Live streaming is here to stay, and it will continue to transform education, e-commerce, events based businesses, and many other industries.
Paul Petropoulos, Founder – MediaEquipt
Live streaming videos are mostly not clean. Their production value is also not high, no music to support visuals etc. yet they are getting popular day by day. Infact they have become an important part of marketing strategy.
You know why?
Because you can’t rig a live stream video and hence it looks authentic despite of all its flaws.
To learn more about Live streaming, we talked to Paul. Read on to know more as he shared the evolution of this content form, how businesses have used it so far and what mistakes we as marketers should avoid when it comes to incorporating it in our marketing activities.
1. How Live streaming has evolved in the past and where is it heading?
Live streaming has been around for a long time, but due to the cost and difficulty to set up, it is only in recent years we have seen its rise. New platforms like Facebook Live, Twitch, and Periscope made live streaming more accessible to everyone.
This leads us to today, where social distancing measures affected most of us in 2020, and marketers and business owners had to find new ways to reach audiences.
We saw churches live streaming services, real estate agents hosting virtual house tours, and the rise of live e-commerce. Many businesses that adapted now use live streaming as a vital part of their marketing strategy, and in many ways, they are not going back.
In other words, live streaming is here to stay, and it will continue to transform education, e-commerce, events based businesses, and many other industries. The ability to engage with an audience in real-time through human-to-human interaction on a big scale is a digital marketer’s dream come true.
Having said that, I believe live streaming is still in its infancy. Due to infrastructure issues, the cost, and the knowledge required to live stream, it is not nearly as widely adopted as it will be in the future.
As costs fall and faster internet becomes accessible to more people, we will see live streaming continue to grow in a big way.
Many event-based businesses will continue to go virtual, and influencers will gain even more importance in the digital marketing space. Meanwhile, in Asia, we have seen the rise of Live e-commerce, which is now a multi-billion dollar industry.
Many Chinese e-commerce apps have directly incorporated live streaming into their product pages. This new trend has not yet caught on in the western hemisphere, but I am sure it is just a matter of time.
Overall, a lot is in store for live streaming in the future, and with it, many opportunities for digital marketers.
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2. What are some effective Live streaming tactics that Businesses can adopt in 2021?
Having made the case for live-streaming as a digital marketing tool, let me now share some ways you can reach new audiences with this new medium and examples I have seen recently.
Make announcements or showcase a product with live video, you can showcase your product or service in a way that engages your audience and converts sales. You can also stream announcements, events, or presentations for your business.
Many companies like Apple, Microsoft, and General Motors have live- streamed product launches that garnered millions of views.
Q&A (Questions & Answers) or AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions are great opportunities for your audience to get to know you and your brand better.
These types of streams often feel more personal and informal, which builds trust with potential customers. Educational content Live streaming how-to and explainer videos are great for engaging audiences.
They provide value to the viewer without directly asking for a sale. For example, kitchen and crafts expert, Martha Steward streamed a series of how-to and recipe videos on Facebook Live, expanding her digital outreach.
Work with influencers Streamer-influencers have a strong relationship with their viewers as the connection is already there. Find ways to collaborate with influencers within your niche that can benefit both parties.
In 2015, Nestles Drumstick Periscope campaign took advantage of the popular
#FirstDayOfSummer hashtag and teamed up with famous influencers who promoted their product.
The behind-the-scenes video is personally one of my favorite live streaming tactics. With live video, you can show a company’s, behind-the-scenes operations and showcase the people behind the brand.
BTS streams give viewers an insight into the making of the product or service, conveying transparency, and building trust.
For example, Dunkin Donuts live-streamed behind-the-scenes video of their operations on Valentine’s day, attracting thousands of views online. But many other big brands have used this tactic as well, including Target and GE.
3. What mistakes marketers should avoid when it comes to live streaming?
In my experience, there are three common pitfalls that I see marketers fall into when it comes to live-streaming. Below is what you should keep in mind.
Have a clear plan and reason to live stream – I have seen many businesses live stream without really understanding or taking advantage of this new medium.
They don’t have a content plan or topic to cover a whole episode, leading to dead air time and disengaged viewers. You have to find a relevant topic and understand what your audience wants to see from a live stream.
Look at your current digital marketing strategy – Find what works, and see if you can incorporate that into a live stream. As for finding topics to cover, I recommend asking your followers on social media or creating a poll.
A stream is not supposed to be super polished like a video ad. There is great value in real, raw, human-to-human interaction.
This is why we also have seen the rise of so many live streamer influencers, where their personality is the driving force. While production quality is important, focus on the human element.
Be prepared and adaptable – Always assume that everything that can go wrong will go wrong when live-streaming. It is always good practice to check and double-check everything before going live.
And make sure to have backup plans, equipment, and knowledgeable people willing to step in if something doesn’t work. You should be able to quickly change the plan if you need to.
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About Paul (in his own words)
To start with, I want to thank Vidsaga for featuring me here. It is always a pleasure to share my knowledge with other people.
My life journey starts in a small town in Greece, where I grew up. Even as a kid, I was interested in film and video production.
I started making my own home-films at the age of ten, and never really stopped after that.
Because I was entrepreneurial (did the lemon stand thing.. yeah I know), marketing felt like a way to combine my creative and business interests. After taking up several gigs, I started gaining more experience creating video content personally and for other businesses.
I got started by creating short videos and went on to even set-up live webinars as a freelancer.
Today, I am studying filmmaking and running MediaEquipt – A site with guides and information helping thousands of video creators around the world.
A lot of what I am about to share comes from my own experience as a video marketer. So stick around, and I might even be able to teach you a thing or two!
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