If you’re looking to boost engagement, expand your marketing plan, entice new followers, and generally sell more products, live streaming your business can help. There’s a reason why big brands such as BMW, Nestle, Starbucks, and Doritos are all taking advantage of this relatively new form of marketing.
Whether you use an app like Snapchat, Periscope, or Meerkat or you get online to try out Facebook Live, the possibilities for your business are endless. I share a few reasons why it’s worth incorporating live streaming in your 2017 business and marketing plans.
Live Streaming is an Extension of Video Marketing
Live streaming video is simply an interactive extension to video marketing, and video marketing has already been proven to be an effective form of advertisement.
Video currently accounts for half of all Internet traffic, so it makes sense that you’d want your business to be a part of that. Videos are accessible and affordable, and their ROI has been tested and proven again and again. So why wouldn’t an interactive version of video marketing be just as effective, if not more? Skyword explains with statistics to prove why video marketing matters .
Furthermore, if you choose Facebook Live as your platform, the videos are automatically saved to your timeline (as shown from Starbucks in the screenshot below). This means they’re available to share, tweet, incorporate into a blog post, etc. Essentially, you double the marketing possibilities for very little work! Learn more here.
Streaming Provides a Quick Way to Create an Effective Video
Live stream videos are broadcast in real time, so that means no more spending hours creating a perfectly staged video to match a specific tone. It’s less work, but just as effective (if not more) as the elaborately designed videos of the past.
Live stream videos can be created really quickly and still be effective; think a 2-minute post to answer a question or provide a quick tip.
This is much faster than writing a blog post to convey the same information. In addition, it’s an effective strategy for your customers who most likely have short attention spans and won’t read a long post or watch a really long video. Plus, they can interact with live streaming videos to help keep their attention.
Videos are a Cost Effective Option
Cost is obviously a huge factor in small business marketing, so you’ll be happy to know that live streaming videos are no more expensive than regular video marketing, which is already fairly cheap. All you need to be effective is a good camera and a dependable Internet connection.
If you have a Mac or an iPhone, you don’t even need to invest in an expensive camera as both those options come with more than adequate video options. Although I recommend investing in better equipment as time goes on, especially if you are streaming on behalf of a brand. Videos with high audio and video quality do better than those without good quality.
Build a Connection with Customers
This unique form of marketing allows consumers to feel like a family or part of a community. They can bond with each other and with you while they watch your videos and ask you questions. As live streaming is done in an open forum, they also have the option to ask each other questions and pick up tips. This makes customers feel like they’re part of the action, and it helps them get to know you, your business, and your products.
Prospective customers are more likely to buy from someone to whom they feel a connection.
The Oatmeal does a wonderful job with this as shown in the example below, and as you can see nearly 8K visitors agree:
In addition, video marketing makes your business transparent which customers like; it shows that you’re not trying to hide any product defects or marketing tricks since you’re advertising live and in public.
What are some examples of effective live streaming?
“Teach” Your Audience and Provide Instant Value
A great way to incorporate live streaming into your business plan is to use it for training purposes or as a way to provide a valuable live discussion around a topic.
You also can give demos on new products or on how to use products. Customers can ask questions in real time and those questions can be addressed immediately, which clears up any confusion that blocks a potential sales conversion.
Host a Q&A Session
Not only does a Q&A session increase customer engagement, it builds relationships with your customers because it shows them that you care about their concerns and want to address any questions or issues they might have. Your Q&A session with an audience that plays to the art of transparency.
Just don’t try to advertise or promote products during this time; make it strictly about your customers and their needs. Anticipate their questions and concerns, but also let them share in real time.
Live Stream Events
Get the word out about how your business is interacting with the community. If you’re hosting a fundraiser, stream it. If you’re attending a fun event like a concert, stream it. Viewers who aren’t able to make the event will appreciate the front row (or backstage) view, and most likely it will encourage them to come to the next thing!
Just make sure you are interacting with them while you’re at the event and streaming the video so that they don’t get bored and tune out.
Incorporate Live Streaming into Your Business Plan
Live streaming is a quick and easy to get started. Decide how live streaming can benefit your business and incorporate it into your business and marketing plans. What do you want to achieve with it? After you answer these basic questions, you will be in a better position to decide what you want to stream first!
My last tip is if you’re camera shy, consider starting with a quick video to share a tip or address a common concern. You’ll be hosting Q&A’s and filming tutorials before you know it!
What’s the first thing you’re going to stream? Comment in the section below!