In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, it’s getting harder to foster genuine relationships with your audience. Businesses are actively searching for ways to truly connect. In a world full of paid ads, and with most people distrusting brands, the options are becoming limited.
That’s why live stream marketing is gaining traction. Brands of all sizes are beginning to realize the power of real-time video engagement, with pioneers reaping immense rewards. As a brand, understanding the importance of live streaming as a marketing strategy will be pivotal for your growth and development in the digital space. But you need to know how to play the live-stream game correctly to build meaningful relationships with your audience.
So what is it, how does it work, and how can you utilize it? Let’s explore it all.
What is live stream marketing?
Live stream marketing is the process of using live video content to engage with your audience, promote your brand, and ultimately drive conversions. Most social media outlets offer live streaming options, and some have based their whole model on it (we’re looking at you, Twitch).
Live video content is direct, interactive, and on-demand, which makes it a potent tool in any brand’s marketing arsenal. Whether you’re hosting a virtual event, a Q&A session, or even a product launch, live streaming allows brands to communicate in real time, fostering a sense of community and authenticity that pre-recorded videos can rarely match.
Why is live stream marketing important for brands?
Let’s face it. It’s pretty hard to hold customers’ attention these days, especially when only 1 in 3 people say they trust most of the brands they buy or use. Now more than ever, brands need to hit hard with authenticity. It’s less about performing and more about turning up.
Social media platforms make for a good stage to do exactly that. These platforms allow brands to reach their audience more personally and cultivate stronger relationships. This unique form of content delivery has been a game-changer, providing an intimate, authentic connection between brands and their consumers.
So when you embrace live streaming, what happens? You stand out in the crowded digital space. As the traditional barriers between consumers and businesses continue to fall, brands can use live-stream marketing to show their human side. Not only that, but brands can literally be human, putting a face to a brand. Live streaming can help create long-lasting relationships with audiences. Moreover, it provides a platform for real-time communication, enables instant feedback, allows live sales and increases the opportunity for customer engagement.
How live stream marketing can benefit brands
Increased audience engagement
One of the critical benefits of live streaming is the ability to create a direct line of communication between your brand and your audience. This instantaneous interaction enhances audience engagement, as viewers can react, comment, and share your content in real-time.
Unlike pre-recorded videos, live streams have a sense of urgency; knowing that the video is happening in real-time encourages your audience to tune in and participate. The potential for viewers to engage directly with the brand and even influence the content through their comments or reactions can create a powerful connection, motivating them to stick around for longer and engage more deeply.
Real-time feedback from the audience
Through live streaming, you can receive immediate feedback from your audience. Whether it’s about a new product launch or a Q&A session, this real-time response mechanism allows brands to not only be more interactive with their audience but understand exactly what they want.
The best part about this is you can gain valuable insights into your target audiences that inform the rest of your marketing strategy. You get to ask for and receive feedback instantly whilst making viewers feel valued and heard. And what does that lead to? Increased loyalty and customer advocacy.
In comparison to some traditional marketing methods that often require substantial investment, live streaming is incredibly cost-effective. All you need to get started is a smartphone (a robust social media strategy also helps), and you can reach countless potential customers without breaking the bank.
Whether you’re a small business owner just starting out or a multinational corporation, live stream marketing provides an affordable way to reach a large audience, saving on the costs of venue hire, logistics, and manpower required for physical events. It’s a low-risk, high-reward strategy that brands can’t afford to ignore – especially if you use the right influencers to stream to hyper-targeted audiences.
Ability to reach a global audience
From Rome to Rio, live streaming has no geographical boundaries, allowing your brand to connect with a global audience. Regardless of where your viewers are located, they can access your live stream as long as they have an internet connection. This capacity to connect with viewers worldwide opens up new possibilities for brand expansion and recognition on an international scale.
Opportunity to showcase authenticity
We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again. Authentic content works. One of the greatest strengths of live streaming is the opportunity it presents for brands to be authentic. They are able to be approachable. Live streams are raw, unedited, and real. Forget polished, staged or cookie-cutter ideas. It’s time to get intimate and build a genuine connection with viewers.
