Digital marketing has two main goals—to increase brand visibility and enhance audience engagement. With the pandemic hastening the digital transformation of most enterprises, they have their work cut out. While arranging for and implementing digital assets provided quite a challenge, coming up with an effective and efficient online strategy proved to be an elusive proposition.
This led to the emergence of live streaming as a good digital marketing strategy. So good was its impact that every enterprise, big or small, with an online presence is adopting this strategy.
But, what makes live streaming so effective?
Online video streaming helped engage viewers in an authentic, innovative and result oriented manner. This made marketers pay attention.
Customers were in for a visual and mental treat and thus expected a live video experience at every step of their digital journey.
Vimeo, Facebook Live, Periscope, LinkedIn Live etc., became the buzzwords. Live streamed boomed in 2020. The writing was clear. Either enterprises live streamed or they lost out on opportunities that ultimately went to their competitors.
Some statistics of live streaming
The effectiveness of live streaming videos is not a myth. It is backed by statistics.
- An expected 91million subscribers will use live streaming platforms by the year 2024
- In 2020 watch time for live streaming increased by a whopping 250%
- 80% of audience prefers live videos to reading blogs and 82% prefer them to reading social posts
- Brand association and sales intent increased by 139% and 97% respectively while conversions by 80%
- 64% of users feel the urge to buy a product after watching a live video.
- Videos in emails increased CTR by 200 to 300%
- 73% of B2B companies reported better ROI after streaming live videos.
Important benefits of live streaming
If the statistics were overwhelming the below detailed benefits of live online video streaming are sure to prompt enterprises to increase their digital marketing spends for the year 2021.
- Improved ROI: This is backed by statistics and hence there is no ambiguity in the impact live streaming videos has on a company’s ROI. These videos are interactive thereby drawing more viewers than traditional videos. Facebook Live statistics state that live video views are 3X that of traditional videos. Additionally streaming live videos cost much less than creating a marketing video since no creative activities like filming and editing etc. are involved. Thus live videos offer better audience engagement with lesser investment.
- Building relationships: Live videos help build better audience relationships by imparting a face and voice to a brand. They are based on everyday events, happenings, incidents etc. that help to:
o Personify a brand
o Help consumers with everyday problems
o Bring a much needed smile at the end of the day
o Make the audience see humour in everyday mundane things
For brands, the live streaming platform is the portal to immense opportunity that they can use to position themselves as they want in their targeted niches.
- Adding credibility and trust: The simple content streamed helps the audience identify with the content. This extra visibility and engagement helps brands gain trust and credibility in the consumer’s eyes. Thus, when companies interact with their consumers in real-time the conversation gives the feeling of two people interacting. In particular, consumers like feeling close to the business they engage with and promote. It gives them a feeling of oneness with the brand thereby increasing their brand loyalty.
- Working with influencers: Today working with influencers is not as easy as it once was. Just mentioning the brand name by influencers is not enough to entice consumers to buy the product or avail their services. Getting influencers involved in live online video streaming results in better audience engagement due to increased brand visibility. For example, using influencers to host live-streamed events will automatically attract more views. Thus, the concept of live streaming increases the impact of the influencers manifold.
The above benefits all point towards one central goal; of increasing brand visibility by engaging with audience and promoting consumer growth. Since this is the primary objective of all enterprises and companies, the benefits synchronize with it to facilitate positive revenue generation.
The future of live streaming
Is the strategy sustainable? This is a frequently asked question. Most enterprises seek assurance that this strategy has a future. Two practical reasons amply justify the sustainability of the live streaming platform.
- Huge audience: The internet offers companies an immense and growing audience base on a platter. Live video streaming is one way to enable brands to capitalise on this enormous consumer database.
- Popularity of smartphones: Every hand possesses at least one smartphone. Some even have two or more. Every smartphone sold results in an increase in the viewer base that subsequently creates new opportunities for live streaming.
The benefits of live streaming as an effective marketing strategy are yet to be fully explored and realised. Today the circumstances are conducive to the use of this strategy to increase visibility and engagement. It is an opportunity that can increase the longevity and profitability of a business. Live streaming is thus here to stay and how!