If you stay up to date with the latest mobile and social media trends, then you know live streaming is on the rise. Live streamers and their viewers alike are experiencing the satisfaction of engaging in an interactive live experience, even if it’s as simple as watching someone share their talents, taking part in a live Q&A session with a popular YouTuber, or, in one case, watching a car get crushed for entertainment.
But live streaming isn’t exclusive to influencers or even individuals. Brands and retailers can reap the benefits of live streaming by bringing awareness and engagement to their products and services. Take Gravy, a live shopping game, has already established itself as a trendsetter when it comes to combining retail, gamification and live broadcasting by offering the trendiest products to the market with deep discounts.
Many brands and retailers choose Facebook Live and Instagram Live Stories to promote their products, but creating a customized experience in a brand-safe environment that truly shows your customers what your brand is can’t only be done on a third-party platform. So what can brands do instead? Integrate live streaming capabilities on their own channels.
Here are some reasons why hosting a live broadcast via your own channels is the way to go:
You have complete autonomy.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of hosting live streams on a brand-owned channel is that you have complete control over the entire experience from start to finish. Brands are not limited to a specific amount of time (Facebook Live’s time limit is four hours) or dependent on another host’s technology, which can fail without a moment’s notice. While a user’s network connection and choice of device are factors in determining the quality of their experience, companies should implement a live streaming solution that helps address these issues as well.
Another benefit of “owning” your own live stream is customization. The format of the live stream, including screen size, the number of participants, and the way participants interact, can be tweaked to meet a brand’s specifications.
Your brand gets maximum exposure.
Incorporating live streams into your marketing strategy is a simple way to build buzz for your brand. While you can promote the launch of your newest product or service directly, viewers are especially fond of content that speaks directly to their interests. For example, if you’re an eCommerce brand specializing in women’s footwear, you might consider a live stream showcasing the latest fashion trends — with your shoes incorporated into every look, of course. Your viewers will not only get #OOTD (“Outfit Of The Day”) inspiration, they’ll come away knowing what your brand represents.
Offering live product tutorials and other how-to content is another way to engage your viewers. In fact, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it. Do your customers constantly ask your customer service team hundreds of questions? Address some of their FAQ’s and show them how to use your products or services correctly. Better yet, ask viewers to submit their questions directly through the live stream and answer them in real time.
You can build better customer relationships.
If you own an eCommerce brand, then you realize your customers can’t literally step foot in your store. And even though traditional retailers have brick-and-mortar shops, they often can’t cover every city that their customers are in. Live streams, however, can remove the barriers dividing businesses and their customers.
One of the biggest reasons consumers don’t shop particular brands is because they have no connection to the brand’s mission or values. Millennial’s, in particular, expect brands to be transparent and go above and beyond to serve their customers and community. Lift the curtain by offering exclusive behind-the-scenes live video of your company’s inner workings. Broadcast the way your products are made or hold live interviews with important or interesting members of your team. Content that inspires your viewers will not only increase engagement but establish your brand as an influencer in your specific industry.
Brands can create a true, complete brand experience for their customers through live streaming. While it may not be obvious at first, brands can unlock tons of new opportunities through live video experiences that engage and excite existing and future customers.