When you think about hosting a live stream online in front of so many people, pre-recording and editing a ‘normal’ video sounds much more comfortable in comparison. However, you can’t let the fear of the unknown stop you. We’re going to tell you why live streaming is important – SO important – for video marketing in 2020 and beyond. Soon, it will be your priority rather than an alien newcomer.
From our own experience of live streaming, we’ve found that it’s just one step further beyond every aspect of video marketing. It’s the next logical stage in video’s evolution.
What areas of video marketing does it help to evolve? Well, we’ve got a solid 4: interaction, education, cost-effectiveness, and driving traffic.
Because it’s even closer to real-world, face-to-face interaction, it’s the ‘I’m you, but stronger’ version of generic video.
We also can’t avoid factoring in the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on people’s viewing habits. With less opportunity for face-to-face interaction, people are searching for video experiences that are close to the real world.
For instance, watching a live stream is similar to watching a presentation in person. People haven’t forgotten the effectiveness of the face-to-face experience, which is why they now look for the next best thing online.
To illustrate this, the live streaming sector grew an entire 45% between March and April 2020. That’s a lot of streaming in one month, guys.
First up, let’s have a look at why live streaming is important for interaction with your audience.
‘Normal’ video, although you’re able to personalise it and encourage interaction in comments, is still more limited in its interaction possibilities.
Think of live streaming as actually inviting your audience into the room with you, rather than leaving them looking in through the window. This is especially applicable to ‘behind the scenes’ type live streams, taking you on an authentic tour around a project space.
As well as making your audience feel involved, they’ll also appreciate your transparency. Being ‘real’ is very important for companies nowadays, whose customers are savvier about what may go on behind the scenes (such as the recent scandal with Boohoo).
The difference between retrospective interaction and live interaction is why live streaming is important. When something is live, your audience is almost on tenterhooks – technically anything can happen that you’re not aware of.
What’s more, you can react to these changes in real-time like you’re at the theatre. As for pre-recorded video, however, you pretty much know the formula.
Also, you can’t react to certain moments with others without having to reference timestamps and such in the comments. Your audience interacting with each other in a shared period of time automatically creates a community. When you feel you’re a part of something, you don’t want to let that go easily. This offers the chance to build a base of loyal customers.
While pre-recorded video is still incredibly effective for your marketing, it’s inevitably not going to be head-to-head with live streaming in the race.
The second area of video marketing that shows why live streaming is important is education.
Video is massively effective for educating viewers because of its ability to engage and break the content down into a digestible format. When you throw a higher level of interaction and engagement into the mix, your ability to educate increases tenfold.
The obvious example of educating through live streaming is school moving online during the coronavirus pandemic. However, any type of live video can educate – especially one about your company or product.
When viewers watch a live video, they are much more engaged because they know there’s a possibility they won’t get to play the video back. This creates the feeling of an unmissable experience.
With that strong foundation already in place, you have the key opportunity to secure a riveted group of loyal customers. This is a big reason why live streaming is important in your long-term marketing strategy.
When your company can educate, you enhance the whole package you are offering to your customers. It’s not just a product they can buy, and off they go; it’s a continuous learning experience between speaker and audience.
You heighten this even further by the fact that you can respond to questions in real-time. This means no one is left wondering at the end. Everyone is happy!
Now, we’re trying to show you how a marketing technique can benefit your business, so we can’t leave out costs.
One unavoidable reason why live streaming is important is that it’s no more expensive than your standard low-budget video production project. All you need is an internet connection and a good HD camera.
This means you’re left with more scope to show your audience something exciting with the remaining pennies you have spare.
Cost-effectiveness also comes with resourcefulness. You can repurpose a live stream after it’s finished, turning it into short clips, graphics and more.
This means live streaming offers a much wider opportunity than just an hour of your audience’s time – you can stretch it into an entire campaign.
In addition, audiences go into a live stream with lower expectations than they do a marketing video they’d see on your website. Automatically, they’re expecting it to be a bit less crisp. Besides, this is often to do with audience members’ internet connections, not yours. Some things you can’t control.
It’s a unique innovation in this sense. This is because, although they’re worth it, many new video techniques (for example, virtual reality) can be pricey.
It’s not often you get to take advantage of a (fairly) new and growing technology in your marketing. Grab it by the horns, people!
It’s not often nowadays that people sit down and watch something without the temptation to mess around on their phone at the same time. Especially with a live stream, it’s more like sitting down to chat to a friend.
So, don’t be surprised if your audience has a little scroll while you talk. People do the same with TV. So, it’s inevitable, because people love live streaming for the same reasons they love TV!
However, this doesn’t mean they’re just not listening to something you’ve probably worked very hard on. Quite the contrary – with another device in their hands, they have the opportunity to delve further into your brand.
For example, they might have a browse of your website. They might look you up on YouTube to see what other content you’re putting out. They might scroll down your social media profiles and give you a follow.
These are all very valuable secondary interactions you can gain and are yet more reasons why live streaming is important.
Here’s an experiment for you – after it’s over, check all of your communications channels. Have you enjoyed an increase in Instagram followers, or a surge in newsletter subscribers? You can thank your live stream. Honestly, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Key things to remember about live streaming
Don’t pigeonhole it.
You might think of it as just one thing, like a celebrity talking to their fans on Instagram or gamers playing together on Twitch. However, live streaming as a technique opens up so many more avenues than this.
If you’re a business trying to grow in 2020 (and beyond), you’re going to want to let live streaming in. It’s time to chuck away those pre-conceived assumptions and see what it can do for your sales and customer base.
Millennials are live streaming’s biggest audience.
63% of people ages 18-34 are watching live-streaming content regularly. So, you’re looking to target a younger audience, you’re in luck. It’s important to understand why live streaming is important for appealing to younger, savvier audiences.
However, despite millennials taking up most of the limelight, all ages watch live streaming – so don’t despair!
Facebook and YouTube are the most popular platforms if you’re a marketer.
Before you go thinking you’d better live stream on Twitch because it’s technically the biggest live streaming platform, remember that Twitch is made up largely of gamers. You’ve got to think about your audience and where they’re likely to be.
So, we hope that by now you realise why live streaming is important for your business. Not just that, but that it’s pretty much unavoidable on the road to marketing success.
You’ve got to get past this hurdle – which is actually less of a hurdle, and more of a really fun slide.
Read more just like this on our blog!