Be transparent and consumers will start to see your brand in a new light. If this is part of your wider strategy – even better. This transparency builds trust and loyalty among your audience, leading to stronger customer relationships and ultimately boosting your brand reputation.
Selecting the right live stream platform for your brand
Not every shoe fits. Choosing the right platform for your strategy is crucial for live streaming success. Each platform has its own unique set of features, audience demographics, and content styles. So choose wisely.
Instagram is one of the top platforms to engage users on Lives. Roughly 20% or 1 in 5 Instagram users watch an IG Live stream, so it’s definitely a popular format on the channel. It also allows you to co host, share questions from your viewers to the screen, and see real-time viewer comments that can help increase engagement.
Moreover, Instagram is inherently visual and creative, offering a great backdrop for brands to showcase their products. Whether you’re hosting a live workout session, a cooking demo, or a product launch, Instagram Lives can keep even the most wandering minds focused. Influencers can help with that, too (more on that later).
Best for: Brands looking to target Gen Z and Millennials through interactive content and product launches.
TikTok, while particularly popular among Gen Z, is now being adopted by a wider demographic. This is the OG of authentic social media apps. With its video-first interface and nack for community building, it’s a powerful platform for live stream marketing.
TikTok’s unique algorithm provides an unparalleled opportunity for brands to go viral and reach a large audience quickly. Its live streams have similar features to Instagram Lives, with options like Q and A and cohosting. Because TikTok is a place where communities grow (it has so many niche groups on the platform), TikTok Lives present an opportunity for brands to reach these audiences.
YouTube Live offered live streaming way before it was considered “cool”. And since it’s now the most popular place to watch live content, brands are going to want to get on board. On YouTube, you can not only stream live but also schedule events ahead of time. Other platforms do this too, but on YouTube, it’s all about the hype. You can create a live experience ahead of time and schedule it easily. It’s an ideal platform for longer-form content, such as webinars or tutorials. Given YouTube’s nature as a search engine, this platform also helps with discoverability, as your live streams can be found through keyword searches even after the broadcast has ended.
Twitch is a platform that puts live streaming at the heart of everything. Originally made for gamers, Twitch has now evolved to be much more than just a gamer’s haven. It’s become a hub of activity for all kinds of communities, and people turn up to watch different kinds of live streams. In a world where community is becoming king, it’s a key channel for brands looking to harness the power of live streams. An impressive feature of Twitch is its real-time chat that runs alongside the live streams. It’s an essential part of the platform, enabling viewers to interact directly with the streamers and among themselves, forming communities around shared interests. It’s not just a side tool, it’s a fundamental part of the Twitch experience. They have made community building and interaction inevitable.
Brands can leverage Twitch to host Q&A sessions, product launches, and other interactive content. Furthermore, Twitch’s unique culture and community engagement features provide brands with opportunities to build strong, engaged communities.
How can brands use live video?
Streaming is powerful. But you need to know how to use it. Simply scheduling in a live stream and hoping it works is not good enough. You need to understand what can make streams so effective and how to make the most of them in your marketing strategy.
Influencer marketing and live streaming
We’ve already said that streaming helps build that all-important trust between you and your target audience. But where live content really comes into its own is through Influencer collaborations. Influencers not only understand their audience but are also absolute trailblazers when it comes to interacting with their community. Creators have their own dedicated audience who trust their opinions and recommendations. That means you can cash in on that visibility and engagement through strategic partnerships.
The beauty of influencer marketing through live streams is that you double down on trust and ensure an engaged community is listening. 64% of Twitch viewers buy products their favorite streamers recommend, so if you get your collabs correct, you’ll be seeing actual sales. You also get to access a unique audience pool. Starting a Twitch channel from scratch or trying to get your new Instagram channel to gain traction through a live can be tricky. So why not reach a whole new group who are already loyal and willing to listen? Through creators, you can speak directly to niche audiences who will want to see your products or services. And don’t always think inside the box. Sometimes you may want to reach a different demographic to the most obvious one.
