The Rise of Live Streaming
Marketing is constantly evolving, with tech forever advancing and behavioural online patterns shifting, it can feel exhausting trying to keep ahead in the digital game- but if you want to be a successful marketer, you don't really have a choice. Marketers always need to be looking beyond what’s working now and continually think about what’s going to be working next.
Video content is gaining traction and has been for some time now (not sure if we've ever mentioned this before...) Cisco claims that, ‘By 2021, 82 percent of all consumer IP traffic will be video, and that growth will be driven by a boon in live streaming, courtesy of services like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.’
Enter live streaming.
In 2011 it all began with the app YouNow, then in 2014 Snapchats arrived on the social media scene. By 2017, all the big names in social media are using live streaming of some sort.
In terms of video it's the ‘next big thing’. Although there’s not much ‘next’ about it, it’s happening now. The problem being that CEO’s and marketing managers are finding it all too easy to dismiss live streaming as exclusively useful for the gaming world, as opposed to a tool for businesses to promote their brand and sell their products. Huge mistake.
Live streaming can range from tutorials, to product launches, to behind-the-scenes footage and so much more. Now is prime time for live streaming and if miss boat at this point you’ll be missing out on high traffic numbers. Not only that but live video is proving to be the most genuine way to connect with customers. Most businesses are holding back out of fear of failure or the unknown aspects of material and content that isn’t pre-fabricated.
So, why live video?
Let’s face it, we’re all battling on the ever-changing algorithms of social media in order to engage with target audiences. Live streaming has the potential to reach thousands of new customers without a surge in budget or advertising costs. It’s fast growing, it already has an enormous user base and there are no signs of it slowing down. In 2016 it was estimated to be worth $30 billion and is estimated to have doubled by 2021 putting its worth at $70 billion. `
NB: That’s quite a lot of money. That’s quite a lot of engagement potential.
With 80% of people rather watching a live stream that reading a blog, it draws back to looking at millennials, their attention span and what they actually want. It’s all too easy to rely on techniques that worked splendidly two years ago, but times are a-changing and the young-uns know what they want. 62% of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.
People buy people. Simple. We love to have a connection with a brand, to feel connected to something rather than simply purchasing a product. Consumers are said to be more likely to feel excitement, immediacy and connection with live video as opposed to tradition, edited video. Allows behind-the-scenes footage gives consumers a gateway into the more personal aspects of office life or your business. As our consumerism behaviours become increasingly more digital, trust is becoming a great part of product purchasing, and if a consumer feels a genuine connection to a brand they are far more likely to convert.
Let’s face it, content marketing and SEO is expensive and time consuming. With the average blog taking 3.5 hours (almost half a working day), it’s no wonder such a high proportion of businesses are overlooking content marketing as a strategic priority. Live streaming is essentially a happy alternative for said businesses. It’s relatively easy, it’s cheap and it’s arguably a lot less pressure than traditional content. Live means it’s more genuinuity but also things are likely to go wrong, if fact it’s expected. Unlike long drawn out blogs and content creation where grammar is ever criticised and content is ever scrutinised, live streaming takes off the pressure and embraces the flaws. Win, win.
‘YouTube still dominates video traffic in most mobile networks, accounting for between 40–70 percent of total video traffic for almost all measured networks’ so best not to ignore YouTube as a major platform for live streaming BUT Facebook live surpassing the king of video when it comes to live streaming. Facebook has billions of monthly active users so this as a platform for presenting your live video is definitely a must. With people on the platform watching 3x more facebook live than normal video, it would be foolish not to start considering this as part of marketing strategy.
Stick to brand values. Just because you're trying out a different tool for marketing doesn't mean you should change the way you present your brand. Keep in mind how you want your brand to be presented and make sure this comes across.
Engage. People can comment during live video so engage with them, start a conversation with your consumers as opposed to the traditional one way dialogue you've been used to. This is the ideal way to find out what's working, what they want and to build invaluable relationships.
Facebook recommends at least 10 minutes of live streaming, although you can reach a maximum of 90 minutes. Make sure you're live for long enough to actually make an impact as opposed to sneaking yourself live for a couple of minutes and then hiding behind your blogs again.
Live Streaming. Take the risk, it will be worth it.