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Why Live Streaming Is Central to Video Marketing

Live stream marketing has become all the rage thanks to growing demand for authentic digital content and an unexpected boost brought on by the pandemic. Today, companies use live streaming to stay visible and connected to their audiences, all while showcasing their brand and earning high-intent leads.

Encompassing everything from social media stories to online webinars to large-scale conference events, live streaming encompasses many types of video content with one primary benefit in common: the ability to connect directly with your audience.

If you’re thinking about adding live stream marketing to your strategy or level up your current approach, this article is for you. We’ll cover the basics, talk about why live streaming has become so essential, and walk through best practices for executing a live stream strategy that engages viewers and drives new business.

Quick Takeaways

  • Live stream marketing occurs when brands distribute video content for audiences to consume in real time.
  • The pandemic boosted demand for live stream video that now seems to be permanent.
  • Live stream marketing comes in many forms, ranging from casual social media stories to large-scale live streamed events.
  • Live stream content shows brand authenticity and helps companies to build connection with their audiences.
  • Companies can leverage viewer data to refine their larger strategies and understand the topics their audiences care about most.

What is live stream marketing?

Live stream marketing is when brands distribute video content to their audiences in real time. In other words, users are consuming the content at the same time it’s being created.

Social media platforms and event live streaming software have all clamored to fit into brands’ live stream plans given the rise in consumer demand for this type of content and its position as a staple in most digital marketing strategies in a post-pandemic world.

Live streaming isn’t technically new — social media platforms have long-enabled live stories and live-streamed events have been fairly common for more than a decade. But live steam video saw a massive jump between 2019 and 2020 after the onset of the pandemic, when the number of live video viewers increased by 25 million.

The number of live video viewers spiked by 25 million between 2019 and 2020, and is expected to continue growing through 2024.

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The more interesting trend is that live stream video viewership has remained on the rise and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future — viewers are expected to grow by another 15 million by 2024.

That’s because brands and their audiences realized the many benefits that live streaming brings to the company/customer relationship — it allows for ease of access, breaks down geographic boundaries, helps companies showcase their brands authentically, and provides a platform for interacting directly with customers in real-time.

How Live Streaming Builds Authenticity

Today’s consumers have elevated expectations around the buying experience and building real connections with brands. Authenticity is at the core of this — people want to use brands that are genuine in their messaging and transparent about what they do. In many cases, they even want to align their personal values with those of the companies they buy from.

According to a survey of 1500+ consumers earlier this year, 88% find authenticity to be a key factor in deciding which brands to support.

According to a recent consumer survey, 88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support.

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Live streaming requires authenticity by nature. It happens in real time, meaning brands aren’t able to curate the best footage or edit out anything they’d rather not include. By live streaming, brands show customers they’re willing to be honest and real.

The types of events typically hosted in a live stream format (like Q&As or live discussions) also foster a sense of human connection as real conversation happens between those being featured and their live stream viewers.

Let’s walk through unique live stream marketing features offered by the most prominent social media platforms.

Live Stream Marketing Tips: 5 Best Practices

Go to your audience

Not all live streaming platforms are created equal for all audiences. When it comes to social media, for example, age demographics and other audience attributes vary (i.e. you’ll find more Gen Zers on TikTok than Facebook, and professional B2B audiences are most likely to be on LinkedIn). Event streaming platforms are also designed for unique audiences (for example, one that’s built for streaming concerts and live performances vs. for hosting virtual conferences).

Don’t take a shot in the dark when it comes to your live streaming content. Find out where your target audiences interact with brands, research the platforms that align best with your brand and the type of live stream content you’ll create, then design your strategy accordingly.

Have the right equipment

Live streaming doesn’t require tons of expensive production equipment — in many cases, just a smartphone is enough to produce high-quality live streamed content. But some types of events may require equipment like microphones or HD web cameras, and it’s a good idea not to skimp on buying them when needed.

As you know if you’re a video consumer (which most of us are), a blurry, glitching, or otherwise low-quality video is a quick reason to keep scrolling and move on to better content.

Try different things

There are many different types of live stream marketing content. Popular types of branded live stream video content include:

  • Social media stories that give a behind-the-scenes look at a company
  • Live Q&A sessions or roundtable discussions
  • Repeating events (i.e. same thing happens every week or month, like tips or an interview session, covering different topics each time)
  • Interviews with internal experts or industry leaders
  • Live streamed events (either totally virtual or hybrid)

It’s important to know which types of live stream marketing are likely to resonate with your audiences, but you can also experiment with different types and include multiple types to keep your content exciting.

Interact with your viewers

Streaming alone won’t earn you the full ROI potential of live stream marketing. Get to know the features different platforms provide for interacting with your audience (for example, bringing on additional live guests in real-time or engaging in the comments section) and use them during your broadcasts.

Sometimes, the person(s) featured in your video can be the same one interacting with your viewers (like a casual Instagram live discussion), while other times you’ll need additional team members dedicated to it (for example, during a live streamed conference presentation).

The important thing is that you’re always maximizing this primary benefit of live streaming: real-time engagement.

Leverage viewer data

Live stream marketing is a great way to obtain new data about your audience and use it to inform your marketing and sales efforts. Not only can you collect information from users as they join your live stream, you can connect it to other parts of your strategy (namely ad programs) to improve targeting and lead generation.

Further, you can analyze engagement data over time to understand the topics your audience cares about most and build more content around them.

Over to You

Your live stream and other digital marketing efforts are made more powerful when backed by a strong sales prospecting strategy to follow up and secure the right leads.

Revboss’s outbound email software and lead generation services are custom-built for startups, consultancies, marketing agencies, and other B2B organizations. 

Schedule a quick call with us and find out how we can help you win more clients.

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