Remember the time when social media did not exist and all we had was a television which broadcasted content at specific timings and we had to wait for our favorite shows to air? (cartoons, dramas, talk shows, live shopping shows etc.). One show that my uncle eagerly looked forward to watching was the post-midnight telemarketing show; he watched all product sequences and then sometimes ordered one for himself. Back then, I did not understand why people were so excited about these live broadcasts.
Fast-forward to today, when TV is almost an absolute essential in the lives of many and digital is the main source of communication, brands are again moving back to the live stream phenomenon and there are good reasons why this has become one of the best ways to engage with the audiences and convert them into customers in real-time.
Live-streaming is an evolved and more engaging version of live TV. The reason it creates a significant impact is because it keeps people up-to-dated on newest products in the market, and this is why television has lost a lot of subscribers. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, with just a click of a button, you can broadcast your content live to millions of viewers across the globe. Moreover, since more people have gotten into streaming, numerous other platforms have also been created specifically for live-streaming to give them choice as well as for audience to connect virtually. An example of this is Twitch TV, a new virtual world where fans spends 95 minutes on average watching other streamers play Fortnite, draw anime characters or perform their alternative music.
One of the reasons why live-streaming is so attractive and crucial for brands and individuals is because of the level of interaction and engagement it offers. No other platform or marketing strategy allows such a level of interaction. In addition to this, live-streaming also has the highest rate of engagement for all types of content.
Digital live streams can do everything a Live TV can along with value-added features. On a digital stream, viewers can post their comments, reactions, reviews and sentiments, which automatically show up in real-time, allowing the viewers to interact with the streamer and vice-versa. This real-time interaction makes the consumer-and-brand bond stronger and opens a great channel of communication. Video-on-demand, which was a fan favourite previously, is now losing its charm as it cannot create the same engagement with the viewers as the live-stream can.
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Another important aspect of live-streaming is reach. With live-streams, you can reach out to more people, for example, if you go live on Facebook or Instagram, the chance of your content popping up on your follower’s screen is more compared to any other image or video on demand.
Increased reach is just the beginning; with increased exposure, one can get more and more leads for your venture and more followers for your brand. Within the digital universe, it is elementary for people to find and share live videos as the action required to do so is minimal and hence it increases your reach as their friends and connections view it as well.
To top it all, one reason that it has been the choice of brand managers is cost-effectiveness. For some marketers, reaching out to the audience effectively and engagingly can be expensive and may require significant investments, but live-stream can be created on small budgets and the results are better than any other platform. This is one of the most essential reasons why live-stream today has outgrown video on demand, and with each year, the passion for live videos has seen significant growth – 3-4 times higher than video on demand and almost ten times more than short formats.
Let’s look at an example, something Facebook has quoted as live best practice on its Meta for Business portal. Samsung, as we all know, is one of the biggest electronic manufacturers and distributer in the world. Back in the COVID-19 pandemic days, Samsung tried Facebook’s live shopping solution for the very first time to evaluate its impact on the business. Consumers activity had already been shifted online due to no or restricted outdoor activities; it was a great time to experiment it. Samsung in collaboration with Meta initiated a campaign to offer the existing and potential consumers an online experience using Facebook live events.
In collaboration with its media agency, Samsung hosted these live events to promote the launch of their new home appliances products. Two influencers were taken on-board to host the session and share details about the product in an engaging way. People who wanted to buy the product could, at the same time, click on the links provided to view the product featured and check out further details. The link directed the viewer to Samsung’s official website, where people could also buy the product. With these live sessions and other marketing efforts targeted to direct viewers to the live sessions, Samsung was able to; increase the ad recall by 6.8 points, lift the overall sales by 39% and increase brand awareness by 4.2 points. And all of this during the pandemic times. This shows the potential a live stream holds for businesses.
Daraz Pakistan’s new livestream feature is another local example for how brands in Pakistan can harness this power. Inspired by the technique used by local online sellers on Facebook groups, where they sell products online via live sessions, Daraz introduced a real-time content feature available on their app. It gives sellers another tool to engage consumers, while helps them interact with the sellers and see the product before they can buy it. It features a variety of content, including product showcases, trivia games and Q&A sessions. This new feature helped Daraz garner more sales then ever during their biggest sale of the year, and hence the new philosophy with the play button in the middle, which also promotes it and forecasts how it will play an integral role in the brand’s journey in the near future.
Live streams are the next big things and they have a huge potential in the e-commerce world to provide endless monetization opportunities. And with a widened and eager audience at our disposal, advertising enthusiasts have a new way to experiment with campaigns and get results in real-time.
Just to summarize, let’s use the one thing that we all love – numbers. Live videos during COVID-19 grew by 93% with an average viewing time of 26.4 minutes per session (source: Streaming Media, 2019). Live video holds the attention 10-20x better than the pre-recorded content (Forrester, 2017). The engagement is so amazing that 7 out of 10 people who watch the live stream tune in regularly (Interactive Advertising Bureau, 2018). All in all, live streaming is a trend that is showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.
So, if you’re an agency person, here is your pitch for the next live campaign to your brand. And if you’re a brand person, ring up your agency and go live!!!