All the way back at the very beginning of the year, we predicted that the growth of live video would be one of the defining social media trends of 2017. And since then, live video and the technological developments that run alongside it have dominated social media news. YouTube, for instance, will soon offer its own live streaming feature for all users, while Facebook is set to dabble with commercial breaks in the near future.
But what is it about live video – Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Periscope – that has proved so popular, so remarkably quickly? Well, it appears to have something to do with the appeal of visual media, combined with the excitement of witnessing an announcement or event at the very moment it’s happening. And then there’s the potential for live engagement and feedback, which enables users to ask questions and receive immediate responses in real time.
Below, we take a look at 5 compelling reasons your brand should get started with live video in 2017. Included are a number of examples of how you can achieve this, and the results you can expect to receive as a result.
5 Reasons to Get Started with Live Video
1. Competitive Advantage
While some brands have quickly got onboard with live video – take a look at how some businesses are using it – many more haven’t. Yet. That means there’s an opportunity. There’s no doubt that live video is on the rise, and getting involved with an emergent technology in its formative stages is the best way of maximising its potential for exposure.
There’s no doubt that live video is on the rise…
Though we’ll discuss this in more depth below, industries like travel and tourism or fashion could be doing more to create compelling live content. And those that do so first will gain a tangible competitive advantage over their business rivals. In fact, it’s something we’ve already seen with fashion outlet Asos.
2. Personal Connection
The very nature of live broadcasting is one that fosters a closer personal connection than pre-recorded content. For that reason, it’s immediately clear that live content can be used to improve brand loyalty and awareness. Let’s look at an example:
The travel and tourism industry is all about selling experiences, and social media with its media rich content is now a core part of that. But one thing we’re not seeing is widespread use of live video. Expect that to change.
Take tour operators, for instance; live video would give holidaymakers an insight into the experiences on offer in any given tour, as well as the people behind making it happen. The obvious way for this to be achieved would be to broadcast once or twice per day – depending on resource – about the location the tour is currently that.
A small group tour to Japan could feasibly broadcast from Tokyo, Tsumango, Kamikochi, Matsumoto, Kyoto and Hakone within a period of a week or so. These broadcasts, set at the same time each day and supported by an awareness campaign, would cover different cultural and historic features of their location, fuelling travel inspiration with the potential to drive bookings long-term.
3. Influencer Marketing Tie-In
Talking about social media trends for 2017, influencer marketing is right up there with live video. And the potential for live video coverage from influencers is as good a reason as any to begin testing the waters with both.
We understand that committing existing staff and resource to an up-and-coming technology can be difficult to justify. Instead, consider factoring live video into your existing influencer strategy, or building one around live video. As a tour operator, for instance, you could invite a blogger with a sizeable following to come along, with the expectation that they would deliver live video once or twice per day to your audience and theirs.
…consider factoring live video into your existing influencer strategy, or building one around live video.
Beyond tours, brand events and product launches highlight other ways for your influencer marketing to tie in with live video. An Instagrammer could, for instance, give a guided tour of a hotel, or put your audience in touch with how it feels to dine in and sleep at your accommodation.
4. Announcements and News
This is perhaps the most obvious reason you should be using live video in your marketing; streaming up-to-the-minute brand news and announcements. Not only is this an engaging way to broadcast such information, it takes advantage of your audience’s desire to feel special and part of an exclusive circle of knowledge.
News outlets across the globe have started using live video for news announcements and breaking news, while even content sites like BuzzFeed are getting in on the action. While you likely won’t have such a constant source of live news content, when you do unveil your latest fashion collection or tour package, live video is an effective way to do so.
5. Business Values
Finally, if implemented correctly, live video can give existing and potential customers a glimpse at your brand values and the personalities behind your products. This is an important consideration for many consumers when making purchasing decisions. For instance, people will often spend more safe in the knowledge that they’ll be receiving superior service, or that their clothing is produced ethically and responsibly.
Live video is on the rise. There’s no denying that as almost all major social media players get on board with the technology. And while new advancements can often be seen as risky, getting on board with them in the early stages enhance the results you’re likely to see from them.
…while new advancements can often be seen as risky, getting on board with them in the early stages enhance the results you’re likely to see from them.
Live video, when implemented strategically and with thought, can deliver a range of results for any business across any sector. And while some may have to think more carefully about their approach to live video, there is one out there for everyone. How you bring it into the fold of your marketing strategy – in-house, through an agency, or through an influencer – will depend on the size of your business and internal resource, but it should be considered at the very least, ideally before 2017 is out.