How and Why You Should Use Live Streaming for Your Business
Did you know that 80% of consumers prefer to watch live videos from a brand than read a blog? Live-streamed video is an increasing part of our every day. Although at first glance live streaming might seem fleeting and mostly a bit fun, the fashion community, in particular, has shown the vast powers it holds for engaging audiences.
In this article, we discuss the importance of live stream for businesses and how to build live streaming into your marketing strategy.
Live streaming - what is it and why is it good?
In this month’s masterclass, Building Communities with Ethical Events, we uncovered the power of community building and organising events to engage with your target audience. Live streaming is an incredibly powerful tech tool for engaging your audience with the potential to reach thousands, and in some cases, millions! And the best part? It’s free and you can do it anywhere! And if you're worried about needing fancy equipment or studios? Don't be. Your raw content is all the better because live streaming was created to challenge the increasingly edited videos we started seeing from big brands and successful vloggers.
80% of consumers prefer to watch live videos from a brand than read a blog. (Source: Livestream)
Instagram promotes its live feature as a way to “connect to your followers in real time”. You may already be using social media platforms to share moments and updates that can be viewed in real-time. Live streaming takes that concept one step further and lets you broadcast whatever you’re doing at that moment in time direct to your audiences who can comment as you stream. Put it this way: it’s like having a face-to-face conversation with hundreds, maybe thousands, of people at once.
Did you know that if you live stream on Instagram, your content moves to first place in your followers’ Instagram Story queue, so they’re more likely to pay attention? Additionally, when your followers are using the app, they will receive a notification that your page has started live streaming, and they can tap to join instantly.
Strategic thinking: setting your Livestream goals
Decide what you want to achieve through your content. For example;
- Are you trying to grow your following on different platforms?
- Transfer followers from one platform to another
- Expand your online reach and exposure
- Increase sales
- Increase audience engagement
- Build your email list
- Sell tickets to an event
- Establish authority
If you've recently started, you’ll probably want to start with one platform. Do your research and consider the audiences of different platforms, their engagement rates and the varying features each platform offers for live-streamed videos.
If your business organises events and workshops, behind-the-scenes content will most likely play a significant role in your stream. But consider your goals carefully - are you trying to encourage people to attend in person? Live streaming generates excitement and a sense of FOMO, so it is a brilliant tool for promoting events. But give too much away, and footfall at future events will drop - after all, why bother coming if it's all accessible from the comfort of your home?
Going live doesn’t mean putting it all out there. Remember to keep your end goals in mind when planning content and think about the different angles you can use to showcase your brand, whether that’s through your events, product or advice on more sustainable consumption.
Content planning for live streaming
Your video might be spontaneous, but this doesn’t mean you can’t do some strategic planning ahead. Live streaming is an excellent tool for raising awareness about major moments - sales, events, openings, new products - so if you have something important coming up in your calendar, plan to make sure you’re live streaming at strategic points.
Although you’re aiming for a certain amount of spontaneity, having a structure works well with live streaming. For example, sharing a weekly DIY tutorial, going behind-the-scenes at your manufacturing locations, or doing a thrifted outfit of the day run-down, will offer a reason for your followers to tune into your channel regularly.
The essential trick to bear in mind when cultivating a community-driven audience on social media is to make your content relatable, and this is more crucial than ever with live streams. Ask yourself, “What do I want people to know about my brand and me?” Most people who tune into live streams want to see something real, and often something that reflects their own life. By returning to the core values of your brand, you’ll be sure to find that relatability and tell your story.
Keep up the momentum!
Our final tip is just to keep doing it. The more practice you get in, the better you’ll be and the more confident you’ll feel.
Even when you’re filming live for the 100th time, it can be nerve-racking. Although your videos take you into the virtual world, real life will still be going on around you - the phone will ring, your baby will cry, but you just have to embrace it! Live streaming is changing the way we perceive content, and you might be surprised about the kinds of quirks that keep people engaged.
Want more ideas for on using social media to build your brand? Check out our Masterclass on the topic here.