Live Streaming: Time to get ‘reel’
You have seen many digital marketing tips here and there. There are posts by established social media outlets asking marketers to churn out curated social media posts, like images complete with thematic feeds and layout to grab your audience’s attention. There are also tips that social media videos should have a rule of not more than a minute per video. Why? Because ‘the audience nowadays have shorter attention span’.
If that is indeed true, how is it then possible that marketing has also managed to achieve satisfying returns for brands through live streaming? Especially when live streaming can take up to hours.
Ever since the emergence of vlogging on YouTube, we have witnessed the progress of live streaming as a viable marketing format. In fact, it is one that seemed rather informal yet has paved its way to the hearts of many – all three hours long at times – raw and unedited, to an audience ever ready for content.
So really, what is it about live streaming that works?
The thing about live streaming is, your audience gets what they need (or want) in real time. Whether it is a celebrity doing a live Q&A in collaboration with your brand, or a foodie doing a ‘mukbang’, as an audience you will be there, all eyes glued to the screen. In a way, you are giving your audience what they want, almost instantly.
This could be due to the guilty pleasure of reality television and vlogging that got us hooked to watching the lives of others and its going-ons. Unlike the abovementioned though, the content featured on live streams keeps you engaged since you are unable to skip it forward. And because its content is close to your heart, the entire stream is a cherished experience. Moreover, the content is unscripted and unadulterated, which makes delivery and interactions even more authentic.
And because most live streams come with a comment section, the personality is able to respond to enquiries in real time (more like the audience get their answers ASAP). Have you ever had your question or greetings acknowledged by your idol, or literally anyone with a following on social media? The feeling is gratifying because you can interact with a known person and fellow like-minded audiences.
But okay, maybe you are wondering if this only works with influencers since they already have a following to begin with? Not really.
The latest craze when it comes to live streaming has been selling and auctioning of items over on Facebook Live. Or at least in Malaysia and Singapore. Each stream sees sellers enthusiastically multitasking, as they painstakingly describe items while reading comments for enquiries to respond to. The popular accounts had someone helping them to catch up with the responses!
While we have gotten use to women selling clothes on live stream, que the ‘S-hook lady’, the trend has expanded to electronics and lately, fresh seafood or fruits! Yes, you read that right, and it is pretty smart if you ask us. With modern technology comes new opportunities, and this is an example of moving with time.
Before you undermine the amount of work that goes behind each stream, like how hard could it be to turn on the camera and speak to it, think again. The skills it takes to retain your audience requires that of a sales person. An employee of Lian Huat Seafood who fronts the live auctions claims that he entertains as much as he can with humour about the fishes to make the audience laugh– from 10pm to as late as 1 in the morning.
Three. Hours. Of. Humour. Can you deliver that?
A GOOD BARGAIN
When we think of marketing a product, our thoughts immediately go to something that is probably available at the mall. The selling of fresh fish on live streaming is living proof that you can sell anything by actively engaging your audience. In China, farmers are reaping the benefits with their new found fame because of live streaming.
With every social media account, consistency is key. ‘Sotong Joyce’ started with only five viewers for her first live stream before finally garnering an audience of youngsters who were not familiar with going to the wet market and working adults. Freshcatch’s live stream now gathers about 300 viewers.
Almost every social media platform now comes with the live streaming option – from Instagram to Facebook, to YouTube. Prior to this, users turned to standalone apps like Periscope, YouNow and the likes, which were more popular then. The all-in-one feature on apps, like Instagram with IG LIVE, makes it even more convenient to host or watch a live stream. Producing a teaser post gives your audience a heads up to anticipate a session, or even of what your brand would be offering at the live stream.
Having said that, should your brand do a live stream? Sure, why not? No harm trying out a different marketing format. But before you decide to jump in and start going live stream, here are some questions to consider:
1) Is livestreaming something in accordance to your brand’s image?
Not everyone is cut out to be on live stream. Make sure your brand guidelines allow for it and your choice of ‘spokesperson’ should align with it.
2) Does the business have the target audience for it? It is not enough to front an influencer or a celebrity if the format does not cut it for the brand. Unless the marketing comes through from the influencer themselves.
Remember the time when almost every mega influencer had a Dior saddle bag strapped on across their body? It was all over Instagram and let’s just say, it was not a coincidence. But yes, instead of a static post, do a live stream (complete with a mention of it being an Ad, if it is!) and see where it goes.
Last but not least, ensure proper planning prior to the live stream. Since the format is live and content is raw, lack of planning could take a turn to becoming a PR and marketing disaster. Imagine Donald Trump doing a live stream and taking questions from all over the world. I wonder what kind of questions will be thrown.
Figuring out a new digital format can be intimidating, but not when you have us.
Drop us a line at talktous@wearebeknown and we will bring you through an effortless journey through the intricates of live streaming and what it can do for your brand or business. Alternatively, get updated on the latest digital insights by subscribing over at wearebeknown.com. We don’t spam, promise.