One of the hardest things to do is to predict the future. As marketers, though, part of the success rests in taking note of what trends are gaining popularity and what will be the next big “thing.” One area of massive growth in the past decade has been that of live streaming and live video capabilities. According to studies and prognosticators, this is a trend that will only increase in the years to come. It is estimated to grow to a $1.5 billion industry by 2020. So why is it that live streaming has become so crucial to the popularity and success of a brand? We’ve come up with a few reasons that you should consider for your business.
Social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook introduced the idea of companies connecting with their customers all across the globe. However, sometimes messages with just words can be misinterpreted, misconstrued, or just boring. Offering a live video stream allows you to reach the masses while conveying the exact message your brand desires. Whether it is an interactive product unveiling or a question & answer session about a product feature, live streaming resonates with customers because they have a visual stimulus paired with the exact message the company is wanting to send.
Gone are the days when a generic sales pitch can be expected to enthrall its customers. 21st century customers want a personal message, and they expect to be catered to. Live streaming offers a personal touch and humanizes the company. A live video feed enables the customer to see the product in real world circumstances and not altered by graphic effects and in a canned environment. As mentioned earlier, using services like Periscope, Facebook Live, or YouTube Streaming can lend itself to a question and answer session where the brand representative is able to field pertinent questions about the product and instantly answer them. Customers love being heard, and they love the instant gratification of having their questions answered on the spot, without the brand representative having time to seek out an ear-pleasing answer. Live streaming is raw, real and feels very personal and authentic to potential customers.
Paying for advertisements and television spots can be quite pricey especially for startup companies trying to get their brand noticed. A mere 30-second advertisement can rack up an exorbitant cost if played during peak hours. Live streaming offers the capability to spend virtually nothing on advertisement while offering its customer base a live video presentation for hours on end, if desired. This form of marketing requires no more monetary investment than that of the video equipment and internet connection to stream the video being shot. Tapping into social media outlets like Facebook Live and Periscope are free services that people can not only take advantage of for free, they can also customize their settings to be notified when a live stream by their favorite brand is about to start. This offers a win-win scenario for the brand. If people tune in to the stream, they will receive a valuable message that the company is wanting to get across. If people do not tune in to the stream, little is lost because little was invested and they can still view it later. With a barrier of entry as low as the Osmo mobile and using your existing smartphone, you can be live streaming for as little as $120 dollars
We mentioned earlier that live streaming is wonderful because the consumer can instantly receive feedback on a particular product or service. The same kind of feedback, however, is being reciprocated to the company and brand manager. We all know how annoying and time-consuming it can be to fill out surveys and comment cards. Companies are desperate to know what you think! They want to adjust to meet the needs of their customers and it is very difficult to that without hearing your customer’s thoughts and ideas. Live streaming often has comment sections that allow customers to type out their thoughts. Not only can the company read all of these invaluable comments, they can also track viewership and see which types of video streams generate more interest with its client base. Companies often pay a hefty sum to receive this type of feedback, but with live streaming receive this feedback by the masses, free of charge.