Of course, working with the right influencer is key. You need to make sure they align with your brand values and will come across as genuine when talking about your business. But when you find the perfect partnership, you’ll reap the benefits.
Tips to ensure your live streaming has an impact
To make the most out of your live streaming efforts, it’s crucial to be personable and relatable (hence why creators do this so well). Show your brand’s human side and don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. Here are some actionable tips to ensure your live streams are on point.:
Do we sound like a broken record? That’s because we’ve literally seen the overwhelming evidence of this working. Influencer marketing can change the very course of your live-streaming strategy. You can leverage their reach, influence and engagement through careful collaboration. But more than just numbers, influencers boost your brand’s credibility and get you taken seriously by potential buyers. Don’t underestimate its power…
It’s time to be real and relatable. People don’t join a live stream to see a polished corporate image. They want to see authentic content. Show behind-the-scenes glimpses, introduce your team members, and share stories that resonate with your audience.
Encourage audience engagement
Invite your viewers to participate in your live streams by asking questions, soliciting their opinions, or even hosting live polls. The more you involve your audience, the more engaged they will be and the more likely people will join.
Whether it’s sharing expert insights, offering exclusive discounts, or teaching something new, make sure your live streams provide value to your audience. They need incentives to join in the first place. The more value you provide, the more likely viewers are to tune in to future lives.
Promote in advance
Give your audience a heads up about your upcoming live stream. Instagram are starting to offer notification ads, so there are more paid ways to ensure your event is talked about before. Create hype. Get people excited about a live, especially if you’re working with an influencer. Share the date and time on your social media channels, email newsletters, and website. The more notice you give, the more likely your audience will schedule the time to tune in.
Encourage viewers to tune in and participate in your live streams by offering exclusive incentives, such as discounts, giveaways, or early access to new products.
Get the quality right
67% of viewers say that quality is the #1 most important factor in a live stream. So make sure your live streams are of high quality both visually and audibly. If you work with an influencer, ensure you check out their previous live streams to check their quality of work.
Examples of brands getting live stream marketing right
When it comes to live stream marketing, Wayfair, the online home retail giant, hits it out of the park. Working with Wayfair, we helped navigate the live commerce space with an ambition to shake things up, to influence viewer’s purchase decisions through engaging, real-time content.
So, how did we do it? It all started with a careful selection process. Out of over 200 potential social personalities, we handpicked 12 standout influencers. These influencers brought a fresh and energetic dynamic to each live stream, making each event, from the Wayfair’s biggest sales days to casual Thursday night cooking lessons, a unique and vibrant experience. This approach wasn’t just a first for Wayfair; it was pioneering in the U.S. market too.
But the real magic happened behind the scenes. Each live-stream event was fuelled by a week-long promotion on Instagram and TikTok, capturing the attention of unique audiences, and generating buzz for the upcoming live day.
What made the influencers genuine ambassadors for Wayfair? It was more than just understanding the brand; they truly connected with Wayfair’s vision and ethos. Through meticulous coaching on each product, we ensured the influencers could authentically showcase each item, creating a deeper connection with viewers.
The result? An explosive campaign with live streams that weren’t just engaging; they were memorable. We’re talking about a whopping 30.2 million engagements and an impressive 185K live views. Now that’s making a statement.
This successful venture by Wayfair proves the immense potential of live-stream marketing. By strategically implementing authentic, real-time content, we saw skyrocketing brand awareness and customer engagement for Wayfair. Want to get the full scoop? Check out the detailed case study here.
Live stream marketing offers brands an unrivalled opportunity to connect and engage with their audiences in real time. It’s a cost-effective, impactful strategy that enhances brand visibility, encourages direct customer interaction, and fosters a deep sense of community.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, live streaming is set to become an even more significant part of the marketing mix. We’re getting into a time where mediocre content is out and raw, authentic interactions are what audiences crave. So, now is the perfect time for brands to explore their potential.
At Goat, we specialize in helping brands leverage the power of influencer marketing. It just so happens that live streams and creator collaborations work wonders together. If you want to know how to navigate this exciting new frontier and unlock the full potential of live-stream marketing, get in touch.