listener is not. This kind of connection is important, because video calling has also seen a sharp rise in popularity in 2020 (no prizes for guessing why). People find comfort in the personal, transparent feel of a live stream, so it’s perfect for settling down to with a cup of tea.
This is why we’re going to tell you in this post how and why live streaming can boost your customer engagement, more now than ever before. Just pretend I’m talking to you live (because while I’m typing this, I am), and go and grab a cuppa.
How can live streaming achieve customer engagement?
Expanding your reach for events and presentations
First of all, it’s pretty simple. When you live stream, you’re placing your event in the virtual sphere. This not only expands your customer engagement, but has the potential to maximise it by reaching people all over the world. We’re not just presenting to the people in the room anymore – it’s the virtual chatroom we also need to think about.
This can have a couple of positive knock-on effects. One, reaching international audiences can expand your customer base to worldwide. Two, you might just find that right client or customer virtually that you wouldn’t have found in person. Live streaming gives everyone an equal chance at engaging, rather than just the people who can physically make it.
Transparency and trust encourages long-term customer engagement
We’re pretty clued up about companies’ tricks to get you to click and buy nowadays, so it’s nice to not feel deceived. A brand that shows itself to be transparent and trustworthy often gains loyal customers because of this. But how do you prove that your customers can trust you? You know what we’re going to say…
Live streaming, like we’ve mentioned, brings a familiar and authentic feel to video marketing. They’re often a lot longer than other types of video, so it’s a more relaxing form of customer engagement. When viewers are relaxed, they’re probably going to be more receptive.
Furthermore, a live video means that, technically, ‘anything could happen’. This sounds scary, but it just means that you’re willing to show your candid self to your audience and own your mistakes. Audiences today appreciate honest brands they can relate to, and a live stream is the perfect medium to achieve this brand image.
This is where ‘long-term’ comes in. When customers know your brand to be authentic in this way, it’s more likely to stick in their mind. Months down the line, they might be thinking about something they need. Then, a voice in their brain will say, ‘Hey, what about that brand who hosted that really good live stream? Why not look them up again?’
For more on brand transparency, why not have a read of our post on social responsibility in marketing?
Live streaming encourages multiple avenues of customer engagement
As we’ve already said, live streams are longer pieces of video content that often create a slightly more relaxed atmosphere. When your audience is relaxed, they’re likely to play on their phone while watching.
Here’s our top tip: if you plug your website and social channels, this will encourage already-multitasking viewers to head to these platforms. This is even more likely of people new to your brand, who might have just stumbled across your live stream on their feed. Making sure your other channels are visible is really important for this reason.
Live streams are ultra-shareable
If you’re watching a really cool live stream, you want to share it with people as soon as possible so they don’t miss it. This speaks to live streaming’s time-sensitive nature – you need to be engaged NOW to be in on the action. Although companies often keep their live streams available for playback after they end, this isn’t always guaranteed. Besides, no one would argue that it isn’t better to be watching it when it’s actually happening. You feel like you’re part of the action – otherwise, when you watch it back, it’s more like a very long, ‘normal’ marketing video.
So, you can probably guess what happens when viewers share your video: other people see it, and they may share it too. The result is, hopefully, a continuous cycle of shares that increase your visibility with every click. Shares are the most impactful type of customer engagement with your content, because a wider audience is guaranteed to see it.
Now, you may have got this far and you’re still wondering…
When would I use live streaming?
Live streaming is great for pretty much everything, but there’s certain instances where it’s highly recommended. Sometimes you run into problems that you may not have been able to solve a decade ago, but now, the world’s your oyster with live streaming.
When you can’t present to client in person.
We all know the top reason why you wouldn’t be able to meet someone in the flesh in 2020. This also solves issues of geographical barriers – your client may be in another country, but with a live stream, you can still snap them up! This is also why live streams are so similar to video calling.
When the product you want to present is too big to transport.
Selling the moon? No problem! Live stream it! Live streaming solves practical issues like this, saving you money, energy and time. And we all need a lot of that.
When you want to showcase your product or service in a more professional way.
No matter how much you want to, you can’t give yourself special effects or lower-thirds with your logo and website on. You can try, but it won’t be as sleek as on a live stream. Sorry.
With a live stream, you can also include pre-recorded videos as intervals between sections. This not only gives you breaks to prepare for different sections, but also amps up the production value. It’s like your own ad break, so take advantage of it.
There are many benefits of live streaming – and they all come back to customer engagement. Live streaming is video marketing that is now rivalling TV, and it’s only showing signs of getting bigger. Make sure you take advantage of this exciting and ever-growing technique that will bring you ever closer to your customers.
Looking for a video production company? Looking for one that can create that ‘WOW’ effect? We produce engaging livestreams for clients – but we can do it all, no matter what kind of video you’re after. Talk to Stada Media about your next project here.
Check out more posts on all things video on the Stada Media blog!